Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

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These gooey Caramel Cinnamon Rolls are filled with homemade caramel sauce and covered in an easy caramel cream cheese icing!

Caramel Cinnamon Rolls with caramel cream cheese icing and caramel drizzle

These Caramel Cinnamon Rolls are absolutely loaded with my homemade caramel sauce. They’re filled with caramel, covered in an easy caramel cream cheese icing and drizzled with even more caramel! They’re truly a caramel lover’s dream.

Looking for more cinnamon roll recipes? Try my Oreo Cinnamon Rolls, Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls or Easy Apple Cinnamon Rolls!

Ingredient Breakdown

Buttermilk – makes the dough so flavorful and fluffy.

Granulated sugar – sweetens and tenderizes the dough.

Instant yeast – makes the dough rise.

Butter – adds flavor and tenderizes the dough. I always recommend using unsalted butter but salted butter works if that’s all you have on hand, just be sure to omit the 1 teaspoon of salt.

Egg & egg yolk – make the dough so soft and fluffy especially with the extra yolk!

All-purpose flour – gives the cinnamon rolls structure. You can substitute some or all of the flour with bread flour.

Caramel Cinnamon Roll with caramel cream cheese icing and caramel drizzle

How To Make Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

1. Make the Caramel Sauce: add the sugar to a medium light colored pot. Cook on medium heat until amber colored, picking up the pot and swishing the sugar around occasionally.

2. Once all of the sugar is melted, remove the pot from the heat then carefully add in the cubed butter (it will bubble rapidly). Whisk until the butter is completely melted and combined with the sugar.

3. Gradually whisk in the heavy cream until well combined.

Homemade caramel sauce

4. Add the salt then transfer to a heat proof container and allow to cool before using (caramel thickens as it cools). Store Homemade Caramel Sauce in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

5. Make the Cinnamon Roll Dough: Heat the buttermilk until lukewarm (110°F) then whisk with granulated sugar in a mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast on top.

6. In a separate small bowl combine the melted butter, egg, egg yolk and salt then whisk into the yeast mixture.

7. Place on a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and add about 1/2 cup of flour. Mix on low speed until mostly combined then repeat until all the flour is gone. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and be slightly tacky but not sticky.

8. Knead dough in the mixer or by hand for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a large greased bowl then cover and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.

Cinnamon roll dough

9. Make the Cinnamon Filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.

10. On a lightly floured surface roll dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Evenly spread the cinnamon filling across the dough then spread the caramel sauce on top. Tightly roll the dough towards you then cut 12 even rolls and place in a lightly greased 9×13 pan. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.

11. Bake rolls at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Caramel Cinnamon Rolls in a 9x13 inch pan

12. Make the Caramel Cream Cheese Icing: using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer cream the butter and caramel sauce then add the cream cheese. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and milk until smooth. Add salt to taste. Spread over slightly warm rolls and drizzle with extra caramel sauce. Store Caramel Cinnamon Rolls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Reheat rolls in the microwave for 15-25 seconds or eat cold!

Pro Tips For Homemade Caramel Sauce

  • Use a light colored pot because it will make it easier to see the color of the sugar as it melts. It’s important that you don’t burn the sugar otherwise the caramel will taste bitter.
  • Use a wooden spoon or heat proof silicone spatula to make the caramel.
  • Don’t walk away from the pot once you get started. Sugar goes from amber to burnt very quickly!
  • Swirl the pot as you melt the sugar. Do not stir because it will agitate the sugar and cause it to recrystallize.
  • Be extremely careful when adding the butter and heavy cream to the caramel. It will bubble rapidly so wear oven mitts and add the ingredients slowly.
  • If the caramel seizes place the pot over low heat and whisk continuously until it comes back together.

Pro Tips For Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate; baking is a science after all!
  • Do not overheat the buttermilk or you’ll kill the yeast! Yeast dies at 140°F.
  • Once rolls are filled use dental floss or a sharp chef’s knife for the cleanest cuts. If using a knife avoid sawing the dough and instead try to cut in one swift motion.
  • After slicing filled rolls make sure to give them enough space to grow.
  • Do not over bake. Take out when tops begin to slightly brown to get the softest rolls!

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is Caramel?

Caramel is simply sugar that has been melted to 340°F. Since this recipe is a caramel sauce, butter, heavy cream and salt are added for flavor and texture.

Can I make Cinnamon Rolls in Advance?

Yes! I love making cinnamon rolls made ahead of time for Christmas breakfast. After filling and slicing cover the rolls then place in the fridge overnight. Allow to rise at room temperature for an hour or until doubled in size before baking.

does Homemade Caramel Sauce Have To Be Refrigerated?

Yes! Since this Caramel Sauce contains dairy it needs to be stored in the fridge.

Can You Freeze Homemade Caramel Sauce?

Yes! Homemade Caramel Sauce can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature before using.

How To Clean A Pot After Making Caramel?

If there are solidified bits of caramel stuck to your pot simply fill it with water then bring it to a boil on the stovetop. This will melt all of the caramel and make it much easier to clean.

Caramel Cinnamon Rolls with caramel cream cheese icing and caramel drizzle

If you try this recipe then please leave a rating/comment below to let me know how you liked it and feel free to ask any recipe questions you may have! 🙂

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5 from 2 votes

Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

These gooey Caramel Cinnamon Rolls are filled with homemade caramel sauce and covered in an easy caramel cream cheese icing!
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rising Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings 12 rolls
Calories 635kcal
Author Maria Azzarelli

Equipment

  • Stand mixer
  • 9×13 inch pan
  • Rolling Pin

Ingredients

Caramel Sauce

  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 85 g (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 120 g (1/2 cup) heavy cream
  • ½ tsp salt (or to taste)

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 240 g (1 cup) buttermilk, 110°F
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 7 g (2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast (1 packet)
  • 56 g (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk (save the whites for another recipe!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 540 g (4 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour

Cinnamon Filling

  • 200 g (1 cup) brown sugar
  • 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 15 g (1 1/2 tbsp) cinnamon
  • 75 g (1/4 cup) caramel sauce

Caramel Cream Cheese Icing

  • 56 g (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 56 g (3 tbsp) caramel sauce
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 90 g (3/4 cup) confectioners' sugar
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

Caramel Sauce

  • Add the sugar to a medium light colored pot. Cook on medium heat until amber colored, picking up the pot and swishing the sugar around occasionally.
  • Once all of the sugar is melted, remove the pot from the heat then carefully add in the cubed butter (it will bubble rapidly). Whisk until the butter is completely melted and combined with the sugar.
  • Gradually whisk in the heavy cream until well combined.
  • Add the salt then transfer to a heat proof container and allow to cool before using (caramel thickens as it cools).

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • Heat the buttermilk until lukewarm (110°F) then whisk with granulated sugar in a mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast on top.
  • In a separate small bowl combine the melted butter, egg, egg yolk and salt then whisk into the yeast mixture.
  • Place on a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and add about 1/2 cup of flour. Mix on low speed until mostly combined then repeat until all the flour is gone. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and be slightly tacky but not sticky.
  • Knead dough in the mixer or by hand for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a large greased bowl then cover and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.

Cinnamon Filling

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • On a lightly floured surface roll dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Evenly spread the cinnamon filling across the dough then spread the caramel sauce on top. Tightly roll the dough towards you then cut 12 even rolls and place in a lightly greased 9×13 pan. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.
  • Bake rolls at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Caramel Cream Cheese Icing

  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer cream the butter and caramel sauce then add the cream cheese. Mix in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and milk until smooth. Add salt to taste. Spread over slightly warm rolls and drizzle with extra caramel sauce.

Notes

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
 
 
  • Store Caramel Cinnamon Rolls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Reheat rolls in the microwave for 15-25 seconds or eat cold!
 
  • Rolls can be made ahead of time: after filling and slicing cover the rolls and place in the fridge overnight. Allow to rise at room temperature for an hour or until doubled in size before baking.
 
  • Nutrition: the provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.

Nutrition

Calories: 635kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 434mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 890IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 2mg

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