Easy Brioche Cinnamon Rolls

Soft and fluffy brioche cinnamon rolls packed with a cinnamon sugar filling - made even more perfect with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting!

By Connie
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Easy Brioche Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

I was thinking about what to bake for Christmas morning and this was the first thing that came to mind. Warm, doughy brioche cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. Smell of cinnamon in the air, presents under the tree, everyone in pajamas of all kinds of plaid. It all sounds so good! One of these years we might just make it happen when we finally wake up early enough ahaha.

close up of cross section of fluffy brioche cinnamon roll slathered with cream cheese frosting

Regardless of whether you’re a morning person or not, these brioche cinnamon rolls are super easy to make so that you can have doughy deliciousness at any time of the day. This homemade brioche dough is pulled together by putting everything into a stand mixer in one go. Then after just one rise, it’s filled with a cinnamon, brown sugar and butter spread and baked for just 20 minutes – the perfect amount of time to make a tangy sweet cream cheese frosting. These rolls are soft, fluffy and they taste like Christmas morning.

tray of swirly brioche cinnamon rolls frosted with cream cheese frosting

What is brioche exactly?

Brioche is a type of yeasted bread that has greater proportions of eggs and butter than other types of bread dough. It originated from France and it actually falls under the category of viennoiserie. The higher fat content is what gives brioche a super soft crumb as well as its signature buttery aroma and yellow colour.

Ingredients for making Brioche Cinnamon Rolls

  • All purpose flour – I prefer this over bread flour because I find that bread flour makes the dough more tough
  • Instant yeast – it’s in the name, instant yeast for instant rolls! this makes the dough rise faster and time is of the essence people!
  • Cinnamon – because cinnamon rolls need cinnamon, duh
  • Brown Sugar
  • Whole Milk – I use whole milk for the higher fat percentage to get a softer crumb
  • Butter – always use unsalted
  • Eggs – I used size large eggs, smaller or larger eggs will definitely impact how the taste and texture
  • Cream cheese
  • Icing Sugar
a tray of swirly brioche cinnamon rolls slathered with cream cheese frosting

Tips for making Easy Brioche Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Underbake the rolls slightly to keep the rolls soft and tender! Keep in mind that it continues to bake even after it is removed from the oven. The residual heat will fully cook the dough.
  2. For evenly divided buns, use a ruler to help you mark where to cut the rolls.
  3. Instead of using a knife, use dental floss! It’s so much cleaner and easier to cut the logs using floss.
  4. Proof your dough in the oven to help it rise better. I like to heat my oven to the lowest setting then turn it off and let it cool down to create a warm environment for the yeast to thrive.
tray of swirly cinnamon buns slathered in a cream cheese frosting

More breakfast treat recipes to try:

Easy Brioche Cinnamon Rolls

Soft and fluffy brioche cinnamon rolls packed with a cinnamon sugar filling and then made even more perfect with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting.
Servings 9 -12 rolls
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes

Ingredients
  

Brioche Dough

  • 3 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast 1 package
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 cup milk whole milk, warmed
  • 1/2 cup butter unsalted, softened to room temperature

Cinnamon Butter Filling

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter unsalted, softened to room temperature

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup butter unsalted, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Instructions
 

Make the Brioche Dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, mix together flour, yeast, cinnamon, salt, and brown sugar.
  • Then add in the eggs, warmed milk, and butter. Mix on medium speed until all of the ingredients are combined and the flour is incorporated. The dough should be smooth, soft and slightly sticky.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until dough has doubled in size. This takes about an hour.

Prepare the Cinnamon Butter Filling

  • While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and butter until it has the consistency of nut butter. Set aside.

Roll and Form the Dough

  • Prepare a 9×13" pan with butter or oil spray. Set aside.
  • After the dough doubled in size, punch it down once and turn it out onto a floured counter.
  • Roll the dough out into a large rectangle shape. Spread the cinnamon butter evenly over the dough then roll it up starting from the long edge.
  • Then divide the log evenly into 9 or 12 even pieces. 9 will get you large rolls while 12 will get you smaller rolls. I use dental floss to get clean and easy cuts.
  • Place the rolls into the 9×13" pan and cover with saran wrap again to let rise for another 15 minutes.
  • While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes until just slightly golden brown around the edges. Set aside to cool before frosting.

Make the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat together the cream cheese and sifted powdered sugar until smooth. Then beat in the butter and vanilla bean paste until light and fluffy.
  • Spread frosting over the cooled cinnamon buns with an offset spatula/spoon and enjoy!
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cinnamon, cinnamon bun, cinnamon roll, yeast breads

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment below and tag @chocolateandconnie on Instagram.

Join the Conversation

  1. Curious why you add the butter at once and at the beginning essentially? Fat inhibits gluten formation, so don’t you need to knead the dough without it for a time before adding the butter?

    1. Hi Monika!

      Good question! You are right about the fat inhibiting the gluten formation. Proper French brioche process adds butter at the end and usually has an overnight slow rise. But my recipe is not following the traditional method for EASE and efficiency of the everyday home baker and I haven’t noticed a huge difference in the final quality 🙂

      But it’s timely that you mention this because I’m working on a new brioche recipe where I change the type of sugar AND incorporate a longer kneading time and butter at the end. It’s like you’re reading my mind!

      Connie

  2. Also, you don’t specify the temperature of the butter. This bothers me. People need to be specific. Especially bloggers…
    From what I’ve seen from professionals, it needs to be at the very least room temperature (VERY soft) and in pieces and incorporated SLOWLY. It can be melted too…but not hot.

    1. My recipe doesn’t call for hot butter nor melted butter 🙂 Also I rarely see the temperature of butter specified/quantified, but I will include “room temperature” in the butter section. Thanks for catching that and for your comments!

  3. Don’t we need to activate the yeast in warm water with a bit of sugar? I’ve recently just added it to the flour like you have in your recipe, but the granules did NOT dissolve…My bread ended up not rising properly.

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