*This page contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you make a purchase from these links. For more information, see my disclosures page.
Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning (or any morning, for that matter) are a nostalgic endeavor for me. From my childhood through my college years, it was usually a can of store-bought rolls with the little cup of icing. It wasn’t until my young adult years that I discovered the magic of homemade cinnamon rolls. Unfortunately, there’s no quick way to make them, but you are certainly rewarded for your labor. Christmas morning is one of those special occasions that warrants the extra time and care to make these rolls. You can make the rolls and icing the night before, then all they need is a quick rise and 35 minutes in the oven in the morning.
You may remember this brown butter + cream cheese icing from my brown butter + chocolate ganache cake in November. It’s pretty much my new favorite icing to put on everything. I discovered this brioche recipe from the book The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and I love it for several reasons: it’s quick to mix together, it’s sweetened with honey, and it’s delicious. I add a little more flour than their recipe calls for because I found it to be too sticky, but other than that, the credit is all theirs. I add ginger and cardamom to the filling for more depth, but you can totally stick with just cinnamon.
I tend to crowd my pans so it’s more like a cinnamon roll casserole instead of distinct rolls (you get more gooey, soft parts that way). I usually use my big 12-inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet or two 8-inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillets. They don’t always turn out looking perfectly spiraled or even, but they’re always delicious. And that’s a win in my book.