These carrot cake cinnamon rolls have a super carrot-filled dough full of cinnamon carrot filling. They are topped with a cream cheese icing. Some honey in the dough and on top helps sweeten them. They are the perfect breakfast for Easter morning or any spring celebration.
I have been compensated by Wholesome Sweeteners, Inc., maker of, Wholesome™ sweeteners for my participation in this campaign
These carrot cake cinnamon rolls have the spices and flavors of carrot cake combined with the gooey textures of homemade cinnamon rolls. They can even be prepared the night before so you can enjoy your morning with your family the next day! Any morning that starts with these rolls is certain to be a great day!
These cinnamon rolls are made using Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Raw and Unfiltered Honey. Wholesome has high quality honey and other sweeteners that I feel good about using in my bakes. It is Fair Trade certified and the Fair Trade premiums go directly to the beekeeping community that harvest the honey!
Why This Recipe Works
- Carrot cake flavor- Carrot cake is a favorite cake flavor for a reason, and this carrot cake cinnamon rolls recipe delivers! They make for a perfect Easter brunch.
- Perfect texture- These cinnamon rolls have the most perfect fluffy texture!
- Prep in advance- You can use the overnight option so these carrot cake rolls are ready for your special morning and you don't have to spend your morning making them!
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Wholesome organic fair trade raw unfiltered honey- This is a raw and unfiltered honey which means it retains most of its naturally occurring pollen.
- Unsalted butter- Pull the butter out 2 hours before using so it is softened.
- Milk- Use any milk and warm it to 110F. If too hot, it will kill the yeast, if too cool then it will dramatically slow the yeast down.
- Active dry yeast- I used 1 packet of yeast.
- Eggs- Pull the large eggs out 2 hours before baking. They also need to be lightly beaten before adding to the flour.
- Brown sugar- I used Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Light Brown Sugar.
- Powdered sugar- I used Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Powdered Confectioners Sugar. Make sure this is sifted to ensure a smooth icing.
- Cream cheese- Pull this out 2 hours before baking to get to room temperature.
- Carrots- Pre-shredded carrots come coarse grated and dry out quickly at the store. I do not recommend using store shredded carrots.
Step By Step Instructions: Dough
Here is how to make and this carrot cake cinnamon roll dough.
The dough is made with a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. If you don't have an electric mixer with dough hook see the making by hand instruction in the recipe notes.
STEP 1: Grate carrots. Grate your carrots using the fine side of the grater until you have 2 cups tightly packed. Press paper towels on top of the carrots a few times to absorb the excess moisture.
STEP 2: Mix milk and yeast. First, warm the milk in the microwave to 110F. Use a kitchen thermometer. Then, sprinkle yeast over the warm milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.
It will be foamy at the end of the 10 minutes.
STEP 3: Mix dry ingredients and butter. In a large mixing bowl, mix the all purpose flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Then, add in the room temperature butter. Use either a pastry cutter or your hands to cut the butter into the flour mixture.
The butter should be the size of a pea when done.
STEP 4: Add wet ingredients. Add the yeast mixture, lightly beaten eggs, blotted carrots and honey. Mix them on low speed until a dough begins to form.
STEP 5: Knead dough. Turn the mixer to medium speed and knead for 5 minutes. The dough will be soft and a little tacky.
STEP 6: Rise. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray and place the dough in. Cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm place. I recommend heating your oven to 200°F, then turn it off with the door cracked and place your bowl inside.
Rise for 1 hour. It will be double in size.
Step By Step Instructions: Carrot Cinnamon Filling and Bake
Here is how to make the carrot cinnamon filling and bake the rolls.
STEP 1: Mix filling. Use a small bowl and hand mixer to beat the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg on high speed until it becomes a smooth paste.
STEP 2: Roll dough. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a large rectangle ¼ inch thick.
STEP 3: Spread filling. Use an offset spatula to spread the filling in an even layer over the dough. Then, sprinkle the carrots on top spread evenly.
STEP 4: Roll log. Starting from the short side of the rectangle, roll the dough tightly into a log. Use a serrated knife to cut the uneven edges off.
STEP 5: Cut rolls. Cut the log into 12 equal pieces using gentle sawing motions to avoid squishing the rolls.
Tip: If you do not have a sharp serrated knife you can cut it with unflavored dental floss instead.
STEP 6: Second Rise. Spray a 9 X 13-inch baking pan with baking nonstick spray. Then, place the rolls evenly spaced in the prepared pan. Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 25 minutes.
STEP 7: Bake. Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes until the tops of the rolls are a light golden brown.
Icing the Rolls
I have tried both icing the rolls when they are piping hot or when they cooled slightly. I found that when the rolls are hot, it melts the icing into the cracks of the roll. Which also helps with the gooeyness!
Start by beating the cream cheese and butter on high speed for until it is smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until it is smooth. Then add the vanilla extract, and milk and mix on low until smooth and pourable.
Immediately after pulling the rolls out of the oven, spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cinnamon buns with a spoon. Then, drizzle some Wholesome organic fair trade raw unfiltered honey to complete them!
Let the rolls sit for 10 minutes before eating them.
Once you are done kneading the dough. Place in a large bowl sprayed with nonstick spray. Then, cover with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge overnight. It needs to chill for a max of 16 hours.
Then in the next morning, you can pull it out and roll up the cinnamon rolls. Then, let it rise for 1 hour instead of the 20 minutes.
The rolls rise best in a warm area. If your oven is busy, you can let the dough rise at room temperature as long as you don't have a cold house.
If you are eating just one, then reheat the rolls on a plate in the microwave for 20-30 seconds until warm. If you are reheating a whole tray, then preheat the oven to 350, and let it sit in the oven for 5 minutes or until hot.
Yes you can! Follow the instructions, but bake for only 10 minutes and chill. Then, you can bake the rest of the way (15-20 minutes) in the morning until hot.
Storing and Freezing
Store these carrot cake cinnamon rolls in an airtight container in the fridge. Store up to 5 days. They are best when heated in the microwave until warm
These carrot cake cinnamon rolls can be frozen in 2 ways.
- Freeze the rolled rolls. Freeze these up to 30 days. Let them thaw before baking. They won't rise as much, but will still work.
- Freeze the already baked rolls. Freeze these up to 30 days. Thaw for 1 hour before eating.
Other Spring Recipes To Try
Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls
Carrot Cake Dough
- 1 cup Milk warmed to 110°F
- 2 ¼ teaspoon Active dry yeast a full packet
- 2 Large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup Finely grated carrots grate them yourself, don't buy pre-shredded because they will be too big and too dry.
- 2 tablespoon Wholesome organic fair trade raw honey
- 5 cups All-purpose flour
- ¼ cup White granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Ground ginger
- 10 tablespoon Unsalted butter room temperature and cubed
Carrot Cinnamon Filling
Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- 4 tablespoon Unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Powdered Confectioners Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup Milk
Carrot Cake Dough
- This recipe is for using a stand mixer with a dough hook, but for making by hand instructions see notes.
- First, grate your carrots using the fine side of the grater. Then, cover the 1 cup of carrots and the other 1 cup separately with paper towels. Do this a few times to soak up the moisture.1 cup Finely grated carrots, 1 cup Finely grated carrots
- Heat the milk in the microwave for 1 minute. Heat until 110°F. Pour in the yeast and let it sit for 10 minutes for yeast to foam and activate.1 cup Milk, 2 ¼ teaspoon Active dry yeast
- In a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Add in the cubed butter. Use a pastry kneader or your hands to knead the butter into the flour. Do this until the butter is the size of a pea.5 cups All-purpose flour, ¼ cup White granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon Salt, 2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon Ground ginger, 10 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- Add in the milk/yeast mixture, lightly beaten eggs, honey, and the blotted carrots to the bowl. Mix on low speed until a dough starts to form. Then, turn to a medium speed and knead for 5 minutes. The dough will soft and just a little bit tacky.2 Large eggs, 2 tablespoon Wholesome organic fair trade raw honey
- Preheat the oven to 200°F. Spray a large mixing bowl with nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Place in the oven. Crack the door and turn off the oven. Let it rise for 1 hour until doubled in size.
Carrot Cinnamon Filling
- In a small bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg on high speed until smooth. It should be like a paste.½ cup Unsalted butter, ¾ cup Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Light Brown Sugar, 1 tablespoon Ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon Ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin. Roll into a large rectangle about ¼ inch thick.
- Spread the filling over the dough using a offset icing spatula. Then, sprinkle the carrots evenly on top. Drizzle honey on top of the carrots.Wholesome organic fair trade raw honey
- Roll the dough into a log starting on the short side. Use a serrated knife to cut the uneven ends off. Then, cut into 12 rolls. Make sure to use very very light sawing motions with the knife to not squish the rolls.
- Spray a 9X13 inch pan (I prefer a 9X14 inch casserole dish) with baking nonstick spray. Place the rolls evenly in the pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 25 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes until the top of the rolls are lightly golden brown.
Cream Cheese Icing
- Make the icing while the rolls are baking. Using a hand mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese on high speed in a small bowl until smooth and creamy.4 tablespoon Unsalted butter, 4 oz Cream cheese
- Add in the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined. Then, add in the vanilla and milk.1 cup Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Powdered Confectioners Sugar, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, ¼ cup Milk
- As soon as the rolls are out of the oven, top the rolls with the icing using a spoon.
- Let the rolls sit for 10 minutes before eating.