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Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

Vegetarian

Although they may look ordinary, these homemade eggnog cinnamon rolls are anything but. Soft, moist, and loaded with the warm and inviting flavor of eggnog they are perfect for your holiday breakfast or brunch needs.

Eggnog cinnamon roll on cream plate with fork and a glass of eggnog in background.

Jessica Halverstadt is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

I’m coming in hot with one last recipe for your holiday breakfast/brunch needs. I wouldn’t dare leave my procrastinator friends hangin’.

These winterized cinnamon rolls are a great choice for Christmas morning….well actually ANY morning; they are oh so warm and comforting and can even be prepped a day ahead.

If you’ve never made homemade cinnamon rolls, I totally get that doing so may be a tad bit intimidating. I was a definitely a little nervous my first time. I am extremely confident, however, that you can successfully prepare this recipe as long as you closely follow the instructions.

The time spent and your effort will definitely pay off when you remove the them from the oven and smell the wafting scent to toasty fresh cinnamon rolls.

Although the aroma will be beckoning you to bite into the rolls right away, resist the temptation until you’ve lathered them down with the eggnog infused cream cheese icing; the crown jewel.

Eggnog cinnamon roll on cream plate with fork and a glass of eggnog in background.

So what do you need to make these cinnamon rolls?

Ingredients for eggnog cinnamon rolls (see recipe card).
  • Eggnog: Used in both the dough and the icing. In order for the yeast to activate the eggnog will need to be warmed to 110-115 degrees.
  • Granulated sugar: For the dough.
  • Dry-active yeast
  • All-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Large eggs: The eggs should be room temp. To quickly warm them, place them in a bowl of hot (not boiling) tap water for ten minutes.
  • Unsalted butter: For the dough and icing you will need softened room temperature butter and for the filling melted butter.
  • Brown sugar: For the filling; either light or dark is fine.
  • Ground nutmeg: One of the spices in eggnog.
  • Ground cinnamon: Another spice used in eggnog and obviously, in cinnamon rolls.
  • Cream cheese: It will need to softened.
  • Powdered sugar: For the icing.
  • Eggnog extract (optional): The first time I made these cinnamon rolls, I was a little disappointed in the eggnog flavor. There’s only so much eggnog you can add to the dough itself and to the icing without throwing off the ratio of ingredients. So, I decided to test it out with some eggnog extract in addition and that did the trick. If you can get ahold of some I definitely recommend it. If you can’t find it locally you can order it through Amazon. I have included a link below and highly recommend you purchase some if you do a good amount of winter holiday baking. I promise it will come in handy.

How do you eggnog cinnamon rolls? (+ tips)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a dough hook, add the warm milk (105-110 degrees), sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until there is a foamy layer on top which indicates it has properly proofed.  

Once proofed, add eggs and eggnog extract and mix until smooth. Then add the flour and salt and mix on low speed until just combined.

Continue mixing while adding the butter one tablespoon at a time. Once all the butter has been incorporated, increase the speed to medium and mix for an additional eight minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic, but still a tad bit sticky.

For stages of cinnamon roll dough.

Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Allow it to rise in a warm location for one hour or until double in size.

Risen cinnamon roll dough.

Once it has doubled, punch it down, spread some flour onto a flat surface, and knead it a few times. Shape the dough into a rectangle using your hands, then using a rolling pin dusted with flour roll the rectangle to approximately 14×18 inches. Try to keep edges even and the thickness as uniform as possible.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Brush the dough with butter covering the entire surface area and then sprinkle with the sugar and spice mixture.

Rolled out dough next to rolled out dough topped with sugar and spice mixture.

Roll the long end (18″) of the dough as evenly and tightly as possible; pinch the ends shut. With a sharp knife or un-waxed dental floss slice the dough into 12 pieces, place them into a greased 13×9 inch baking dish, and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap.

Close up of sliced cinnamon roll roll.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and allow cinnamon rolls to rise for approximately 30 minutes or until double in size.

Pre-baked cinnamon rolls in pan.

Uncover the cinnamon rolls and bake on the middle oven rack for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the rolls are a slight golden brown.

Meanwhile, prepare the icing in a medium mixing bowl or stand up mixer. Mix the cream cheese and butter until creamy and well combined. Slowly add in the powdered sugar until fully integrated and smooth. Lastly mix in the eggnog until fully combined. Set aside.

Eggnog icing in a mixing bowl.

Remove the cinnamon rolls from oven.

Top down shot of baked cinnamon rolls prior to icing.

Spread on the icing. Serve warm.

Can they be made ahead of time?

Absolutely!!! Rather than allowing the rolls to rise a second time (step six), you will need to cover the rolls tightly with tin foil placed directly atop them so that they are not exposed to any air. Refrigerate overnight for 8-12 hours. The following morning, remove the cinnamon rolls from the refrigerator and allow them to rise for 1-2 hours covered loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Once they have doubled in size, proceed with baking.

How to store

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days.

Pan of half glazed cinnamon rolls.
Close up of cut into cinnamon roll.

If you make these eggnog cinnamon rolls I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

More eggnog recipes:

  • Eggnog White Chocolate Covered Pretzels: Add these eggnog white chocolate covered pretzels to your holiday treat platter!!! They are simple to prepare with just three ingredients in 30-minutes. Naturally vegetarian.
  • Eggnog Snickerdoodles: Take your holiday cookies to the next level with these eggnog snickerdoodles. They are soft and chewy, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and topped with eggnog frosting.
Close up of cut into cinnamon roll.

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Although they may look ordinary, these homemade eggnog cinnamon rolls are anything but. Soft, moist, and loaded with the warm and inviting flavor of eggnog they are perfect for your holiday breakfast or brunch needs.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 cup warm eggnog, 110-115 degrees 
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 .25 ounce package dry active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) 
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour + more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature 
  • 1 teaspoon eggnog extract (optional) (see notes) 
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

Filling

  • 1 /2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar, light or dark 
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  •  2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Eggnog Icing

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons eggnog 

Instructions

    1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a dough hook, add the warm milk (105-110 degrees), sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until there is a foamy layer on top which indicates it has properly proofed. (See notes for additional information about proofing yeast). Once proofed add the eggs, and the eggnog extract (option) and whisk until smooth.
    2. Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed until just combined. Continue mixing while adding the butter one tablespoon at a time. Once all the butter has been incorporated, increase speed to medium, and mix an additional eight minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic, but still somewhat sticky. (See notes for hand mixing/kneading instructions).
    3. Place dough in a large greased bowl and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise in a warm location for one hour or until doubled in size.
    4. Once the dough has doubled in size punch it down, spread some flour onto a flat surface, and knead a few times. Flatten dough into a rectangle using your hands, then using a rolling pin flatten the rectangle to approximately 14x18 inches. Try to keep edges even and thickness as uniform as possible.
    5. Combine brown sugar and filling spices in a medium bowl. Brush dough with butter covering the entire surface area and then sprinkle with the sugar and spice mixture.
    6. Roll the long end (18") of the dough as evenly and tightly as possible; pinch the ends shut. With a sharp knife or un-waxed dental floss slice dough into 12 pieces and arrange in a greased 13x9 inch baking dish and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap (see notes if you wish to prep ahead). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Allow cinnamon rolls to rise for approximately 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
    7. Uncover cinnamon rolls and place them on the middle rack of the oven; bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the rolls are a slight golden brown.
    8. Meanwhile, prepare the icing in a medium mixing bowl or stand up mixer. Mix cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Once combined slowly add in the powdered sugar until fully integrated and smooth. Set aside at room temperature until the cinnamon rolls have finished baking.
    9. Remove cinnamon rolls from the oven and spread on the icing. Serve warm.

    Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days.

Notes

  • It is essential that the milk is up to temp to ensure successful proofing of yeast. It will need to be 105-110 degrees. You may heat milk in a saucepan over low heat or by microwaving for 10 seconds at a time until it reaches temp. If you do not have a thermometer to gauge the temperature you can simply test it with your finger. To touch, it should feel like a nice warm bath. If the yeast does not have a foamy/frothy layer on top it has not proofed properly. In this case, you will need to repeat this step until you have a properly proofed yeast. See the note above about the temperature of the milk and make sure your yeast has not expired. You may also need to allow the yeast to proof for an additional five minutes. 
  • Sprinkle flour onto a flat surface. Knead the dough for six to eight minutes adding additional flour as needed (up to 1/2 cup) and allowing the dough to rest for five minutes at the midway point. Resting the dough allows it to absorb more of the liquid resulting in a dough that is much easier to work with. To avoid the dough sticking to your hands, you may want to coat them with a small amount of oil or water before kneading. The dough should end up smooth and elastic, although still somewhat sticky. 
  • To make ahead: Rather than allowing the rolls to rise a second time (step six), you will need to cover the rolls tightly with tin foil placed directly atop them so that they are not exposed to any air. Refrigerate overnight for 8-12 hours. The following morning, remove the cinnamon rolls from the refrigerator and allow them to rise for 1-2 hours covered loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Once they have doubled in size, proceed with baking.
    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 397Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 261mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 2gSugar: 38gProtein: 8g

    The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    Jessica Halverstadt

    Friday 1st of January 2021

    I'm so sorry that happened to you. I can understand how frustrating that must be, but unless I'm misunderstanding, the recipe instructs to add the eggs in step one after the yeast has proofed. It's included in both the post and the recipe card as far as I can tell.

    Nade Fitzgerald

    Friday 1st of January 2021

    I can’t believe that you have to read the whole post to know when to add the eggs. That should be written on the actual steps for the recipe. I had to start over and wasted all my expensive ingredients.

    Judith

    Monday 28th of December 2020

    Can I use rapid rise or instant rise yeast. If so, how much and how?

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