These gingerbread cinnamon rolls are loaded with molasses and holiday spice flavors and served with a lemon cream cheese glaze on top!
For the dough:
1/2 cup (120 gm) milk, lukewarm
¼ cup (60 gm) water, lukewarm
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
6 tablespoons (85 gm) unsalted butter, melted but not too hot
1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks
½ cup molasses
2–1/2+ cups (350 gm) all-purpose flour
1–1/2 cups (210 gm) bread flour
½ teaspoon salt
For the filling:
5 tablespoons (70 gm) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2–3 teaspoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup (150 gm) brown sugar
For the frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup (55 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups (230 gm) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Milk as needed
To prepare the dough:
In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine the milk and water and sprinkle the yeast over top of it. Allow the yeast to dissolve, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter, egg, egg yolks, and molasses until smooth. In a small bowl, combine the flour, bread flour, and salt. Dump about half of the dry ingredients into the yeast mixture and stir until combined. Pour in the remaining dry ingredients and knead in the bowl using the dough hook attachment until smooth and slightly tacky, about 7 minutes. If you notice your dough isn’t pulling away from the sides of the bowl or it’s too wet, add flour 2 tablespoons at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a little dough “tornado” around the dough hook. Once done kneading, place the dough into a large lightly greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap to double in size, about 1-1/2 – 2 hours.
Once the dough has risen, dump it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a large rectangle about 11”x21” in size. Pour the melted butter and spread it out over top. Combine the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and brown sugar and sprinkle evenly over the buttered dough. Starting with one of the long ends, tightly roll the dough from end to end and pinch the edges together to seal. Cut the dough into 1-1/2” sections and lay them out 2” apart in a lightly greased baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, remove the rolls from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Keep the baking dish close to the oven while it preheats to help the rolls come to room temp. Once preheated, bake in the oven for about 22-25 minutes or until the edges are barely golden and the internal temp is 185 degrees. Remove from the oven and prepare your frosting.
To prepare the frosting:
Cream the cream cheese and butter in large bowl at medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and beat to combine. Add additional milk to thin out the frosting or more powdered sugar to thicken it. You can also gently warm the frosting to pour over the rolls as a glaze. Cinnamon rolls are best enjoyed warm.