Carrot Cake Sticky Rolls? WHAT!? Okay hear me out- If you’re as crazy about Carrot Cake as I am, these cinnamon rolls with a carrot cake twist are gonna steal your heart. It’s like bringing together two unexpected friends – classic carrot cake and beloved cinnamon rolls – for a dessert and brunch mashup that’s pure bliss.
These rolls feature a soft, sweet dough, generously speckled with carrot shreds, rolled with a classic spiced cinnamon roll filling and baked into a sweet pineapple pecan sauce.
Think of it as my carrot cake recipe getting a playful makeover, inspired by my Bourbon Apple Sticky Rolls. LISTEN, you know that I’ve got a soft spot for cinnamon rolls with that gooey, caramelized bottom. This recipe doesn’t hold back on that front!
So, if you’re up for a delicious twist that combines the charm of carrot cake with the coziness of cinnamon rolls, these Carrot Cake Sticky Rolls are calling your name.
Check out my Carrot Cake Recipe Here for a more classic Carrot Cake dessert!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe:
If you’re wondering what makes these Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls a must-try, here are some delicious reasons why you’ll fall head over heels for them!
1. The Perfect Fusion of Two Classics:
- Imagine the cozy, comforting embrace of a classic cinnamon roll seamlessly blended with the warmth and richness of a moist carrot cake. This recipe brings together two beloved favorites to create a heavenly combination that will satisfy your sweet cravings like never before.
2. Sweet and Spiced Bliss:
- These rolls are a harmonious symphony of sweet and spiced flavors. The brown sugar and cinnamon filling adds a delectable sweetness and a touch of warmth, while the finely grated carrots infuse each bite with a hint of earthy sweetness and a pleasant texture.
3. Irresistible Gooeyness:
- Thanks to the heavy cream drizzle and the sticky pineapple pecan sauce, these rolls emerge from the oven with a gooey, caramelized perfection. Every bite is a delightful journey through layers of soft, tender dough and a luscious, sticky sauce that will leave you craving more.
4. Easy-to-Follow Steps:
- Don’t let the thought of making homemade cinnamon rolls intimidate you. This recipe provides clear and concise instructions, making it accessible for both seasoned bakers and those new to the world of yeast-based doughs.
5. Instagram-Worthy SNAP SHOT:
- You’ll LOVE the visual appeal of these Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls. Their golden-brown exterior, gooey centers, and drizzled cream cheese glaze make them picture-perfect for your Instagram feed.
Before we get into the delicious details of the ingredients, let’s make sure you have the essential equipment to whip up these Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls:
- Stand Mixer with Dough Hook Attachment: This will help you effortlessly create the perfect dough consistency. However, you can also knead the dough by hand if you prefer.
- Microwave-Safe Dish: You’ll need this to melt the ingredients for the filling.
- Saucepan: To prepare the sticky pineapple pecan sauce.
- Baking Dish: Choose a large baking dish 9x 13 to accommodate the rolls as they bake.
- Rolling Pin: For best results, use a rolling pin to roll out your dough.
- Clean Kitchen Towel: Essential for covering the rolls during proofing.
Now that we have our tools lined up, let’s take a closer look at the star players – the ingredients.
For the Dough:
- Instant Yeast: This magic ingredient will help your rolls rise QUICKLY and become fluffy. I prefer instant/ rapid rise so save on time.
- Milk and Heavy Cream: These provide moisture and richness to the dough.
- Melted Butter: Adds that delightful buttery flavor and moisture.
- Egg and Yolk: Both contribute to the texture and structure of the dough.
- Brown Sugar: For sweetness and a hint of caramel flavor.
- Salt: Balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor.
- Finely Grated Carrots: The star ingredient that brings the carrot cake flavor to these rolls. Do not buy pre-grated carrots from the store. you must shred them or use a food processor for the best results
- All-Purpose Flour: Forms the base of your dough. Make sure to have extra for dusting while rolling out.
For the Filling:
- Brown Sugar: Sweetens the filling and creates a gooey texture.
- Softened Butter: Provides richness and makes the filling spreadable.
- Cinnamon: The key spice that infuses that classic cinnamon roll flavor.
For the Sticky Pineapple Pecan Sauce:
- Crushed Pineapple and Juice: Sweetness and a hint of tanginess from the pineapple.
- Cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie Spice: Adds warmth and depth of flavor.
- Dark Brown Sugar: Sweetens and caramelizes beautifully.
- Softened Butter: Enhances the sauce’s richness.
- Chopped Pecans or Walnuts: Adds a delightful crunch and nutty flavor.
Cream Cheese Glaze (Optional):
- Cream Cheese: Brings that irresistible creaminess.
- Powdered Sugar: Sweetens and thickens the glaze.
- Heavy Cream: Provides the right consistency for drizzling.
1. Freshly Grated Carrots for Best Results:
- Avoid using pre-shredded carrots from the store. They are often too dry and won’t provide the right texture and moisture for your rolls.
- Instead, shred your carrots at home using a box grater or, for even quicker results, use a food processor with a shredding attachment. Freshly grated carrots will elevate the flavor and texture of your rolls.
2. Embrace the Heavy Cream Drizzle:
- Don’t skip the heavy cream drizzle before baking your rolls. This step is essential for locking in moisture, ensuring your rolls come out soft, tender, and irresistible.
- The heavy cream not only adds moisture but also contributes to the wonderful caramelization and gooeyness of the rolls as they bake. It’s a step worth savoring!
3. Opt for Crushed Pineapple, Not Chunks:
- When preparing the sticky pineapple pecan sauce, be sure to use crushed pineapple, not pineapple chunks.
- Crushed pineapple distributes evenly throughout the sauce, infusing every bite with a burst of sweet and tangy flavor. It also helps create a smoother and more luscious sauce for your rolls.
Pair these carrot cake sticky rolls with my SCRUMPTIOUS Pistachio Iced Espresso for the perfect nutty combination at your next brunch!
GET THE RECIPE:
Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls
Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls – a delightful fusion of classic cinnamon rolls and the beloved flavors of carrot cake. Soft, sweet dough with carrot shreds, wrapped in a spiced cinnamon filling and baked in a gooey pineapple pecan sauce. Perfect for breakfast or brunch
For the Dough:
- 2 packets of instant yeast
- 1 cup warm milk (110°F)
- ½ cup heavy cream (plus more for drizzling on top)
- ½ cup melted butter
- 1 egg + 1 yolk
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups finely grated carrots- gently patted dry (about 2 medium carrots) 680- 690g (about 5 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
For the Filling:
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup softened butter
- 3 Tbs cinnamon
For the Sticky Pineapple Pecan Sauce:
- 1 20oz can crushed pineapple and juice
- 1 TBS cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup softened butter
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Cream Cheese Glaze (optional):
- 4 oz (113 g) cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tbsp heavy cream
- Shred your carrots with a cheese grater OR toss them in a food processor and blitz them until fine small chuncks are formed. Then genty pat dry but dont wring them out- they do need some moisure.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, combine instant yeast, warm milk, heavy cream, melted butter, egg + yolk, shredded carrots, and brown sugar.
- Gently whisk until combined.
- Add flour and salt. Beat until fully incorporated and the dough forms (about 4-5 minutes).
- The dough should pull away from the sides but still be soft and tacky.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to double in size (about 1-2 hours).
- While the dough is rising, melt all the filling ingredients in a small dish and set aside to cool.
- In a saucepan, combine all sticky sauce ingredients.
- Cook on medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes until it thickens and slightly caramelizes.
- Set aside to cool.
- After the dough has doubled, punch it down and turn it onto a floured surface.
- Roll out the dough into a large rectangle.
- Evenly spread the filling over the rolled-out dough, leaving a small border around the edges.
- Carefully roll up the dough from one long edge, creating a tight log.
- Slice the log into individual rolls, about 1 ½ inches thick.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Pour the sticky sauce into the bottom of a large 9x 13 baking dish, ensuring not to add too much; the bottom should be just covered.
- Place the sliced rolls on top of your sticky sauce in your baking pan(s), leaving some space between each roll.
- Cover the pan(s) with a clean kitchen towel and let them proof for 30-45 minutes.
- Once the rolls have risen and are touching each other, drizzle some heavy cream over the top of the rolls.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until they are golden brown.
- While the rolls are baking, prepare the cream cheese glaze.
- Mix softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and milk until smooth and drizzleable.
- Adjust the consistency with more milk if needed.
- Once the rolls are out of the oven and slightly cooled, drizzle the cream cheese glaze over the warm rolls.
Prepare the Dough:
Make the Filling:
Prepare the Sticky Sauce:
Assemble the Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls:
Spread the Filling:
Roll and Cut:
Sticky Sauce and Proof:
Prepare the Cream Cheese Glaze:
Glaze and Serve:
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