Your morning just got a little bit brighter with these incredibly soft and tender brioche cinnamon rolls. Made with rich brioche dough, swirls of buttery cinnamon spread and a to die for cream cheese frosting.
Extra gooey, pillowy soft brioche cinnamon rolls are perfect for weekend brunch or Christmas morning. These cinnamon filled rolls are topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting which I spread on while they're still hot. This allows the frosting to melt and seep into all those tiny crevices and cracks.
I serve these cinnamon rolls with a super easy butterscotch sauce.
What is Brioche Dough
Brioche is a yeast-raised dough that is enriched with eggs and butter. It undergoes several proofs, including inside the refrigerator before it's ready to bake.
Brioche is also considered a Viennoiserie, which is a sweeter, more indulgent kind of bread. It's soft, rich and has the most amazing flavor. In my opinion, it is the perfect dough for homemade brioche cinnamon rolls.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Brioche dough- This enriched dough is made with eggs and lots of butter. It's rich and soft but not overly sweet. It's the perfect dough for our cinnamon spread.
- Cinnamon filling- The dough is filled with a delicious spread made of dark brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. It gives these rolls a strong cinnamon flavor.
- Cream cheese spread- Once the rolls finish baking, I smother on a good amount of cream cheese spread. It melts into the rolls and makes them extra decadent.
- Butterscotch sauce (optional)- Super easy to make but oh so decadent. This sauce adds an extra dimension of flavor to these cinnamon rolls.
- Heavy cream- To keep these cinnamon rolls EXTRA moist as they bake, I add heavy cream in the pan.
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
For the best flavor and texture, you need to allow extra time for the dough to rise and proof. These cinnamon rolls are a two day process, which require the dough to refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight.
Because this dough is enriched with a lot of eggs and butter, it will be soft. By allowing the dough to chill inside the refrigerator, it will make rolling so much easier. As the saying goes, good things take time!
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Milk- I use whole milk to make the brioche dough. Make sure to heat your milk between 105℉ to 115℉. If your milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast and if it's too cold it won't activate it.
- Eggs- I use large eggs and let them sit at room temperature for 2 hours before mixing.
- Flour- I use all purpose flour.
- Butter- Be sure to use unsalted butter and not salted butter. Also, make sure the butter is at room temperature, meaning it's soft when you press on it.
- Yeast- I use 1 packet of yeast which is equivalent to 2 ¼ tsp. Make sure to check the expiration date as well.
- Brown sugar- I prefer dark brown sugar.
- Cream cheese- Use full fat cream cheese and let it come to room temperature before mixing.
- Powdered sugar- Always sift your powdered sugar to prevent any lumps in your frosting.
Step By Step Instructions
Making The Brioche Dough
STEP 1: Combine milk and yeast. In a bowl of stand mixer, fitted with dough hook, add warmed milk, yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir together and let sit for 10 minutes until foamy.
STEP 2: Add the wet ingredients. Once the yeast is ready, add eggs and mix on low speed for 1 minute.
STEP 3: Mix in dry ingredients. Combine flour, salt and sugar. With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour a little at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as well as the dough hook. Let dough continue to mix for 5 minutes.
STEP 4. Add butter to the dough. Slowly add chunks of softened butter to the dough. Allow the butter to get completely mixed in before adding more butter.
Once you have added all of your butter, which will take about 5 minutes, scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to knead dough for an additional 10 minutes.
STEP 5. Let dough rise. Remove dough from mixing bowl onto a floured surface. Form into a ball and place into a greased bowl. Cover loosely with a towel and let the dough rise for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until it has doubled in size.
Punch dough down to deflate. Place in greased bowl, cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Bake Cinnamon Rolls
STEP 1. Roll and bake cinnamon rolls. Remove dough from refrigerator onto a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a 12"x18" rectangle, about ¼" thick. Then, mix together softened butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Spread evenly over dough, leaving a ½" border on the long edge.
Tightly roll up dough into a log. Pinch seam to seal.
STEP 2. Slice rolls. Use non-flavored dental floss to slice the roll into 6 equal pieces. Place rolls into a greased 9x13 pan. Lightly cover with kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
STEP 3. Bake cinnamon rolls. Preheat oven to 350℉. Pour heavy cream into the bottom of the pan. Bake cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
To make cream cheese frosting, combine softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Spread over warm cinnamon rolls and serve immediately.
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in heavy cream and salt. Continue to cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
Expert Baking Tips
Do not over heat your milk. It should be between 105℉ to 115℉. Anything hotter will kill your yeast. To check, dip the tip of your finger inside the milk. It should be warm but not HOT. If you heated it up too much, just wait a couple of minutes for it to cool down and check again.
When rolling up your dough, do not roll too tightly. Doing so can cause the filling and centers to pop up, causing a cone shape. While it's still delicious, the appearance is not aesthetically pleasing.
Once the rolls have finished baking, immediately spread with cream cheese frosting. The frosting will begin to melt from the heat and seep into all those crevices and cracks.
Use non-flavored dental floss to slice your rolls. It makes clean cuts without squishing the dough down.
Simply add a little more flour, about 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together and is easier to work with.
Yes you can. Just make sure to have two 9x13 pans available or one larger pan for all of the rolls to fit in.
Absolutely! You can used chopped nuts, raisins or pumpkin pie spice during the fall season. All of these would be super delicious.
Storing and Freezing
Store these brioche cinnamon rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days, then transfer them to the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To reheat, place them inside the microwave for 20-30 seconds to get them warm and gooey again.
You can freeze these cinnamon rolls after they have baked. Make sure they are completely cool. Cover them with plastic wrap while they are still in the pan or place them inside an airtight container. Freeze for up to 30 days.
When ready to eat, defrost them at room temperature and warm for 8-10 minutes inside a toaster oven or microwave for 20-30 seconds.
Other Brunch Recipes To Try
Gaston's Giant Brioche Cinnamon Rolls
- ½ cup Milk whole
- 2 ¼ tsp Yeast active dry, 1 packet
- 1 teaspoon White granulated sugar
- 5 Eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoon Salt
- 4 ½ cups All purpose flour
- 3 tablespoon White granulated sugar
- 8 oz Butter unsalted, softened
- ½ cup Butter unsalted, softened
- 1 cup Dark brown sugar packed
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoon Ground cinnamon
- ½ cup Heavy cream for pouring over risen rolls
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz Cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup Butter unsalted, softened
- 1 ½ cups Powdered sugar sifted
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ¼ cup Butter unsalted
- ½ cup Dark brown sugar packed
- ½ cup Heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Pinch Salt
- Heat milk in microwave to 105°-115°. Inside a bowl of stand mixer, with dough hook attached, add warmed milk, yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes until it's foamy.
- Add eggs and mix until incorporated. Next, add flour, remaining sugar and salt. Mix dough for 5 minutes.
- Add in softened butter, a little bit at a time. Make sure the butter is completely mixed in before adding more butter. Turn mixer on medium and continue to mix for 15 minutes until the dough comes together and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and dough hook to help things move a long. If the dough is too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough comes together.
- Remove dough from the bowl onto a floured surface. Form into a ball and place into a greased bowl. Cover lightly with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
- Punch dough to deflate and once again, form into a ball. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 8-10 hours or overnight.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator onto a floured surface. Roll dough into a 12x18 rectangle, about ¼" thick. The size of the rectangle does not have to be exact.
- To make filling, combine softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Spread filling evenly over dough, leaving a ½" border on long edge. Tightly roll up dough into a log. Pinch seam to seal. Using non-flavored dental floss, slice into 6 equal size pieces. Place rolls in a greased 9x13 pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Pour heavy cream over the cinnamon rolls. Bake cinnamon rolls for 20 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- To make cream cheese frosting, combine softened cream cheese, softened butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat for 2 minutes until smooth.
- Using an offset spatula, spread cream cheese over hot cinnamon rolls. Serve with warm butterscotch sauce.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Stir in heavy cream. Continue to cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and salt.
- Because brioche is enriched with a lot of eggs and butter, it will be slightly sticky. It shouldn't be wet. If it is, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time until it is easy to work with.
- Make sure to chill the dough for the recommended time. It will give these cinnamon rolls a better flavor and texture. It will also make rolling so much easier.
- Roll the dough ¼" thick. Try to keep it in a rectangular shape. 12x18 is a good size, but it doesn't have to be exact.
- Use unflavored dental floss to slice the rolls. It makes very clean slices and does not squish the dough down.