Have Your Cake and Cinnamon Roll, Too!

I’m one of those people who loves when I can do two things at once.
Wait at a traffic light and make out the grocery list.
Test a recipe and consider that dinner.
Have my cake and a cinnamon roll, too, but all in one bite.
With a whole wheat dough and a carrot and raisin filling—plus pineapple cream cheese frosting—these Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting  have all the flavor and goodness of carrot cake. 

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting 

If you like, you can bake and freeze unfrosted rolls for up to 3 months, then let them come to room temperature and frost them before serving.  But who can wait that long????

For more great cinnamon roll recipes, check out I Love Cinnamon Rolls
at bookstores, gourmet shops, and amazon.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Roll Dough
The addition of whole wheat flour gives these rolls a slight more textured, nutty flavor. Let the dough sit for 30 minutes after mixing, as the whole wheat flour takes longer to absorb liquids. Vital wheat gluten or whole grain dough improver can be found in the baking section of better grocery stores (Bob’s Red Mill) or King Arthur Flour online .

Makes 6 jumbo, 12 large, 16 to 20 medium, or 46 mini-cinnamon rolls
3/4 cup whole milk
¼ cup honey or agave nectar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten or whole grain dough improver
2 1/2 teaspoons instant or bread machine yeast
1. In a 4-cup measuring cup, combine the water, honey, vegetable oil, and salt. 

Microwave on High  for 1 minute or until warm. Whisk in the eggs.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment , place the flours and yeast. 

Add the liquid ingredients. Mix on low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time, until the dough forms a soft ball and starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl, about 5 to 6 minutes. (Let the dough rest for 30 minutes at this point, if you like.)

3. Remove the paddle attachment and switch to the dough hook. 

With the mixer on low, start kneading the dough with the dough hook.  Sprinkle with a tablespoon of flour, every  minute or so, to keep the dough from sticking to the sides of the bowl. When the dough is smooth, not sticky, and springs back when you press it with your finger, you’ve kneaded enough (about 3 to 5 minutes). You might need to scoop it out from the bowl and add a little flour to sticky places. Form the dough into a ball.

Place the dough in a large, oiled mixing bowl, 

cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place at room temperature (about 70 to 75 °F) for 45 to 60 minutes or until it has almost doubled.

4.  Then, proceed with the  Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, below.
Variation:  For Vegan Whole Wheat Dough, use almond, rice, or soy milk in place of whole milk. Use 1 tablespoon powdered egg replacer mixed with ¼ cup water in place of the eggs.
Variation: For Whole Wheat Dough in the Bread Machine, place the liquid ingredients in the pan of the bread machine after Step 1. Add the flours, vital wheat gluten, then the yeast. Select the Dough cycle, and press start.

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting
If you love carrot cake and you love cinnamon rolls, this recipe could become your favorite. For an oooey-gooey result, frost the rolls while they’re still warm and eat them right away.
Makes 12 large rolls
Pan Sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Carrot Cinnamon Filling:
1 cup grated carrots
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/3 cup raisins (I used dried cherries this time)
2 tablespoons water
1 recipe Whole Wheat Cinnamon Roll Dough (above)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8 to 8-1/2-ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
½ cup confectioners’ sugar or more as necessary
1. For the pan sauce, butter a 9 x 13-inch pan and set aside. For the filling, combine the carrots, brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and water in a saucepan.  

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and stir again. Cover and let come to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
2. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and sprinkle lightly with flour. Roll out the dough to a 12 by 16-inch rectangle. Spread the butter over the dough, then the cooled filling. 

Starting with a short end, roll up the dough and form into a tight 12-inch cylinder. Cut the cylinder into 12 slices. 

Place each slice, spiral side up, in the prepared pan. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 45 to 60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
3. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the rolls have risen and are just starting to brown.  Let cool for 15 minutes.
4. For the frosting, mix the cream cheese, crushed pineapple, and confectioners’ sugar together in a food processor or in a bowl with a hand mixer until smooth. Spread over the rolls. 


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