These easy-to-make Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls start with a boxed cake mix. Once baked, a delicious, from-scratch Cream Cheese Icing tops them off.
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Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls
A while back, I realized it’d been some time since I made cinnamon rolls, so I decided I wanted to try something different with them! (Who else is constantly experimenting in the kitchen, or is it just me?!)
I thought it would be yummy to make a red velvet version of cinnamon rolls. Oh. My. Gosh. These babies were soooo good, and the recipe made two full pans of rolls.
Cinnamon rolls are a type of sweet roll typically made from a yeasted dough that is rolled out, spread with a mixture of melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon, and then rolled up and sliced into individual rolls. The rolls are then placed in a pan and baked until they are golden brown and the filling is melted and gooey. Once they are done baking, they are often topped with a drizzle of icing or glaze.
There are many variations on the basic cinnamon roll recipe, and they are popular in many countries around the world. In the United States, they are often enjoyed as a breakfast or dessert item, and they are especially popular around the holidays.
For this version, Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls are topped with a simple but delicious homemade Cream Cheese Icing. Yum!! 😍
These Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls are soooo simple to make, but the recipe requires a little time. Still, it’s totally worth it for a unique take on a sweet treat everyone enjoys.
Red velvet cake + cinnamon rolls = a delicious, delicious breakfast food, baby!! I hope you love this little experiment as much as I do!
Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls: Ingredients & Equipment
For this Red Velvet Cinnamon Roll recipe, you’ll need …
For the cinnamon rolls:
- dry yeast, warm water – yeast is what helps your dough rise, and the water activates the yeast.
- red velvet cake mix – I recommend getting cake mix from the store vs. making it yourself. It’s just so much more efficient!!
- vanilla and salt – these help balance out the flavors in any baked good.
- flour – though cake mix usually contains flour, you’ll need some additional for this recipe.
For the cinnamon sugar mixture:
- butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon – mixed together, these form the “cinnamon” part of your red velvet cinnamon rolls!
For the cream cheese icing:
- butter, cream cheese – softened.
- vanilla extract – a familiar ingredient if you’ve ever made icing before!!
- powdered sugar – you’ll gradually add this to the icing until it’s at your desired consistency.
- large mixing bowl – for making your dough, of course.
How to make Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls
First, make your dough. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and water until dissolved. Add the cake mix, vanilla, salt, and flour. Mix it well. FYI: the dough will be slightly sticky!!
Second, let the dough rise (twice). Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for one hour. Punch down the dough and allow it to rise again for another 45 minutes.
Third, form your rolls. Roll the dough into a large rectangle about ¼-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Spread the butter all over the dough evenly. Combine your brown sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle that mixture over the butter. Roll up the dough like a jellyroll, starting on the long edge, then slice it into 24 equal pieces.
Fourth, bake your rolls. Grease two 9×13-inch baking pans. Arrange the cinnamon roll slices in the pans. Cover them and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. After they’ve risen, preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
Finally, prep your frosting! While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the cream cheese icing by creaming the cream cheese and butter in a medium mixing bowl. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually add the powdered sugar. Spread it on the rolls when they’re done!!
Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls: FAQs
It’ll take you a little over 3 hours. Most of that is inactive time (waiting for the dough to rise, for example), while only 20 minutes or so is cook time.
24 rolls! Enough for the whole family, the neighbors, your coworkers, and your kids’ favorite teachers.
For the rolls themselves, you can keep them out at room temperature for 1-3 days, refrigerate them for about a week, or freeze them for 6 weeks. The cream cheese icing, though, must be kept refrigerated. Only ice as many cinnamon rolls as you need!
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For the cinnamon rolls
- 2 pkg. dry yeast (or 4-1/2 tsp. if you buy yeast in bulk)
- 2-1/2 cups warm water
- 1 box (15.25 oz.) Red Velvet cake mix
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
For the cinnamon sugar mixture
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
For the cream cheese icing
- 2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick or 8 tablespoons), softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and water until dissolved.
- Add the cake mix, vanilla, salt, and flour. Mix well - the dough will be slightly sticky.
- Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for one hour. Punch down the dough and allow it to rise again for another 45 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Spread the butter all over the dough evenly.
- In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the butter.
- Roll up like a jellyroll, starting on the long edge. Slice into 24 equal pieces.
- Grease two 9x13-inch baking pans. Arrange the cinnamon roll slices in the pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
- While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the cream cheese icing by creaming the cream cheese and butter in a medium mixing bowl until creamy. Mix in the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar.
- The cream cheese icing must be kept refrigerated. Only ice as many cinnamon rolls as you need. Allow icing to come to room temperature before use. Rewarm rolls as needed and top with icing.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 roll
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 364Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 340mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 2gSugar: 33gProtein: 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.
Originally published on January 13, 2015. Updated on December 12, 2022.