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Learn how to make these gorgeous Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls! Made with red velvet cake mix, these rolls couldn’t get any easier. They’re pillowy soft and topped with everyone’s favorite cream cheese icing.
Who doesn’t love a good slice of red velvet cake? Or a big cinnamon roll slathered in cream cheese icing? This recipe is truly one of the greatest cross-overs in food history. The homemade vibrant red dough is so soft, paired with that buttery cinnamon filling and a dollop of icing on each roll, you won’t be able to help yourself.
My Cinnabon copycat cinnamon roll recipe has always been a huge hit. There really is nothing like a homemade cinnamon roll! Especially right out of the oven. Red velvet cake is another classic that I jump all over to make whenever I have the opportunity. Mix the two together? Well now I’m hooked.
- Red velvet cake mix – I found this at my local grocery store. Check below for a recipe to make your own cake mix from scratch.
- Flour – All purpose flour is perfect for this recipe.
- Instant yeast – If you use active dry yeast instead of instant, you will have to proof it first before using it in this recipe.
- Water – Make sure your water is lukewarm.
- Brown sugar – I used light brown sugar, but dark will also work. It’ll give you more molasses-y flavor.
- Cinnamon – You can adjust the amount of cinnamon to make your perfect ratio.
- Butter – I always use unsalted butter.
- Powered sugar – This is also called icing sugar or confectioners sugar.
- Cream cheese – Make sure to take the cream cheese out of your fridge about 20-30 minutes before you use it so it can soften.
- Vanilla extract – Of course, fresh vanilla bean can be used instead.
- Salt – We use just a little bit of salt to help bring out the flavors.
How to Make Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls
- Make the dough: Add the cake mix, 1 cup of flour, yeast, and water to the bowl of your mixer. Mix with the dough hook and add the remaining flour until you have a nice, soft, sticky dough. Place in a greased bowl and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Create the rolls: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out to about 16 x 12 inches. Brush the melted butter evenly over the dough. Whisk the brown sugar and cinnamon together, then sprinkle it over the butter. Working carefully from the long edge, roll the dough into a log. Cut the log into 12 equal sized rolls.
- Finish the rolls: Add the rolls to a greased 9×13 baking pan, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let hem rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until the rolls begin to brown.
- Make the icing: While the rolls bake, beat the icing ingredients together until smooth. Let the rolls cool for about 10-15 minutes until spreading the icing over them. You can ice the whole pan, or ice them individually as you enjoy the rolls.
How to Make Red Velvet Cake Mix From Scratch
This will give you exactly as much cake mix as you’ll need for the cinnamon rolls. The difference here is that the red coloring is not powdered like it is in the boxed version. Mix all the dry ingredients for the cake mix together first, and add your food coloring to the lukewarm water.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp red gel food coloring (add more if needed)
Tips and Tricks
- Test your yeast! Even if the jar of yeast isn’t expired, yeast is still a living organism. If it dies then your rolls will not turn out. Test it out by letting it proof in warm water with a bit of sugar, especially if using active dry yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it foams up. If it doesn’t foam up, get yourself a new jar. Store yeast, active or instant, in the freezer to help it last longer.
- Every environment is different. Levels of humidity can make a difference for yeast doughs like this. Add the flour slowly to ensure you get the right consistency for your dough. Don’t fret if you need a little bit more or less than what the recipe calls for. At the end, your dough should be soft, elastic, and a bit sticky.
- Don’t overheat the water. 110F/40C is perfect. If it’s too hot, it will kill the yeast.
- Let the dough rise in a warm spot. I like to let my dough rise in the oven! I’ll preheat it to the lowest possible setting, then turn it off. This will help your dough rise faster. Make sure to keep an eye on your dough.
After placing the rolls in the baking pan, wrap them well with two layers of plastic. Place them in the freezer and they’ll last up to 6 weeks. When you’re ready to bake, take them out of the freezer the night before and let them thaw in the fridge. Remove the plastic, bake as instructed, and enjoy!
Cream cheese icing is okay to sit at room temperature up to 8 hours. Beyond that, it’ll have to be refrigerated and will last in the fridge for 3 days. Your rolls will last 2 days at room temperature or a week in the fridge. Make sure to store the rolls in an airtight container so they don’t dry out.
Reheat by giving the roll a quick zap in the microwave. I like to do 15 second intervals- they heat up really quick! One second you have a cold cinnamon roll, the next second it’s bubbling volcano with molten cream cheese icing.
Did You Love This Recipe? Try These!
- Red Velvet Cake
- Cinnabons Cinnamon Rolls
- No Knead 1 Hour Cinnamon Rolls
- Giant Skillet Cinnamon Roll with Caramelized Pears
- Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake
- Strawberry Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing
- Best Ever Pumpkin Roll
- Red Velour Cake
- Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake
- Sticky Buns
- Combine cake mix, 1 cup of the flour and yeast. Add water; beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Change to dough hook attachment and stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky). Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
- Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approximately 16 inches long by 12 inches wide. It should be approximately 1/4 inch in thickness.
- Spread the 1/3 cup of butter evenly over the dough, then sprinkle with the sugar evenly over the surface of the dough.
- Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge.
- Cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch slices, and place in a lightly greased baking pan. You can also use floss to cut into slices, as seen in the video. Place the cut rolls in the prepared pan. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rise for another 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cooking time can vary greatly!
- While the rolls are baking make the icing by mixing all the icing ingredients and beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy and smooth.
- When the rolls are done, spread generously with icing.
- Cream cheese icing is okay to sit at room temperature up to 8 hours. Beyond that, it’ll have to be refrigerated and will last in the fridge for 3 days. Your rolls will last 2 days at room temperature or a week in the fridge. Make sure to store the rolls in an airtight container so they don’t dry out.
- Reheat by giving the roll a quick zap in the microwave. I like to do 15 second intervals- they heat up really quick! One second you have a cold cinnamon roll, the next second it’s bubbling volcano with molten cream cheese icing.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.