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Giant Gingerbread Espresso Cinnamon Roll
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5 from 3 votes

Homemade Gingerbread Espresso Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Using a light & fluffy sweet Japanese milk bread base, and then rolling in the gorgeous flavors of traditional gingerbread cookies, this is the perfect fun holiday breakfast that your whole family will enjoy! Even better? It’s made as one HUGE roll, saving you time and effort! Let’s whip up some Homemade Gingerbread Espresso Cinnamon Rolls today!
Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time3 hrs 25 mins
Course: Breakfast, brunch
Cuisine: American, French, Japanese
Servings: 10 People
Author: straighttothehipsbaby
Cost: $10


  • 1 Springform Pan
  • 1 Stand Mixer
  • 1 Rolling Pin
  • 1 Sheet Parchment Paper



  • 4 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 3/4 cup whole milk warmed
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter melted
  • Tangzhong starter*

Tangzhong Starter

  • 5 tablespoons of water
  • 5 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons +1 teaspoon all purpose flour

Gingerbread Filling

  • 5 tablespoons butter room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • optional; 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Espresso Icing

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon half & half
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt



  • In a small saucepan, combine the 5 tablespoons of water, 5 tablespoons of whole milk, and 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of flour. Whisk to combine.
  • Place over medium high heat and continue whisking until thickened into a paste (about 5 minutes), being careful not to brown the paste. Remove from the heat and reserve.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, combine the additional flour, white sugar, salt, dry milk powder, instant yeast, warmed milk, melted butter and eggs.
  • Scrape the reserved Tangzhong Starter into the stand mixer dough as well.
  • Mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until a rough dough is formed.
  • Remove any dough sticking to the hook and cover the mixing bowl with a tea towel.
  • Place the bowl somewhere warm and let sit for 20-25 minutes to rest.
  • After resting, place the bowl and the dough hook back on the stand mixer.
  • On medium high speed, knead the with the dough hook for about 2 minutes, until the dough is smooth & forms a nice ball.
  • Take a large mixing bowl & lightly grease with vegetable oil. Place the dough ball into the oiled bowl, then cover with a tea towel.
  • Let the dough rise for about 60 minutes in a warm environment, until it has doubled in size (and until pressing with your finger makes a permanent dent).


  • Combine the brown sugar and all of the spices into a small bowl. Mix with a fork, and reserve.
  • Be sure that your butter for the filling is out and at room temperature.


  • Line a springform pan with a circle of parchment paper. Reserve.
  • On a large floured cutter board or counter, turn out your roll dough. Lightly flour a rolling pin, and gently roll the dough out into a large rectangle about the size of a cookie sheet.
  • Spread your softened butter evenly over the rolled dough, using a knife or spatula.
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar / spice mixture over the dough as evenly as possible, keeping a small border around the edges of the dough (about a half inch).
  • Using a pizza cutter (or sharp knife), slice 4 strips lengthwise, if you are making 1 large cinnamon roll, or, 8-10 thinner strips if you are making individual portions.
  • Taking one strip, firmly roll, trying to keep the edges even. After you’ve rolled the first strip, carefully place the rolled dough at the start of the next strip, and continue to roll, building up on itself. Repeat the process until all of the strips have been used.
  • Place the giant roll into a springform pan (I like to flip the roll upside down, but it doesn’t really matter).
  • Scoop up any filling that may have dropped out during the rolling process & sprinkle on top.
  • Place a tea towel over the roll and let sit somewhere warm for about 60 minutes, for a final rise.


  • Preheat your oven to 350F.
  • After the last rise, place the springform pan on the middle rack and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.


  • In a large bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, salt, melted butter, espresso, milk, and vanilla.
  • Whisk to combine, until smooth and lump free (1-2 minutes).


  • Remove the roll from the springform pan and drizzle the icing on top.
  • Serve warm.


Japanese Milk Bread is a beautiful choice for a breakfast pastry, because it stays both tender and moist. It starts with a simple cooked flour base called tangzhong, which is simply water, milk, and flour quickly whisked and cooked on the stove top. The paste is then incorporated into a sweet yeast dough recipe that has all of the ingredients you would expect; flour, eggs, milk, sugar, and of course, yeast!