If you’ve followed me for a while you have to know that I’m not capable of resisting a good cinnamon roll. For Easter I wanted to make this carrot cake cinnamon roll recipe. Made with grated carrot in the dough and cream cheese frosting. They are delicious and irresistible.
Carrot cake cinnamon roll
When I asked on my Instagram account what type of recipes you wanted to see on Easter, many asked for sweet bread. I have to say that to me cinnamon rolls are the kings of sweet bread. This version of carrot cake cinnamon rolls has carrot in the dough, which makes them extra delicious. It also has a cinnamon filling (duh) with pecans or it could also be walnuts. To finish them I made a quick cream cheese frosting. I know there are many fans out there for frosting. It is optional but highly advisable.
If you love the idea of these carrot cake cinnamon rolls, here are other related recipes you might love as well:
The perfect texture
What I like most about these carrot cake cinnamon rolls is the texture they have on the inside. As an official and certified cinnamon roll lover, I’m really picky about a few things. For example, I don’t like hard or crispy cinnamon rolls, on the contrary. I love them gooey and soft, with that syrupy inside that results from the cinnamon sugar melting. That’s JUST how these are and I love them for it. The carrot in the dough adds a beautiful colour as well as helps with the moisture in the dough. It also adds that delicious flavour carrots add to baked goods.
Frosting for days
The cream cheese frosting on these carrot cake cinnamon rolls is very simple to make. You will love it and there’s even some left to serve at the table. That’s for those of you who are obsessed. In the recipe notes, you can see how to make these overnight if you like. Also, if you want to make these and save a few portions for another day, they freeze really well. Freeze them separately and then reheat them in a microwave or toaster oven. They taste just like freshly made!
For the dough
- 500 g all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp salt
- 2¼ tsp instant dry yeast
- 120 g sugar
- 160 ml lukewarm milk
- 60 g unsalted melted butter cooled to room temperature
- 1 egg at room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 250 g grated carrots about 3 carrots, weigh them once peeled adn grated
For the sugar filling
- 220 g brown sugar
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 60 g melted unsalted butter cooled to room temperature
- 100 g pecans or walnuts, chopped
For the cream cheese frosting
- 110 g cream cheese at room temperature
- 3 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 70 g whipping cream
For the dough
- Mix the lukewarm milk, eggs, vanilla essence and melted butter.
- Mix all the dry ingredients and the carrots in a separate bowl and make a hole in the centre and add all the wet ingredients in the center.
- Mix everything until you have a homogeneous dough. It's really sticky so don't worry, that's just the way this dough is 🙂 That makes them gooey at the end instead of bread-y and hard.
- Let the dough rest for 1 hour covered in cling film or until it doubles its size. If it’s too cold in your kitchen, turn on your oven until it’s warm (not hot) inside and let it puff up there.
- Dust flour on a clean tabletop and roll the dough. Every couple of rolls make sure it’s not sticking and dust more flour underneath and on top. Roll it out to 2mm thick so that you get lots of rolls instead of just a couple of thick ones. Try to keep it as rectangular as you can. At the very end make sure it's not stuck and dust more flour if necessary so you can roll it with ease.
- Paint the melted butter on top evenly and reach every edge.
- Mix the sugar and cinnamon and spread it out as evenly as possible. Sprinkle it and then spread out any mountains of sugar by gently brushing them with your hand. Sprinkle the chopped pecans.
- Start rolling: first do it carefully so it’s nice and tight and once you have the first 2 complete rolls, you can just push it (still very tightly) so it rolls to the end.
- Cut the rolls (I did mine 4cm) and put them on a baking tray lined with baking paper at the bottom (this will help later so the sugar doesn’t stick, you’ll thank me!) and arrange them nicely. Keep a decent amount of space between them so that they can rise during proofing and after in the oven without becoming square.
- Let them sit for 30min*** (again, it helps if they’re in a warm environment) and then they go in the oven at 180°C/350°F for 20-30min or until they're golden on top.
For the cream cheese frosting
- Whip together the cream cheese, vanilla and icing sugar.
- Add the cream little by little, whipping it in.
- Spread the frosting onto the rolls.