Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

I love cinnamon rolls.  Like, REALLY love them.  When I saw the idea to use a cake mix as a base for a cinnamon roll, the wheels started turning.  I decided to experiment with a carrot cake mix I had in the pantry.  The results were better than I expected so I think I see some more experimentation going on in the near future….orange cake mix with orange cream cheese frosting, chocolate cake mix with cookies and cream frosting or chocolate frosting with a mint drizzle.  Hmmmm….probably didn’t pick the best time to go on a diet.  Oh well, enjoy these yummy spirals of gooey goodness!!

1 carrot cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
2 1/2 cups warm water
4 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. salt
5-6 cups all-purpose flour
melted butter

1.  Combine cake mix, water, yeast, salt, and 2 cups of the flour.  Whisk until well blended.  Mix in remaining flour with wooden spoon until well combined.  The dough should not be super sticky, just a little bit sticky.  Let rise until doubled.
2.  Push the dough down and roll out into a large rectangle on a well-flour surface.  Spread melted butter evenly over the surface to within 1/2″ of the edges.  Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, and raisins.
3.  Roll up dough.  Cut into 16 slices.  Place on greased sheet, cover, and let rise until doubled.
4.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-23 minutes.  Frost while still warm.

Frosting Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
any leftover melted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
about 4 cups powdered sugar

1.  Cream the butter (if you have any left) and cream cheese until smooth.  Mix in vanilla, salt, and cinnamon.
2.  Add powdered sugar a cup at a time, thinning as you go with a few teaspons of milk until the frosting reaches the proper consistency.
3.  Scoop spoonfuls of frosting onto the pan of rolls and spread with an offset spatula.


  • I eyeball the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and raisin amounts inside the rolls.  I spread the melted butter out a few tablespoons at a time and sprinkle enough sugar on top of that to kind of soak in the butter.
  • Cutting Tip:  Buy a container of plain ol’ dental floss to cut the cinnamon rolls.  After you have rolled the dough up, take a long thread of the floss and scoot it under the roll at the halfway point. The floss will be perpendicular to the dough.  Take the ends, cross them, and pull.  Easy, and no more smushed rolls!
  • I like to add a touch of cinnamon to my frosting to tie in the flavors.
Source:  a Julie original 


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