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Red Velvet {Beet} Cinnamon Rolls are a super soft and naturally dark pink breakfast pastry that are perfect for a Valentine’s Day breakfast.

If you didn’t already know, roasted beets can add a natural deep red color as well as a great sweet flavor. They also work fantastic in my Beet Brownies!

pink cinnamon roll on plate
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Beets in cinnamon rolls?

Heck yes.

If you know me, you know I love my beets.  I had never tried a beet until I was a full fledged adult. I hadn’t even tried them pickled.

Beets, like many other vegetables were simply foreign to me. I grew up in a world of canned and frozen veggies. I’m sure I would never have even been willing to try one when I was younger.

Fortunately, once I finally started eating beets, I immediately loved them. My kids do too, which has opened up a whole new world for us.

pink dough for beet cinnamon rolls

Look at that glorious color!

Beet recipes I love:

I’ve used beets plenty in salads like my Raw Citrus Beet Salad or my Shredded Beet and Kale Salad. I will also add them to my Fresh Pressed Juice and savory dishes like Roasted Garlic Beet Hummus, but I also love to use them in baked goods.

Much like cooking with pumpkin, zucchini, or carrot, beets add the most velvety and moist texture. Their earthy taste pairs especially well with chocolate too.

I even used beets in the icing because, after all, you can’t have pink cinnamon rolls without pink icing.

Oh my. I’m literally drooling right now.

process photos of homemade pink cinnamon rolls with icing

What you need to know before baking:

  • As with any delicious homemade cinnamon roll recipe, these will take some time. Are they worth it? Yes.
  • To start, you will need to roast some fresh beets. In the recipe, I tell you how to roast them in the oven, but you can also cook them in your Instant Pot until they are nice and soft.
  • You can knead the dough by hand but I prefer to use my stand mixer.
  • The dough needs to double in size when it rises and that can take a couple of hours. Be sure to let it rise in a warm part of your house.
  • The second rise after you roll and cut them will take about a half hour. See? It’s not a quick recipe.
  • You don’t want to over cook them, but to ensure they’re fully cooked, use an instant read thermometer to make sure they are at 190 degrees F before removing them from the oven.
side view of a homemade beet cinnamon roll with pink icing

Naturally pink.

Everyone loves a good red velvet recipes, but to get a deep red color, you often need to put an abundant amount of artificial dye in your food. I try to avoid that at all costs. If you need anything to turn red, beets are your answer.

In addition to natural color, you get to enjoy all of the super food properties from the beets too. I call that a win-win situation.

Nothing to worry about!

I was a little worried these cinnamon rolls wouldn’t turn out. I basically had to guess at the total amount of flour to add and based my decision purely on how sticky the dough was as I was kneading it.

Then, I was worried when I checked on it after about a half hour had passed into the rising time and it hadn’t grown much, but it really took off after that and quickly doubled in size.

By the time I rolled it out, I knew they would be wonderful. The dough, by that point, was so luxuriously soft and the color just couldn’t be beat.  Get it? Beat? Beet?  Funny.

bite of pink cinnamon roll with icing on fork

Old fashioned cinnamon rolls are definitely a labor of love due to the amount of time and patience they take, but they are so worth it!

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Red Velvet {Beet} Cinnamon Rolls

Prep45 minutes
Cook18 minutes
Dough Rise Time2 hours 30 minutes
Total3 hours 33 minutes
Servings 24 rolls
Red Velvet {Beet} Cinnamon Rolls are a super soft and naturally dark pink breakfast pastry that are perfect for a Valentine’s Day breakfast.



  • 1 cup roasted beets from 1 large beet (reserve juice for icing)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup warm water about 105 degrees
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • teaspoons active dry yeast two 0.25-ounce packets
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup butter melted
  • ¼ teaspoons fine grain sea salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder



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  • To roast your beet, wrap whole beet in aluminum foil and cook in 400 degree F oven until tender, about 1 hour. Once cool to the touch, you can cut away skin and top with sharp paring knife. Reserve any juice for the icing.
  • Combine cooled and peeled roasted beet and buttermilk in blender and puree until smooth. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the sugar in warm water and sprinkle over the yeast. Let stand until yeast begins to foam, about 5 minutes. Add the beet mixture, egg, sugar, butter, and salt and mix together with paddle attachment.
  • Add about half of the flour along with the cocoa powder and continue to mix with the paddle attachment. Switch to the dough hook attachment and add the rest of the flour. Knead until dough comes together and forms a ball, about 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover in a warm room. Let rise for 1½ to 2 hours until doubled in size.
  • In a small bowl, use a fork to mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder for the filling.
  • Divide dough into two portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a rectangle about 13″ by 20″. Spread half of the softened butter on each rectangle and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges. Roll up dough lengthwise into tight logs and place the logs seam side down. Gently cut each log into 12 pieces using a serrated edge knife. Place all 24 rolls on a large parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Lightly cover rolls and allow rolls to rise again for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400. Bake for 14-18 minutes, until light golden. Do not over bake.
  • While rolls are cooking, whisk together confectioners sugar, milk, and beet juice in small bowl. Add just enough milk to get it to your preferred consistency.
  • When rolls, are done cooking, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before covering with icing.
  • Store leftovers in the freezer wrapped in foil and reheat in the oven when ready to serve.


  • If your home is cold, you can create a warmer environment for your dough to rise in the oven. Just preheat the oven to 150-200 degrees F. As soon as it hits temperature, turn the oven off and crack the door. Let the dough rise in there and once the inside of the oven starts cooling off to room temperature, close the door and allow it to finish rising.
  • The amount of flour you will use will depend on your dough. You’ll want it to be elastic and not overly sticky.
  • You can roast the beets in the oven as described above, your you can cook in Instant Pot on rack with 1 cup of water for 15 minutes or until very soft.


Calories: 228kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 61mg, Potassium: 87mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 173IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This post was originally published in January 2017 and has been updated for your reading pleasure.

Hi! I’m Krissy.

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  1. I to LOVE beets since childhood. I never met a beet I didn’t like (canned, pickled, steamed, etc..)
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for a recipe that DOESN’T USE RED FOOD COLORING! We’re sensitive to that ingredient and are looking for natural alternatives. THIS is so gorgeous and delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    These look amazing! And I love how they are pink thanks to beets and not artificial coloring! A perfect valentine’s day treat for sure!

  4. I know it’s long past Valentine’s day, but I just have to make these because – that color! My daughters would flip out over getting to eat pink cinnamon rolls. Amazing. Thank you for sharing!