Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls

12 servings
3 hr 40 min

These Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls with a cream cheese icing are a delicious Valentine's Day breakfast for that special someone. Full of cinnamon and sugar and topped with a cream cheese icing, these cinnamon rolls are a sweet weekend treat!

Check out the full recipe here!

Don't forget to ice the Red Velvet Cinnamon Buns

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I've been making cinnamon buns every Christmas morning for a few years now. They are a delicious, special occasion breakfast. With Valentine's Day just around the corner I thought I would try something a little different.

I've been loving red velvet cakes and cookies lately, so I thought I would give this a try. These buns became "red velvet" buns when I added cocoa and red food coloring. They aren't too sweet on their own, but add the delicious cream cheese icing and you have a real

Why You'll Love These Cinnamon Rolls

  • They are a fun twist on the classic cinnamon rolls! These cinnamon rolls have cocoa and red food coloring. Perfect for Valentine's Day!
  • The kids can help! Let the kids sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on the dough or roll the dough. When the rolls are baked, let the kids ice the cinnamon rolls too!
  • They are easy to make! You would like that cinnamon rolls are hard to make, but these are surprisingly easy to make and very impressive!

Equipment To Make Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls

Here are all of the items that I used that I think might be helpful for you to make these buns!

Stand Mixer

Hand Mixer

Rolling Pin

9x13inch Pan

Red Food Coloring- In this recipe I used a lot of red food coloring. You want the dough to be really red, and there is a lot of dough. I used a tablespoon of red food coloring.

How To Make Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls

This dough contains yeast, so it will need to rise for a while before you can bake them. To start, add the milk, sugar, butter, salt, yeast, and food coloring to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix that to combine everything. Add the eggs and the sour cream and mix again. Then you will add the flour and cocoa. Make sure you use good quality cocoa powder. I like to use Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder, but you could use Ghiradelli, or whatever your favorite unsweetened cocoa powder is.

The stand mixer is now going to do all the kneading for you. Keep the mixer on medium high for about 4 minutes so it can thoroughly knead the dough. The dough should be smooth and all come together.

Once the dough is done in the stand mixer, lightly oil a larger bowl and place the dough in the oiled bowl. Cover that will plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours until it is doubled in size. If your house is colder, it will need a little more time, closer to 2-3 hours. It's more important that the dough has doubled in size.

After the 2 hours is up, turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and roll out the dough until it is about 18 inches by 12 inches. The dough will be very sticky, so don't be afraid to use flour when you need it.

Dough Fully Risen

Making the Filling

The filling for these red velvet cinnamon buns are really simple to make. It is just brown sugar and cinnamon. You will need to melt butter and brush the butter onto the rolled out dough. Be generous here, you don't want to have any spots that aren't covered in butter on the dough.

When everything is covered in butter, sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over all of the dough.

Once you have placed the cinnamon and sugar all over the dough, it's time to roll the dough into a large log. To do this, take the side of the dough that is closest to you and roll it up so you are rolling away from you. Try to get the dough as even in width as possible. Cut the dough into 12 even buns. The easiest way to do this is to cut the log in half. Then, place the two halves of the log right next to each other, and cut them down the middle evenly. You should now have four logs of dough (as shown below). Then do the same thing, put the four log next to each other and this time cut them into 3 pieces each, so you should end up with 12 buns.

Place the buns into a well greased 9x13inch pan and cover with plastic wrap for one hour until the are doubled in size. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Buns ready to bake!

How to Make the Icing

To make the icing, you will need room temperature butter and room temperature cream cheese. Put the cream cheese and butter into a bowl and beat them until they are combined. You can do this with a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, either will work. Then add the confectioners sugar, vanilla, and milk. Continue to beat that until it is the consistency you are looking for. If you would like it a little thinner, feel free to add more milk, and if you would like it thicker, add more sugar. Ice the buns when they are still warm so the icing melts into all the cracks of the cinnamon buns!

Tips and Tricks

  • Change it up and make these plain cinnamon buns. In order to do that, just leave out the cocoa and the red food coloring.
  • Feel free to add raisins, nuts, or even chocolate chips to the filling!
  • Cream Cheese icing is most common for cinnamon buns like these, but you could leave out the cream cheese and just do vanilla, butter, and powdered sugar. That's delicious as well!

Questions About Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls

Can you make these cinnamon rolls ahead of time?To make this the night before, once you slice the buns and place them in a greased pan, cover them and refrigerate them. In the morning when you are going to bake them, take them out about an hour before they are going to go into the oven so they can come to room temperature. Then bake them as you normally would.

What should we do with leftovers?Leftovers should be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, place a cinnamon bun on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 1 minute, or place the cinnamon bun in the toaster oven for 2 minutes to gently reheat.

Why didn't my cinnamon rolls rise?Make sure your yeast is fresh and is not expired. Expired yeast won't rise properly. If your kitchen is cold, it might take longer for your cinnamon rolls to rise. Be patient! It's important your dough doubles in size so you have soft cinnamon rolls.

Other Recipes To Try

Did you love these Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls? I'd so appreciate it if you would give this recipe a 5-star review! That will help other hungry readers find my recipes!

And don't forget to tag me on Instagram or Facebook and share this recipe on Pinterest! Thanks for sharing this journey with me and enjoy these delicious recipes!

More Breakfast Recipes

  • Sourdough Pretzel Bites
  • Instant Pot Bagels
  • Instant Pot Feta Pasta
  • Feta and Olive Stuffed Broiled Tomatoes
  • Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • Sourdough Discard Pancakes
  • Sourdough Discard Banana Bread


Recipe details
  • 12  servings
  • Prep time: 3 Hours Cook time: 40 Minutes Total time: 3 hr 40 min
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  • 1 cup Warm Milk Whole Milk or 2%
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 4 tablespoon Melted Butter unsalted
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 packet Instant Yeast 2 1/4 tsp
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Full fat sour cream
  • 4 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Red Food Coloring
  • 4 tablespoon Butter Softened
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoon Cinnamon
Cream Cheese Icing
  • 1/4 cup Butter Room Temperature
  • 1/2 cup Cream Cheese Room Temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tablespoon Milk Whole or 2%

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment add the milk, sugar, butter, salt, yeast, and food coloring. Mix that to combine everything.
Add the eggs and sour cream. Mix again to combine.
Add the flour and cocoa powder, mix well. Turn the stand mixer on medium speed and mix for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour, a tablespoon at a time until it comes together and does not stick to the bowl.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a cool, draft free area for 1.5-2 hours. The dough should double in size.
Once the dough has doubled in size, empty the bowl onto a well floured counter. Lay the dough out and roll it out to 18 inches by 12 inches.
For the filling, mix the cinnamon and sugar together. Spread the butter out over the rolled out dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture evenly over the rolled out dough.
Butter a 9x13 inch baking pan well with softened butter. Starting with the side closest to you, roll the dough up and away from you to create a log. Cut the log into 12 equal pieces and place them in the pan. If you are baking the cinnamon rolls immediately, let them sit at room temperature for an hour. If you are cooking them the next morning, place them in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, take out the rolls and let them come to room temperature before you bake them.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the rolls for 35-40 minutes until the buns are browned and puffy. Let them cool a few minutes while you make the icing.
Cream Cheese Icing
In a bowl, add the cream cheese and butter and beat them with a hand mixer until well combined. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk and combine all the ingredients. If the icing is too thick, add more milk a tablespoon at a time. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. Ice the cinnamon buns when they are still warm so the icing melts slightly. Serve immediately.
  • Make sure your yeast is fresh and active. Expired yeast will not rise the dough properly.
  • If your kitchen is too cold, your dough might take longer to rise. Be patient! You want the dough to double in size to have nice, fluffy cinnamon rolls.
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  • Amanda Connelly Amanda Connelly on Feb 09, 2022

    My mouth is watering from just looking at these! I'll definitely have to try, but I'm sure they won't be nearly as pretty as yours.

    • Lynnswayoflife Lynnswayoflife on Feb 10, 2022

      thank you for saying that! They are easier to make than you would think! Let me know if you make them!

  • MJ MJ on Feb 12, 2023

    Hi! What can be used in place of red food dye?