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Gingerbread Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls

by Kaitlynn Fenley

The perfect Christmas morning cinnamon rolls. These sourdough cinnamon rolls are filled with a molasses cinnamon and ginger mixture for the best gingerbread cinnamon roll flavor. You’ll want to make these gooey, moist, warm and sweet gingerbread cinnamon rolls for every Christmas morning breakfast.

Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls

Anyone who knows me well, knows that gingerbread is my favorite sweet during the holidays. You can fight me on it, but gingerbread is by far the best Christmas cookie.

Nothing says Christmas morning like some freshly baked cinnamon rolls, though. So I combined my love of gingerbread with my sourdough cinnamon roll recipe to make the perfect Christmas morning breakfast cinnamon rolls.

A person spooning white icing onto freshly baked christmas morning cinnamon rolls with gingerbread filling.

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

I think that the best cinnamon rolls are made with sourdough starters instead of active dry yeast. Using sourdough starter instead of packaged yeast doesn’t add too much time to the process.

A lot of the time “spent” baking with sourdough is waiting. You’ll only spend about 30 minutes of hands-on time prepping these rolls.

Another benefit I enjoy about baking these homemade cinnamon rolls with sourdough starter is being able to prep the night before and bake fresh the morning of.

Most sourdough recipes like this one call for an overnight slow fermentation in the fridge. This makes it simple to prep the rolls the day before; then fresh bake them for breakfast the next day without worrying about over-proofing them.

Gingerbread Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe is similar to our other sourdough cinnamon roll recipe, except the filling is gingerbread flavored!

For the filling, I used molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg for a gingerbread cookie-inspired flavor. Since the rolls are obviously festive, they are perfect for Christmas morning breakfast.

We have a tradition in my family to enjoy cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. Last Christmas, I volunteered to make the cinnamon rolls from scratch, with a sourdough starter. Why have cinnamon rolls any other way?

From now on, I’ll make gingerbread cinnamon rolls to bring even more holiday vibes to our breakfast table.

More Sourdough Recipes to Try

a gingerbread cinnamon roll on a plate with a fork in it showing the light and fluffy inner cinnamon roll texture.

Gingerbread Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls

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The perfect Christmas morning cinnamon rolls. These sourdough cinnamon rolls are filled with a molasses cinnamon and ginger mixture for the best gingerbread cinnamon roll flavor. You’ll want to make these gooey, moist, warm and sweet gingerbread cinnamon rolls for every Christmas morning breakfast.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 6 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Category: sourdough
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: american


Dough Ingredients

  • 540 grams bread flour
  • 5 g sea salt
  • 300 grams milk, whole or 2%, room temperature
  • 30 grams unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 150 g bubbly, active sourdough starter
  • 35 grams maple syrup

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1/4 cup molasses 
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons flour


  • 10 ounces icing


  1. Combine the egg, sourdough starter, maple syrup until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the milk and butter.
  2. slowly whisk the milk and butter mixture into the bowl with the egg, starter and maple syrup.
  3. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, until just combined and shaggy dough ball forms. Let it sit for 20 minutes.
  5. After 20 minutes, knead the dough into a uniform dough ball.
  6. Rub a large bowl with a small bit of oil, and place your dough ball in the large glass bowl. The dough ball should be soft and quickly morph to fit the shape of your bowl.
  7. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature (about 78 degrees F) covered for 3 to 4 hours. 
  8. During the rise time, stretch and fold the dough twice. Using a spatula or your hands, stretch up the bottom of the dough, without breaking it, and fold over the top of the dough. Stretch and fold the side over side, then top over bottom. As you do this you’ll notice there is more resistance stretching the dough. 
  9. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a well-floured surface. Gently pull out the dough until it is a large rectangular shape. Be gentle. You want the dough to still have some fluff to it. The rectangle should be about 15×10 inches.
  10. Prepare the gingerbread filling by mixing all the ingredients together, mashing with a fork.
  11. Evenly distribute the gingerbread filling over the dough. I just use my hands to do this. 
  12. Line a medium baking dish with parchment paper. 
  13. Gently roll up the dough. Work quickly so the dough holds its shape. You can roll the dough along the longer side or the shorter side. I like to roll along the longer side to get more rolls, and along the shorter side for thicker rolls. 
  14. Cut the dough into slices and place the slices in your parchment paper-lined baking dish with the swirls facing upward. You want the rolls to fit snugly against each other in the baking dish.  
  15. Cover the rolls and allow to rise at room temperature for about 2  hours, until they’ve puffed up a bit. 
  16. Next, allow to proof in the fridge overnight for 8-12 hours.
  17. Preheat oven to 375° F. 
  18. After the final rise time, bake for 40-45 minutes until the rolls are golden brown. Time may be adjusted depending on your oven.
  19. Remove the rolls from the oven and cool for 30 minutes. Add the icing on top and enjoy! 


  • To prevent runny filling, you can refrigerate the dough for an hour before proceeding to step 9.
  • You can use whatever type of icing is your favorite. I used a vegan coconut-based icing from Whole Foods
  • for vegan rolls, use any vegan egg replacer or a flax egg. 

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Nutrition information is auto-calculated and estimated as close as possible. We are not responsible for any errors. We have tested the recipe for accuracy, but your results may vary.

author avatar
Kaitlynn Fenley Author, Educator, Food Microbiologist
Kaitlynn is a food microbiologist and fermentation expert teaching people how to ferment foods and drinks at home.

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Rebecca bartolovic November 8, 2023 - 7:58 pm

Hi! So I bake these direct from
The fridge/cold ferment stage without a need for them to come to room temp?

Kaitlynn Fenley November 9, 2023 - 7:15 am

You can do it either way. I always bake them cold, right from the fridge.