Challah Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar & Nutmeg (and An Ube Cream Cheese Frosting)

Cinnamon Rolls Spice TribeCinnamon Rolls Spice TribeCinnamon Rolls Spice Tribe

Daniela Gerson  @danielagerson


It’s the recipe that my cinnamon rolls dreams are made of!


Rolled out nutmeg scented challah dough filled with a cinnamon-brown-sugar-butter mixture and topped with an ube infused cream cheese frosting!


  • For the Dough :
  • 1 ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 package 2 slightly heaping teaspoons dry yeast
  • ½ cup of sugar + ½ teaspoon
  • 2 egg, room temperature, divided
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature (plus slightly more for greasing bowl + pans)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshy grated Spice Tribe Nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of salt
  • For the Filling:
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground Spice Tribe Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated Spice Tribe Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the Ube Cream Cheese Frosting :
  • 8 tablespoons of plain, full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ube extract (optional + more to taste or to get desired purple hue)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. For the Frosting:
  1. In the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add ube extract, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired purple hue is reached. Set aside until needed (up to 24 hours at room temperature).
  2. For the Filling:
  1. In the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer, mix butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, and salt until creamy and very soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside until needed (up to 24 hours at room temperature).
  2. For the Dough:
  1. Whisk together warm water, yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to activate the yeast; wait 5 minutes until it bubbles.
  2. Add 1 egg, vanilla and butter to the liquid yeast mixture.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer with the hook attachment, add the salt, sugar, freshly grated nutmeg and 3 cups of flour. Slowly add the liquids to the flour mixture and begin processing until a ball is formed. If needed, add the last cup of flour, ¼ cup at a time.
  4. Dust counter with flour and finish kneading on the counter with a little flour. The dough will be a little sticky.
  5. First Rise: Put dough in a buttered large bowl and let rise covered with a dish towel or plastic wrap, doubled in size, about for 1-1.5 hours (exact time is weather dependent). If the dough feels tough, let rise longer. Punch dough down and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Shaping: Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and roll into a 13(ish)-inch square. No perfection necessary. Spread the cinnamon butter mixture over the dough with a spatula and tightly roll dough up to form a 12-inch log. Seal the edges as best you can and place seam side down.
  7. Cut into 1-inch slices with a serrated knife or floss. You’ll should get 12 pieces. Snugly arrange cinnamon rolls in a greased baking pan or round cake pan (use 2 if they’re small).
  8. Second Rise: Cover rolls with foil and refrigerate overnight, or up to 48 hours.
  9. To bake and serve:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take cinnamon rolls out of the fridge and let come to room temperature while oven heats up. Brush the tops with egg wash (1 egg + 1 tbsp of water) and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on the edges. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, spread frosting over the top and serve while still hot.

Things to remember

  • Use bread flour! With more gluten than regular AP flour, it’s the ‘trick’ for keeping our rolls soft, fluffy, light and chewy.
  • Cream the filling! This makes it easier to spread evenly over the dough, so there’s more cinnamon sugar goodness and makes it texture softer and creamier.
  • Let her* rise… twice! Her being our beloved challah dough cause the gluten needs time to develop. Plan at least the day before.
  • Use dental floss or butchers’ twine to cut through the dough. This prevents smushing our rolls flat (which even the sharpest of blades will do).