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Fluffy Christmas Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing, everyone’s favorite Christmas breakfast. These are classic and DELICIOUS! Buttery, soft, and fluffy dough swirled with cinnamon sugar. Each roll is frosted generously with a warming brown butter and caramel cream cheese icing that melts into every nook and cranny. There’s nothing not to love, every bite is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. You can’t beat a cinnamon roll on Christmas morning, no matter your age. We all love these.

Fluffy Christmas Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing |

Like clockwork, it’s Christmas week and I am making cinnamon rolls. Nothing new here, but the recipe. And while I’ve loved every last cinnamon roll I have ever shared, these are what I make for Christmas.

It’s my go-to dough recipe, with double the cinnamon filling, and everyone’s favorite icing. Cream cheese is a must for us, and while they all say they don’t like caramel, it’s actually what makes the icing so addicting.

They just don’t know it. But these rolls are our staple.

Here is what I do. Or actually, here is what I didn’t do the past 2 years and I majorly regretted it. I skipped our tradition, and I’m not going to lie, everyone was pretty bummed on it.

But I have a game plan this year, so yes, my cousin Abby is finally getting her cinni roll fix. I can’t wait to make these for her!

My plan is simple. Make the dough, cut the rolls, and throw them in the fridge on Christmas Eve. They can rise overnight and I can bake umm up first thing in the morning. Planned, prepped, and ready.

Fluffy Christmas Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing |

Here are the details

The dough is the simplest to make. Simply mix the yeast with warm milk and a small touch of brown sugar. It’s important to let that mix sit for a few minutes to allow the yeast to “activate”. If the yeast doesn’t look bubbly on top, that means it’s probably old yeast. You should try again with fresh yeast. Sometimes it randomly happens, so just keep an eye out!

Next, add the butter, eggs, flour, and salt. Mix until smooth and let the dough rest until doubled in size. Then it’s time to shape the rolls. I love to keep the dough super simple. It’s the holidays and things are busy enough as is.

For the cinni-sugar mix, I love to use brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon for the best flavor. The brown sugar adds a nice depth and richness. And I go heavy on the cinnamon for sweet cinnamon swirls throughout.

Classic filling, nothing new here, but you can’t complain about it.

Fluffy Christmas Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing |

Assemble and bake

Spread the dough with butter, then sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar. Roll the dough up into a log, slice, and bake.

The smells coming from the oven will be magical. Sweet cinnamon with hints of vanilla. ‘Tis perfection and it smells like Christmas to me.

Fluffy Christmas Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing |

The Icing

This is what makes these rolls special. The secret, not-so-secret, ingredient being salted caramel. It’s only a fourth of a cup, but it’s just enough to help the icing melt into every nook and cranny of these rolls.

It’s honestly, so good and creates the best icing for your cinnamon rolls.

Frost each warm roll and then enjoy while they’re extra gooey. It’s going to be messy, but oh my gosh, that means your cinnamon roll is GOOD.

Fluffy Christmas Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing |

Asher just enjoyed one pre-Christmas roll. She is standing in front of me saying, “mhhh, these are so good”.

Simple. Easy. And just the best! I cannot think of a better Christmas morning breakfast. Very excited to be making these for my family again this year. Hoping you all will be too!

Fluffy Christmas Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing |

Looking for other holiday cinnamon roll recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing

Easy Fluffy Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Wreath

Overnight Pull-Apart Brioche Cinnamon Roll Bread (an oldie)

Lastly, if you make these Fluffy Christmas Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Soft and Fluffy Christmas Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rising time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories Per Serving: 527 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



Brown Butter Caramel Cream Cheese Icing


  • 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the milk, yeast, and brown sugar. Let sit 5-10 minutes, until bubbly on top. Add the butter, eggs, 3 1/2 – 4 cups flour, vanilla, and salt. Using the dough hook, mix until the flour is completely incorporated, about 4-5 minutes. If the dough is still sticky, add an additional 1/4 cup flour, adding more as needed until the dough is smooth to touch.
    2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
    3. Meanwhile, mix the filling. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon. Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish.
    4. Punch the dough down and roll out onto a lightly floured surface, creating a large rectangle about 12 x 18 inches. Spread the butter evenly over the dough. Sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar. Starting with the long edge closest to you, roll the dough into a log, keeping it tight as you go. When you reach the edge, pinch along the edge to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut into 12-15 rolls. Place the rolls into the prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 15-20 minutes.
    5. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    6. Meanwhile, make the icing. Add the butter to a pot set over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown lightly until it smells toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. In a bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the brown butter, beating to combine. Then, add the powdered sugar, caramel, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Beat until creamy. Spread the icing over the warm rolls. Serve and enjoy!


To Make Ahead: prepare the rolls through step 4. Do not let the rolls rise at room temp. Cover the rolls and place them in the fridge (up to overnight). When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the fridge 30 minutes prior to baking, then bake as directed. 
To Prepare and Freeze: assemble the rolls through step 4. Then cover the pan and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the rolls overnight in the fridge or on the counter for a few hours. Once thawed, bake as directed. 
To Bake and Freeze: bake the rolls as directed and let cool completely. Cover well and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and warm, then frost before serving. 
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Fluffy Christmas Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing |

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  1. 5 stars
    These cinnamon rolls are THE BEST! Thank you for this amaaaazing recipe!! I’m wondering how I double it – do I double all ingredients, including the yeast?

    1. Hi Jillian,
      So glad you enjoyed this recipe! Yes, you will want to double the entire recipe:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  2. I made these on Christmas Day. They were soooo good! They will be a tradition going forward but I will make them the day before so we can have them first thing (not in the afternoon;)!

  3. 5 stars
    I made these Christmas Eve and per the recipe, covered and put in the fridge before the second rise. This was the BEST Christmas treat and will be an annual tradition! I will be making these many other times throughout the year. I was always intimidated by homemade cinnamon rolls, but never again! So nice to do the work the day before and reap the rewards the next day! These also warm up well for leftovers. They do t get hard and tough. Winners all around! Thank you for the recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    I just made these this morning to do a belated birthday celebration for myself, and HOLY MOLY. These are super decadent, tender, and I will DEFINITELY be making these again. This was my first time making cinnamon rolls from scratch, so I set the bar pretty high for myself for when I make other recipes (that is, IF I make other recipes)!

  5. 5 stars
    These are absolutely, absolutely, phenomenal! It made our New Year start off perfectly! Thank you! That frosting is incredible!

  6. 5 stars
    Made these for the first time and they were delightful! Like all half baked recipes it was easy to follow and turned out great. I did not have any caramel for the frosting but it was still fantastic; not too sweet and the brown butter added a great flavour profile.

  7. Made these for Christmas Brunch and now I’m getting ready to make them again for a Birthday brunch tomorrow. They are too good to not make again. Thank you for the delicious recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve made these countless times and each time they’re to die for. I recently had to go Gluten Free and just used King Arthur’s Gluten Free Bread Flour (1:1 ratio) and you can’t even tell a difference. Love these so much and so does everyone else!

      1. This is the best cinnamon bun recipe I’ve tried , easier, with less rising time and they are absolutely delicious especially the frosting with 2 cups of icing sugar it is perfect.

  9. 5 stars
    The brown butter caramel frosting is a life changing recipe. These cinnamon rolls are absolutely to die for, but that frosting is the star.

    I am an American baker but I would love if you added gram conversions to your baking recipes! It helps make less dishes. Thanks for considering 😍

  10. These are a new family tradition for Christmas morning! They were so good last year, my boys asked for them every year. 🙂 I can’t wait to pop them in the oven while opening presents!