Rich, fluffy brioche spirals filled with a buttery cinnamon filling and slathered in luscious cream cheese frosting, Brioche Cinnamon Rolls just may be the ultimate breakfast. Ideal for holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving and welcome any time a weekend or mid-afternoon craving calls for a decadent treat. There's no need for a trip to your local bakery. With my no-knead brioche dough and this straightforward method, they're easy to make at home.
With many demands on your time, it's nice to have options. This recipe offers 3 alternatives for timing on dough making, assembly, rising, and baking. Choose the one that's most convenient for you.
Ingredients You Need to Make Brioche Cinnamon Rolls
For the Brioche Dough
- All-purpose Flour: or bread flour
- Yeast: instant yeast or active dry yeast (see recipe note #1)
- Sugar: granulated sugar
- Kosher Salt: or half the amount of fine sea salt
- Butter: if using unsalted butter, add another ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- Milk: ideally whole milk
- Eggs: large or extra large
For the Filling
- Brown Sugar: light or dark brown sugar
- Cinnamon: ideally fresh, good quality ground cinnamon
- Butter: if using unsalted butter, add another ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream Cheese: full fat cream cheese
- Butter: if using unsalted butter, add another rounded ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla: ideally pure vanilla extract
- Kosher Salt
How to Assemble Your Brioche Cinnamon Rolls
One reason to love this recipe is the flexibility it offers in preparation. Some people prefer to split their assembly across 3 days, making the dough on the first day, assembling the rolls on the next and baking on the third day. Others like to split the process between 2 days and some prefer to make them start to finish the same day. Whichever category you fall into, here's how to make this recipe work for you.
- Option 1 - 1 day: To make these in a single day, you'll need several hours (mostly hands off), so start early in the day. You'll make the dough and let it rise, then assemble the rolls and let them rise a second time. Then bake them the same day.
- Option 2 - 2 days, Overnight Cinnamon Rolls: Make brioche dough and let it rise. Then assemble the cinnamon rolls and let them have their second rise overnight in the refrigerator to bake the next day.
- Option 3 - 3 days: On day 1, you'll make the dough and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator. On day 2, you'll assemble the rolls and let them rise a second time refrigerated overnight. On day 3, you'll bake them.
You've got timing options for the cream cheese frosting too. Make it the same day or up to 3 days in advance. Store in the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes or until softened enough to spread easily.
- As written, these rolls have vibrant flavor with 3 full tablespoons of cinnamon - reduce to 2 tablespoons for a more subtle cinnamon flavor.
- The cream cheese frosting here is creamy, fluffy and lightly sweet - the ideal cinnamon roll topping in my book. But if you prefer a simple glaze, just whisk sifted powdered sugar with a splash of pure vanilla extract and enough milk or half and half to reach your desired consistency to drizzle over the rolls.
When it’s time to cut your dough, I recommend using sturdy dental floss. Using an item from your toiletries collection in the kitchen might sound strange, but dental floss is the most effective tool for slicing your dough into equal pieces without squishing it. Your next best option is a serrated knife.
More Delicious Brioche Recipes
- Brioche Buns (Ideal for hamburgers and sandwiches!)
- Brioche Slider Buns
- Fluffy Brioche Rolls (No holiday meal is complete without them.)
- Brioche Hot Dog Buns (Step by step picture tutorial for easy shaping.)
How to Make Brioche Cinnamon Rolls
Whisk flour, yeast, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl.
In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter until butter just melts; remove from heat to cool slightly.
In a medium bowl whisk together warm water and eggs. Then add warm milk and butter mixture; whisk until combined and pour over flour mixture; stir until no dry flour remains (you'll have a sticky, shaggy dough). Cover bowl tightly with a lid or plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place 2 to 4 hours until dough has doubled in size. Or tightly cover and chill for 12 to 24 hours to rise slowly in the refrigerator.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
With a fork or spoon, combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Turn risen dough onto a well floured work surface and, with lightly floured hands, pat into a loose rectangle. Roll dough into a 12x16-inch rectangle with a floured rolling pin. Spread soft butter over dough and sprinkle evenly with brown sugar cinnamon mixture. Starting at the long end, carefully roll the soft, sticky dough into a tight spiral, using a bench scraper as needed.
Cut dough spiral into 12 equal slices, using dental floss or a serrated knife, and lay flat on parchment lined baking sheet (cinnamon spiral up), making 4 rows of 3 cinnamon rolls each. (For overnight cinnamon rolls, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate.) Before baking, remove from refrigerator and let rise 1 to 2 hours, until rolls are puffy and light to the touch. OR to bake the same day, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until rolls are puffy and light to the touch, about 1 hour.
Bake in an oven preheated to 375˚F for 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden brown and rolls are cooked through in the center.
To make the frosting, beat the softened cream cheese and butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt until fluffy, with a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle or whisk attachment (2-3 minutes). Spread frosting lavishly over warm rolls and serve.
Brioche Cinnamon Rolls
For the Brioche Dough
- 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour 612g, or bread flour
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast see recipe note #1
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 ⅓ cups lukewarm water
- 2 large eggs
For the Filling
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons butter spreadably soft
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 6 ounces cream cheese softened
- 6 tablespoons butter softened
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar 168g
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch kosher salt
- Whisk together flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
- Heat butter and milk in a small saucepan until butter has just melted. Remove from heat to cool slightly.
- Whisk together warm water and eggs in a medium bowl. Add warm milk and butter mixture and whisk until combined. Pour over flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until no dry flour remains and you have a sticky, shaggy dough. Cover bowl tightly with a lid or plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place 2 to 4 hours until dough has doubled in size. Or tightly cover and chill for 12 to 24 hours to rise slowly in the refrigerator. (When chilling overnight at this point, I typically give the dough a head start at room temperature before refrigerating. Just enough to let it begin to bubble and rise, 30-60 minutes depending on how warm the kitchen is.)
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl and combine with a fork or spoon.
- Turn risen dough out onto a well floured work surface and pat into a loose rectangle with lightly floured hands. With a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 12x16-inch rectangle.
- Spread soft butter evenly over dough and sprinkle with brown sugar cinnamon mixture in an even layer. Starting at the long end, carefully roll the rectangle into a tight spiral (dough will be soft and sticky - use a bench scraper as necessary to separate any areas that are sticking to the work surface. I promise the rolls will be worth your effort!). Cut into 12 equal slices, using dental floss or a serrated knife, and place on prepared baking sheet, making 4 rows of 3 cinnamon rolls each. For overnight cinnamon rolls, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Before baking, remove from refrigerator and let rise 1 to 2 hours, until rolls are puffy and light to the touch. OR to bake the same day, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until rolls are puffy and light to the touch, about 1 hour.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375˚F.
- Bake 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden brown and rolls are cooked through in the center.
- Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle or whisk attachment, beat the softened cream cheese and butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt until fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Spread frosting generously over warm rolls and serve.
- To substitute active dry yeast for instant yeast, increase the amount to 2 ¼ teaspoons. In step 3 of the recipe, whisk a teaspoon of sugar into the warm water and sprinkle yeast over the top. Let stand 5-10 minutes until yeast is foamy. Whisk in egg and slightly cooled butter and milk mixture. Add this yeast mixture to dry ingredients and proceed with recipe.
- If your room temperature isn't warm enough for the dough to rise, use this tip from Cooks Illustrated magazine to create a proofing oven: place the dough in the covered bowl on the middle shelf of your oven and a loaf or cake pan filled with 3 cups of boiling water on the bottom shelf. Close the oven door and you've created a great atmosphere for the dough to rise.