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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!

Course Breakfast
Servings 24 small rolls
Calories 268 kcal

Ingredients

for the dough-

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

for the filling-

  • 1/2 cup softened margarine
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

for the frosting-

  • 2 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup softened margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
US Customary - Metric

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Filling and Cutting Rolls- 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. Lightly flour dough as well. 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. If it’s a little short or uneven, feel free to cut off the edges to even it all out. {FYI-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.} Spread softened margarine over dough, being sure to go right to the edges leaving a 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 margarine, still leaving that 1-inch strip of dough untouched. If you have any filling that falls off the sides of the dough, use a bench scraper to replace. Lightly press the sugar mixture into the margarine using a rolling pin. 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 into parchment paper lined, margarine greased baking pans. 12 per cookie sheet, arranged in a tree pattern. Cover pans with plastic wrap and dish towels. Let 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 that they will most likely spread out more than up. Bake in a preheated 350 degree for 17 minutes, or until tops start to brown. Watch them carefully!!
  3. For the Frosting- While the rolls are baking, whip cream cheese and margarine together. 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. Then after they have cooled a few more minutes, frost again with remaining frosting. The first frosting will melt down into the rolls and the second layer should stay put. Top with sprinkles if desired. Serve warm.
  4. Recipe Notes: -See my step by step photos in my original Cinnabon Post for more details I neglected to mention. Also, 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.
  5. -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.
Nutrition Facts
Cinnamon Roll Christmas Tree
Amount Per Serving
Calories 268 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 9mg3%
Sodium 181mg8%
Potassium 65mg2%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 22g24%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 300IU6%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.