Homemade carrot cake cinnamon bun bunnies 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 bun bunnies contains the best flavors from carrot cake (sweet carrots, carrot cake spices, cream cheese icing) rolled up in the warm gooey goodness that is 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! Well, set your fears aside. In our house we have no special equipment (we don't even own an electric mixer) and yet, we continually create delicious recipes with simple, basic kitchen tools and our hands. 🙂 and while we wouldn't go as far as to call these "healthy", they're loaded with freshly grated carrots - which totally counts as a serving of vegetables.
There are three steps in creating the deliciousness in these homemade carrot cake cinnamon bun bunnies. Don't let multiple steps overwhelm you. Homemade cinnamon buns are way simpler than you'd think! And so deliciously fresh.
- Fresh, homemade cinnamon roll dough, loaded with carrots and optional (but recommended!) raisins.
- Spiced cinnamon bun roll filling.
- Sweet cream cheese icing.
SIMPLE STEPS to Make Apple Cinnamon Rolls + some process pictures.
- Prepare the dough: The dough comes together simply. After your mixture is frothed and you've added your flour and other ingredients, you can mix your dough with an electric mixer or even by hand (like I do!)
- Knead the dough: After the 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 up the dough: Evenly roll your dough and cut into 16 equal rolls. Take 8 of these rolls and set aside. These will be your bunny ears. Place 4 of your rolls on a baking sheet, and 4 on another baking sheet leaving lots of room (for expansion during the second rise, for the ears, and for baking) Cut your 4 extra rolls and cut them in halves, and use them as your bunny ears.
- Let the rolls rise: Allow the rolls to rise in a warm for another 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.
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!
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.
ingredients you need to make homemade carrot cake cinnamon bun bunnies
Ingredients for carrot cake cinnamon buns:
- Milk or buttermilk
- Active dry yeast
- Granulated sugar.
- Optional: raisins and/or nuts.
Ingredients for the filling:
- Butter- melted
- Brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
Ingredients for the icing:
- Cream cheese- room temperature
- Confectioners sugar
- For the cinnamon buns
- 1 ¾ cup cup warm milk or buttermilk 115 degrees F or 46 degrees C
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoon butter- melted & slightly cooled
- 3 tablespoon dry active yeast
- ½ tablespoon table salt
- 2 large eggs- room temperature
- 5-½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1-½ cups finely grated carrots
- optional: raisins or nuts
- ⅓ cup butter- melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 oz cream cheese- room temperature
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 2-4 tablespoon milk (depending on desired thickness
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 rest 10 minutes while you make your filling & preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
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.
- Roll tightly on the long side & then cut into 16 rolls. Set half of them aside for your ears.
- Place your 8 rolls on two prepared baking sheets, leave plenty of room on each baking sheet for rise. Cut your additional 8 rolls in half to create your ears. Let your rolls sit for an additional hour for their second 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, 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.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 404Total Fat 28gCarbohydrates 49gFiber 4gSugar 43gProtein 13g