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Coffee and Cream Cinnamon Rolls

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Your favorite coffee house drink and breakfast treat have now become one amazing thing. These coffee and cream cinnamon buns are a must try for brunch or even as a fun dessert.

Corner of pan of coffee cinnamon rolls next to mug of coffee.

These cinnamon rolls are super tender, really ooey gooey and beyond delicious. Plus they have coffee baked right inside making them an extra special treat.

  I hope you’re sitting down.  No really, pull up a nice comfy chair and get ready for what I am about to throw your way.  It’s good.  I mean, it’s really good.  

Coffee and cream cinnamon buns are like your expensive coffee house favorite and an ooey gooey cinnamon bun got together for a night of craziness and this is what resulted.  I mean…. good!

     Sometimes you just have to have that hit of coffee.  I can’t start a day without a cup of joe, so when I got an itch to make something coffee flavored I knew I had better scratch it!

   The problem was, what to make?! I’ve already made a Coffee and Cream Sponge Cake, Mocha Whipped Cream and Mocha Frosting.

Soft coffee and cream cinnamon roll on plate with bite missing showing coffee and cinnamon filling.

     I even thought about making you a fun coffee drink.  But a barista I am not, and I am sure you could find plenty of delicious inspiration elsewhere.

   So I let it ruminate in the back of my brain for a bit and went back to daydreaming about Cinnamon Buns.

And that is when it hit me!

 If you can do a cinnamon bun latte, why couldn’t you do it the other way around?

    The smoke started pouring from my ears as the gears started cranking on that one.  It seemed like it would be easy enough to infuse some coffee flavor into that cinnamon bun recipe I loved so much.

   So I went to the pantry and pulled out my trusty jar of instant coffee.  I never thought I would use it nearly as frequently as I do.

Pan of freshly baked coffee cinnamon buns with icing on top.

     I bought it for some recipe I really wanted to try and put it in the pantry where I thought it would linger until it looked old and dusty only to be thrown away.  Boy was I ever wrong.  I find myself putting it in almost any recipe that calls for chocolate.

   That jar sees the light of day more than I ever gave it credit for and brings such a nice depth to so many fun chocolate recipes?  Don’t believe me?  It’s in probably darn near a third of my chocolate recipes!

    I adjusted my cinnamon bun recipe a bit here and there and infused coffee flavor into each step.  I added coffee to the milk in the dough.

   There is plenty of coffee in the filling, in fact that is where the biggest coffee flavor is.  Then a added some to the glaze as well.

    They smelled so good as they baked.  Just like your favorite coffee shop bakery.

   Then I let them cool and got ready to bring them to the crew pouring cement at my mother-in-law’s house.  That is when the panic set in.

    Did I add too much coffee?  Were they bitter?  Did I not add enough coffee?  Were they good?

coffee cinnamon roll on plate with tray full of buns in the background.

       You know, the typical I am about to serve something I haven’t tried yet worries.  They melted away as soon as I saw the first person dig in.

   Of course I had to give them a try myself before I could know for certain.  They were soooooo good!

     The coffee in the dough was subtle, but the filling gave it that added punch without being too much.  A non-coffee lover could still enjoy it but those of us who live by coffee would certainly love them more.

    They were soft, just sweet enough and had that added layer of flavor from the coffee.  I can’t wait to make them again!

Why is there potato in the dough?

Potato starches are like adding little sponges to bread dough. They attract water and hold onto it more than the starch found in flour.

That makes your finished cinnamon rolls extra moist and delicious. The centers have the super soft texture that makes them so beyond good.

Yeast loves that potato starch as well. So using some of the water from boiling the potato to proof the yeast hets it really bubbly and happy.

The extra moisture in the dough also keeps the cinnamon rolls from getting dry and stale as fast. They are good for several days before they start to show their age.

Storing cinnamon rolls

Like most bread products, cinnamon rolls are best stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They can be stored that way for a few days.

For longer storage, cinnamon rolls can be frozen for up to three months. It is easiest to freeze them separately so you can just grab as many as you need.

A few seconds in the microwave is all it takes to make them fresh and delicious again. They will taste fabulous.

Breads do not store well in the refrigerator. The refrigerator dries out baked goods and makes them go stale more quickly.

More great cinnamon roll recipes

A giant skillet sized cinnamon roll is a perfect way to serve breakfast or brunch.  Cut a small sliver or a big slice and you still get all of the layers in whatever serving size you choose.

A cinnamon roll wreath is another fun way to serve cinnamon rolls. You could even make them coffee flavored as well!

Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!

Yield: 12 Servings

Coffee and Cream Cinnamon Buns

Pan of coffee cinnamon rolls with white icing on top.

Your favorite coffee house drink and breakfast treat have now become one amazing thing. These coffee and cream cinnamon buns are a must try for brunch or even as a fun dessert.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 cup plain mashed potatoes, with 1/4 cup of the cooking water reserved if possible
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 T instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 cup + 1 T sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 T butter
  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 T instant coffee granules
  • 3 T butter, softened
  • pinch of salt

Icing

  • 1 1/2 T butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 3 T cream

Instructions

  1. Start by getting your potatoes ready. I used one large potato. Peel it, cut it into cubes and boil it until it is soft. Pour 1/4 cup of that water into a small bowl or measuring cup to proof the yeast. Drain the rest of the water and return the potato cubes to the saucepan. Mash until smooth. 
  2. Meanwhile dissolve the coffee granules in the milk and set aside. 
  3. Once water is about 110°F, add the tablespoon of sugar and the yeast. Set aside.
  4. Add the coffee milk, butter, salt and 1/2 cup of sugar to the potatoes. Stir and warm over low heat until warmed through.
  5. Butter a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  6. Place the warm potato mixture in the bowl of your mixer. Stir in the egg, vanilla, and yeast mixture. 
  7. Slowly add in the flour. You want to stop adding flour while the dough is still sticky, but it should at least come together into a dough. With the dough hook attachment, allow your mixer to “knead” the dough for about 5 minutes. Feel free to add a bit more flour if needed, but you don’t want to add any more than you have to. If you notice my picture of my dough hook, it was still a pretty loose dough when I was done.
  8. Turn the dough into the buttered bowl, be sure to scrape all that goodness off of the mixer bowl and hook. Cover and allow to rise to at least double its size, about an hour or an hour and a half. 
  9. Punch down the dough and give it a couple of quick kneads to make sure it is deflated.
  10. Place on a lightly floured surface. Let rest for about 10 minutes, then roll into a 18-inch square. 
  11. Butter a 10x15x1-inch jelly roll pan. (Two 9×13 pans or or half sheet pan would work as well.)
  12. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, coffee, butter and salt. Sprinkle over dough. 
  13. Roll dough into a log and cut into 12 equal pieces. Place on buttered baking dish. Cover loosely with a towel and let rise for another hour.
  14. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  15. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pan half way through. The tops should be a light golden brown. 
  16. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then put together the glaze.
  17. In a small bowl, use your hand mixer to beat together the butter, coffee, powdered sugar, salt, vanilla and cream until smooth. You want it to be a thick consistency, barely thin enough to pour.
  18. Drizzle glaze all over warm cinnamon rolls and spread a bit if necessary, then let cool.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 263mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 2g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

This recipe was originally published in 2016 and was updated in 2021.

Your favorite coffee house drink and breakfast treat have now become one amazing thing. These coffee and cream cinnamon buns are a must try for brunch or even as a fun dessert.

Share with your friends!

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Jan

Saturday 1st of October 2016

Carlee! You must stop with these scrumptious posts! Just kidding! These would go so great for dessert after the slow cooker apple cider pulled pork recipe! I think I have a dinner menu all pulled together! THanks for sharing @ Country Fair Blog Party! Jan

Carlee

Sunday 2nd of October 2016

Perfect! It sounds like a great dinner! Thanks so much for hosting!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Thursday 29th of September 2016

Genius! I had to read the title twice to make sure I read it right! These are definitely company worthy, and ONLY happening when we have company for fear I would eat the whole pan if I didn't have to share :)

Carlee

Thursday 29th of September 2016

That is definitely a valid worry! I hope you have a great occasion to give them a try soon!

Jessica Jarrell

Wednesday 28th of September 2016

I love coming up with new ideas by myself! Such a great feeling 😀 I have a hard time relating to people that don't like the flavor of coffee as it's one of my favorite flavors. How can some people not like coffee? I don't get it!! These look amazing Carlee, I'll be trying them for sure!

Carlee

Thursday 29th of September 2016

Isn't it fun when something works out like you want it to?! I'm not sure about non-coffee drinkers either... like what do they do in the morning? It doesn't even make sense!

Unknown

Saturday 24th of September 2016

This is brilliant! Coffee flavored cinnamon buns? OMG I am in love! They make for a great combo together for breakfast, but to marry these flavors is genius! I wouldn't be able to stop at just one!

I love coffee flavored baked goods, desserts and ice cream, this may be my new favorite! Right up there with tiramisu!

Carlee

Sunday 25th of September 2016

Thanks, Nikki! I was so worried when I set out. I wasn't sure if it was just something that seemed like a good idea, but would be a flop. Worry not, it was a great idea! (Other than potentially being a slippery slope towards having my three year old like coffee... which is something none of us needs!)

Unknown

Friday 23rd of September 2016

These sound amazing, I can't wait to give these a try!

Carlee

Friday 23rd of September 2016

Thanks, Lauren! I'm sure they'll knock your socks off!

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