Christmas Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Wreath

Christmas Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Wreath next to a bowl of cranberries
Hand drizzling lemon icing on a Christmas Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Wreath
overhead shot of a Christmas Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Wreath before being baked
Christmas Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Wreath with as sliced cut out of it
Close-up of the braided dough of the Christmas Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Wreath
fresh cranberries being strung on a thread with a sewing needle

Christmas Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Wreath

Christmas

You can totally make this scrumptious treat any time of the year. But cranberries are in full stock right now, since they are harvested between mid-September until around mid-November in North America. Braid them in your Christmas cranberry cinnamon roll wreath with a needle and thread for an impressive look!

Cranberry

If you love a little tart to balance sweet buttery brown sugar caramelized goodness, then this cranberry cinnamon roll wreath is perfect for you! Since I only braided in one strand of the cranberries, you don’t get a tart berry in every single bite. But it’s the perfect amount to add a delicious zing to this sweet treat!

Cinnamon Roll

Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning are a cherished tradition with my family. Fresh and warm out of the oven, we take a slow morning devouring my Dad’s delicious cinnamon rolls before tearing into the presents! To me, cinnamon rolls are as classic to Christmas as pumpkin pie is to Thanksgiving.
The recipe I used for the cinnamon roll dough is from The Kitchn.
The recipe I used for the cinnamon roll filling is based on Tasty’s recipe.

Wreath

I love looking at gorgeous photos of braided bread wreaths. They are quite popular during the holidays. The idea to braid a strand of cranberries with the dough popped into my head while I was driving actually!
Pro Tip: The dough will stretch a bit while you braid it. Allow yourself plenty of work space and extra string on the strand of cranberries, as you’ll probably need to add some as the dough stretches.

overhead shot of Christmas Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Wreath after being baked

How to Make a Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Wreath

The cinnamon roll dough is soft and the filling is sweet and gooey. The brown sugar between each of the many layers of the dough caramelizes as it bakes, so the bottom gets a delectable caramel crunch. The cranberries give a pop of bright tartness that balances the sweet and luxurious cinnamon roll.

You could make this into normal cinnamon rolls, instead of a wreath. After you roll out the dough and spread the filling, spread out about ¼ cup cranberries on top of of the filling. Then roll the dough into a giant log and slice it in about 2 inch sections and bake your cranberry cinnamon rolls. However, I think the wreath shape is much for fun and festive!

overhead shot of all the ingredients for the Christmas Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Wreath

Make the Cinnamon Roll Dough

  1. Warm 1¼ cups milk, either on the stove top or in the microwave for about 1 minute 30 seconds, until it’s like a warm bath when you put your finger in the milk.
  2. Sprinkle the one active dry yeast packet (2¼ tsp) on the milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes frothy.
warm milk and active dry yeast being activated in a bowl

3. Whisk in ½ cup granulated sugar, 6 Tbsp softened butter, 2 large eggs, 1 Tbsp vanilla extract, and 1 tsp fine sea salt.

wet ingredients whisked together in a bowl

4. Gradually add 4½ to 5 cups of flour, one cup at a time. Using a wooden spoon, mix the dough after each flour addition until there is no longer dry flour visible. Mix until the dough is very thick slightly sticky.

flour added to wet ingredients in a bowl

5. Flour a clean work surface and knead the dough by hand for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and springs back to it’s original shape when you indent it with your finger. Shape the dough into a ball.

hand kneading cinnamon roll dough on a white kitchen counter

6. Spray the dough ball and a bowl with cooking spray or lightly brush them with vegetable oil. Put the dough ball in the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest and rise in a warm place (like an empty oven with the light turned on) for about 2 hours, until it doubles in size.

close-up of dough rising in a bowl

Thread the String of Cranberries

7. Using a needle and thread, carefully thread the fresh cranberries lengthwise onto the string. Don’t cut the string yet, so you may need to add or remove berries to match the length of the dough. You’ll probably need about ⅓ to ½ cup fresh cranberries.

fresh cranberries being threaded onto a string with a sewing needle

Make the Filling and Spread it on the Dough

8. As the dough nears the end of its rising period, prepare the filling. Cream the remaining 10 Tbsp of softened butter with 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon, ¾ cup packed brown sugar with a whisk or mixer. It will form a thick and delicious paste.

overhead shot of cinnamon roll filling ingredients

9. Sprinkle some flour on a clean work surface and roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 14 inches by 24 inches.

10. Evenly spread out the filling onto the dough rectangle, getting it all the way to the edges.

cinnamon roll filling being spread on the dough

11. Gently roll the dough starting at one of the long edges, to form a giant swirly burrito.

cinnamon roll dough filled and rolled into a giant log

Cut and Braid the Dough

12. Using a sharp knife, make two cuts down the entire length of the cinnamon roll log, to separate it into three very long strips. Using your knife or your fingers, gently roll the strips of dough so the cut-side (the cinnamon filling) faces up.

cinnamon roll log cut into three long strands of dough

13. Measure your string of cranberries along the length of the middle strand of dough. Add or remove cranberries from the thread as needed, in order to make it the same length as the dough. Leave a bit of extra string above the top of the dough and tape the string to your work surface, to prevent it from moving.

three strands of cinnamon roll dough laid out on a counter

14. Gently press the three strands together at the top and braid them together, keeping the string of cranberries with the middle strand of dough as you braid it. The braid shouldn’t be so loose that you see gaps between the strands, but it shouldn’t be so tight that you pull and risk tearing the dough. #goldilocks

three strands of cinnamon roll dough and one strand of cranberries braided together

Shape the Dough, Let it Rise and Bake it

15. Transfer the dough to a sheet pan (greased with cooking spray, lined with parchment paper, or on a silpat). Bring the two ends of the dough braid together, to form a circle.

16. Remove the string from the cranberries by removing the tape from the work surface and tugging the string through all the cranberries. You may need to cut the string at a couple different points along the cranberry line to be able to gently pull it out without disturbing the dough.

17. Cover the dough wreath loosely in plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until the dough doubles in size.

18. Bake at 350°F for about 20 to 25 minutes, until it is golden brown.

Mix and Drizzle on the Lemon Icing

19. Take the cinnamon roll wreath out of the oven and while it cools, prepare the icing. In a small bowl, use a whisk or a fork to combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 Tbsp milk. Add another Tbsp milk, if needed, until it is a drizzle-able consistency.

overhead shot of lemon icing ingredients

20. Drizzle on the icing. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then enjoy your delicious Christmas cranberry cinnamon roll wreath!

overhead shot of Christmas Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Wreath next to a wreath and Christmas lights
Christmas Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Wreath with a slice cut out and served on a plate

Christmas Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Wreath

strawberryandcream
This is the Christmas morning breakfast to WOW the family! The cinnamon roll dough is soft and the filling is sweet and gooey. The brown sugar caramelizes as it bakes, so the bottom gets a delectable caramel crunch. The cranberries give a pop of brightness that balances this sweet and luxurious cinnamon roll.
Prep Time 2 hrs 40 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine German
Servings 10 people

Ingredients
  

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • cups milk
  • tsp active dry yeast (one packet)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp softened unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4½ to 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • vegetable oil or cooking spray, for greasing a bowl
  • ⅓ to ½ cup fresh cranberries

Cinnamon Roll Filling

  • 10 Tbsp softened unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar

Lemon Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp milk

Instructions
 

  • Warm 1¼ cups milk, either on the stove top or in the microwave for about 1 minute 30 seconds, until it's like a warm bath when you put your finger in the milk.
  • Sprinkle the one active dry yeast packet (2¼ tsp) on the milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes frothy.
  • Whisk in ½ cup granulated sugar, 6 Tbsp softened butter, 2 large eggs, 1 Tbsp vanilla extract, and 1 tsp fine sea salt.
  • Gradually add 4½ to 5 cups of flour, one cup at a time. Using a wooden spoon, mix the dough after each flour addition until there is no longer dry flour visible. Mix until the dough is very thick slightly sticky.
  • Flour a clean work surface and knead the dough by hand for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and springs back to it's original shape when you indent it with your finger. Shape the dough into a ball.
  • Spray the dough ball and a bowl with cooking spray or lightly brush them with vegetable oil. Put the dough ball in the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest and rise in a warm place (like an empty oven with the light turned on) for about 2 hours, until it doubles in size.
  • Using a needle and thread, carefully thread the fresh cranberries lengthwise onto the string. Don't cut the string yet, so you may need to add or remove berries to match the length of the dough. You'll probably need about ⅓ to ½ cup fresh cranberries.
  • As the dough nears the end of its rising period, prepare the filling. Cream the remaining 10 Tbsp of softened butter with 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon, ¾ cup packed brown sugar with a whisk or mixer. It will form a thick and delicious paste.
  • Sprinkle some flour on a clean work surface and roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 14 inches by 24 inches.
  • Evenly spread out the filling onto the dough rectangle, getting it all the way to the edges.
  • Gently roll the dough starting at one of the long edges, to form a giant swirly log or burrito.
  • Using a sharp knife, make two cuts down the entire length of the cinnamon roll log, to separate it into three very long strips. Using your knife or your fingers, gently roll the strips of dough so the cut-side (the cinnamon filling) faces up.
  • Measure your string of cranberries along the length of the middle strand of dough. Add or remove cranberries from the thread as needed, in order to make it the same length as the dough. Leave a bit of extra string above the top of the dough and tape the string to your work surface, to prevent it from moving.
  • Gently press the three strands together at the top and braid them together, keeping the string of cranberries with the middle strand of dough as you braid it. The braid shouldn't be so loose that you see gaps between the strands, but it shouldn't be so tight that you pull and risk tearing the dough. #goldilocks
  • Transfer the dough to a sheet pan (greased with cooking spray, lined with parchment paper, or on a silpat). Bring the two ends of the dough braid together, to form a circle.
  • Remove the string from the cranberries by removing the tape from the work surface and tugging the string through all the cranberries. You may need to cut the string at a couple different points along the cranberry line to be able to gently pull it out without disturbing the dough.
  • Cover the dough wreath loosely in plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until the dough doubles in size.
  • Bake at 350°F for about 20 to 25 minutes, until it is golden brown.
  • Take the cinnamon roll wreath out of the oven and while it cools, prepare the icing. In a small bowl, use a whisk or a fork to combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 Tbsp milk. Add another Tbsp milk, if needed, until it is a drizzle-able consistency.
  • Drizzle on the icing. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then enjoy!
Keyword braided bread wreath, christmas, christmas baking, christmas gift ideas, christmas morning breakfast, christmas wreath bread, cinnamon bun wreath, cinnamon roll, cinnamon roll christmas wreath, cranberry, easy christmas wreath bread, holiday baking, holiday bread wreath

22 Replies to “Christmas Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Wreath”

  1. tentimestea

    What a beautiful wreath! I love how you studded cranberries along one part of the braid – looks just like the cranberry garland in one of the photos. How perfectly festive – I’m missing the holidays already!!

what do you think? :)

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