Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls
These eggnog cinnamon rolls are so special and delicious! They are spiced with both nutmeg and cinnamon, and have real eggnog in both the rolls and the cream cheese icing.
Thanks to their light and fluffy texture, soft and gooey cinnamon centers, and rich creamy icing, these eggnog cinnamon rolls are irresistible! They have just the right amount of eggnog flavor— not too strong, but also not too subtle that they taste like regular cinnamon rolls. I promise, whether you love eggnog, or you’re not much of a fan, you’re going to love them.
They are the perfect breakfast treat or holiday brunch addition. Make morning baking even easier, and let these cinnamon rolls rise in the fridge overnight.
Ingredients you’ll need
Let’s get baking, shall we? Here’s everything you need to get started with these cinnamon rolls (full recipe at the end of this article):
How to make eggnog cinnamon rolls
- Prepare dough. Melt the butter, then add eggnog and heat for just a minute or two. Add some of the flour to a large bowl along with yeast, sugar, salt, egg and the eggnog mixture. Knead with a mixer dough hook or by hand, adding more flour until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Let it rise. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Fill with spices and slice. Roll dough out to a large rectangle, brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with sugar, ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Roll up and slice into 12 rolls.
- Let rolls rise. Place rolls in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Let them rise again until puffed and almost doubled.
- Bake. Bake in the oven at 350°F until tops are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Top with icing. Beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, salt and eggnog together to make cream cheese frosting icing. Spread over cinnamon rolls.
- Enjoy! Cinnamon rolls are best enjoyed freshly baked.
How to help your dough rise faster
Once the dough is mixed, you can cover it with a towel or plastic wrap and set it on the kitchen counter to rise, and that will work just fine. But usually I’m making cinnamon rolls during the fall or winter when my kitchen tends to be a bit cooler, and that will slow down the rise. To help your dough rise faster, here’s a few warmer suggestions:
- Oven: Heat your oven to its lowest setting for a few minutes, then turn it off. Place the covered dough on the center rack and close the door.
- Microwave: Heat 1 cup of water in your microwave for 2 minutes. Remove water and place the covered dough in the microwave and close the door.
- Other: I’ve also risen bread on top of a warm oven, running dryer machine, and even on a chair set over a heater vent.
Make them overnight eggnog cinnamon rolls
To cut down on time and effort the morning you’d like to serve them, you can absolutely prep these eggnog cinnamon rolls the night before! (This is how I do cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.)
After you’ve placed the shaped rolls in the pan, cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for up to about 12 hours. Take them out of the fridge about 1-2 hours before baking. They need to completely come back to room temperature and even rise a little more before baking. So make sure you plan for that.
More tips for making cinnamon rolls
- I used traditional full-fat eggnog purchased from my grocery store. I have not tested this recipe with low-fat or dairy-alternative eggnogs.
- Freshly grated nutmeg provides the best flavor, but ground nutmeg will work just fine.
- You may not need all 3 1/2 cups flour, depending on factors like climate and how you measure your flour. Add only enough flour until dough clears the sides of the bowl and is smooth and elastic, and is tacky but the dough doesn’t stick and come off on your hands.
- I prefer to roll the dough out on a clean countertop so that the dough slightly sticks, which helps it to hold its shape. However, if your dough is to sticky, you may want to roll it out on a lightly floured surface.
- You can also let the bulk cinnamon roll dough rise in the fridge overnight, then roll out, fill, slice and bake in the morning.
- Using unscented dental floss is my favorite way to slice cinnamon rolls! (Here’s a quick video to see how slice easily with dental floss.) A sharp knife or kitchen shears will work also.
Try these other sweet roll recipes
- No-Knead Cinnamon Rolls
- Peanut Butter and Jam Sweet Rolls
- Lemon Cinnamon Rolls
- Chocolate Hazelnut Sweet Rolls
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Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls
For the cinnamon roll dough:
- ¼ cup unsalted butter (56 grams)
- 1 cup eggnog (227 grams)
- 1 large egg
- 2 ¼ teaspoon active-dry or instant yeast (1 envelope)
- 3 ½ cup all-purpose flour , divided (455 grams)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (25 grams)
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- ¼ cup unsalted butter , melted (56 grams)
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar (75 grams)
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 4 ounces cream cheese (half a brick, 113 grams)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter , at room temperature (56 grams)
- 2 cups powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar, 227 grams)
- 1-2 tablespoons eggnog
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
To make the eggnog cinnamon rolls:
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Once butter is melted, add the eggnog and heat for 1 minute more (mixture should be between 120-130°F).
- Pour mixture into bowl of electric mixer and whisk in egg and yeast. Add 2 ½ cups (325 grams) flour, sugar, and salt. Use dough whisk or wire whisk to combine to make a wet shaggy dough.
- Fit mixer with dough attachment and knead dough on low speed, adding remaining flour ¼ cup (35 grams) at a time while kneading, waiting until flour is incorporated before each addition. Add just enough flour so the dough clears the sides of the bowl, and still feels soft and tacky to the touch, but doesn’t stick and come off on your fingers (you may need slightly more or less than 3 ½ cups flour). Continue to knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes total kneading time.
- Bring dough into a ball, then cover and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour (or 30 minutes if using instant yeast).
- Gently punch down the risen dough and knead it with your hands a few times. Shape back into a ball and let it rest for a few minutes while you prepare the cinnamon roll filling. Melt butter, and combine 6 Tbsp. granulated sugar with cinnamon and nutmeg in a separate bowl.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into an approximate 12×17-inch rectangle, adding flour as needed to keep it from sticking. (If dough springs back and doesn’t roll out easily, cover with a towel and let it sit for 15 minutes before trying again.) Brush dough with melted butter to the edges and sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Starting with a long edge, gently roll up the dough into a long log, careful not to push filling out as you go. Using a sharp knife or unscented floss, trim ends of the log so you have flat edges on each side. Slice dough into 2 equal halves, and then divide each of those pieces in half again, and finally divide those into 3 rolls each about 1 ½ inches wide. You should have 12 rolls.
- Place sliced rolls evenly-spaced into a greased 9×13-inch pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rolls rise until puffed and almost doubled in size, about 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake rolls until the tops just begin to turn golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. (Do not over-bake rolls or you’ll lose the soft gooey centers.)
To make the cream cheese icing:
- Meanwhile, prepare the cream cheese icing. Add cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, eggnog, vanilla and salt to mixer bowl and beat on low until combined, then increase speed to medium and beat for 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy, pausing once to scrape down the bowl.
- Let the cinnamon rolls cool briefly in the pan for 5-15 minutes, or as desired, before spreading the cream cheese icing on top. The warmer the rolls are when you add the icing, the more the icing will melt over the cinnamon rolls. If you don’t want the icing to melt much, wait at least 20 minutes before frosting the cinnamon rolls.
- Eggnog cinnamon rolls are best enjoyed the day they are baked, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or more.