Homemade carrot cake cinnamon rolls have warm and gooey centers, swirls of cinnamon and carrot cake spices, and are drizzled in sweet cream cheese icing. Combining carrot cake flavors and cinnamon bun swirls is the perfect way to add a generous dose of cuteness to breakfast or your Easter Sunday brunch.
Each bite of these homemade carrot cake cinnamon bunnies contains the best flavors from carrot cake (sweet carrots, carrot cake spices, cream cheese icing) rolled up in the warm gooey goodness of cinnamon rolls. You'd never believe how simple it is to make homemade cinnamon buns from scratch - since we're so accustomed to buying them from a package.
There are three main components to making these adorable cinnamon bun bunnies:
- Fresh, homemade cinnamon roll dough, loaded with carrots and optional (but recommended!) raisins.
- Spiced cinnamon bun roll filling.
- Sweet cream cheese icing.
- Milk or buttermilk
- Active dry yeast
- Granulated sugar
- Optional: raisins and/or nuts
- Butter- melted
- Brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Cream cheese- room temperature
- Confectioners sugar
How to make:
- Prepare the dough: The dough comes together simply. After your yeast, sugar, and milk mixture is frothed and you've added your other ingredients, you can mix your dough with an electric mixer or even by hand (like I do!)
- Knead the dough: After the carrot cake cinnamon roll dough is formed, you'll knead it. This helps to evenly distribute the ingredients and incorporate air, making the bread soft, light and fluffy.
- Let the dough rise: You can do this overnight in your refrigerator or let it sit for an hour or two.
- Shape the cinnamon buns: Roll the dough out into a large rectangle.
- Add your filling: Spread your melted butter on top, then sprinkle your cinnamon sugar filling on top. the cinnamon and brown sugar mixture.
- Roll and slice up the dough: Do it the traditional way - roll your dough into a cylinder and slice 16 individual rolls. OR make cinnamon bunnies by slicing ½" wide strips, and rolling them individually and shaping them into bunnies.
- Let the rolls rise: Allow the rolls to rise in a warm space for another few minutes or up to an hour!
- Bake: Bake until the rolls are golden brown.
- Drizzle with cream cheese glaze: Whisk all of the icing ingredients together and pour or drizzle over warm rolls.
Frequently asked questions:
Can I make homemade carrot cake cinnamon bun bunnies ahead of time?
You can get started on these rolls the night before, and have everything prepped for baking the following day. This will allow the buns to rise even more and be SO fluffy! In fact, if you can do this - you should!
Can I freeze the dough?
You can feel comfortable freezing the dough before or after you form, swirl and cut it. Be sure it's properly sealed to prevent freezer burn and remove from the freezer the day before you plan to bake it and move it to the refrigerator.
How should I store them once baked?
Once baked you can simply store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.
How should I store them once iced?
Once they have been iced they should be stored in the fridge in an air tight container.
How to serve these cute buns:
These are best served warm, and I love drizzling the icing right out of the oven. They absorb right into the freshly baked rolls and are DIVINE! I also like to garish them with an edible flower because cuteness is our thing. Read here on where to source edible flowers.
Enjoy these cuties with:
- Lavender honey iced latte
- Carrot-shaped stuffed crescent rolls
- Vibrant salad with edible flowers
- Asparagus puff pastry bouquets
How to make homemade carrot cake cinnamon bun bunnies
- For the cinnamon buns
- 220 ml about ¾ cup warm milk or buttermilk - 115 degrees F or 46 degrees C
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 113 g butter or 1 stick - melted & slightly cooled
- 3 tablespoon dry active yeast
- ½ tablespoon table salt
- 2 large eggs- room temperature
- 600 grams or 4 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 medium sized finely grated carrots
- optional: raisins or nuts
- 56 grams ½ stick butter- melted
- 200 grams or 1 cup brown sugar
- 50 grams or ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Cream cheese Icing
- 228 grams or 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 113 grams or 1 stick butter softened
- 400 grams or 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
Prepare the dough:
- In a large bowl, combine milk, sugar, melted butter & yeast, stir. Allow to sit for 15 minutes for your yeast mixture to proof. You can tell your ingredients are proofed when they become frothy. If they do not froth, your yeast was no good and should be replaced.
- Add in your eggs and mix thorougly. Next, add in your salt, carrots, cinnamon, nutmeg flour and mix until all of your ingredients are well incorporated and dough is formed.
- Knead 10 minutes. Once mixed, let rise for an hour. In that time you can get ahead and make your sugar filling (directions directly below) and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F or 204 degrees C
Prepare the filling:
- In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and mix with a fork or small whisk.
Prepare your cinnamon buns:
- Roll dough out on lightly floured surface into a flat rectangular layer. Brush melted butter over dough & then sprinkle filling mixture on to dough.
- Slice your dough into 12 strips length wise.
- Indiviually roll them and shape them in to bunnies by rolling ½ way like a regular cinnamon bun, then follding bunny ears over. Watch video below or see photos above if needed!
- Place your rolls on two prepared baking sheets (6 each), leave plenty of room on each baking sheet for rise.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F. While they bake, prepare your icing.
Prepare the icing:
- In a small bowl, combine your cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar and milk. If you prefer your glaze to be thinner, simply add another tablespoon of milk.
- Drizzle or pour your glaze over the top of the cinnamon buns when they're fresh from the oven.