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Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Slofoodgroup Team August 25, 2019

Creamy vanilla bean frosting takes these carrot cake cinnamon rolls to the next level of divine

Who doesn’t love a cinnamon roll? Sweet, fluffy, and all that icing! 

The brown sugar filling and thick white glaze are definitely the stars of the cinnamon roll show and the dough is usually the least exciting part. We’re out to change that with this fun twist on a carrot cake—yes, carrot cake cinnamon rolls! 

Basic cinnamon roll dough is given a major upgrade with lots of finely shredded carrots, along with the traditional mix-ins of freshly ground cinnamon and nutmeg. These additions create a dough that has the most beautiful color and aroma.
We put more cinnamon and nutmeg in the brown sugar filling, and of course, topped the rolls with a delectable cream cheese icing (like a proper carrot cake should have).
Best of all, as the dough needs a second rise overnight in the fridge, you can get the rolls ready the day before and simply pop them in the oven in the morning. All you need to do is whip up the icing and brew some coffee!

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls


For the dough:

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1/4 cup granulated sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1 Tahitian vanilla bean (cleaned and scraped)

1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant or rapid rise yeast

4 – 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting

1 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup finely shredded carrots (from 2 – 4 carrots, depending on their size)

For the filling:

1 cup light brown sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the icing:

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 – 2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans


For the dough:

    1. Place the eggs, sugar, butter, buttermilk, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
    2. Whisk till ingredients are just combined.
    3. Add the yeast, 2 cups of the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and whisk again until ingredients are just moistened.
    4. Switch out the whisk attachment for the dough hook and add 1 cup of the remaining flour and all of the shredded carrots.
    5. Knead on medium-low speed for 5 minutes. If the dough is still sticky, add the remaining 1 cup of flour, a little at a time, kneading until it clears the sides of the mixing bowl.
    6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for an additional minute.
    7. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover, and let rest until the dough has doubled in volume, 2 – 2 1/2 hours.
    8. Meanwhile, combine all filling ingredients in a small bowl.
    9. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a rectangle approximately 12” x 18”.
    10. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and press in lightly to adhere.
    11. Starting at one long end, roll the dough up into a spiral and pinch the seam closed.
    12. Cut into 12 even slices and place, cut sides up, into a greased 9” x 13” baking dish.
    13. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
    14. Take the baking dish out about 1 hour and 30 minutes before you plan on serving them and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes.
    15. Preheat the oven to 350 ºF.
    16. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or till golden brown. Let cool slightly in the pan on a wire rack while you make the icing.
    17. To make the icing, beat all of the ingredients except the milk until smooth. The icing is ready to use at this point. If you prefer a thinner, glaze-like consistency, add the milk one tablespoon at a time.
    18. Spread the icing over the rolls and either sprinkle with the pecans or pass them separately.


cream cheese frosting carrot cake cinnamon rolls

We love adding fun twists to our recipes. What spin should we give the classic cinnamon roll next? Let us know in the comments!