Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

One of the greatest things about baking or even cooking is that there is an unlimited amount of what you can do with one dish. There are endless possibilities of what you can do with just one ingredient and with what that one ingredient can be paired with…like cinnamon and carrot cake.

Cinnamon rolls and carrot cake to be exact! πŸ˜‚

It’s funny how these rolls came to be! I was craving carrot cake and I was right in the middle of a “how many different cinnamon roll flavours can I make” phase, seriously this is just the beginning, so I went into the kitchen and got baking. I used my favourite failproof cinnamon roll recipe, tossed some spices and shredded carrots into the dough and got rolling.

In the dough, I used brown sugar and applesauce to up the carrot cake flavours. This was the first time I’ve used either one of those ingredients in a dough and I was a bit skeptical about whether it’ll work out but it did, and fabulously!

For the filling, I added some carrot cakey spices like ginger, nutmeg, cloves you know the usual so you can just go nuts here and add whatever you want ohh like some chopped nuts! πŸ˜‚ you can also add in some chopped pineapple if you like, just chop up the pieces fairly small and dry them slightly with a kitchen towel so they don’t make the dough all soggy.

Lovely little carrot pieces are dotted throughout the dough, filled with warm spices and cinnamon roll flavours. These rolls are amazing!

They don’t really taste like carrot cake so it’s not like we’re going overboard here. This is still a cinnamon roll and that’s the main flavour that comes out.

Of course no cinnamon roll or carrot cake is complete without a rich and silky cream cheese frosting 😍😍

Creamy, smooth and delicious with such a lovely tang to complement the cinnamon carrot cake-y-ness!

If cream cheese is not your thing then try a brown butter glaze or maple glaze or even a simple vanilla glaze, it all works! πŸ˜„

Such a delicious treat to share with you and your loved ones πŸ’›

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

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Recipe by Linda @thedutchbaker


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  • 1/4 cup (60mls) warm water

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

  • 1/4 cup (50gms) soft brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (90mls) milk

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 tablespoons (45mls) unsweetened applesauce*

  • 2 tablespoons (25gms) melted butter

  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups (250 – 300gms) flour**

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger

  • Optional, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, nutmeg, all spice

  • For the filling
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter

  • 1/4 cup (50gms) sugar

  • 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger

  • Pinch of salt

  • Optional: nutmeg, cloves

  • Optional: raisins, chopped nuts, dried fruit, coconut flakes, finely chopped and dried pineapple chunks

  • For the frosting
  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1/4 cup (2oz/50gms) cream cheese

  • 3/4 cup (90gms) icing sugar

  • 2 – 4 tablespoons buttermilk***

  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a large bowl, add the warm water, yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar. Leave to sit for a few minutes until mixture is thick and foamy.
  • Whisk together 2 cups of flour, spices and salt. Set aside.
  • To the yeast/water mix add in the rest of the sugar, milk and egg. Whisk well and stir in the applesauce and melted butter.
  • Add in half of the flour mix and whisk fast until dough is smooth. Switch to a wooden spoon (or dough hook if using a mixer) and add in the rest of the flour. Stir until a dough forms, adding more flour a tablespoon at a time if dough is too wet. Fold in the shredded carrots.
  • Turn out dough on a floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes until dough is smooth, soft and slightly wet. More flour can be added by try not to add to much so the rolls stay soft. Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover and rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Whisk together the ingredients for the filling, not including butter. Turn on the oven to the lowest temperature.
    After 10 to 15 minutes, remove dough from bowl and roll out into a 12 x 8 rectangle. Try to roll the rectangle with even thickness all across the dough.
  • Spread the softened butter all across the dough. Sprinkle the filling on top and add any extra toppings like nuts or fruit. Starting from the longer side, roll dough into a tight log. Score 12 equal slits onto the top, about 1 inch apart. Cut the dough into 12 pieces using a sharp serrated knife. Place each roll onto a floured 9 inch square baking tray. Cover and place into the warm oven. Close oven door and turn off the heat leaving the rolls inside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.
  • Once the rolls have risen, remove the rolls from the oven and preheat oven to 180C. Bake the rolls for 10 – 15 minutes until cooked through and golden brown. Broil tops is desired. As soon as the rolls are out of the oven, glaze the tops with the frosting so that it seeps through all the cracks. Serve warm.
  • For the frosting
  • Whisk together the butter and cream cheese until fluffy (about 1.5 minutes).
  • Whisk in icing sugar, buttermilk and vanilla to taste. Keep the frosting a bit on the thick side as it will thin out once frosted on the warm rolls.


  • *Applesauce can be replaced with melted butter.
  • **Some flour can be substituted with whole wheat flour.
  • ***Whipping cream can be used instead of buttermilk.

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  1. Wow they look delicious!!!

    1. Thank you so much! πŸ™‚ They really were good, we all loved them πŸ˜‹ thanks for your sweet comment πŸ’š

      1. You’re welcome! πŸ™‚

  2. I saw your beautiful latest bake on Instagram and thought I’d come and take a look for the recipe. That can wait ough as these really look amazing. I love carrot cake and although you’ve said they’re not overly carrot cakey, a nudge in the right direction is all I need to give these babies a try. Pinning to make once recovered from a recent op.

    1. Thank you Sammie! πŸ™‚ I hope you recover asap and feel much better ❀ God bless! These really are scrumptious, I hate to admit I ate 4 on my own 😯 but they are delish! It’s a very easy to play around with to up the carrot cake-y-ness like adding more spices in both the dough and filling as well as adding nuts, coconut or pineapple in the filling and topping with toasted coconut if you like πŸ˜„ you could add more shredded carrots in the filling to so just do what you like and if you do try please tag me with your pictures so I can see your spin on these 😊 I love carrot cake too! πŸ™‚
      Ohh and about that cinnamon star I’ll have the recipe up as soon as possible with step by step pictures, it’s actually VERY easy! thanks so much for your lovely comment my friend πŸ’œ

  3. Oh these sound so yummy and delicious, and what a lovely combination of carrot and cinnamon. Yet another I must try. I bought some instant yeast….now I must just face my fear πŸ™‚

    1. Ohh yes I’m so happy you got the instant yeast Lynne! πŸ˜„ I swear it’s worth the effort to make anything with it, I love all types of breads and rolls and the outcome is so rewarding πŸ˜„ these rolls are very delicious and I’ve added a link to step by step pictures to help πŸ˜‰ I hope you have fun making any bread or roll and tag me with your pictures please! Do let me know if you need any help πŸ˜„ thanks so much for your sweet comment xx

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