Gingerbread spices in fluffy rolls? Yes! These soft rolls are spiced with cinnamon, ginger, all spice, and cloves for a familiar fragrant flavor. For a festive touch, they’re decorated with little reindeer faces to make adorable Rudolph rolls!
On the 5th day of holiday bread baking Rudolph gave to me…. A dozen gingerbread spice bread rolls! These cute bread rolls are a fun way to bring festive cheer to your holiday table.
The rolls are soft, light, and not too sweet. They’re inspired by my favorite holiday treat – gingerbread men. Why not have gingerbread-bread? And why not decorate it like you would a holiday cookie? As from these thoughts came these gingerbread Rudolph reindeer rolls.
For the unique gingerbread flavor, the dough is made of a variety of spices plus vanilla extract. We’ll use brown sugar for that molasses flavor.
Because they’re not too sweet, these rolls are perfect paired with a nice chocolate spread, jam, or cream cheese icing. And they’re extra nice with a cup of coffee or tea!
Tips for making gingerbread spice rolls
Bread baking can be intimidating before you get the hang of it, so I’ve typed up a detailed guide to troubleshoot the end to end process. If you’ve got bread questions, give it a read! But no worries, I’ve got some tips below as well.
- Lukewarm milk and water is the perfect temperature for yeast – anything that feels hot will kill your yeast and you will get no rise.
- Air temperature affects rise time, which can be especially frustrating during the winter and your kitchen is very cold. If you want to speed up your rise time, you can check out my guide to proofing bread faster.
- The dough is a bit sticky but manageable with either a stand mixer or by hand. If you’re struggling with kneading, let the dough rest for 20 – 30 minutes to absorb extra liquid and then return to kneading.
- For perfectly shaped rolls, weigh your dough. When divided into 12, each ball should weight about 60 – 65 grams. Of course this is totally optional and they will taste delicious even if they are a little unequal!
- Wait 15 – 20 minutes for the rolls to cool before piping. For piping the face, I use a ziptop bag with the corner cut off just the tiniest bit. The nose is made of a cinnamon spice candy.
I hope you have as much fun making these rolls as I did! They are just too cute and always make me smile.
Other festive recipes to try:
If you make this recipe, please let me know! I always love to see what my readers are baking. You can comment below or tag me on Instagram @halicopteraway. Feel free to follow along for the remaining 3 recipes for holiday bread week!
Gingerbread spice bread rolls
- medium mixing bowl
- 9 x 13 inch baking pan
- Dough scraper
- 3/4 cup (180g) milk, lukewarm
- 2 1/4 (tsp) instant or active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
- 2 3/4 (345g) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp all spice
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, room temperature
Milk wash and decoration
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1/2 oz (15g) chocolate
- 12 Red hots cinnamon candy
- In medium mixing bowl, mix together lukewarm milk, brown sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes until the yeast is foamy. If the yeast does not foam, it may be inactive. Try again with new yeast.
- Add all purpose flour, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, all spice, cloves, and egg. Mix until it forms a cohesive dough. If using a stand mixer, fit with a paddle attachment and knead on medium-low speed. Slowly add pieces of softened butter until incorporated. Continue kneading for 15 – 20 minutes until dough passes the window pane test. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can knead by hand.
- Shape the dough into a ball and placed into a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof for 60 minutes until doubled in size.
- Grease your baking pan. Lightly flour a working surface and turn the dough onto the surface. Knead a few times to remove air bubbles. Divide into 12 equal pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Place the rolls in your baking tin.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 60 minutes. When you press your index finger into the dough, the indent should come back halfway. If it comes back all the way, the dough needs more time proofing. Towards the end of the rise, preheat oven to 350°F.
- Brush the tops of the rolls with milk. Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until it makes a hollow sound when tapped.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 15 – 20 minutes. Melt the chocolate and place in a piping bag or zip top bag with the corner cut off. On each roll, pipe antlers, eyes, and nose. Place a red hot candy on each nose.