Perfectly fluffy and delicious red velvet cinnamon rolls, topped with rich vanilla and brown butter frosting. Simple, quick, and oh-so tasty!
It’s February and that alone is an excellent excuse to make something red velvet – not that you need an excuse. And these Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls are the epitome of red velvet deliciousness.
This recipe is super simple and easy to follow and only requires one rise (WOOHOO!) thanks to Fleischmann’s® RapidRise™ Yeast. The yeast is fast-acting, which means your that much closer to a piping hot pan of yummy, perfectly light and fluffy red velvet cinnamon rolls. If you’ve never baked with yeast before because you’ve felt intimidated, any worries about baking with yeast should be off the table because Fleischmann’s® Yeast is so easy to work with. That means everything I love from homemade pizza dough, to whole wheat sandwich bread is easy breezy. I call that winning!
The filling is made with a simple combination of butter, sugar, a little bit of cocoa powder, and cinnamon and it all works perfectly with that red velvet dough. I like to think of red velvet as being that perfect happy medium between vanilla and chocolate. Truly the best of both worlds.
Now if you want to scale back on the frosting, you can certainly make a half-batch and do more of a lighter glaze on the rolls. For me, there’s no skimping in the frosting department, I’m already eating a cinnamon roll so I’m going all-out and I never get sick of this incredibly rich and silky smooth brown butter cream cheese frosting. Yes, brown butter AND cream cheese together in one spot, all piled high on top of the most perfect cinnamon rolls. These beauties really are the perfect way to show your special someone how much you care about them for Valentine’s Day – or any occasion!
Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4-½ to 5 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 packets Fleischmann’s® RapidRise™ Yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups water
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg
- 2-3 teaspoons red food coloring
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons butter - very soft
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 4 ounces cream cheese - softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3-5 cups powdered sugar
- 3-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, cocoa, dry yeast and salt in a large mixer bowl and stir until blended. Place water and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH in 15 second increments until very warm but not too hot to touch (butter won’t melt completely). Add to flour mixture with red food coloring and egg.
- Beat 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in just enough remaining flour so that the dough will form into a ball.
- Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic and dough springs back when lightly pressed with 2 fingers, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cover with a towel; let rest for 10 minutes.
- For filling, combine sugar, cocoa and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Roll dough into a 15 x 10-inch rectangle using a rolling pin. Spread 5 tablespoons butter over dough stopping at least 1/2-inch from the edges on the long sides. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Beginning at long end of the rectangle, roll up tightly. Pinch seams to seal. Cut into 12 equal pieces. TIP: Use unflavored dental floss instead of a knife to cut rolls. To do this, cut a piece of floss about 12 inches long. Slide floss under the roll; bring the ends up and cross over to cut each slice.
- Place, cut sides down, in greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan . Cover with towel; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Bake in preheated 350ºF oven for 23 to 28 minutes or until rolls are golden brown. Allow to cool while you prepare the frosting.
- In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Once melted, stir over heat for 2-4 minutes longer until color deepens from yellow to golden. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl combine butter, cream cheese, and vanilla and mix well. Mix in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until very thick. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until frosting is smooth and spreadable. Spread frosting over cooled cinnamon rolls and top with sprinkles if desired.
Recipe adapted from adapted from Fleischmann’s® Yeast. This post is in partnership with Fleischmann’s® Yeast.
Can I make these ahead of time and bake in the morning?
Yes, if you keep them refrigerated!
At what step is it best to stop if making the night before?
Before the second rise!
Delicious! i made these as a request from my daughter for her birthday “cake” years ago and it’s been her request every year since!
So happy to hear that, Lynda! What a fun tradition for you guys!
Could I use active dry yeast instead of the rapid?
It will alter the recipe for sure. They require different methods!
I made the rolls ahead of time and put them in the refrigerator overnight after the first rise. I baked them this morning and they turned out perfectly! I used Red Velvet Baileys Irish cream instead of milk in the icing, which gave it a nice, pink hue. Thank you for the recipe!
Would I be able to substitute whole milk for the water in this recipe?
I don’t recommend that. You could possibly use a lower fat milk, but I would stick with milk.