Funfetti cinnamon rolls frosted with sweet cream cheese. With the addition of colorful sprinkles, classic cinnamon rolls are elevated to a whole new level of fun and excitement.
Within the past few years we have seen fried croissants, rainbow bagels, and over the top milkshakes. It’s time to put a fun spin on cinnamon rolls. Since it’s my birthday week, we’re adding sprinkles!
My funfetti obsession began last year when I made this funfetti doughnut cake for my 30th birthday. It looks like my 30s will be fondly known as “the confetti decade.”
On the outside, these look like your average cinnamon rolls simply sprinkled with confetti on top. But once you grab a slice, you’ll notice the all the color hidden on the inside.
Upon first meeting me, I’m rather quiet and introverted. It’s not until you spend one-on-one time with me that you’ll get to see the more bubbly, opinionated, and talkative side of me. I think these funfetti cinnamon rolls are a great representation of who I am right now.
As I’ve gotten older, birthdays have come to take on new meaning. Growing up, birthdays were a series of milestones, each more gratifying than the next. With each year, I was so eager to hit the next one, always rushing to get to the next stage. After a certain age, the focus shifts from parties and gifts. The race to the finish line is no longer alluring. Instead of rushing to the next stage, I’ve started to enjoy and appreciate the passing of time. I’ve come to see birthdays as a time of reflection. A time to look back at another year to be grateful for. Another year to learn from. And with year new year, I see another chance to improve and become better.
There are quite a few confetti/funfetti cinnamon rolls out there. Most of them add the sprinkles to the filling. I wanted to do something different. I added the sprinkles to the dough! And it turned out better than expected.
After dough has time to proof, the confetti sprinkles dissolve into the dough. You end up with this very cool tie-dye effect. (The mixture of colors remind me of rainbow sherbet!)
Even after baking, the colors will still peak through the dough. All the drama and excitement is further heightened once you start slicing into the cinnamon rolls.
Cinnamon rolls have always been one of my favorite treats. In all honesty, if given the choice between cake or cinnamon rolls for my birthday, 80% of the time I’d pick the cinnamon rolls. From the way they smell baking in the oven to the natural smile that appears on my face after devouring a roll, cinnamon rolls bring me much joy. Plus, they’re the dessert that I enjoyed eating with my dad the most.
In a world where rainbow bagels exist, it’s only natural to have colorful funfetti cinnamon rolls as well!
Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls
Yield: makes 12 rolls
- 1/2 cup warm water, about 110 degrees F
- 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large yolk
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour*
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup confetti sprinkles (I used pastel colors)
Cinnamon Sugar Filling:
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- pinch fine sea salt
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- pinch of fine sea salt
- additional confetti sprinkles, to garnish
- Dough: Sprinkle yeast over water and milk. Add 1 Tbsp sugar and stir to combine. Let sit for 5-7 minutes to allow mixture to bubble and active.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together yeast mixture, remaining sugar, egg, and egg yolk. Whisk salt into flour. Add 2 cups of flour to mixing bowl. Use the dough hook attachment to mix together. Add another 1 cup of flour. Continue to knead on low speed, add softened butter 1 Tbsp at a time. Add remaining cup of flour and knead until the dough is smooth and cleans the sides of the bowl. Add confetti sprinkles and mix until evenly distributed in the dough.
- Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rest at room temperature for about an hour until double has doubled in volume.
- Punch down risen dough. Transfer to a lightly floured working surface. Roll dough into a 20 x 14-inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup softened butter over dough.
- Cinnamon Sugar Filling: In a bowl, mix together sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Distribute cinnamon sugar filling and gently press into dough. Sprinkle sea salt.
- Roll dough into a log, starting at the longer side. Slice the log into 12 equal parts. Place rolls in a greased 9 x 12-inch baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rolls rest for 30-45 minutes at room temperature to allow rolls to rise.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and bake rolls for 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top and the internal temperature of the rolls hit 185 degrees F. Allow rolls to rest for 5 minutes to slightly cool.
- Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat together cream and butter until smooth. Add sifted powdered sugar and beat until smooth and thickened. Spread over warm cinnamon rolls. Top rolls with additional confetti sprinkles, if desired.
The Little Epicurean