Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

Eggnog cinnamon rolls adds additional spice and a kick of booze to your classic cinnamon rolls! It’s a wonderful treat for adults during the holiday season. 

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Glaze

Are you big on family traditions? I am! 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been making classic cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning. This year, I’m making a boozy version! 

These eggnog cinnamon rolls are special. They’re topped with bourbon spiked eggnog frosting.

The frosting is a luscious mixture of butter, cream cheese spread, eggnog, and bourbon. It’s sweet yet potent!  

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls with bourbon spiked glaze

Spiked Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

Nothing beats the scent of cinnamon rolls baking the oven. It’s a delicious aroma to wake up to Christmas morning (or any morning for that matter!).

No need to wake up at the crack of dawn to make rolls for Christmas morning. Make these eggnog cinnamon rolls ahead of time!

Scroll down to the end of post for more detail regarding chilling the dough overnight or freezing the rolls for a few weeks. 

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls dough ingredients

Eggnog Yeasted Dough Ingredients:

These cinnamon rolls are made with your standard yeast dough ingredients. The biggest difference: eggnog is used in place of water and/or milk to moisten the dough. 

The recipe can be made with either instant yeast or active dry yeast. Specific instructions regarding the two different yeasts can be found in the recipe notes. 

What’s in Eggnog?

As the name suggests, traditional eggnog is made with eggs! It is a mixture of eggs, sugar, milk, and cream. It is often spiked with bourbon, brandy, or rum. Spices vary, but it commonly flavored with nutmeg and vanilla. 

Pro and Cons: Homemade vs Store Bought Eggnog

I occasionally make eggnog from scratch, but I prefer to simply purchase store-bought eggnog. 

Homemade Eggnog

Pros:

  1. It’s not difficult to make.
  2. It uses common ingredients you probably already have at home.
  3. You can adjust and alter the spices used.

Cons:

  1. Traditional recipes use RAW eggs! (If using raw egg, use pasteurized eggs to avoid risk of salmonella or other potentially harmful bacteria.)
  2. You have to separate egg yolks and egg whites. 
  3. Should you choose to gently heat and pasteurize the mixture to make it safer to drink, you risk curdling the eggs. 
  4. Homemade eggnog does not have a long shelf life. It should be consumed immediately, preferably within 2 days. 

Store-Bought Eggnog

Pros:

  1. There are nearly hundreds of choices! From traditional dairy eggnog to all sorts of dairy-free eggnog options: coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk, or soy milk. *If using dairy eggnog, splurge on the high-quality milk! 
  2. Some store-bought eggnog is already spiked with alcohol!
  3. No need to worry about harmful bacteria because store-bought eggnog is often ultra-pasteurized.
  4. Since it’s often ultra-pasteurized, it has a longer shelf-life! 
  5. No need to make a mess in the kitchen. 

As you can see, I am biased. For this application, I suggest you use store-bought eggnog. 

NOTE: I used Horizon Organic Low-Fat Eggnog for this recipe. 

eggnog yeasted dough for cinnamon rolls

How to make eggnog yeast dough:

Enriched dough for cinnamon rolls are usually made with water or milk, yeast, sugar, eggs, flour, and butter. 

To make this special eggnog yeast dough, we’re going to swap out any water or milk with eggnog.

Nutmeg is the most the iconic flavors associated with eggnog. As such, the dough is lightly spiced with freshly ground nutmeg. 

Easily knead the dough together in a stand mixer. Alternatively, mix the dough together by hand. 

Rest dough for about one hour until it has doubled in volume. Then, roll dough out to a 20×14-inch rectangle. 

Spiced filing for eggnog cinnamon rolls.

Spiced Sugar Filling:

The filling is made from a mixture of sugar, ground cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, and a touch of vanilla. It is all held together with softened butter. 

The should be softened to mayo-like consistency. To achieve this softness, leave the butter at room temperature for about 60-90 minutes.

Alternatively, gently microwave the sliced butter in 8 second intervals until softened. (Be careful not to melt the butter!)

Spread the spiced sugar filling all over the rolled out dough. Starting at the longer end, roll dough into a log. 

eggnog cinnamon rolls before

Proofing Cinnamon Rolls:

Slice the cinnamon roll log into 12 equal parts. Place rolls on a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. At this point, the rolls will be rather small. They will not be able to touch each other.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rolls rest at room temperature for about 30-45 minutes until dough has puffed up. 

Proofing time will vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen. Cooler temperatures will cause the rolls to rise slower.

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls before baking

The rolls are ready to be baked once the dough has puffed up like the image above. At this point, the rolls should be touching each other. 

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown and the internal temperature of the rolls registers at least 185 degrees F. 

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

See the caramelization of the filling in that close up image above?

These rolls are plenty delicious on their own. No need to frost them. But, since it’s the holidays, let’s add bourbon eggnog frosting on top of these warm cinnamon rolls!

Bourbon spiked glazed eggnog cinnamon rolls

Spiked Eggnog Frosting:

The frosting is made with cream cheese, butter, eggnog, and bourbon.

Cream cheese spread is the secret to this luscious frosting. Don’t use regular block cream cheese. Use the cream cheese spread sold in tubs.

As the name suggests, cream cheese spread is easily to spread. It has a soft, spreadable consistency directly out of the fridge. 

Spike the frosting with your choice of bourbon or whiskey. Dark rum or brandy may also be used in place of bourbon. 

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

Make-Ahead Options

There are several ways to make these eggnog cinnamon rolls ahead time.

  • Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Make the dough the night before serving. Follow up to step ***. Cover cut rolls with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge overnight to slow proofing.

The following morning, remove rolls from the fridge. Keep covered. Let sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until dough is no longer cold, and dough has puffed up.

Bake as directed. Top with frosting before serving!

  • Bake Ahead and Reheat

Follow the steps all the way though. Bake the rolls as directed. Cool to room temperature. 

Tightly wrap in room temperature eggnog cinnamon rolls in plastic wrap. For additional protection, wrap in aluminum foil or place in a large zip-top plastic bag. 

Freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or slowly defrost in the fridge overnight. 

Gently reheat in a 325 degree F oven until warm. Top with frosting before serving.

  • Overnight Rolls, Bake Ahead, and Reheat

Combine both methods- make the dough the night before, bake the rolls the following day, cool baked rolls to room temperature, and then freeze for up to two months.

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

Eggnog cinnamon rolls adds additional spice and a kick of booze to your classic cinnamon rolls! It's a wonderful treat for adults during the holiday season. 

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings 12 rolls
Author Maryanne Cabrera

Ingredients

Eggnog Dough:

  • 227 grams (1 cup) high-quality store-bought eggnog, warmed to about 110°F
  • 7 grams (2 ¼ teaspoon) dry active yeast
  • 12 grams (2 Tbsp) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 520 grams (4 cups) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 85 grams (6 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened

Spiced Sugar Filling:

  • 85 grams (6 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) granulated sugar
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • pinch kosher salt

Bourbon Eggnog Frosting:

  • 58 grams (2 oz) cream cheese spread*
  • 113 grams (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 300 grams (2 ½ cups) confectioners' sugar
  • 57 grams (¼ cup) high-quality store-bought eggnog
  • 2 Tbsp your choice of bourbon, whiskey, dark rum, or brandy
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch kosher salt

Instructions

Eggnog Dough:

  1. Stir and dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar into warm eggnog. Let sit for 5-7 minutes until mixture has formed bubbles and yeast is active.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together yeast mixture, remaining sugar, and eggs. Attach dough hook to stand mixer.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and nutmeg. Add half of flour mixture to stand mixer. Mix on low speed for about one minute.

  4. Continue to mix on low speed and add softened butter one tablespoon at a time. Add remaining flour. Continue to mix on low speed until dough forms. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is smooth and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.

  5. Transfer dough to a lightly greased (or buttered) large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rest at room temperature for about an hour, until dough has doubled in volume.

Spiced Sugar Filling:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat together softened butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Add in vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Assembly and Baking:

  1. Punch dough risen dough. Working on a clean surface, roll dough to a 20x14-inch rectangle.

  2. Spread spiced sugar filling all over dough using a mini offset spatula or the back of a spoon.

  3. Starting at the longer side, roll dough into a tight log. Slice the log into 12 equal parts. Place rolls cut side up in a buttered 9x13-inch baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rolls rest at room temperature for 30-45 minutes to rise.

  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove plastic wrap cover. Bake rolls for 30 minutes until golden brown on top and the internal temperature of rolls registers at least 185°F. Cool rolls for about 10-15 minutes before topping with frosting.

Bourbon Eggnog Frosting:

  1. In a medium bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat together cream cheese spread and butter until smooth. Add confections' sugar, eggnog, whiskey, vanilla, and salt. Beat until smooth. Spread over warm rolls.

Recipe Notes

Ingredient Notes:

  • I used Horizon Organic Low-Fat Eggnog for this recipe.
  • If using instant yeast, no need to activate yeast in Step 1 of eggnog dough. Whisk together yeast, eggnog, sugar, and eggs in Step 2. 
  • Use cream cheese spread sold in tubs. DO NOT use regular block cream cheese. As the name suggests, cream cheese spread is easy to spread. It has a soft, spreadable consistency directly out of the fridge. 
  • Use ground nutmeg or freshly grated nutmeg. The latter will taste better than the pre-ground nutmeg sold in stores. 
  • Non-alcohol eggnog frosting- substitute bourbon with additional eggnog. 

Overnight Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls: 

  1. Make the dough the night before serving. Follow up to Step 3 of assembly and baking. Cover rolls with plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight to slow down proofing.
  2. The following morning, remove rolls from the fridge. Keep covered. Let sit at room temperature for 45-80 minutes until dough is no longer cold. (Time will vary depending on ambient temperature of room.) 
  3. Bake as directed. 

Bake Ahead, Freeze, & Reheat:

  1. Follow the recipe all the way the through. Bake the rolls as directed. Cool rolls to room temperature.
  2. Tightly wrap cooled rolls in plastic wrap. For additional protection, wrap in aluminum foil or place in a large zip-top bag.
  3. Freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature, or slowly defrost in the fridge overnight.
  4. Gently reheat in a 325°F oven until warm, about 15-20 minutes. 

 

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