This beautifully festive cinnamon roll wreath is perfect for holiday brunch. Each bite is warm, fluffy, cinnamon-spiced, and drizzled with vanilla icing. It’s sure to impress a crowd and is much easier to make than it looks!
Today’s recipe has Christmas breakfast written all over it. This stunning brunch option is typically called a tea ring, but wreath sounds wonderfully festive. We adorn our front doors with wreaths during the holiday season, so why not decorate our breakfast tables too? You will DOMINATE breakfast with this one.
What Is A Cinnamon Roll Wreath?
You might be wondering what a cinnamon roll wreath actually is– is it bread, cinnamon rolls, something else? A cinnamon roll wreath is:
- Made from cinnamon roll dough
- Arranged to look like a wreath
- Beautifully presented
- Totally festive
- Gooey and fluffy– everything we love about cinnamon rolls
- Surprisingly simpler than it looks (just like my star bread!)
- Drizzled with sweet vanilla icing
- Garnished with fresh cranberries
What I love most about serving a cinnamon roll wreath is that everyone around the wreath can begin tearing off pieces, making this a total serve-yourself kind of holiday brunch. This is just like how you pull apart monkey bread. Eating together is the whole fun of it! Or if you prefer a little more order at your morning table, simply slice off pieces and serve.
Cinnamon Roll Wreath Ingredients
We’re using the same super soft dough from my overnight cinnamon rolls recipe to make a cinnamon roll wreath. Why? This cinnamon roll recipe makes more dough than my regular cinnamon rolls recipe, so we need extra dough. Using my overnight cinnamon rolls recipe also gives us the option to begin the cinnamon roll wreath the night before. This is convenient– especially if you’re entertaining. (f you’d rather make it all in the morning, that works too.) Let’s use Platinum Yeast by Red Star Yeast, a premium yeast that gives the dough extra strength and stability.
You need 7 ingredients for this dough:
- Milk: Liquid activates the yeast. Whole milk produces phenomenal flavor and texture.
- Yeast: We use 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of yeast (2 full packets!).
- Sugar: Sugar feeds the yeast, increases its activity, and tenderizes the dough.
- Butter: Butter promises a flavorful dough.
- Eggs: 2 eggs provide structure and flavor.
- Salt: You can’t make flavorful bread without salt!
- Flour: All-purpose flour is the structure of the dough.
Cinnamon roll dough is a rich dough, which means that it’s prepared with fat (milk, butter, and eggs). Rich doughs make soft breads such as babka, dinner rolls, and glazed doughnuts. Lean doughs, on the other hand, are made without much fat and produce crusty bread such as focaccia, bagels, and pizza dough.
Baking with Yeast Guide
Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.
How To Make A Cinnamon Roll Wreath
Prepare the dough, roll it up as you would cinnamon rolls, then cut into pieces. But here’s the trick– do not cut all the way through. You want the “wreath” to remain connected. Then, carefully, you’ll arrange the entire thing into a circle. If you have an extra hand in the kitchen– great! A helping hand will definitely make it easier. However, it’s completely doable by yourself. I know it looks a little overwhelming, but crafting a cinnamon roll wreath is much easier than you think.
Let’s review step-by-step:
- Make the dough.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead for 1 minute. Form into a ball.
- Let dough rise. Transfer the dough ball to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.
- Roll dough into a rectangle. On a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, shape dough into a 10×20-inch rectangle. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick.
- Make the filling. Spread on top of rectangle.
- Roll dough and cut. Tightly roll up the dough to form a 20-inch long log. Cut into 20 1-inch rolls, only slicing 3/4 of the way through so they are still connected at the bottom. Thinner rolls (about 1 inch wide) made an overall more attractive ring. I found any larger than that made for a very puffy wreath.
- Shape the wreath. Turn one of the end cinnamon rolls on its side. Turn the next one so that it slightly overlaps the first. Repeat with each roll, forming into a circle and overlapping each. Use kitchen shears to help cut any dough as you’re shaping.
- Form the wreath around a heat-proof something. I simply use an oven safe ramekin. I learned this trick from The Kitchn. The ramekin in the center makes it easier to shape and helps ensure those little rolls stay put.
- Let dough rise. Loosely cover the rolls with plastic wrap and slide a baking sheet underneath the whole thing. Allow the wreath to rise again in a warm environment until puffy, about 45-60 minutes. *This is when the entire shaped (and unbaked) wreath can go into your refrigerator and be finished up the next morning. See overnight instructions in the recipe notes.
- Bake until the rolls are golden brown.
- Make the icing and drizzle on top.
Let’s Talk Toppings!
A wreath always needs a little flair and here are some of my favorites:
- Vanilla icing + cranberries
- Maple icing from my maple cinnamon rolls recipe + raspberries
- Cream cheese icing from my overnight cinnamon rolls recipe + nuts + raisins
- Drizzle of warm Nutella + homemade salted caramel
There are no limits when it comes to cinnamon roll wreaths!
These are the same cinnamon rolls we love, but served in a completely different way. Small change, big festive difference!
More Holiday Breakfast Recipes
- Everything Bagel Breakfast Casserole
- Monkey Bread
- Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake
- Baked French Toast Casserole
- Gingerbread Muffins
- Crumb Cake (New York style)
Learn how to make a warm and fluffy, ooey gooey cinnamon roll wreath!
- 1 cup (240ml) whole milk
- 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons Red Star Platinum yeast (2 standard size packets)
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into 4 pieces
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 and 1/2 cups (563g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands/work surface
- 6 Tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk
- Make the dough: Heat milk to about 95°F (35°C)– use microwave or stovetop. Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (OR you can use a handheld mixer OR no mixer, but a stand mixer is ideal). With a whisk, manually whisk in the sugar and yeast. Cover with a towel and let sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5-10 minutes. If the yeast does not dissolve and foam, start over with fresh active yeast. On low speed, beat in the softened butter until it is slightly broken up. Next add the eggs, one at a time, and then the salt. The butter won’t really be mixing into the mixture, so don’t be alarmed if it stays in pieces. On low speed, gradually add the flour. Once it is all added, beat on medium speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and supple, about 6 minutes longer. *If you do not have a stand-mixer with a hook attachment, knead the dough by hand in this step.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap, a paper towel, or aluminum foil and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours. Here’s what I do: turn the oven on to 200°F (93°C). Once heated to that temperature, turn the oven off. Stick the covered dough inside the oven and allow it to rise in this warm environment.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly flour the parchment paper. Place the dough on top and, with floured hands, pat down to roughly form a 10×20-inch rectangle. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick.
- For the filling: Spread the softened butter all over the dough. In a small bowl, toss the cinnamon and sugar together until combined and then sprinkle evenly over the dough. Tightly roll up the dough to form a 20-inch long log. Cut into 20 1-inch rolls, only slicing 3/4 of the way through so they are still connected at the bottom. Use kitchen shears if you need to.
- Shape the wreath: Turn one of the end cinnamon rolls on its side. Turn the next one so that it slightly overlaps the first. Repeat with each roll, forming into a circle and overlapping each. Again, kitchen shears help to cut any dough as you’re shaping.
- Place a ramekin in the middle of the wreath. This will help it hold its shape.
- Cover the wreath loosely with plastic wrap and slide a baking sheet underneath the whole thing. Use a large one with no edges so it can slide under easily. Allow to rise again in a warm environment until puffy, about 45 minutes – 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Bake for about 25 minutes, until the rolls are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before topping with icing.
- Make the icing: Whisk all of the icing ingredients together in a medium bowl. Drizzle over wreath.
- Overnight Instructions: Prepare the rolls through step 6. Instead of allowing to rise in a warm environment in step 7, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator and allow the wreath to rest for up to 14 hours before baking. When it’s time to bake the next day, allow the rolls to come to room temperature and rise for 1 hour on the counter, or until almost doubled in size. Then bake as directed.
- Freezing Instructions: Let the wreath cool completely on the parchment paper that you baked it on and transfer to a large Tupperware (along with the parchment). Then cover with a layer of aluminum foil and freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Transfer to a baking sheet and heat in a 350°F (177°C) oven until warmed throughout, about 20 minutes. Drizzle with icing and serve.
- Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Rolling Pin, and Ramekins
- Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
Keywords: cinnamon roll wreath, cinnamon rolls