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Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Joy the Baker
  • Prep Time: 120
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x



For the Dough

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoon) active dry yeast
  • pinch of granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/24 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for your workspace
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup finely grated carrot

For the Filling

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

For the Frosting

  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup drained crushed pineapple
  • 23 cups powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • pinch of salt
  • splash of whole milk


  1. Heat milk to a warm 99 -105 degrees F. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk along with a pinch of sugar. Stir to combine. It’s ok if the mixture is lumpy. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, during which time the mixture will froth and foam.
  2. After the mixture as foamed, whisk in the melted butter, beaten egg and vanilla extract.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together 3 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, salt, and spiced. Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients and use a spatula to just combine. Knead on the dough hook for 5 minutes. Add more flour as necessary to create a smoothe, cohesive, and slightly sticky dough. The dough will still stick to the sides of the bowl some. That’s ok! Add shredded carrots near the end of the kneading and knead for 2 minutes more.
  4. Scrape the dough into a large, lightly greased bowl, sprinkle with a bit of flour, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.
  5. While the dough rests, assemble the filling and frosting.
  6. To assemble the filling, in a small bowl toss together sugar, spices, and salt until thoroughly combined.
  7. To assemble the frosting, in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together cream cheese and butter until evenly combined. Add pineapple and sugar and salt, and beat until smooth. Add more sugar or milk to control the consistency. Set aside.
  8. To assemble the rolls, dump the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead for a few turns. Use a floured rolling pin to roll to a 1/4 inch thickness. My dough was about 10-inches long and 8-inches tall Drizzle with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar and spice mixture, and sprinkle with raisins and walnuts. Starting from the long end of dough, roll into a tight coil. Slice into 8 even slices. Transfer to a greased deep pie dish and cover with plastic wrap, allowing the rolls to rise for 30 minutes.
  9. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When rolls have risen, remove the plastic wrap and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until baked though, golden and bubbling.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before frosting.
  11. Frost generously with prepared frosting and serve warm.
  12. Rolls will last, well wrapped in the refrigerator for three days. Gently warm before serving.