Brown Butter Black Walnut Cinnamon Rolls

Posted by Samantha Moniz on

Brown Butter Black Walnut Cinnamon Rolls


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, browned 
  • ¾ cup warm milk 
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons quick rise or active yeast 
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 3 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 1/3 cup black walnuts, finely chopped


  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, browned and cooled
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream (or milk)
  • Pinch kosher salt
  1. First, make the dough. Brown the butter in a skillet over medium heat until frothy and fragrant. Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes. 
  2. In a stand mixer bowl combine the warm milk, yeast, sugar, egg, egg yolk and the slightly cooled browned butter. Mix for 30 seconds. 
  3. Add the bread flour, salt and cinnamon. Knead for 5 minutes until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl, drizzle the bowl with olive oil and coat the sides. Return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and rise for 1-2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size. 
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle until the dough is about 1/4” thick. 
  6. Next, slather the dough with the softened butter. In a small bowl mix the brown sugar and cinnamon. Evenly sprinkle the buttered surface with the brown sugar mixture. Lastly, sprinkle the chopped black walnuts. 
  7. Starting with the long edge farthest from you, roll the dough towards you, moving your fingers evenly back and forth along the dough, until it is rolled tightly with seam down. Cut into 9-12 rolls. 
  8. Place the rolls into a deep baking dish or cast iron skillet. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and rest for 1 hour until puffed and risen (could also proof in the fridge overnight for an amazing development of flavor and fluffy texture). 
  9. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  10. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until golden brown.
  11. While the rolls are baking, make the cream cheese frosting. Brown the butter in a skillet over medium heat until frothy and fragrant. Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes. 
  12. In a stand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese for 30 seconds. Pour the cooled brown butter into the bowl along with the powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Beat for an additional 30-60 second until smooth. Add 1-2 tablespoons of heavy cream if needed to achieve desired consistency. 
  13. When the rolls have finished baking, remove them from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before adding the frosting. Frost the rolls with the brown butter cream cheese frosting and serve.