Pink cinnamon rolls are a cute and romantic Valentine's day treat you can make your loved one! Dyed naturally with pink pitaya powder, these pink cinnamon rolls are delicious and easy to make!
Valentine's day is right around the corner and I have been making pink and red foods like it's my full time job.
Pink Cinnamon Rolls Ingredients
- Milk- use any kind you like. I used oat milk for this recipe.
- Quick yeast
- Sugar- I used raw cane sugar.
- Coconut oil- or use organic grass fed butter.
- All purpose or white wheat flour- I use unbleached organic flour. I've also used white wheat flour and they taste just as good!
- Wheat germ- I added this for a little extra nutrition in the cinnamon rolls.
- Pink sea salt- make sure to buy sea salt!
- Pink pitaya powder
How to make your dough pink for valentine's day
There are a couple of ways you can turn any dough pink: red liquid food dye, pink pitaya powder, or beet root powder. I love using pink pitaya powder and beet root powder for a natural pink color.
What's the difference between cinnamon rolls and cinnamon buns?
Although they are both equally delicious, there is actually a difference between cinnamon rolls and cinnamon buns. Cinnamon rolls are rolled with a cinnamon and sugar mixture, baked, and then frosted directly in the pan after baking with a butter or cream cheese frosting. Cinnamon buns, on the other hand, are traditionally made with a sticky nut and sugar mixture poured into the pan before the rolled dough is placed on top. After baking, cinnamon buns are served upside down so that the sticky nut glaze from the bottom of the pan is now on top of the buns.
How to make pink cinnamon rolls dough
In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix together ¾ cup warm milk and 2 ¼ teaspoon quick yeast. Let this mixture rest for 5-10 minutes or until the yeast is frothy and activated.
Next, add ¼ cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, and ¼ cup melted and cooled coconut oil or butter. Mix until just combined with the paddle attachment.
Next, add 2 ½ cups of flour, ½ cup wheat germ, ¾ teaspoon pink sea salt, and 1 tablespoon pink pitaya powder. Turn your mixer on low with the paddle attachment and mix until the flour is incorporated.
Switch to the hook attachment. Knead the dough on low speed for about 8 minutes. Add more flour as needed. I ended up adding an extra ½ cup of flour (for a total of 3 cups), but it might vary depending on how humid it is where you live. Your dough should be tacky but not sticky. If the dough sticks to your fingers when you touch it, add ⅛ cup extra flour at a time. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and form into a uniform ball.
Once you are done kneading your dough, remove the hook attachment and cover the bowl with a tight fitting piece of plastic wrap, and then a clean towel.
Allow your dough to rise at warm room temperature for 1-1 ½ hours or until doubled in size. If your house is cold, place your bowl in the oven and wrap it with another towel to keep it warm.
Once your dough is risen, sprinkle a clean counter with flour. Roll your dough into a large rectangle like this:
How to make filling for your pink cinnamon rolls
- Dark brown sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Melted butter (or coconut oil)
Brush your dough with ¼ cup melted butter or coconut oil.
In a small bowl, mix together ⅔ cup brown sugar and 1 ½ tablespoons of ground cinnamon. Sprinkle this over the melted butter. Make sure to leave about ½- 1 inch around the edges.
Begin to roll your dough up the long way. Make sure you are rolling the dough very tightly.
Tuck the edges under your dough log and pinch the ends so they are sealed and no filling falls out.
Use a sharp knife to score your dough log. If you want larger buns, make 9 even scores, or if you want regular sized, mark the log 12 times.
After you have scored your dough and the pieces look even, cut each piece through to the bottom.
How to bake pink cinnamon rolls
Grease or spray a 9 x 12 inch baking dish. Gently place each cinnamon roll piece into the bottom. Make sure to space them out evenly.
Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and then a towel (you can use the same one from the dough). Place your pan in a warm spot. I like to place mine on or next to the stove.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Let your dough rise 30 minutes in the pan while the oven preheats. The pink cinnamon rolls should be double in size in the pan before you bake them like below.
After they have doubled in size, bake them for 25 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown.
How to make frosting for cinnamon rolls:
- Powdered sugar
- Milk of choice
Allow your cinnamon rolls to cool completely in the pan before you frost them.
In a small bowl, whisk together 2 cups of powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and 1-2 tablespoons milk of choice. Add more milk if you want a thinner texture.
Pour or spread your frosting over the top of your cooled cinnamon rolls.
Tips for the best homemade cinnamon rolls
Allow your yeast to activate in warm milk. Make sure the milk is not hot! If it is hot, it will kill your yeast and you will not be able to rise your dough.
Don't add too much flour to your dough! Start with the 2 ½ cups and then add more as needed. If you add too much flour you could get tough and chewy rolls.
Let your dough rise in a warm space. If you kitchen is too cold, your dough will take a really long time to rise. Yeast needs warmth to activate so if it is not too warm, wrap your bowl with a towel to insulate it and help keep it warm so it can properly rise.
Let your rolls rise in the pan before baking. It may be tempting to pop these right into the oven after you rolled them. But, letting them rise again in the pan before baking will allow the dough to rise again and create those signature air pockets for a fluffy cinnamon roll!
Allow your cinnamon rolls to cool completely in the pan before you frost them. Frosting them too early will melt the frosting and you will end up with frosting on the bottom of your pan instead of the top of your cinnamon rolls.
Cover your pan tightly with plastic wrap and a towel to store them. Any exposure to air will make your cinnamon rolls go stale very quickly! If they have gotten a bit hard, simply heat one on a plate in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften it.
If you like these cinnamon rolls, you might also like to try my sourdough cinnamon rolls!
If you make this recipe, please be sure to tag your photo #thehintofrosemary on Instagram and leave me a rating in the recipe card!
Pink Cinnamon Rolls
For the pink cinnamon roll dough:
- ¾ cup warm milk any kind, I used oat milk
- 2 ¼ teaspoon quick yeast
- ¼ cup sugar I use raw cane sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ cup coconut oil or organic butter, melted & cooled
- 2 ½-3 cups white wheat flour or all-purpose unbleached flour
- ½ cup wheat germ
- ¾ teaspoon pink sea salt
- 1 tablespoon pink pitaya powder or beet root powder
For the cinnamon filling:
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil or organic butter
- ⅔ cup dark brown sugar sub ⅓ cup date syrup, maple syrup, or honey
- 1 ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
For the vanilla glaze: (optional)
- 2 cups organic powdered cane sugar
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tablespoon milk of choice I used vanilla soy milk
How to make the pink cinnamon roll dough:
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix together ¾ cup warm milk and 2 ¼ teaspoon quick yeast. Allow the yeast to activate until frothy for 5-10 minutes.
- Fit your mixer with the paddle attachment.Add ¼ cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, ¼ cup melted and cooled coconut oil or butter to the yeast mixture. Mix until fully incorporated.
- Add 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, ½ cup wheat germ, ¾ teaspoon pink salt, and 1 tablespoon pink pitaya powder. Mix on low speed until the flour is totally incorporated.
- Switch to a hook attachment. Knead on low speed for 8 minutes.If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl/ if it sticks to your fingers when touched, add ⅛ cup extra all-purpose flour as needed.The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl to form a uniform ball, and be tacky (but not sticky), and slightly glossy.Once your dough is ready, remove the hook attachment and your bowl from the mixer.Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and then with a clean towel.
- Place your bowl somewhere warm to rise for 1- 1 ½ hours or until double in size.If you house is cold: wrap your bowl with another large towel to insulate it and place it in the oven to rise.
Filling & rolling the pink cinnamon rolls:
- Once your dough is double in size, gently transfer it from the mixing bowl onto a clean and lightly floured counter top.
- Roll your dough into a large rectangle.
- Brush the dough with melted ¼ cup coconut oil or butter.In a small bowl, mix together ⅔ cup brown sugar and 1 ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture over the coconut oil on the dough. Make sure to leave ½ - 1 inch of space around the sides.
- Roll the dough up tightly lengthwise.
- Score the dough roll into 9 or 12 even pieces. 9 for larger cinnamon rolls, 12 for regular sized cinnamon rolls.
- Cut the cinnamon dough and gently place the pieces into a greased 9 x 12 inch baking dish.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap and a towel and place it somewhere warm to rise for 30-45 minutes or until the rolls are doubled in size.Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the rolls are risen to double in size, bake them in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top.
- Allow them to cool at room temperature in the pan before adding the glaze.
How to make the vanilla glaze:
- In a bowl, whisk together 2 cups powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1-2 tablespoons milk of choice.Add more milk for a thinner glaze.Spread the glaze over the cooled cinnamon rolls.Enjoy!Store your pink cinnamon rolls covered tightly with plastic wrap and then a towel to keep from going stale too quickly.