These simple and festive Cinnamon Roll Christmas Trees are the perfect Christmas morning breakfast!
**This post is sponsored by One2One Network on behalf of ACH Baking. I am an ACH Baking Ambassador.
I am absolutely CRAZY about Christmas. To the point that it drives my family a little bananas. According to my husband, I ask, “Are you guys so excited?” approximately 10 times a day from November to December 25th. I don’t even realize I’m doing it, that’s how excited I get.
I have really tried over the years to come up with traditions that my kids will look back and remember fondly. Some of them don’t go over very well (let’s just say that a career as a gingerbread house construction worker is not in my future), and some of them have stuck long enough that we all have started looking forward to them.
One tradition that I haven’t managed to nail down is Christmas breakfast. I’ve tried overnight breakfast casseroles or even just eggs and bacon, but nothing has really stuck. What I’m looking for is something I can prep ahead but also something that is special. Christmas morning is such a whirlwind of boxes and wrapping paper and putting toys together…and the batteries. Oh my gosh, the batteries. The last thing I have time for is an elaborate, fussy breakfast. At the same time, I’d love something that is special enough that it stands out from all of our ordinary breakfasts and is remembered fondly.
You guys…I think I’ve found it.
As soon as I saw this recipe for Christmas Tree Cinnamon Rolls, my heart rate sped up just a bit (or a lot). Some women get excited about expensive shoes…I get excited about adorable Christmas breakfasts. And expensive shoes (husband!!). These cinnamon rolls are special and so festive!! I love homemade cinnamon rolls, but never make them because A) I used to get nervous baking with yeast and B) Previous attempts have taken foreverrrrr to make and I get impatient!
Not these, you guys! They are made with Fleischmann’s® RapidRise™ Yeast and have instructions for TWO different ways of prepping ahead. Perfect for an easy but special Christmas morning.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!
- 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 envelopes Fleischmann's® RapidRise™ Yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup butter OR margarine
- 2 eggs
- Cinnamon Filling:
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons Spice Islands® Ground Saigon Cinnamon
- Vanilla Icing:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Pure Vanilla Extract
- Green Food Coloring
- Festive red and green candies
- Combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt in large mixer bowl. Heat milk, water and 1/3 cup butter until very warm (120° to 130°F); butter does not need to melt. Add to flour mixture; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally.
- Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in remaining flour to make stiff batter; grease top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 hours or up to 2 days.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and punch dough down. Remove dough to lightly floured surface; divide in half. Set aside 1 half.
- Roll remaining dough to 16x10-inch rectangle. Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter; brush 2 tablespoons over dough. Sprinkle evenly with half of cinnamon filling. Beginning at long end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll; pinch seam to seal.
- With sharp knife, cut roll into 16 equal pieces. On lower third of large greased baking sheet, arrange 5 rolls, cut sides up, in a row with edges touching. Form tree shape with additional rows of rolls - 4 rolls in second row, 3 rolls in third row, 2 rolls in fourth row, and 1 for top of tree. Place remaining roll at bottom center of tree to make trunk. Repeat with remaining dough, butter and filling. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.
- Bake at 375°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from sheets; let cool on wire racks. Drizzle with Vanilla Icing. Decorate "trees" sprinkles and candies.
- Cinnamon Filling: Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir well.
- Vanilla Icing: Combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Stir until smooth. Add green food coloring and stir until combined.
- Recipe Note: These are easy to make ahead. You have two choices: you can make the dough and chill up to 2 days, then shape, let rise and bake, as described in the recipe, OR you can make the dough, chill for 2 hours, then shape, cover with plastic wrap that is sprayed with nonstick spray and chill for up to 2 days. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before baking. Pick the option that works best for you, but don't chill longer than 2 days total.
Enjoy, friends! Have a great day!