Pink Cinnamon Rolls are soft, sweet rolls with a unique pink color filled with a cinnamon filling, coated with heavy cream, and finished with a whipped cream cheese glaze. It is a TikTok trend that is as delicious as it is pretty! The heavy cream addition adds a different texture to the rolls, making the crumb more like cake than bread. SO FUN! I started with my tried and true Cinnamon Sweet Roll Recipe, which never disappoints!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Dough: The base for this sweet roll dough is the same as a few of my other sweet roll recipes. It is one of the easiest doughs to work in part due to the ingredients and in part due to the process.
Food Coloring: I used pink gel food coloring in the dough for the pink hue. If you use liquid food color, you may need a little bit more to reach your desired pink color. The color will become more vibrant as the rolls are baked. Of course, you could leave out the food coloring, or use a color that fits your celebration.
Frosting: The whipped cream cheese frosting adds a rich, creamy, tangy flavor that complements the sweet and spiced filling of the rolls.
Can I Make Pink Rolls Ahead of Time?
Yes! These rolls are yeast bread, which does mean they will take some time to allow for rising. So, it’s a perfect recipe where you can do most of the work ahead of time, depending on when you want to serve the rolls.
- Refrigerator Method: Prepare the dough. Then, roll it out, fill it with the cinnamon sugar mixture, roll, and cut. Place the unbaked rolls into a greased baking dish. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature (about an hour). Pour the heavy cream over the rolls and bake.
- Freezer Method: Prepare the dough. Then, roll it out, fill it with the cinnamon sugar mixture, roll, and cut. Place the unbaked rolls into a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, place the rolls into a greased baking dish and let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, let the rolls come to room temperature for about an hour before pouring on the heavy cream and baking.
Heavy Cream Cinnamon Rolls
Heavy cream is poured over the tops of the rolls to add some richness to the rolls. It also gets absorbed by the rolls as they are baked, helping them fill out more. I think it changes the texture slightly, as these rolls bake up softer than a traditional roll and almost develop a crumb.
You could leave that off if preferred; the rolls will still be delicious!
Can I Make These Rolls Without a Stand Mixer?
For best results, as well as an easier and faster method, use a stand mixer with a dough hook. But, if you have to knead the dough by hand, it will take about 15 minutes of gentle kneading (and some arm strength) to equal the 5 minutes using the dough hook. It can still be done, but it gets a little messy, and sometimes there is too much extra flour added to the recipe in the kneading process.
How to Store Pink Cinnamon Rolls
If you are planning to enjoy the rolls within a day or two, store them at room temperature in an airtight container. For slightly longer storage, they can be stored in the refrigerator, again, in an airtight container. However, the longer they are stored in the refrigerator, the denser and less soft they will be. You can also freeze the baked rolls for up to 3 months.
- ⅔ cup (163 g) whole milk, warmed in the microwave for about 30 seconds
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- 2 ¼ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 5-6 drops pink gel food coloring
- 2 ¾ cups (344 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup (1 stick / 113 g) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature
- ½ tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ⅓ cup (67 g) brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup (½ stick / 57 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups (188 g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- In a medium bowl, combine milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle yeast over milk and whisk to blend. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs and food coloring; whisk until smooth.
- Combine remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the milk mixture. With the mixer running, add butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions.
- Knead on medium speed for 1 minute. Knead on medium-high speed until the dough is soft, about 5 minutes.
- Brush a medium bowl with some melted butter; place the dough in the bowl. Brush the top of the dough with the remaining melted butter; cover with plastic wrap.
- Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- When you are ready, punch the dough, turn it out onto a floured surface, and roll it into a 10×15-inch rectangle. (It should be about ¼-inch thick.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt with a fork.
- Pour 3 tablespoons of the melted butter over the dough so that it covers the entire surface.
- Spread brown sugar mixture over dough making sure it covers the entire surface.
Rolling, Cutting, and Baking
- Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Roll up the dough tightly, starting on the long edge.
- Using a very sharp knife, cut the log into 12 rolls. Place them into the prepared 9×13-inch baking pan. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
- When doubled, pour heavy cream over the rolls.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
- When the rolls are almost done baking, put cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Mix on low until just combined. Once ingredients are all incorporated turn mixer on high and leave it for 4-5 minutes. Frosting should be light and fluffy.
- Spread the cream cheese frosting on warm rolls right in the pan OR invert rolls onto a serving plate and then top with frosting. Enjoy!
Did you make this recipe?
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Love it! My kids (3 sons 6,13 &16) absolutely devoured these in like 10 minutes.
never thought about using the coloring before. family loved them too. will try some green for the christmas holiday too this year. they were scrumptious.