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Challah Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar & Nutmeg (and An Ube Cream Cheese Frosting)

It’s the recipe that my cinnamon rolls dreams are made of!

Rolled out nutmeg scented challah dough filled with a cinnamon-brown-sugar-butter mixture and topped with an ube infused cream cheese frosting!


For the Dough

  • 1.25 cup warm water
  • 1 package 2 slightly heaping teaspoons dry yeast
  • .5 cup of sugar + ½ teaspoon
  • 2 egg, room temperature, divided
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature (plus slightly more for greasing bowl + pans)
  • .5 teaspoon freshy grated Spice Tribe Island Nutmeg
  • 1.5 teaspoon of salt

For the Filling

For the Ube Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 tablespoons of plain, full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1.25 cups powdered sugar
  • .5 teaspoon of ube extract (optional + more to taste or to get desired purple hue)
  • .2 teaspoon kosher salt

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Photo of Challah Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar & Nutmeg (and An Ube Cream Cheese Frosting)


For the Frosting

      1. In the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add ube extract, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired purple hue is reached. Set aside until needed (up to 24 hours at room temperature).

For the Filling

      1. In the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer, mix butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, and salt until creamy and very soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside until needed (up to 24 hours at room temperature).

For the Dough

      1. Whisk together warm water, yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to activate the yeast; wait 5 minutes until it bubbles.
      2. Add 1 egg, vanilla and butter to the liquid yeast mixture.
      3. In the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer with the hook attachment, add the salt, sugar, freshly grated nutmeg and 3 cups of flour. Slowly add the liquids to the flour mixture and begin processing until a ball is formed. If needed, add the last cup of flour, ¼ cup at a time.
      4. Dust counter with flour and finish kneading on the counter with a little flour. The dough will be a little sticky.
      5. First Rise: Put dough in a buttered large bowl and let rise covered with a dish towel or plastic wrap, doubled in size, about for 1-1.5 hours (exact time is weather dependent). If the dough feels tough, let rise longer. Punch dough down and let it rest for 15 minutes.
      6. Shaping: Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and roll into a 13(ish)-inch square. No perfection necessary. Spread the cinnamon butter mixture over the dough with a spatula and tightly roll dough up to form a 12-inch log. Seal the edges as best you can and place seam side down.
      7. Cut into 1-inch slices with a serrated knife or floss. You’ll should get 12 pieces. Snugly arrange cinnamon rolls in a greased baking pan or round cake pan (use 2 if they’re small).
      8. Second Rise: Cover rolls with foil and refrigerate overnight, or up to 48 hours.

To bake and serve

      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take cinnamon rolls out of the fridge and let come to room temperature while oven heats up. Brush the tops with egg wash (1 egg + 1 tbsp of water) and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on the edges. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, spread frosting over the top and serve while still hot.

Recipe Note

- Use bread flour! With more gluten than regular AP flour, it’s the ‘trick’ for keeping our rolls soft, fluffy, light and chewy.

- Cream the filling! This makes it easier to spread evenly over the dough, so there’s more cinnamon sugar goodness and makes it texture softer and creamier.

- Let her* rise… twice! Her being our beloved challah dough cause the gluten needs time to develop. Plan at least the day before.

- Use dental floss or butchers’ twine to cut through the dough. This prevents smushing our rolls flat (which even the sharpest of blades will do).

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