These supremely tender Brown Butter Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls are legit the best treat you’ll ever have! Brown butter and eggnog-infused yeasted dough with dark brown sugar and heaps of cinnamon in the filling, and slathered with an eggnog cream cheese icing (whew!)…these rolls scream holiday season! They’re so light and fluffy, flavorful, and the perfect breakfast/brunch bite for the holidays and beyond!

brown butter eggnog cinnamon rolls in white baking dish with cup of eggnog on the side

The month of December has got to be my favorite time of the year. All the festivities, the baking, the cozy food, the community, the twinkling lights, and all else. We’re looking to visit Disney World and the other parks during Christmas week, and I don’t know if that’s a good decision or a bad one, ha. Because y’all know theme parks during peak seasons are like a madhouse!

But I digress. One thing for certain is my penchant for yeasted dough which is any time of the year, but especially around the holidays. No matter if it’s cinnamon rolls or enriched dough for other baking adventures, I love it. These brown butter eggnog cinnamon rolls are my favorite to whip up around this time of year, and if you haven’t made them yet…oooeee let’s discuss.

⇢ Whether it’s my Lemon Sweet Rolls, these Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls, my Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, or BBR community favorite, Homemade Cinnamon Rolls…there are so many to choose from, rolls for daysss! 🙌🏾

closeup of brown butter eggnog cinnamon roll in baking dish

DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Pete & Gerry’s who I’m so excited to partner with; all thoughts expressed here are my own.

Their rich golden yolks are a reflection of the Certified Humane Pasture-Raised standard, the highest standard of care possible. A Pete & Gerry’s pasture-raised hen enjoys a well-rounded diet, plenty of time to soak up the sunshine on the pasture, ample socialization, and much more. No added hormones, no antibiotics & from small family farms…the best quality eggs you will find!

As a recipe developer who cooks and bakes with eggs on a near-constant basis, it’s a must for me to keep sustainable, quality eggs in my fridge. As such, I cannot recommend my friends, Pete & Gerry’s, enough 👌🏾.

brown butter eggnog cinnamon rolls in white baking dish with Pete and gerry's egg carton on the side

Brown Butter Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls 😋

This yeasted dough has nutty brown butter + eggnog to enrich and add flavor to the dough among other ingredients. The rolls are super tender and slathered with an eggnog cream cheese icing that completes the festive rolls. Have no fear: when it comes to making homemade cinnamon rolls, they’re more time-consuming than they are challenging. My recipe is super straightforward and I got you covered with helpful photos and clear instructions. When we’re talking decadent goodness, these eggnog cinnamon rolls are just that!

Ingredients Needed For These Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls:

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

  • For the yeast dough: Butter, eggnog (we love Southern Comfort!), whole milk, granulated sugar, active dry yeast, eggs, bread flour, and salt.
  • For the filling: Softened butter, dark brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt. The usual suspects in cinnamon roll fillings- check!
  • For the icing: Softened butter + cream cheese, powdered sugar, eggnog, and vanilla bean paste…those vanilla bean flecks, gah (extract works fine)!

These eggnog cinnamon rolls are perfect for the holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas brunch, a special occasion, gifting to loved ones, or a weekend treat to indulge in. Classic eggnog is such a delight by itself, and I love the richness and depth it brings to this recipe 🤌🏾.

How To Make Brown Butter Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls (easy…with a side of patience!):

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Make the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the warm eggnog + milk and the sugar. Then sprinkle the yeast on top and mix well. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes or until foamy. Once the mixture is foamy, add in the remaining sugar, eggs, browned butter, flour, and salt.
  2. Secure the dough hook attachment to the mixer and mix on low speed until the dough begins to come together, about 1-2 minutes. Continue kneading the dough until smooth, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased large bowl. Cover the bowl with and let the dough rise/proof in a warm environment until it doubles in size.
  4. Roll, fill, & cut rolls. After the first proof, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Spread the softened butter over the dough, sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the butter and use your hands to rub it in. Lastly, evenly sprinkle the cinnamon and salt over the top and gently pat it into the mixture.
  5. Roll up the dough into a tight log and pinch the seam to seal in the edges as much as you can. Use a large sharp knife or unscented dental floss to cut the log crosswise into 9 pieces.
  6. Add the rolls into a 9×9-inch baking pan, leaving a bit of space between each one for expansion. Cover the pan with plastic wrap/clean kitchen towel. Let the rolls proof in a warm environment until puffy. Towards the end of proofing time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  7. Baking the rolls: Remove the plastic wrap/kitchen towel. Bake the cinnamon rolls at 350°F until lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes. While the rolls bake, prepare the icing.
  8. Make the eggnog cream cheese icing: In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together until creamy. Then add in the powdered sugar and continue beating until fully incorporated. Add the eggnog and vanilla bean paste (or extract) and continue mixing until the icing is fully combined.
  9. Serve. Spread the eggnog cream cheese icing over the rolls. Y’all, these brown butter eggnog cinnamon rolls are best served STAT, yuh! 👅

Let’s Talk About Bread Flour, Y’all

For these brown butter eggnog cinnamon rolls, my recipe calls for the use of bread flour. Why do I call for 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 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 complement well alongside this type of texture. Bread flour can be found in almost every grocery store like all-purpose flour. And yes, all-purpose flour can still be used.

What Is Eggnog?

Eggnog or egg milk punch is a dairy-based beverage that is traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar, and yes, eggs (hence the name). It’s a thick, rich, and creamy beverage with the perfect amount of sweetness to it. Eggnog is usually laced with warm spices like nutmeg or other spices. Eggnog generally does not contain any alcohol, but some versions might include alcoholic beverages like rum, whiskey, brandy, or liqueurs. We’re big fans of the Southern Comfort brand, but any good-quality eggnog accessible to you will work!

black hand grabbing brown butter eggnog cinnamon rolls in baking dish

Tips + Tricks, & More For Recipe Success

Here are my additional notes for dope eggnog cinnamon rolls, peeps 🫶🏾:

  • Stick to the written recipe! This one is an obvious no-brainer, but I know some choose to deviate from the written recipe and then 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. Following the recipe as directed= best results!
  • Room temperature ingredients: The eggs, butter, and cream cheese need to be room temperature. For the eggs, this helps the dough to blend seamlessly. An egg that is cold straight from the fridge may cause coagulation. >> I like to set these out on the counter about an hour ahead of time and, in a pinch, submerge cold eggs in warm water to speed things up.
  • Use fresh yeast! Double-check that yeast in the pantry, fresh is best!
  • Working with yeast: Make sure that your liquid (eggnog + milk) is warmed to the appropriate temperature. If your liquids are not warm enough, the dough will not activate. Alternatively, if the liquids are too hot, they can kill the yeast and your dough will be no good, causing you to start over.
  • Follow rise times: For proper yeast effectiveness, allow the dough to proof until it doubles in size (first rise) and the cut rolls are puffy (second rise) before baking. This will make sure that the rolls’ texture will be on point.
  • Can I use instant/rapid-rise yeast? Yes! If you want to use instant/rapid-rise yeast: simply bring the yeast dough together with all ingredients, no need to wait for activation and only 1 proof is needed.
  • Cutting rolls: A super sharp knife or unscented dental floss is clutch for this. I do, however, prefer the floss method because you don’t run the risk of having to press on/flatten the dough like you do with a knife.
brown butter eggnog cinnamon rolls in white baking dish with Christmas decorations on the side

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls (Make-Ahead!)

If you want to make these eggnog cinnamon rolls ahead of time, we can do it. This is a great way to work ahead and break the cinnamon roll-making into parts. It’s my go-to method for prepping ahead whenever I’m planning holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and other events as well!

After rolling out, filling, and cutting rolls, place the assembled rolls in a baking pan, covered, into the refrigerator to rest overnight, about 8-10 hours max (to bake cinnamon rolls the next day). ⇢ Before baking: let the rolls sit out at room temperature until puffy and proceed with recipe instructions in the recipe card below to bake them off and make the icing. 

BBR tip: Please know that I do not recommend refrigerating the assembled cinnamon rolls for an extended amount of time as they will dry out.

Tips For Storing Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls are always best served freshly baked and iced; the texture and taste are at their best that way. However, you can store leftovers, covered, at room temperature for about 1-2 days on the kitchen counter. Otherwise, store covered leftovers in the refrigerator, and they’ll keep for 3-4 days. Reheat these rolls in the microwave until warmed through and gooey again!

To freeze unbaked cinnamon rolls: Follow steps 1-8 in the recipe card below (everything but baking them). Then wrap the assembled, unbaked rolls in plastic wrap and place them into a freezer-safe bag and store them in the freezer. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, and then make sure they’re at room temperature before baking.

brown butter eggnog cinnamon rolls with eggnog icing in baking dish

These Brown Butter Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect holiday situation to enjoy all season long, peeps! Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

More sweets & treats you might like:

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brown butter eggnog cinnamon rolls in white baking dish with cup of eggnog on the side

Brown Butter Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 9 1x
  • Category: Breakfast, Brunch
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These supremely tender Brown Butter Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls are legit the best treat you’ll ever have! Brown butter and eggnog-infused yeasted dough with dark brown sugar and heaps of cinnamon in the filling, and slathered with an eggnog cream cheese icing (whew!)…these rolls scream holiday season! They’re so light and fluffy, flavorful, and the perfect breakfast/brunch bite for the holidays and beyond!


Ingredients

Scale

Yeast Dough:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, browned and slightly cooled
  • ½ cup good-quality eggnog, warmed to about 110°F- (we use Southern Comfort!)
  • ½ cup whole milk, warmed to about 110°F
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (1 packet) active-dry yeast, see notes
  • 2 large Pete & Gerry’s Pasture-Raised Eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups + 2 tablespoons bread flour, plus more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Filling:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Eggnog Cream Cheese Icing:

  • ¼ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup good-quality eggnog- (we use Southern Comfort!)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

Instructions

  1. Make the 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 it from heat and set it aside to cool down.
  2. Make the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl (if you plan to mix by hand), combine the warm eggnog + milk and about half of the sugar. Then sprinkle the yeast on top and mix well. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes or until foamy.
  3. Once the mixture is foamy, add in the remaining sugar, eggs, browned butter, flour, and salt.
  4. Secure the dough hook attachment to the mixer and mix on low speed until the dough begins to come together, about 1-2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading the dough until smooth, elastic, and supple, about 5-6 minutes. Alternatively, if you are not using a stand mixer, knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface. The dough should be slightly sticky but not overwhelmingly so. If you feel like your dough is overly sticky, add in 1 tablespoon of flour to adjust, only as needed.
  5. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise/proof in a warm environment until it doubles in size, about 1 ½ hours or longer depending on the temperature of your environment. *If using rapid rise/instant yeast, no need for this 1st proof, proceed with the step below.
  6. Roll, fill, & cut rolls. After the first proof, punch down the dough knocking out the air and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to about 15×10 inches, now let’s prepare the filling. Spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving a slight margin around the edges. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the butter and use your hands to rub it in, leaving a slight margin around the edges. Lastly, evenly sprinkle the cinnamon and salt over the top and gently pat it into the mixture.
  7. Roll up the dough into a tight log starting from the longest side with the seam side down. Pinch the seam to seal in the edges as much as you can. I like to cut off a bit of the ends of the dough because they are not as full in size as the other sections. Use a large sharp knife or unscented dental floss to cut the log crosswise into 9 pieces.
  8. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan (or similarly large oven-safe vessel) with a piece of parchment paper (this helps just in case any of the filling leaks out). Add the rolls into the baking pan, leaving a bit of space between each one for expansion. Cover the pan with plastic wrap/clean kitchen towel. Let the rolls proof in a warm environment until puffy, about 1 – 1 ½ hours or longer depending on the temperature of your environment. Towards the end of proofing time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  9. Baking the rolls: Remove the plastic wrap/kitchen towel. Bake the cinnamon rolls at 350°F until lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes. While the rolls bake, prepare the icing.
  10. To make the eggnog cream cheese icing: In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together until creamy. Then add in the powdered sugar and continue beating until fully incorporated. Add the eggnog and vanilla bean paste (or extract) and continue mixing until the icing is well combined, silky smooth, and free of any lumps. Set aside until the rolls are done baking.
  11. Ice the rolls & serve. When the rolls are done, spread the eggnog cream cheese icing over the rolls, slathering every nook and cranny. These brown butter eggnog cinnamon rolls are best served right away. Mmm, enjoy!

Notes

  1. If you want to use instant/rapid-rise yeast: simply bring the yeast dough together with all ingredients, no need to wait for activation and only 1 proof is needed (as directed in step #8).
  2. For overnight rolls: After step #8 (rolling out, filling, and cutting rolls), place the baking pan with the assembled rolls, covered, into the refrigerator to rest overnight, about 8-10 hours max (to bake cinnamon rolls the next day). Before baking: let the rolls sit out at room temperature until puffy and proceed with step #9 to bake. 
  3. Please read blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.