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Quick and Easy Gingerbread Brioche Cinnamon Rolls…with Cinnamon Browned Butter Frosting. Just the holiday breakfast you’re looking for. Buttery, eggy brioche dough made with ginger for a seasonal twist, swirled with molasses and sprinkled with spiced ginger sugar, and frosted generously with a browned butter and cream cheese frosting. There’s nothing not to love, every bite is melt in your mouth delicious. These are a great make-ahead breakfast roll, perfect for your holiday celebrations!

This post is sponsored by Fleischmann’s®.

overhead photo of Easy Gingerbread Brioche Cinnamon Rolls with frosting on rolls

Happy Friday before Christmas. I have to say, I am so excited for the next few days. Most of my family arrives tomorrow and after this weekend the bulk of my work will be done for the remainder of the year. It’s been crazy busy leading up to Christmas, but I’m feeling grateful and excited for everything we’ve been able to accomplish this last year.

The next few days are all about chilling with my family, cooking our favorite holiday recipes, and probably mixing up a lot of cocktails too. So really, the cooking never stops, but I do it because I love it.

When it comes to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, my family has a few traditions, but the one we never break? Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. I’ve been making cinnamon rolls for as long as I can remember and nothing beats homemade. Last year I made these Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls, but this year I’m switching it up again and baking these easy spiced gingerbread cinnamon rolls.

overhead photo of Easy Gingerbread Brioche Cinnamon Rolls before baking

To make the dough.

First, these are not your typical cinnamon roll. I wanted them to be extra cinnamony, but also perfectly spiced with ginger and hinted with molasses too. Just like your favorite gingerbread cookies.

For the dough, simply mix flour with Fleischmann’s® Rapid Rise Yeast, a touch of ginger, and a pinch of salt. Add warm milk, a touch of honey, eggs, and salted butter. Then mix until smooth, let the dough rest for ten to fifteen minutes, and then it’s time to shape the rolls. And that’s the beauty of Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® yeast! We get to skip an entire hour-long rise.

overhead close up photo of Easy Gingerbread Brioche Cinnamon Rolls before adding frosting

For me, skipping the rising step is everything. It means I can start making these rolls at the last minute and not be stressed about getting them prepped and ready before things get crazy in the kitchen.

For the filling, I mixed the butter with blackstrap molasses for a true gingerbread swirl throughout. Then sprinkled on a simple mix of brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

I like to use brown sugar for a nice depth of flavor. And I go heavy on the cinnamon and ginger for sweet, cinnamon, gingery swirls throughout.

overhead close up photo of Easy Gingerbread Brioche Cinnamon Rolls in baking dish

Shaping the rolls.

Roll the dough, cut into rolls, and place them into a baking dish. Simple, but always so pretty.

If you enjoy warm rolls fresh out of the oven, you can do a quick rise and bake right away. Then simply frost, eat, and enjoy! Cinnamon rolls in under two hours. Perfect for baking up super last minute.

For the frosting, I did something a little more special, but still simple. Browned butter + cream cheese + vanilla + cinnamon. Simple, but incredibly delicious when spread over these gingery rolls.

overhead close up photo of Easy Gingerbread Brioche Cinnamon Rolls in baking pan

Can you make these ahead of time?

Yes, you can! I love the fact that I can make these from start to finish in under two hours. But I’m also fully aware that none of you want to be prepping breakfast on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. So, I made sure these rolls could be made ahead of time, for any of you looking to get a jump start.

Here is what I do. I make these a day or two ahead and let them rise in the fridge, skipping the counter rise completely. That way, on Christmas Eve morning, all I have to do is bake and frost them. This gives me plenty of time to one, sleep in, and two, relax instead of spending the morning in the kitchen.

overhead close up photo of Easy Gingerbread Brioche Cinnamon Rolls in pan

I cannot think of a better holiday breakfast to enjoy with your family. Of course, these are great for Christmas, but they can truly be enjoyed all winter long. I’ve yet to share these with my family, so I can’t wait to recreate them next week. Fingers crossed that they love these rolls as much as I do!

And with that, I hope to see you tomorrow for the very last Christmas Cocktail Saturday of 2019!

overhead photo of Easy Gingerbread Brioche Cinnamon Rolls on plates with forks

If you make these easy gingerbread brioche cinnamon rolls, 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!

Easy Gingerbread Brioche Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon Browned Butter Frosting

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings: 12
Calories Per Serving: 623 kcal

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

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Ingredients

Gingerbread Sugar Filling

Cinnamon Browned Butter Frosting

Instructions

  • 1. To make the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 3 1/2 cups flour, the yeast, ginger, and salt. Add the warm milk, honey, eggs, and butter. Using the dough hook, mix until the flour is completely incorporated, about 4-5 minutes. If the dough seems sticky, add the remaining 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of flour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or up to a few hours at room temperature.
    2. Meanwhile, make the filling. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a separate small bowl, mix together the butter and molasses. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment. 
    3. Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Turn out the dough, punch it down, and roll it into a rectangle about 10 x 16 inches. Spread the molasses butter evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the ginger sugar evenly over the butter and lightly push into the butter. Starting with the long edge closest to you, carefully roll the dough into a log, keeping it fairly tight as you go. When you reach the edge, pinch along the edge to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut into 12-15 rolls smaller rolls or 8 large rolls. Place the rolls into the prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 20-30 minutes.
    4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. For larger rolls, bake an additional 10 minutes.
    5. Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the butter is lightly browned and smells toasted. Immediately remove from the heat. Let cool.
    6. In a medium bowl, beat together the cooled browned butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla until smooth. If the frosting is too thick for your liking, add a tablespoon of milk.
    7. Spread the frosting over the warm rolls. Serve warm and enjoy.

Notes

To Make Ahead: prepare the rolls through step 3. Do not let the rolls rise at room temp. Cover the rolls and place in the fridge (up to overnight). When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the fridge 45 minutes prior to baking, then bake as directed. 
To Prepare and Freeze: assemble the rolls through step 3, 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 before serving. 
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horizontal photo of Easy Gingerbread Brioche Cinnamon Rolls on plates with forks

{This post is sponsored by Fleischmann’s®. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Half Baked Harvest cooking!}

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made these last year for Christmas the night before since they are time consuming.… they rose beautifully in the morning and were so good they were requested again this year!

  2. 5 stars
    Just made these today and they are so delicious,the frosting is amazing.I am adding these to my Christmas baking list this year.

  3. 5 stars
    This was my first time making cinnamon rolls and I was a little nervous. I happened to have everything needed to make them so I went for it. Oh my gosh. They are the best baked item I have ever ever made. I’m pretty good in the kitchen. Pretty awful at making. Nothing ever turns out how it should but these did!!! The icing is amazing. I don’t think mine tasted anything like gingerbread once it was cooked and iced but that doesn’t matter. Truly amazing and I will make these again and again and again.

    1. Hey Alice,
      Awesome!! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a try! Have a great weekend:) xTieghan

      1. 5 stars
        My sister and I made these as part of Thanksgiving breakfast. Our first try at homemade cinnamon rolls and these are INCREDIBLE! Everything about them is perfection, from flavor, texture, to spice. Best cinnamon rolls we’ve ever had! Thanks, Tieghan!

        1. Hi Jess,
          I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

    1. 5 stars
      These cinnamon rolls are SO GOOD! The dough is spiced perfectly and pulls apart so easily when you go to eat one! The filling is delicious and is balanced with the molasses cream cheese frosting. I added chopped pecans into my brown butter, to add a little crunch in the frosting, and that was a nice little addition. Would certainly make again and recommend to others(:

      1. Hey Gretchen,
        Fantastic! Thanks a lot for making this recipe, I am so glad that it was enjoyed!! Have a great Tuesday. xxTieghan

    1. Hey Rob,
      You will need to proof the active yeast with the warm milk and honey first, allow it to bubble and then follow the recipe as is. I hope you love them! xTieghan

  4. 3 stars
    Hi. Thanks for the recipe. I followed the metric converted and the flour was wayyy too much so I had to resurrect a very dry batch. I noticed afterwards that this has already been raised over 1 year ago. Please fix.

    1. Hey Stephen, I am sorry you had trouble. I don’t understand your question. Can you please clarify for me. Would love to be able to help you!!

  5. Hi! I can’t wait to make these, the only problem was they did not have the Fleischmanns yeast. So I bought red star instant yeast. Is it still one packet of that? I was confused because on the back it says 2 1/4 teaspoons equals 1/4 of an ounce package of red star yeast. I don’t want to mess it up. Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    Absolutely loved these, have used a number of different cinnamon roll recipes in the past and think this is definitely me new favourite, a big family hit!

    1. Hey Tesni,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, I am thrilled it was a hit! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  7. I’m using active dry yeast instead but was wondering how much to use. I have 3 packets that are 1/4 oz each. Would I use all 3? Would I mix the milk and yeast together and let it activate for 10 minutes? Thanks so much

    1. Hey Elissa,
      You will want to use 1 packet of yeast, dissolve in the warm milk and honey, let that come to a bubble, and then continue with the recipe. I hope you love them! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  8. 4 stars
    Thank you for this delicious recipe! It was my first time making homemade cinnamon rolls, and your instructions made it easy. The dough was TO DIE for! We’d prefer a more traditional filling and icing, and I plan to try another one of your recipes. I did the overnight rise in the refrigerator, and I was amazed with the results. Thank you again, and happy New Year!

  9. 5 stars
    these cinnamon rolls turned out absolutely perfect!!! coming from a girl who works in a bakery and makes cinnamon rolls CONSTANTLY…. this recipe is the best i have ever used. perfectly fluffy and not finicky in the slightest. i made the dough and allowed them to rise 2.5 hours before rolling out, then shaped the rolls and baked them the next morning. i even made the frosting the night before and whipped it with a hand mixer in the morning so i wouldn’t have to deal with it. perfect variation on a classic holiday breakfast. thanks for such a great recipe ☺️

    1. Hey Abbey,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, I am thrilled that it worked out for you. Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    If you’re a fan of gingerbread and warm holiday spices, this is truly unbeatable! This recipe was absolutely perfect for Christmas morning — even for amateur bakers who had never worked with yeasted dough before taking on this recipe. My best friend and I decided to take on this project for our quarantined Christmas celebrations; despite a number of slight bakers’ errors and uncertainty about proofing in a cooler environment, they still came out perfect. Definitely worth making in advance and then simply baking the morning of, as directed in the appendices of the recipe. Our rolls didn’t need the full 45 minutes to come back to temperature, but it’s likely better to err on the side of the full 45 if you’re at all hesitant.

    One more potential piece of advice: be sure not to overfill your rolls! Even though the extra filling may seem like an excellent idea, it’s better to simply put anything not used to the side rather than risk the overflow we experienced. Still absolutely delicious! Just a bit trickier in terms of clean-up. 🙂

    Thank you, Tieghan, for sharing!

    xx

    1. Hey there,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, I am thrilled that it worked out for you. Happy Holidays! xTieghan