Gooey Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

How to Make the Best Gooey Cinnamon Rolls | What is Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting? | Tips for Making Gooey Cinnamon Rolls | Essential Baking Tools

What’s better for breakfast than gooey cinnamon rolls, you ask? These gooey cinnamon rolls with brown butter cream cheese frosting is the answer! The cinnamon rolls are super easy to make, they are soft and fluffy, and the cinnamon filling has that really amazing, warm cinnamon flavor.

And the brown butter cream cheese frosting adds that “je ne sais quoi” factor that I constantly strive for when I develop a recipe for all of you wonderful bakers. It’s that thing that you can’t put into words, but it’s sooo good! Read below for all the details and the recipe.

gooey cinnamon rolls with brown butter cream cheese frosting

How to Make the Best Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Make the dough in a stand mixer with a hook attachment. As the dough mixes, check to see if the dough is hydrated enough. It should be slightly sticky but not droopy and runny.
  2. Prepare the cinnamon roll filling by mixing it with a hand mixer. The trick to getting that really spreadable consistency is to warm the filling up for 15 seconds in the microwave right before spreading. Then it’s super soft and easy to work with.
  3. Roll out the dough to 16 x 24 inches and spread on filling. (If halving the recipe, roll it to 12 x 18 inches.)
  4. Spread the filling on next, then roll up the dough starting with the 24 inch end. Next, cut the cinnamon rolls into 2 inch pieces with a serrated knife so that there are 12 cinnamon rolls.
  5. Then cover the cinnamon rolls and let them raise for 30 minutes while the oven preheats to 350 degrees.
  6. Bake cinnamon rolls uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are very golden brown.
  7. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, make the brown butter on the stove. To brown the butter, heat it in a small pot and stir occasionally until the fat solids turn brown and smell nutty. Pour the brown butter into a bowl and let cool for 20 minutes.
  8. Cream the brown butter and cream cheese together with a hand mixer, and then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.
  9. Spread on the cinnamon rolls while slightly warm or once cooled, and enjoy!
cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting

What is Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting?

Brown butter cream cheese frosting has brown butter, which is just butter that has been melted in a pot, and then the fat solids turn brown as it cooks. The fat solids produce a nutty aroma and taste, and the water content of the butter reduces as well so it’s a more concentrated flavor.

The brown butter is then combined with cream cheese, powdered sugar, salt, and flavoring.

unbaked cinnamon rolls in a pan

Tips for Making Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

  1. The first key is to use enough cinnamon filling. For these cinnamon rolls, we make sure that the cinnamon filling coats all of the dough except for 1/4 inch border of dough.
  2. Second, the filling needs to have enough butter and brown sugar so that the filling turns gooey! If you don’t have enough of one or the other, then the filling won’t be as smooth.
  3. Lastly, so we add just a touch of heavy cream so that the cinnamon filling has a creamier consistency. That’s it!
gooey cinnamon rolls on plates for serving

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Gooey Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

gooey cinnamon rolls with brown butter cream cheese frosting

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  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: breakfast


Units Scale

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cup milk, very hot
  • 1/2 cup water, very hot, plus extra if needed

Cinnamon Roll Filling

  • 12 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 6 Tbs unsalted butter, browned
  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt


For the Cinnamon Roll Dough

  1. Combine dry ingredients and egg yolks in stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  2. Heat milk and water in microwave for 90 seconds or until very hot to the touch.
  3. Turn mixer onto medium speed and pour hot liquids into mixer slowly. If dough still seems dry, add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough seems just slightly sticky and soft.
  4. Mix the dough on medium-high speed for 5 minutes.
  5. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead a few times to form dough into a smooth ball. Shape dough into a rectangle and roll dough with a floured rolling pin into a 16×24 rectangle.

For the Cinnamon Roll Filling

  1. Mix softened butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl with a hand mixer until the ingredients come together. Warm in the microwave for 15 seconds to soften the filling if the filling seems stiff.
  2. Spread filling over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border of dough on all sides. 
  3. Starting with the long end (24 inch end), roll the dough evenly until you have a cinnamon roll log. This means that the log will be 24 inches long.
  4. Cut the log into 2 inch slices with a serrated knife so that there are 12 cinnamon rolls.
  5. Line an 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment if desired. Otherwise, spray pan lightly with nonstick spray.
  6. Place rolls in pan and cover with a towel. Let rolls raise for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 F, uncover rolls, and bake for 25-30 minutes. The rolls will be golden brown on top with finished.
  8. Let rolls cool in pan for 15 minutes and prepare the cream cheese frosting.

For the Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing

  1. In a small pot, melted butter on medium heat. Whisk occasionally and watch the butter to see the fat solids turn brown. This takes 5-10 minutes. As soon as they turn brown, pour butter into a clean bowl so the butter can cool for 20 minutes.
  2. Use a hand mixer to cream softened cream cheese and brown butter. Add vanilla and salt and mix.
  3. Add powdered sugar and beat on high speed for 2-3 minutes to incorporate air into the icing so light and creamy.
  4. Spread icing over cinnamon rolls and enjoy! Refrigerate leftover cinnamon rolls if there are any. Warm cinnamon rolls in the microwave for 15-20 seconds if they have been in the fridge.

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