Red Velvet Sweet Rolls

Red Velvet Sweet Rolls

This Red Velvet Sweet Roll proves that you can turn any dessert into a breakfast treat. And what better way to celebrate the holidays than with a warm pan of these Red Velvet Sweet Rolls? They’re decadent and slightly chocolaty, with a Cream Cheese Glaze that adds the perfect bit of sweetness to every bite.

Red Velvet Sweet Rolls
Makes 9 rolls
  • 4¾ to 5 cups (594 to 625 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup (25 grams) plus 3 tablespoons (15 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • 5¾ teaspoons (17.25 grams) kosher salt, divided
  • 4½ teaspoons (14 grams) instant yeast
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) red liquid food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature and lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup (165 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter*, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons (3 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) warm heavy whipping cream (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • Cream Cheese Glaze (recipe follows)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 2½ cups (313 grams) flour, granulated sugar, ⅓ cup (25 grams) cocoa, 5 teaspoons (15 grams) salt, and yeast at medium-low speed until well combined.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk and cubed butter over medium heat until butter is melted and an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture; beat at medium-low speed until combined. Beat in food coloring and vanilla. Add eggs; beat for 2 minutes; scrape sides of bowl. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 2¼ cups (281 grams) flour, beating just until a shaggy dough forms; scrape sides of bowl.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a soft dough forms, 6 to 8 minutes; turn dough, and beat for 6 to 8 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl and dough hook; add up to remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) flour, 1 tablespoon (8 grams) at a time, if necessary. (Dough should pass the windowpane test.)
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or up to overnight.
  5. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
  6. Spray a 9-inch baking pan with baking spray with flour.
  7. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, room temperature butter, cinnamon, remaining 3 tablespoons (15 grams) cocoa, and remaining ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) salt.
  8. Hit dough with rolling pin to flatten slightly before rolling out. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 19x18- inch rectangle (about 3⁄16 inch thick). Using a small offset spatula, spread sugar mixture onto dough. Starting on one long side, roll up dough, jelly roll style; place seam side down. Gently shape log to 19 inches long and even thickness, if necessary. Using a serrated knife, trim ½ inch off each end wiping between each cut. Cut log into 9 (2-inch-thick) slices. Pinch each slice at the bottom to pop up the center of roll. Place, pinched side down, without touching, in prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until slightly puffed in size, 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  10. Spoon 1 teaspoon (5 grams) warm cream onto each roll. Pour remaining warm cream into bottom of pan.
  11. Bake for 12 minutes. Lightly lay a single sheet of foil on top of rolls, and bake until fragrant and an instant-read thermometer inserted into center roll registers 190°F (88°C), 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes. Pour Cream Cheese Glaze onto warm rolls. Serve immediately.
*We used Kerrygold.

Note: We used the CMK Vintage Inspired Baking Dish, found here. However, this recipe can be baked in a regular 9-inch baking pan.

Cream Cheese Glaze
Makes about 1½ cups
  • ½ cup (112 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups (240 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, butter, and salt at medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. With mixer on low speed, gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until combined. Gradually add milk, beating until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium-low, and beat until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Use immediately.


Pro Tip: Make Ahead

To prep ahead, follow recipe through step 3. Place in a large resealable plastic bag, and refrigerate overnight. When ready to shape, punch down dough and prepare filling ingredients. Shape dough as directed; let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 20 minutes. Bake as directed.


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    • Thank you for your question! If you measure your salt by weight and still find that your rolls come out overly salty, we suggest scaling back the salt to 2¼ to 3 teaspoons (which is anywhere from 6.75 grams to 9 grams).

      Hope this helps, and happy baking!

  1. The salt amount is definitely way off. I ended up using about 1 tsp. in the dough and just a pinch in the filling, and that was plenty of salt.

    With that modification, I would make this dough again for sure – my family really liked the final result, and it was a beautiful addition to our Christmas brunch table!


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