These Candy Cane Cinnamon Rolls are an absolutely exceptional holiday breakfast. Take some classic cinnamon rolls and give them a new wintertime twist!
Table of contents
Candy Cane Cinnamon Rolls
Imagine waking up to warm, freshly-baked cinnamon rolls on a winter holiday morning, literally, any winter holiday. Nothing better, right?!
Now imagine waking up to warm, freshly-baked candy cane cinnamon rolls on a holiday morning! Doesn’t that sound heavenly?
If you heartily agree, this is your recipe! They’re standard cinnamon rolls, like the ones you might make with Pillsbury dough from the store, except made from scratch and with a peppermint twist.
To make this recipe, you’ll take classic cinnamon rolls and give them a holiday twist. The dough is easy to make and work with, and the chocolate and peppermint filling makes it decadently satisfying. Serve the rolls warm, covered with a little more peppermint flavor or a sprinkle of powdered sugar, and you have the perfect holiday treat.
This is one of those special recipes you only whip out a few times a year, but when you do, it’s going to bring excitement into the kitchen.
Candy Cane Cinnamon Rolls are unique and family-friendly, and everyone you know is bound to love them. It’s the most fun idea for a Christmas breakfast ever.
It’s one of those recipes that’s so obvious! Like, I should have thought of this – mixing candy canes with cinnamon rolls … so, so tasty!!
It’s time for some exceptional breakfast treats. Enjoy!!
Candy Cane Cinnamon Rolls: Ingredients & Equipment
For this Candy Cane Cinnamon Rolls recipe, you’ll need …
For the dough
- warm milk – between 95F to 100F in temperature. This is the best way to “feed” your yeast!
- active dry yeast – you’ll need one packet. I know working with yeast is scary, y’all, but if you follow this recipe, you’ll become a pro!
- butter, egg, granulated sugar, salt, and all-purpose flour – the rest of the ingredients form the dough for your cinnamon rolls. Be sure the butter is unsalted and the flour unbleached.
For the filling
- unsalted butter – you’ll spread this first inside your uncooked rolls.
- Nutella – this is the base of your tasty cinnamon roll filling.
- ground cinnamon, crushed candy canes – these turn your rolls from Nutella rolls to Candy Cane Cinnamon Rolls! So good, y’all!!
For the topping (optional)
- powdered sugar – a tasty and simple topping for those who don’t need a glaze.
- milk, crushed candy cane, powdered sugar – or you can make an easy glaze by combining all these ingredients together. Pour it right over your rolls!
- stand-up mixer, bowl, and dough hook – the easiest way to mix the dough for these cinnamon rolls.
- oiled bowl, plastic wrap – to allow your dough to rise.
- 9×13 baking dish – for eventually baking those tasty, tasty cinnamon rolls!
How to make Candy Cane Cinnamon Rolls
Making a Christmas breakfast treat like this may seem complex, but don’t worry! Though you’re baking it from scratch, it’s simpler than it seems.
First, prep your yeast. Pour warm milk, sugar, and yeast into the bowl of a stand-up mixer. Wait 4-5 minutes for the yeast to foam up.
Second, mix your dough. Add your butter and egg once the yeast has activated, and mix for 15 seconds. Then add salt and 1/3rd of the flour and mix again. Keep mixing in 1/3rd of the flour until it’s all incorporated, and do a final 5-minute mix on medium speed. The dough shouldn’t stick to your fingers when you press on it and should’ve formed a ball in the bowl.
Third, let your dough rise. Put it in an oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Store it in a warm undisturbed place (like the inside of a microwave, for example). It should take about an hour to rise!
Fourth, form your rolls. Roll the dough into a 13”x17” rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Butter the dough, leaving a half-inch border all around. Spread the Nutella evenly over the roll, then do the same with the crushed candy canes and cinnamon. Roll the dough up once again so it makes a long log, and cut it into 12 pieces.
Fifth, cook your rolls. Place those 12 pieces onto a 9×13 baking dish, cover it with wrap, and let it rise for 30 minutes. After, bake the rolls at 350F. This should take about 20-22 minutes, but if they’re a lovely golden shade, they’re probably ready no matter what!
Last, serve those candy cane cinnamon rolls! Sprinkle powdered sugar on them, or make a standard glaze of powdered sugar and milk mixed with crushed candy canes.
Candy Cane Cinnamon Rolls: FAQs
It makes 12 rolls in total. Enough for a small party, I think, or a big family!!
It takes about 2 hours and 10 minutes altogether, including the cooking and waiting for the dough to rise. However, only 20 minutes of that is ACTUAL prep time, so really, it’s not too much effort!
It’ll speed up the activation of the yeast! Do NOT skip this step, y’all!! If you use cold milk, your yeast won’t make the dough rise at all, and if you go over about 100F, it’ll kill the yeast. Be careful!
Other recipes you may enjoy
- 1 cup of warm milk (95 to 100 degrees F)
- 2-1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 3-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup Nutella
- 1/2 cup finely crushed candy cane
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- powdered Sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3 teaspoons milk
- 1/4 cup finely crushed candy cane
- In a bowl of a stand-up mixer with a dough hook, pour warm milk, yeast, and granulated sugar. Let it sit for 4 to 5 minutes to allow the yeast to bloom and foam up. *NOTE* This step is important for many reasons. The warm milk speed up the activation of the yeast. If the milk is too hot, it will “kill” the yeast so that the dough won’t rise. If the milk is too cold, like right out of the fridge, it will delay the activation of the yeast, resulting in a dough that won’t rise. Yeast blooms better in a liquid, in this case, milk, between temperatures of 95 to 100 degrees F.
- Once the yeast has bloomed, add butter and egg. Mix for 15 seconds.
- Add salt and 1/3 of the flour.
- Mix until the flour is almost all incorporated, then add another 1/3, and so on. *NOTE* I do it this way of adding flour increments because if I mix with too much flour, it will spread everywhere, and I won’t have the right amount in the dough
- Once all the flour has been added and there is no more dry flour, mix on medium speed for 5 minutes. The dough will form a ball and separate from the bowl. When pressing with your finger in the dough, you should not have any dough on your finger. *NOTE* If the dough is very sticky and when pressing with your finger, you get some on it, you may need to mix for 1 to 2 more minutes in the mixer to develop the gluten more or add more flour (1 tablespoon at the time). I bake at sea level, where it is hot and humid; elevation and outside weather may make a difference in the dough.
- Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
- Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place. (I put mine in the microwave). Let the dough rise until it doubles, or about 1 hour.
- On a clean surface, lightly flour and roll the dough into a 13 x 17 rectangle. For this step, I like using my baking mat, it has a great grip, and I have my measurements already on the mat.
- Butter dough leaving a 1/2-inch border all around.
- Spread the Nutella evenly.
- Sprinkle the crushed peppermint and ground cinnamon over the Nutella.
- Roll the dough tightly, starting with the long side away from you. If the dough is moving, press the long side closest to you down to hold it in place. You will have a long roll.
- With a serrated knife or unflavored dental floss, cut the roll into 12 equal pieces.
- Place in a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Cook in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes or until nice and golden.
- *OPTIONAL TOPPING* - When your rolls come out, you can sprinkle some powdered sugar. Or make a glaze, mix powdered sugar, milk, and crushed candy cane.
- Serve and Enjoy!
- You can keep the rolls on the counter for 2 to 3 days and in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Warming them up in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds so they taste as fresh.
- You can do the second rise in the fridge overnight. So when you place your rolls in the 9 x 13 bake dish, cover them with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge overnight. In the morning, let the rolls come to room temperature while pre-heating the oven.
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Classic Metal 9x13 Covered Cake Pan
Contemporary Self-sharpening 20-piece Knife Block Set
Non-slip Silicone Pastry Mat Extra Large with Measurements 28x20
French Rolling Pin (17 Inches)
Pyrex Glass Mixing Bowl Set (3-Piece)
Glass Measuring Cup Set (3-Piece, Microwave and Oven Safe)
Stainless Steel Measuring Cups - 5 Piece Stackable Measuring Set
Stainless Steel Metal Measuring Spoons, Fits in Spice Jar, Set of 6 with bonus Leveler
KitchenAid Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart, Empire Red
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 roll
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 287Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 117mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 1gSugar: 32gProtein: 4g
Please note that the nutritional information listed on this page is an estimation based on the products I used. Ingredients and nutritional information can vary significantly between brands. Always be sure to read labels. Please verify that a recipe fits your needs before using it. Nutrition info may contain errors, so please verify it independently. Likewise, recipes may contain errors, so please use your common sense when following them.