Cinnamon rolls are tempting delicacies all on their own, but combine them with the comforting flavors of spiced banana bread and you have the perfect breakfast treat!
These banana bread cinnamon rolls are pillowy soft with banana flavor and a spiced cinnamon filling topped with vanilla cream cheese frosting. Absolute perfection.
Like most good treats, they are a bit of a labor of love. We use yeast to get big, fluffy buns, but don't let that deter you. The dough comes together quickly and is a dream to work with. You just need the patience to let the dough rest twice before baking. It's absolutely worth the time, and a fun project for a slow afternoon over cups of tea!
You can use either instant or active dry yeast, the active dry yeast may take a little longer for the dough to rise. I used active dry yeast when I made my banana bread cinnamon rolls, and it worked just fine. Use what you have on hand.
This is a perfect recipe if you have two bananas to use up, or maybe you have an egg allergy and need to avoid them in your baking. I took my favorite cinnamon roll recipe and replaced the eggs with bananas and added some chai spices to the filling to make this banana bread cinnamon roll recipe that will blow you away.
How to Make Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls
We begin this recipe by proofing our yeast in warm milk. Warm your milk to about 110 degrees Fahrenheit by warming it in the microwave for 30-40 seconds. The milk should be warm, but not hot, to the touch.
Pour into your mixing bowl and add yeast and your Plum Deluxe vanilla sugar. This sugar adds a sweet vanilla touch to our dough. If you don’t have vanilla sugar, use regular sugar and a tablespoon of vanilla. Wait a few minutes for the yeast to get bubbly. Now you know your yeast is awake and ready to go.
Mash one and a half bananas and add to the milk yeast mixture. Add melted butter and stir. Next, with a dough hook or wooden spoon, mix in flour and salt until dough forms. We are using bread flour to get the chewy, soft consistency we are looking for in our rolls. If the dough is sticky, add a tablespoon or two of flour until it comes together.
Knead dough for eight to ten minutes. Let dough rest in an oiled bowl with a towel covering it for one and a half to two hours, allowing the dough to rise. (preferably doubling in size if your kitchen is warm enough)
After dough has risen, roll dough on a well floured surface into a 14x9 inch rectangle. Spread softened butter onto the dough, allowing a quarter of an inch border around the edges.
Combine cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and brown sugar and sprinkle over the butter. Rub spice mixture into the butter. Then, roll up the dough tightly starting from the shorter side. Seal the seam as best you can and roll so the seam is on the bottom.
Next, use a serrated knife to cut into sections of the size you want. You can have nine large cinnamon rolls or cut them smaller. Place them in a parchment lined pan. I chose to cut my log in half, freezing one section and cutting the other into six rolls that I placed in a 9x9 pan. If you intend to make the whole recipe, you may need a larger pan or two 9x9s.
Cover your pan with a towel and let the rolls rest for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove towel and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the rolls are just slightly golden brown. We don't want to overbake them, so they stay soft and gooey in the middle.
Allow rolls to cool to warm. While rolls cool, mix cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until fluffy. Spread on the banana bread cinnamon rolls, top with slices of the remaining half a banana, and sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Keep rolls stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Treats and Tea
These rolls are a great make ahead breakfast. I warm them in the microwave for 25 seconds to get them soft again. I like to pair my banana bread cinnamon rolls with our House Blend, a "builder's style" English tea that blends Ceylon and Assam black teas with creamy vanilla. This comforting cup goes well with milk and a sprinkle of vanilla sugar.
Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls
For the dough
- 3/4 cup warm milk (110 degrees F)
- 2 and a 1/4 teaspoons yeast (1/4-ounce package yeast)
- 1/4 cup vanilla sugar
- 1 and a 1/2 bananas
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 3 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
For the filling
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 and a 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 Tablespoon cardamom
- Grating or dash of nutmeg
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
For the cream cheese frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 Tablespoons butter, softened
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 banana
- Sprinkle of vanilla sugar
Combine warmed milk, yeast, and vanilla sugar in a mixing bowl. Allow to proof.
Mash and add banana
Add melted butter and stir to combine.
With a dough hook or wooden spoon, mix in flour and salt to form a dough.
Kneed for 8-10 minutes.
Place in a well oiled bowl and cover with towel. Allow to rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until doubled in size.
Once dough has risen, roll into 14x9 inch rectangle.
Spread softened butter on dough, leaving a 1/4 inch edge.
Mix together cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and brown sugar.
Spread sugar spice mixture into butter, and rub in with fingers.
Roll up the dough tightly, starting from the short end.
Seal seem and roll until seem is on the bottom of the roll. Slice into sections with a serrated knife. (You can have 9 large rolls, or cut the rolls thinner for smaller rolls. You can also cut and freeze a portion of the log at this point.
If making 9 rolls, place in a parchment lined 9x9 or 9 inch round pan. If making smaller rolls, find a pan that fits them snuggly.)
Cover again with towel and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake rolls 20-25 minutes, or until rolls are slightly golden brown. Allow rolls to cool to warm.
While rolls are cooling, mix together softened cream cheese, softened butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until fluffy.
Spread icing on rolls and top with slices banana and a sprinkle of vanilla sugar.
Rolls keep well covered in the refrigerator for 5 days.