//Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Add a festive spin to a breakfast favorite with this crowd-friendly recipe for pillowy Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting.

A white baking pan with red velvet cinnamon rolls and cream cheese frosting being slathered on top

Are you ready to take breakfast to a whole new level? Behold, the ultimate red velvet cinnamon rolls slathered with tangy cream cheese frosting!

These beauties may require a bit of time and patience, but the end result is more than worth it. Just check out those chocolatey-cinnamony swirls…

A close-up shot of red velvet cinnamon rolls

A true red velvet recipe (whether for brownies or cakes) doesn’t just add red food coloring and call it a day. It must have cocoa powder, and that works majorly in our favor in this 100% made-from-scratch cinnamon roll recipe.

A dough hook in a glass bowl of a stand mixer

There are a whole lot of red velvet cinnamon roll recipes out there that are made with cake mix, but my thought is, if you’re going to do it, let’s do it right! A yeasted dough made with cocoa powder is proofed then buttered, filled and cut into rolls.

A hand sprinkling cinnamon-sugar on dough

After a second proof, these bright red beauties are baked until they’re pillowy and soft. And before you get worried that this is going to be sugar overload, allow me to calm your fears with the reassurance that this isn’t your ordinary cloyingly sweet frosting.

A white baking dish filled with unbaked cinnamon rolls

This cream cheese frosting includes buttermilk for an added touch of tangy. The result is a silky-smooth frosting that’s the quintessential pairing for red velvet everything.

A clear stand mixer bowl filled with cream cheese frosting

Put it all together and we have a show-stopping breakfast or brunch item that looks just as great as it tastes.

Not a red velvet fan? Don’t miss my recipes for Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls, Apple Cinnamon Roll Bake and short-cut Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls!

A white baking dish with red velvet cinnamon rolls and a spatula slathering cream cheese frosting on top

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A white baking pan with red velvet cinnamon rolls and cream cheese frosting being slathered on top


Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

For the dough:

  • 1
    whole milk
  • 1/2
    (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2
    cup + 1 Tablespoon
    sugar, divided
  • 1 (3/4-oz.)
    (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 4
    all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
  • 3
    unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1
    kosher salt
  • 2
    large eggs, at room temperature
  • Red food coloring
  • Cooking spray

For the filling:

  • 2
    unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2
    packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4
  • 1
    ground cinnamon

For the frosting:

  • 1
    package cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1/2
    (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 2
    vanilla extract
  • 2
  • 1/4
    kosher salt
  • 1 1/3
    confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Make the dough:

In a small sauce pot set over low heat, combine the milk and butter and cook until the butter has melted and the mixture is warmed to just below 110°F.

Stir in 1 tablespoon sugar and the yeast then set the mixture aside for 5 minutes.

In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt and remaining 1/2 cup sugar.

Add the yeast mixture and eggs to the stand mixer and beat for 2 minutes.

Add red food coloring until the dough reaches your desired color then continue beating for 6 minutes until the dough is combined. (It will be tacky. If it’s too tacky, or you’re in a humid environment, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency.)

Grease a large bowl with cooking spray. Transfer the dough into the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Store the dough in a warm, dark place until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.

Grease a 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Lightly flour your work surface then roll the dough into a rectangle that’s 1/4-inch thick and measures about 12×18 inches.

Make the filling:

Brush the dough all over with the melted butter.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon.

Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly atop the butter.

Beginning at the long end, tightly roll the dough up into a log. Slice off the ends then slice the log into 12 rolls.

Arrange the rolls in the greased baking dish then cover them with plastic wrap. Set the rolls aside in a warm, dark place until they double in size, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Uncover the rolls and bake them for 18 to 22 minutes or until they are no longer doughy. Set the rolls aside to cool.

Make the frosting:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter.

Add the vanilla extract, buttermilk, salt and confectioners’ sugar and beat until combined.

Spread the frosting atop the cinnamon rolls and serve.

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Nutrition Facts

Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Amount Per Serving

Calories 481
Calories from Fat 171

% Daily Value*

Fat 19g29%

Saturated Fat 12g75%

Cholesterol 75mg25%

Sodium 271mg12%

Potassium 116mg3%

Carbohydrates 72g24%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 39g43%

Protein 6g12%

Vitamin A 604IU12%

Calcium 57mg6%

Iron 2mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.