Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Baked goods have the power to brighten up the mood thanks to a decadent combination of sweet and buttery goodness. Cinnamon rolls take it up a notch, wrapping you up in a hug thanks to their warm flavors. Jessica Morone, recipe developer and food photographer at Jess Loves Baking, goes a step further by creating a red velvet cinnamon roll. Unlike traditional red velvet cake recipes, you won't have to stain your hands with beets since Morone opts for a quick and easy box cake mix. 

If you thought the red velvet was enough to turn these into a culinary dream, the icing really enhances the whole dish. "My favorite part is the icing," Morone says. "It is so delicious that it takes these cinnamon rolls to the next level." That's right, she also provides a recipe for cream cheese icing which make these rolls that much more tempting. Follow Morone's suggestion when she says, "I think you can serve these whenever you want," and your day will be that much sweeter! Enough with the background, let's dive in to this recipe so that you can taste it for yourself.

Gather the ingredients for these red velvet cinnamon rolls

Start by gathering up the ingredients you'll need for this recipe. Thanks to Morone's time-saving trick, no beets are required — only a box of red velvet cake mix. She uses Duncan Hines but you should find the same product available by Betty Crocker, or whatever brand you like best. Next, you'll also need all-purpose flour to fill out the bulk of the dough, as well as some instant yeast. Warm water between 105 F and 115 F is ideal to let the yeast do its job. You'll need some butter for the dough and again later when you're making the icing. 

As for the filling, it sticks to the classic combination of brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Onto the icing, you'll need the extra butter you set aside, cream cheese at room temperature, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and a little bit of milk. It won't take long to make, and this icing is definitely worth the extra step!

Combine the ingredients for the dough

Start off by preparing the dough in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment installed. First, pour in the red velvet cake mix, then add the instant yeast, all-purpose flour, and water. Then, knead the ingredients together until they form into a soft dough. "You want the dough to be tacky after mixing it, but not sticky," Morone explains. In case it is too sticky, she has a trick: "Add flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is no longer sticky."

Once the dough reaches the right consistency, place it into a large, greased bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap or a tea towel and place the bowl somewhere warm to allow the dough to rise. You'll want to wait about 1 ½ hours, or until it has doubled in size, before moving on to the next step. 

Roll out the dough and sprinkle it with cinnamon and brown sugar

Once the dough has doubled in size, it's time to roll it out. Make sure to lightly sprinkle some flour onto a clean surface to begin. Then, roll out the dough until it forms a 16x12-inch rectangle that is about ¼ inch thick. Now, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl and melt ¼ cup of butter. Using a pastry brush, spread the butter evenly across the surface of the dough. Then, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over top, leaving ½ inch around the edges to make it easier to roll up.

Roll the dough into a log and slice it into even pieces

Now that the filling is in, it's time to roll the dough up into a log shape. Start from the longer edge of the rectangle and slowly roll the dough until you get to the end. Here, pinch the seams closed tightly so that the cinnamon roll stays together. Then, using a sharp knife, cut the log into nine even slices. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish and transfer the rolls to the pan, leaving some space between each one for them to rise. Again, cover the pan and place it somewhere warm to allow the rolls to rise for a final 30 minutes. 

Bake the cinnamon rolls while you prepare the icing

While the rolls are in their final rise session, preheat the oven to 350 F. Once the 30 minutes are up and the oven is hot, transfer the pan to the oven and bake the rolls for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned. During this time, combine the cream cheese, ¼ cup of butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and the milk in a medium-sized bowl. Using an electric beater, mix the ingredients until they form a smooth and creamy mixture, which will soon serve as the icing on top of the cinnamon rolls.

Spread the red velvet cinnamon rolls with icing and serve them warm

Once the cinnamon rolls have cooked through, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool down for five to 10 minutes. Don't wait much longer before spreading the icing on top since the warm rolls will make the process easier. Leave the cinnamon rolls in the pan while you ice them and be sure to properly cover the tops — no skimping on icing! 

Serve these delicious red velvet cinnamon rolls warm either immediately or by reheating them individually in the microwave for 30 seconds, Morone explains. She recommends storing the leftovers in the fridge in the meantime. Her best tip? "I usually spread about ¾ of the icing on the rolls after baking and save the other ¼ in a bowl and when I reheat these individually I'll put even more icing on them." For a decidedly sweet start to the day, Morone notes that "they make a pretty impressive breakfast." Alternatively, they're great pretty much any time of the day and she adds, "I've also eaten these as a dessert and a snack."

Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
5 from 42 ratings
Cinnamon rolls are decadent on their own, but this red velvet twist takes things up a notch, making for a truly irresistible treat.
Prep Time
Cook Time
cinnamon rolls in pan
Total time: 42 minutes
  • For the cinnamon rolls
  • 1 (15 ¼-ounce) box red velvet cake mix
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet (2 ¼ teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 1 ¼ cups warm water
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup butter
  • For the icing
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk
  1. Combine the cake mix, instant yeast, flour, and water in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Use the dough hook attachment to knead the ingredients together until a soft dough forms.
  3. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it while it rises in a warm place for approximately 1 ½ hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  4. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out until it is about 16x12 inches in size and ¼ inch thick.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together.
  6. Melt ¼ cup of butter and brush it evenly over the dough.
  7. Then, sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly over the dough, leaving about a ½-inch border around the edges.
  8. Gently roll the dough up starting from the long edge and pinch the seams closed tightly.
  9. Cut the dough into 9 even slices and place them into a lightly greased 9x13-inch baking dish, leaving room between the rolls for them to rise.
  10. Cover the pan and put it in a warm place to let the rolls rise for another 30 minutes.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  12. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake the rolls for 22 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned.
  13. While the rolls are baking, combine the cream cheese, ¼ cup butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk in a medium bowl. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy, thus forming the icing.
  14. Once the cinnamon rolls have finished baking, remove them from the oven and leave them in the pan to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  15. Spread the icing evenly over the warm cinnamon rolls, making sure the tops are completely covered.
  16. Serve the cinnamon rolls warm.
Calories per Serving 548
Total Fat 16.9 g
Saturated Fat 9.9 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 41.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 92.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Total Sugars 46.6 g
Sodium 406.3 mg
Protein 6.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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