2 teaspoons instant yeast (activate if using active dry yeast)
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup or half a stick, 57 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 tablespoons (25 grams) vegetable oil
1 cup (227 grams) warm milk, plus extra for brushing on the dough
1 large egg
2/3 cup (60 grams) finely shredded carrots
For the Filling:
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup or half a stick, 57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (about 200 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup raisins (optional)
For the Frosting:
4 ounces (half a block) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (125 grams) powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons crushed or finely chopped pineapple
Splash of milk
To make the dough, combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use a rubber spatula to mix the dough into a shaggy mixture. Place the bowl on the mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Stop the mixer, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
Turn the mixer back to medium-high speed and beat the dough for 3 minutes. Don’t take a shortcut – beat for the full 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl down again. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until visibly puffy.
Make the filling while the dough is rising. In a small bowl stir together brown sugar, spices, salt, and raisins.
To assemble the rolls, line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper and grease the paper with nonstick cooking spray.
Turn the risen dough out onto the prepared baking sheet. It will deflate and that’s ok. Wet your fingers and gently press the dough into a 10 x 12-inch rectangle about 1/2-inch thick
Top the dough with little pats of softened butter and sprinkle the filling over the dough, covering all but a 1/2” strip along the long side farthest from you.
Starting with the long edge of the parchment closest to you, roll the dough forward, allowing the paper to do the work for you. The dough should release from the paper as you roll but will feel very soft – that’s right! Roll into a log seam side down.
Put the log in the freezer (no need to cover it) for 20 to 30 minutes, to firm it up before slicing.
Remove the log from the freezer and transfer it to a cutting surface. Using a sharp serrated knife to cut the log into 9 slices.
Grease a 9×9-inch baking pan, line with parchment and lightly grease the parchment. Allow the rolls to rise for about 1 hour until lightly puffy.
Toward the end of the rising time, place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re golden brown on top. You’ll want to make sure the center is cooked through. The internal temp will be about 205 degrees F or you could insert a toothpick and make sure it doesn’t come out with raw dough.
Remove the rolls from the oven and let the rolls cool for 10 to 15 minutes before icing.
To make the icing: In a medium bowl using electric hand beaters beat cream cheese to soften. Add powdered sugar, salt, and crushed pineapple. Whip together. Add a splash of milk if necessary.
Ice the rolls and serve immediately. If you’re planning to serve the rolls later, wait to ice them until just before serving. Store icing at room temperature, tightly covered, until you’re ready to use it.
Store completely cooled rolls, un-iced and well wrapped, for a couple of days at room temperature; or freeze for up to 1 month.