These extra tender brown butter + eggnog cinnamon rolls are incredibly decadent and delicious; infused with eggnog and nutty brown butter flavor throughout! Topped with a luscious eggnog cream cheese icing!

brown butter eggnog cinnamon roll with icing

The month of December has got to be my most favorite time of the year. I love all the cheesiness and cozy vibes that this month brings. I’m living for all of the holiday decorations and bright lights. How about just the other day I bought the cutest + tiniest Christmas tree you guys! Funny thing is that I didn’t think I would be getting one this year because #apartmentlife and my space is limited but it all worked out. Love that.

Ya girl is thoroughly basking in all the joyous things and more like…BAKING! Okay, that one you likely saw coming huh? We’ve had quite a rough year already and I enjoy making new sweet treats. I just love me some cinnamon rolls, y’all >> like truly obsessed. For example, my overnight cinnamon rolls are divine. And these sweet potato cinnamon rolls are next level. But wait, there’s more; my personal favorite are these lemon sweet rolls, yasss. Sheesh. Listen, I do not come to play when it involves yeasted rolls!

brown butter cinnamon roll in round baking dish with striped linen

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs who I’m so excited to partner with; and all thoughts expressed here are my own. As always, I am so grateful for brand partnerships like this!

As a brand ambassador for these guys, I’ve had the pleasure of developing some delicious recipes using their small family farm produced organic eggs. ICYMI, check out these loaded breakfast egg rolls and this maple pecan french toast bake, both are insanely good. And now we discuss this new stunner.

Brown Butter Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

Oooeeee, these brown butter eggnog cinnamon rolls, you guyssss! I knew I wanted to develop a new cinnamon roll recipe for the holidays, but man, I’ve outdone myself. No lies at all haha. Seriously speaking, these eggnog cinnamon rolls have so much flavor throughout them. The creaminess from the eggnog and its flavor combined with that signature brown butter nuttiness, just wow. If there was ever a more fitting holiday-inspired treat, it is found within these brown butter eggnog cinnamon rolls, and that’s a fact!

brown butter cinnamon rolls in round baking dish with carton of Pete and gerry's eggs

Ingredients To Make These Cinnamon Rolls

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • high-quality eggnog
  • whole milk
  • active-dry yeast
  • granulated sugar
  • large eggs
  • unsalted butter
  • bread flour
  • kosher salt
  • brown sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • cream cheese
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla extract

How To Make Brown Butter

Have you ever made brown butter before? If not, making brown butter is so very easy. Maybe some of you are thinking what even is “brown butter” exactly. So, brown butter involves a process in which all of the milk solids within butter have been cooked out/separated from the butterfat. The milk solids “cook off” and basically become the little browned bits that you will see sink to the bottom of your pan, as pictured below.

Additionally, you make brown butter by cooking it over low heat until you see the transformation. The process is fast and it can quickly go from a perfect brown butter to burned butter situation, so be careful. Once melted for some time, it will develop a lovely amber-ish color with a delightful nutty aroma- it’s amazing! That brown butter is in the yeasted dough of these eggnog cinnamon rolls, chef’s kiss.

brown butter in small white saucepan

How To Make Brown Butter Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

  1. To begin making these rolls, you will need to first make the dough.
  2. Warm the eggnog and milk together and combine them with the yeast and sugar to activate.
  3. Once mixture is activated, add in the eggs and butter. Then add in the flour and salt.
  4. Knead mixture together in the bowl of a stand mixer or knead dough by hand.
  5. Allow dough to proof/rise in a warm environment for about an hour.
  6. Once dough has risen, it is time to roll out the dough.
  7. When dough is rolled out, this begins the filling process.
  8. To fill, simply spread butter on top of dough, sprinkle/spread brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
  9. Roll dough up into a nice + tightly snug log and cut into rolls.
  10. At this stage, you can refrigerate rolls if you plan to make them the next day or allow them to proof/rise once more to bake them on the same day. Seems like a whole lot but it’s easy, promise.

Active-Dry Yeast vs. Instant Yeast

Whenever you find a recipe for cinnamon rolls or any kind of recipe that calls for yeasted dough there are typically two options: active-dry yeast and instant yeast (aka quick-rise or rapid-rise). While both products achieve a similar result, there are differences between the two. Active-dry yeast requires the yeast to be “activated” by combining it with a warm liquid and then waiting for it to bloom. In contrast, like its name says, instant yeast does not need to go through this process because of its product makeup. Therefore, instant yeast can be directly added into your dry ingredients without it needing to bloom.

While you can use either yeast to make these brown butter eggnog cinnamon rolls, my recipe calls for active-dry yeast. To be honest, I use them both but I do prefer active-dry yeast a bit more. The reason for this is because I like to be certain that my yeast is alive and well (hello #teamanxiety lol). When using instant yeast, because you mix it along with the dry ingredients, you don’t get that confirmation.

However, again, you surely can use instant yeast. To do this, simply combine the yeast with the dry ingredients and you will only need to allow the dough to proof/rise just once before baking.

Let’s Talk About Flour: Bread Flour

For these brown butter eggnog cinnamon rolls, my recipe calls for the use of bread flour. Why am I doing this? Bread flour has a higher protein content in it than our famous friend, all-purpose flour. More protein in the flour means more gluten. More gluten in the yeast dough means a really nice, chewy, and fluffy cinnamon roll that we all want to bite into. Because of the added elements of brown butter and eggnog, I wanted to make sure that those flavors compliment well alongside a lighter flour texture. Bread flour can be found in almost every grocery store like all-purpose flour. And yes, all-purpose flour can still be used.

Can This Recipe Be Made Ahead?

Absolutely! After cutting the rolls, simply place them into a large enough baking dish covered with plastic wrap. Then transfer them into the refrigerator to “rest” overnight. I recommend that you refrigerate them for no longer than 24 hours while unbaked. The day of baking them, take the brown butter eggnog cinnamon rolls outta the fridge and allow them to proof/rise in a warm environment and then bake away!

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

black hand holding brown butter eggnog cinnamon roll over round baking dish

Tips For The Best Brown Butter Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Keep the liquids warm, not hot: Your liquids will need to be between 100°-110°F to activate with the yeast. If your liquids are too hot, it can kill the yeast and it will not activate. A good rule of thumb for attaining this if you do not have a thermometer is to touch the liquid with your finger. It should be warm like a baby’s milk bottle and not scalding. I really do want the best cinnamon rolls for you.
  2. Make sure brown butter has cooled: My recipe calls for this to be done first and then set aside to give it time to cool down. Again, nothing super hot is the key for success!
  3. Room temperature ingredients: That is, the butter (for both the filling and icing), the eggs, and the cream cheese (for the icing). All of these need to be *softened to room temperature*. I always like taking them out a good 1-2 hours before I begin making anything. In a pinch, you can place your eggs into a bowl with warm water to speed up their process. The brown butter is the only thing melted!
  4. Spread the butter/rub in the brown sugar: When it comes to the filling, you may find some recipes to advise to mix together the butter/sugar/cinnamon mixture. However, I prefer spreading the butter onto the dough first and then rubbing the brown sugar into the butter along with the cinnamon/salt. I find that this is a better way of doing the filling to control the butter from melting too much.
  5. Follow the recipe!: This one is an obvious no brainer; but I know many of you may choose to deviate from the written recipe and wonder why something did not come out well. Folks, I advise you to substitute and experiment at your own risk as this recipe has been thoroughly tested. Love you, mean it.
brown butter eggnog cinnamon rolls in round baking dish with red striped linen on marble surface

REMEMBER TO LEAVE A ⭐️STAR RATING⭐️AND TAG ME ON THE ‘GRAM IF YOU MAKE ANY OF MY RECIPES! I ALWAYS LOVE TO SEE IT WHEN YOU DO!

UNTIL NEXT TIME…LOVE AND BUTTER,

Q.

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brown butter eggnog cinnamon roll with icing

Brown Butter Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 30m
  • Cook Time: 30m
  • Total Time: 1hr
  • Yield: 9 1x
  • Category: Desserts and Sweets
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Tender brown butter + eggnog cinnamon rolls that are incredibly decadent and delicious; infused with eggnog and nutty brown butter flavor and topped with a luscious eggnog cream cheese icing!


Ingredients

Scale

Yeast Dough:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, browned and cooled
  • 1/2 cup high-quality eggnog, lightly warmed
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, lightly warmed
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active-dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups + 2 tablespoons bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Eggnog Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup high-quality eggnog
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 


Instructions

  1. Make brown butter: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Allow butter to melt through completely and brown; the entire process takes about 5-8 minutes. You will hear butter bubbling as it cooks. Then butter will turn golden brown and have a nutty aroma with brown bits at the bottom. Once achieved, remove from heat and set it aside to cool down.
  2. Warm liquids: Place eggnog and milk into a microwave-safe vessel and warm together for about 45-50 seconds. Liquids should be between 100°-110°F for an ideal temperature. If the liquid is too hot, it can kill the yeast, so allow your liquid to cool down to achieve the desired range if needed.
  3. Activate yeast: In the bowl of a stand mixer, add yeast, sugar and warmed eggnog/milk together. Allow mixture to sit together for about 10 minutes until mixture has a bubbly/foamy top.
  4. Make dough: In the same bowl, add in reserved brown butter and eggs. Attach dough hook onto stand mixer and then add in flour and salt. With mixer on medium-low speed, knead dough until it begins to come together and is smooth and soft, about 5-6 minutes.
  5. Allow dough to proof/rise: Shape the dough into a ball and place into a lightly greased bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a clean linen and allow for the dough to rise in a warm environment until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
  6. Roll out dough: Once dough has risen, punch dough down and turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface area. Roll out dough into a rectangle (about 15×20 inches) with the longer side facing you. Use a little extra flour if dough is sticking.
  7. Filling: Use your hands to spread the softened butter over the dough and then sprinkle/spread brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt evenly over the dough leaving a 1 inch border at the top and bottom. 
  8. Roll/cut the dough: Roll up the dough into a tight log starting with the longest side furthest from you. Pinch seams of dough to seal. Cut the log crosswise into 9 equal slices using a sharp knife. Place cut rolls into a large baking pan/vessel and cover with plastic wrap. If making the rolls on the same day, keep rolls out and allow for rolls to proof/rise again for another 1 1/2 hours before baking. Otherwise, transfer covered rolls into the refrigerator to sit overnight.
  9. Bake rolls: Remove from refrigerator and let rolls sit out to reach room temperature for 1 – 2 hours, until puffy, before baking. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the plastic wrap and bake rolls until lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes. While cinnamon rolls bake, prepare icing.
  10. To make icing: Beat the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add in powdered sugar and continue beating until smooth. Then slowly add in eggnog along with vanilla extract. Mix until everything is fully incorporated. Once rolls are done, immediately spread icing over rolls and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. If using instant dry yeast: skip the yeast activation step completely and add yeast directly into dry ingredients and proceed with making dough and following the rest of the written recipe.
  2. If not using a stand mixer, you can mix/knead dough together with a wooden spoon/your hands.
  3. Cinnamon rolls can be kept covered in plastic wrap in refrigerator for up to one week. Icing is also refrigerator friendly; just store in an airtight container and it will also keep for up to a week.
  4. Please read blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.

Keywords: cinnamon rolls, eggnog, brown butter, buns