- Prep time
- 1 hour, plus 2 hours rising and overnight resting
- Cook time
- 18-20 minutes
- 18 cinnamon rolls
What could be better for a special holiday morning than sweet cinnamon spice rolled up in pillowy, fresh baked goodness? These cinnamon rolls are so good, they might just become a yearly tradition!
Pro Tip: Form the cinnamon rolls the night before, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. They’ll be ready to bake fresh the next morning!
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ½ cup warm milk
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3½ cups flour, plus more for kneading
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- ⅓ cup cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 4 teaspoons concentrated chai tea, milk or lemon juice
For the dough, stir water and 1 teaspoon sugar together in a small bowl, then sprinkle with yeast. Stir with a fork until dissolved and let proof for 10 minutes until foamy.
In a large bowl, use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir together milk, butter, remaining sugar, eggs, nutmeg and salt until well combined. Pour in the proofed yeast and 1½ cups flour and stir until smooth. Add remaining flour ½ cup at a time until a soft, workable dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl is formed. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle more flour on the dough if it starts sticking to the surface or your hands.
Place dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise for about 1½-2 hours, then punch it down and knead lightly. Cover dough and let rest for 15 minutes.
Lightly grease and line a 13x19-inch sheet pan with parchment paper.
For the filling, combine cinnamon, nutmeg and both sugars in a small bowl. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, approximately 12x18 inches. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar mixture, leaving about ½ inch around the edge. Roll dough inwards from long end to long end to make a spiral. Pinch dough together when finished to seal the roll, then turn cinnamon roll log seam-side down. With a sharp knife, cut into 1-inch thick pieces (approximately 18).
To form a Christmas tree, arrange cinnamon rolls on lined sheet pan in a pattern of 1-2-3-4-5-2-1, leaving ¼ inch between each roll. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator overnight.
The next morning, allow the dough to come to room temperature before baking, about 1-2 hours. Preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
If making a chai tea icing, steep one chai tea bag in ¼ cup hot water, then let cool completely. Whip together cream cheese and powdered sugar, and gradually add chai tea or liquid of choice 1 teaspoon at a time. Drizzle icing over hot cinnamon rolls.