Christmas Tree Cinnamon Rolls

5 from 8 votes

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These Christmas Tree Cinnamon Rolls are perfect for the holiday season, especially for Christmas morning. Trust me the kids will go wild for sprinkles!

Christmas Tree Cinnamon Rolls

Pizza dough, bread, cookies and cinnamon rolls all happen in my mixer. Why? Because it’s faster and easier than doing it by hand. And because my husband washes all the dishes I dirty…most of the time. {How did I become so lucky?}

Today, I’m sharing with you one of my all time favorite recipes I’ve ever made. That’s saying a lot, huh? But, it’s TRUE!! My Cinnabon Rolls are my family’s favorite treat and happen to be one of the most viewed recipes on my site EVER! Surprise surprise…you are ALL cinnamon roll lovers!! My KitchenAid makes mixing and kneading a cinch. These are perfect for Christmas morning, or for any other special occasion. For more detailed photos of the step by step process, see this post. We’re taking the exact recipe, cutting the rolls smaller and arranging them in tree shapes. Super fun for the holidays and kids always DIE over all the sprinkles. Let’s get started:

Christmas Tree Cinnamon RollsStart out by proofing some quick rise yeast in warm water with a teaspoon of sugar. Set that aside.

Cinnamon RollsWhile that’s proofing, whisk an egg together with some buttermilk and canola oil.

Cinnamon RollsAnd measure out more sugar and some salt.

Cinnamon RollsAfter 10 minutes or so, your yeast should be looking frothy and wonderful! Now we’re ready to get mixing…literally.

Cinnamon RollsPour the yeast, egg mixture and sugar into the mixer and stir briefly with the hook attachment.

Cinnamon RollsMeasure out half of the flour and dump it into the bowl with the salt. Stir it up and get kneading.

Cinnamon RollsKeep adding in more and more flour until the dough starts to come together and pull away from the sides. You want it slightly sticky and smooth. This needs to get kneaded a few more minutes.

Cinnamon RollsOnce your dough is a bit smoother, you can grease the bowl and the dough and let it rise. Make sure you cover it and place it in a warm, draft-free spot in your kitchen.

Cinnamon RollsAfter 2 hours or so, punch the dough down, flour your work surface and roll this out big! This will make 2 trees, so feel free to just use half the dough and save the other half for something else.

Cinnamon RollsFill rolls with butter, sugar and cinnamon. I didn’t have a whole lot of brown sugar so I subbed in some granulated sugar. Use what you got!

Christmas Tree Cinnamon RollsRoll the dough, cut off the uneven ends and slice into rolls. Arrange on a buttered parchment paper-lined cookie sheet in a tree pattern. Cover with plastic wrap and rise again until rolls are doubled in size and touching. This 2nd rise always seems to take forever for me. Like 4 hours. Don’t be afraid to keep these out longer than you think just to get a good rise out of them.

Christmas Tree Cinnamon RollsBake, smother in frosting and top with sprinkles! I used store bought frosting because I had it on hand, but I’d recommend the cream cheese frosting as listed in the recipe for sure!!

So, there you have it! My Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Christmas Tree..perfect for Christmas morning and it’ll make your house smell amazing ALL day!

More Cinnamon Roll Recipes to Try!

Christmas Tree Cinnamon Rolls
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5 from 8 votes

Cinnamon Roll Christmas Tree

These Christmas Tree Cinnamon Rolls are perfect for the holiday season especially for Christmas morning. Trust me the kids will go wild for sprinkles!
servings 24 small rolls
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 17 minutes


for the dough-

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast use the fast acting kind!
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 4 1/2-5 cups all purpose flour unbleached

for the filling-

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar packed
  • 2 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

for the frosting-

  • 2 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

for decorations-


making the dough-

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, pour in water, yeast* and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Stir and proof 5 minutes.
  • Once mixture looks bubbly and frothy, pour in remaining sugar and salt. Stir on low for 15-20 seconds.
  • In a small bowl, measure buttermilk, oil and egg. Whisk ingredients together until egg is incorporated to other two ingredients. Pour contents into the water and yeast mixture. Stir another 20 seconds in the mixer.
  • Pour 2 cups of flour into mixer and stir on low until incorporated. Sprinkle flour in by 1/4 cup increments until dough cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl. Dough should be sticky but not sticky enough to stick to your hands when touched. Once it has reached this stage, turn mixer on and knead for 5 minutes.
  • Remove dough from bowl, grease and replace back into same mixing bowl (since it’s practically clean anyways). Cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel. Rise 1-2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.

filling and cutting rolls-

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and grease well with butter or nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium size bowl, stir brown sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch together until combined. Set aside. Punch down dough.
  • Flour a large clean table liberally with flour. Remove dough ball from bowl and lightly flour it as well. Knead with your hands for about 1 minute.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll dough out to be a 20×30 rectangle** (or as close to that as possible) while moving dough around to ensure it’s not sticking to your work surface.
  • Spread softened butter over dough, being sure to go right up to the edges, leaving a ONE 1-inch strip untouched on one of the longer sides of dough.
  • Dump brown sugar mixture onto the middle of the dough and spread with your hands, creating an even layer over top of the butter, still leaving that 1-inch strip of dough untouched.
  • Lightly press the sugar mixture into the dough using a rolling pin. Using clean hands, roll the dough up into a tight log, finishing with the plain dough on the bottom to seal the entire thing together.
  • Cut off the uneven ends to even out the log. Score log every 1 1/2 inches or so and then slice your rolls using those marks.
  • Place each roll, cut side up onto baking sheets, 12 rolls per sheet, arranged in a tree pattern close to each other but not quite touching.
  • Cover pans with plastic wrap and dish towels. Place in a warm area of your kitchen and allow rolls rise another 2-3 hours or until they are touching and have risen almost double. My rolls always spread OUT more than UP, so just be aware of that.
  • Bake for 17 minutes, or until tops start to brown. Watch them carefully!!

for the frosting-

  • While the rolls are baking, using a hand mixer, whip cream cheese and butter together in a small bowl. Stir in vanilla, corn syrup and lemon juice. Scrape sides and mix again.
  • Pour in powdered sugar and stir slowly until it starts to incorporate. Then mix on high for 5 minutes or until frosting starts to lighten in color. Scrape sides and mix again briefly.
  • Once rolls have been removed from the oven***, frost using half the amount made. This first layer of frosting will melt down into the rolls.
  • After the rolls have cooled a few more minutes, frost again with remaining frosting. This second layer of frosting should stay put.
  • Top with Christmas (or red and green) sprinkles, darker sprinkles for the tree "trunk" and top with a star cookie if desired. Serve warm.


*Depending on the brand of yeast I'm using determines how long the dough will take to rise. I like using Red Star Yeast Platinum yeast. It's much faster than just traditional quick rise yeasts.
**When rolling out the dough, if it’s a little short or uneven, feel free to cut off the edges to even it all out.  I cut off some dough on one side and filled in a spot that needed more dough on the other side to make a more even rectangle.
***If your frosting isn’t quite ready after you pull the rolls out of the oven, cover with foil so the tops don’t dry out and get crispy.


Calories: 267kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 160mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 225IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas tree, cinnamon roll
5 from 8 votes

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Recipe Rating

188 Responses
  1. Maria

    5 stars
    When you first posted the cinnabon recipe I made them…once, twice…yes three times so far. They are easy to make and delicious! They replaced my two go to recipes for cinnamon buns.

  2. JackieToo

    Cinnamon rolls are one of the things I am forbidden to take to my SIL’s house. She likes them waaay too much. We’ll have to see what she says about a whole tree full. 😀

    I think the note in the Rafflecopter (I love that name!) covers this, but just in case: I already subscribe to your emails. Even with all the social media, email is still my favorite way to keep up with my cyber friends.

  3. Heidi @ Food Doodles

    Great giveaway 🙂 I made sure to subscribe by email(even though I like rss better) for an extra chance. I’m still saving for my first mixer – can’t wait!

  4. Yvette Novak

    Love your Christmas tree rolls. Just how big of a batch of dough
    can you make with this bigger mixer? You have piqued my curiousity!
    I’d love to try one out.

  5. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain

    Holy holidays! This cinnamon roll tree looks AH-mazing! I think this would be super fun to make with my nieces and nephews for Christmas!

  6. Robin Moss

    I want to try this for our Christmas morning breakfast! We have at least 14 Christmas morning and my mom and I do all of the cooking. I love the picture of the red kitchenaid.

  7. Devanie

    Fabulous! I used the rafflecopter thing to enter- hope it worked because I need this mixer! My mom’s kitchen aid that I inherited finally died after almost 40 years!!!

  8. Danielle

    Yay! I love cinnamon rolls! I’ve always wanted to make them but I’m so impatient! Haha 🙂 But these definitely look worth the wait!

  9. Emily

    7 Quarts! Wow. I have the standard 4.5 Quart mixer that I use frequently, but it sure would be nice to have the bigger one for when I double recipes.

  10. jen

    i have a red kitchenaid from long ago when i worked at williams sonoma. its starting to get really old….a new one would make my day!

  11. Lucia A

    GREAT GIVEAWAY!!! THANK YOU!!!! I subscribe to your email because I love getting your new recipes 🙂 I love the Christmas Tree so cute and looks delicious!

  12. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel

    This looks FAB. I want every single one of those dang rolls. No, I don’t care if I will turn into a cinnamon roll after eating them all, either.

    And great giveaway, Lauren!! I hope I win!!

  13. Peggy

    I’ll let you in on a little secret… i used to own a kitchenAid but traded it out when i got a bosche… and i’ve regretted it every since! my grandma’s kitchen aid mixer lasted over 50 years. it was still working when she passed away in 1998 and was sold at an auction. i know my hubby thinks i’ve lost it but i seriously want another kitchen aid mixer…. this one to last me for the remainder of my days!