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Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

These Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls are fluffy as a cloud and melt in your mouth with every bite.

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

These Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect addition to your Fall sweet treat menu. Fluffy cloud-like cinnamon rolls meet the classic deliciously spiced carrot cake, a match made in oven-heaven. They are most certainly not your traditional cinnamon rolls and the bold carrot cake flavor won't disappoint.

Super fluffy, thick, sweetly filled with tender shreds of carrot and a bit of a crunch from the pecans tucked away in between each roll. Topped with a light cream cheese glaze, these dreamy cinnamon rolls will have you feeling like you've cut into a nice, moist slice of carrot cake with a rolly textured twist. Overnight, Vegan, + Gluten-free options available.

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

If you've followed Orchards + Sweet Tea for a while you will know I LOVE cinnamon rolls (especially these Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls) and cannot resist them. While I do enjoy the traditional recipe, I always enjoy taking things a bit further, especially when it comes to the festive season.

Here are some of my favorite festive varieties I have created so far:

Vegan Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls with a Maple Pecan Glaze - These are something right out of a sweet treat magazine. They are fluffy, soft, thick, sweet, and surely do just melt in your mouth with every bite. Not being your typical Cinnamon Roll, this recipe is topped with a mouth-watering Maple Pecan Glaze that will leave you 'Cinnamon Roll obsessed'

Homemade Pumpkin Chai Cinnamon Rolls - If you're a lover of Fall spices and sweet flavor, then these are the best thing you’ll ever taste–seriously! Thick, fluffy, tender, brioche-like rolls that come completely smothered in a rich, but light chai spice cream cheese glaze. Hands down------these cinnamon rolls are sure to be the newest Fall craze! Overnight + Vegan options available.

Homemade Classic Cinnamon Rolls - This is the only classic cinnamon roll recipe you'll ever you need! These big, fluffy rolls are made with an airy homemade dough stuffed with gooey-sweet cinnamon filling and topped with a light, yet creamy homemade cream cheese frosting. Gluten-Free and Vegan options are available.

Fluffy Overnight Apple Butter Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls - If you’re a lover of warm, comforting flavors, then these are the best thing you’ll ever taste–seriously! Nobody just 'likes' these overnight cinnamon rolls they LOVE them. Not only are they super thick,  fluffy, tender, brioche-like rolls, but they come completely bursting with apple butter flavor and smothered in a rich, but light eggnog cream cheese glaze. Hands down——these cinnamon rolls will be the newest Holiday craze! Easy make-ahead and overnight dessert choice.

Sweet Rolls or Cinnamon buns?

No matter what you call them—cinnamon buns, cinnamon rolls, sweet rolls, sticky buns, sticky rolls, cinnamon swirl, cinnamon danish—everyone has a favorite. I've never met someone who didn't like them.

A cinnamon bun or sweet roll is a sweeter, fluffier bread dough with a filling, usually cinnamon-based, in the middle. They are usually served around the holidays. When the filling is cooked, it makes an iconic swirl of deliciousness.

The SECRET to My Fluffy Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls!

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I love adding Bob’s Red Mill Organic Bread Flour to my carrot cake cinnamon rolls as a secret ingredient because it creates such fluffy rolls.

This bread flour is made with premium high-protein flour milled from America’s highest quality wheat. While using all-purpose flour can achieve soft cinnamon rolls, there’s just something special about the rolls when this type of flour mixes in. I don’t know how to explain it, but mixing in this bread type allows for the rolls to be thicker, airy, fluffy, soft, and just GOOD!

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Anyway, this Carrot Cake Cinnamon Roll recipe is the perfect sweet treat for fall and the festive season and especially if you LOVE Carrot Cake as much as I do.

With these cinnamon rolls, I wanted to convey the FULL idea of eating Carrot Cake, therefore, I added a ton of carrots to the dough, added chopped pecans in between each roll and spices, as well as created a nice cream cheese glaze for the tops of each roll.

Together, everything felt like the closest thing to a good slice of carrot cake. Now thinking things through, I've realized that I could have added some raisins and maybe even some walnuts to the dough to bring my idea completely to life, but that's the best thing about this recipe its adaptable so feel free o make it your own.

Moving on to the actual recipe, the bake time was a short 25 minutes, but the longest time was in the prep, due to the dough rising a few times.

Once the prep stage is over, you'll go through the remainder of this recipe in a breeze.

Grating The Carrots Is Key!

Using freshly grated carrots is super important and really makes this recipe, the rolls will come out extra moist and sweet with the tender carrots. I recommend grating your carrots extra finely as its ALOT easier to incorporate them into the dough.

You can use a regular old cheese grated on the finer setting or if you're feeling a little lazy (Trust me I get it..Haha) then pop the carrots into your food processor some food processors even have a grater attachment. But no worries if you don't have one the old-school cheese grater does the trick and will earn you some muscles...

What You'll Love About these Rolls.

OK, so if you’re still not entirely sold on these Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls, then let me tell you what’s so AMAZING about them.

  • They are SOFT, FLUFFY, + BRIOCHE-LIKE in texture
  • Carrot cake in the form of fluffy hypnotic swirls
  • Absolutely DELICIOUS
  • Full of warming cozy fall spices
  • Kid-friendly
  • Fun to eat! Pillow-y spirals of buttery dough filled!

How to Toast the Chopped Pecans

To toast pecans is super easy and it works for any type of nuts! Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chopped pecans unto the baking sheet, ensuring that they are evenly spread out and toast them for 10 minutes, tossing them halfway to prevent browning on just one side.

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls Q + A's

Can I Make Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls Overnight?

Not only are overnight cinnamon rolls super easy and convenient to make, but they also come out to be incredibly soft and fluffy in addition to my secret ingredient! Honestly, making these cinnamon rolls fully overnight was the best decision ever!

If you don’t want to make your Cinnamon Rolls on the same day, you can simply follow all steps (including the initial 1+ hour rise) and after cutting rolls and placing them into your baking pan, just cover them tightly (using foil paper of plastic wrap) and refrigerate them overnight or for 8-12 hours instead. The following day, remove from refrigerator and keeping them covered, let cinnamon rolls rise at room temp 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Can I Make These Cinnamon Rolls Without a Long Rise?

Absolutely! When it comes to these cinnamon rolls or any for that matter, you always have the option of making them the traditional way which requires a 1-2 hours initial rise and then another 20-25 minute rise before baking OR an overnight option.

However, if you're in a rush to make these or don't want to deal with a long rise time, you can simply create your dough and do a quick rise (20-25 minutes) and placing them straight in the oven to bake. Either way, cinnamon rolls are AMAZING and worth whatever wait time you choose!

Can I Make These Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls Vegan + Gluten-Free?

Absolutely! If you're looking to make these GF, I recommend substituting both flours with Bob's 1:1 Baking flour and slightly reducing the amount by 1 cup, slowing adding more if the dough is too sticky.

To make these carrot cake cinnamon rolls vegan, simply omit the eggs and substitute with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. Also, substitute the butter with vegan butter and omit the cream cheese and add ¼ cup of softened vegan butter instead.

RAPID (INSTANT) RISE YEAST VS. ACTIVE DRY YEAST

If you’re not using the Rapid Rise Yeast for this recipe, please know that the rise time will be twice as long (about 3 hours) since regular Active Yeast doesn’t work as quickly.

How Long Can I Store Leftover Cinnamon Rolls?

Leftover Cinnamon Rolls can be kept fresh at room temperature when tightly wrapped or sealed for up to 3 days. Fresh for up to 1 week in the Refrigerator. Baked rolls (unfrosted) can be frozen up to 2 months and reheated once ready to serve.

More Fun Cinnamon Roll Recipes

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you choose to make this Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls recipe or any other recipe from us, be sure to tag us on Instagram at #Orchidsandsweettea so that we can share the love!

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

5 from 1 vote
These Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect addition to your Fall sweet treat menu. Super fluffy, thick, sweetly filled with tender shreds of carrot and a bit of a crunch from the pecans tucked away in between each roll. Topped with a light cream cheese glaze, these dreamy cinnamon rolls will have you feeling like you've cut into a nice, moist slice of carrot cake with a rolly textured twist. Overnight, Vegan, + Gluten-free options available.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Rise Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Serves: 12 servings

Ingredients

DOUGH:

  • 2 cups freshly-grated organic carrots
  • 3 cups organic All-purpose flour (See Notes!)
  • 2 cups Artisan Bread flour
  • ½ cup organic brown sugar + 1 Tbsp
  • 1 packet Rapid Rise Yeast (That's 2 ¼ tsps!)
  • ¼ cup WARM water (See Notes!)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch of ground allspice
  • 2 large eggs, room temp.
  • 1 ¼ cups Almond milk, room temp.  (You can also use regular dairy milk, if preferred!)
  • 6 Tbsps unsalted butter (Make sure that it's WARM, not hot!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FILLING:

  • ½ cup organic brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

CREAM CHEESE GLAZE:

  • 4 oz. organic cream cheese, at room temp. (That's ½ a pack!)
  • 4-5 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoon organic heavy cream or plant-based milk
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon

OTHER:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted (For brushing the tops)

Instructions

FOR THE DOUGH:

  • Combine yeast and 1 tablespoon brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and slowly pour in warm water while stirring frequently. Allow 10 minutes for the mixture to sit and for the yeast to activate.
  • Add in the room temperature milk and warm butter to the yeast mixture and whisk until well combined. Add in the eggs (one at a time), grated carrots, and vanilla, whisking to incorporate.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, bread flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and sea salt and add them to the wet ingredients and mix on low-speed until well combined and everything begins to form into a dough-like consistency, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Change “Mixer head” to kneading accessory and knead dough for 5-10 minutes on high speed until dough ball becomes smooth and elastic and dough springs back when lightly pressed together with 2 fingers. NOTE: If dough is still too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until texture is achieved!
  • Lightly grease a large bowl with a small amount of olive oil and place the dough ball in the bowl, tossing it around until coated. Cover with plastic wrap (or a towel) and let sit for 1 hour, allowing the dough to rise and double in size. 
  • In the meantime, you can work on the filling!

FOR THE FILLING:

  • Add the softened the butter (best if done at room temp. so that it's more "paste-like" in texture once smeared) in a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar, mixing them together. Set aside.
  • Once the dough has risen fully, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper, allowing excess to hang from the sides.
  • Add a bit of flour to a surface and place the dough onto it, lightly adding a bit of flour to the top. Using a rolling-pin, roll out the dough into a rectangular shape (approximately 9″x14 and ½-inch thick), trimming the edges if needed. NOTE: Try not to make the dough too thin or else rolling it up will be hard to do!
  • Then, generously add ¾ of the softened butter atop dough (spreading it out evenly with a spoon or knife), followed by the brown sugar-spice mixture, ensuring that the top is coated evenly. NOTE: I also use a 'pastry brush' to sweep sugar mixture evenly across the dough to ensure that every bite is sweet!
  • Tightly roll dough (long-ways) and using a pastry cutter, cut dough into 1.5" rolls, placing each roll (cut side down) into a large baking dish (lined with parchment paper!).
  • Then place plastic wrap over the baking dish with rolls, smear the tops with remaining softened butter and let them rise again (for another 20 minutes).
  • Once the rolls have doubled in size (once again!) or have gotten significantly larger, bake them for approximately 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven.
  • While all the baking magic is happening, make the Cream Cheese Glaze.

FOR THE CREAM CHEESE GLAZE:

  • In a large bowl, beat (using a hand-mixer) the softened cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and heavy cream/milk, beating everything together until the glaze becomes smooth and velvety. NOTE: Add additional heavy cream (1 tablespoon at a time) if the glaze is too thick or powdered sugar (1 tablespoon at a time) if too thin.
  • Remove the rolls from oven and wait 25-30 minutes or until it completely cools, before spreading the frosting/glaze atop the rolls using a rubber spatula evenly until fully covered. Top with toasted pecans, if desired.
  • To serve, cut out each roll desired and enjoy.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • TO STORE: Cinnamon Rolls can be kept fresh at room temperature when tightly wrapped or sealed for up to 3 days. Fresh for up to 1 week in the Refrigerator. Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2 months.
  • RAPID (INSTANT) RISE YEAST VS. ACTIVE DRY YEAST: If you’re not using the Rapid Rise Yeast for this recipe, please know that the rise time will be twice as long (about 3 hours) since regular Active Yeast doesn’t work as quickly.
  • FLOUR: If you don’t have bread flour, you can always just use all-purpose flour entirely instead. 
  • GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: If you're looking to make these GF, I recommend substituting both flours with Bob's 1:1 Baking flour and slightly reducing the amount by 1 cup, slowing adding more if the dough is too sticky. 
  • OVERNIGHT OPTION: If you don’t want to make your Cinnamon Rolls on the same day, you can simply follow all steps (including the initial 1+ hour rise) and after cutting rolls and placing them into your baking pan, just cover them tightly (using foil paper of plastic wrap) and refrigerate them overnight or for 8-12 hours instead. The following day, remove from refrigerator and keeping them covered, let cinnamon rolls rise at room temp 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  • VEGAN OPTION: To make these carrot cake cinnamon rolls vegan, simply omit the eggs and substitute with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. Also, substitute the butter with vegan butter and omit the cream cheese and add ¼ cup of softened vegan butter instead. 

Nutrition

Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 102g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 185mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 4197IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 2mg

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Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls.

ORCHIDS + SWEET TEA

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  1. This is a good recipe! I’ll be making it again since it combines my two favorite desserts.

    I have a few suggestions and alterations: after heating the milk and butter, no other mention of that piece is made. I added it when I added the yeast to the dry ingredients. Then, to make these instructions more accessible, I recommend including kneading instructions if you don’t have a mixer (I don’t, so I kneaded the dough lightly for about 8 minutes). Lastly, my dough rolled out to closer to 16x24 inches, so I recommend almost doubling the filling.

    • Hi Renren! I'm so glad that you enjoyed these! It's one of my favorites! I truly appreciate your recommendations---I'll definitely make tweaks to the recipe to cover those points! 🙂