Shamrock Cinnamon Rolls

Share the sweet luck of the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day with our shamrock cinnamon rolls. After all, you’ll want to start the day off right with a delicious breakfast treat!

barnwood tabletop with a leprechaun gnome and a plated shamrock cinnamon roll (left) and a plated four-leaf-clover cinnamon roll (right)
We served up a shamrock cinnamon roll (left) and a four-leaf-clover cinnamon roll (right) for a little bit of extra luck!

History of the Shamrock

Indeed, the shamrock has long been a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland. Bronner’s “Ornament Legends, Symbols and Traditions” says, “The shamrock, one of the most widely recognized symbols of Ireland, has been considered good luck since the earliest of times. Legend says St. Patrick used the shamrock to teach pagans the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Just as three leaves make up one shamrock, three persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) are in one God.”

cover of Bronner's "Ornament, Legends, Symbols & Traditions" paperback book
Ornament Legends, Symbols & Traditions

History of the Cinnamon Roll

All things considered, some nations have enjoyed a variety of sweet rolls since ancient times. When cinnamon spice made its way to Europe, Scandinavians created cinnamon rolls. This most likely took place in Sweden where cinnamon rolls are called “kanelbulle” and celebrated annually on October 4. In fact, folks estimate that 7 million kanelbulle are sold each Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden. Swedes bake another 7 million or more in their homes for their families to enjoy. In addition to kanelbulle, we think you’ll also love Swedish “lussebullar”.

Eventually, cinnamon rolls made their way to the United States with Swedish and German immigrants beginning in the mid-1800s.

The Evolution of the Shamrock Cinnamon Roll

Since cinnamon rolls are a breakfast favorite, we decided a St. Patrick’s Day version should be on everyone’s plate March 17. Hence the evolution of the Shamrock cinnamon roll! The basic dough surely lends itself to various shapes, especially this clover favorite.

A Twist with Celtic Knot Cinnamon Rolls

At the same time, we found ourselves captivated with another Irish symbol, Celtic knots. Because they have no beginning and no end, Celtic knots represent unity and eternal life. As pictured below in a Celtic cross, the knots also picture the unending, eternal love of God.

Celtic cross metal ornament on a green sentiment card
Irish Celtic Cross Metal Ornament
closeup of Celtic knot cinnamon roll and lady in white sweater holding a bowl of Celtic knot cinnamon rolls

Shamrock Cinnamon Rolls

Shamrock Cinnamon Rolls is adapted from Cinnamon Rolls (Knots) by Kathy Roskamp in "Bronner's Flavorful Favorites" staff cookbook.
5 from 1 vote


  • 1 small pot
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 hand mixer or stand mixer
  • 1 large greased bowl
  • 1 small spoon to mix sugar & cinnamon
  • 1 large, greased cookie sheet
  • 1 metal spatula


  • 1 cup milk, scalded
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 yeast cakes (may use packages)
  • 1/2 cup water, warm
  • 5 – 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • shortening or butter, melted


  • Scald milk; add and mix 1/2 cup sugar, shortening or butter, eggs and salt. Cool to lukewarm.
  • Next, dissolve yeast in warm water; add to cooled milk
  • Add 2 cups flour and beat; add remaining flour to make a soft dough.
  • Now place in greased bowl and let rise until double.
  • Mix 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon together. Take a piece of dough to make a strip or rope 1 inch wide and 8 inches long. Dip strip in melted shortening or butter, then roll in sugar cinnamon mixture. Tie in knot and place on greased cookie sheet. For St. Patrick's Day, we recommend you tie the dough strip into a Celtic knot. Take the strip of dough, roll it in the butter and sugar, and then tie a knot, like you would in a string. Pull both ends through enough to wrap them underneath the knot. Place in a greased muffin tin with the ends tucked on the bottom.
  • To make a shamrock, roll and dip a stem from the dough and place it on greased cookie sheet. Using three additional strips of dough, roll and dip them, form heart-shaped clovers or horseshoe shapes and attach them to the stem on the greased cookie sheet.
  • Let rise until double. Bake at 350-375 degrees for about 15 minutes. Makes 14-18 knotted rolls or about 4 shamrocks.


If you wish to speed the process along, you can substitute thawed frozen dough for the yeast dough in the recipe. We did.

No Place Like “Gnome” for Eating Shamrock Cinnamon Rolls

We recommend you share your shamrock cinnamon rolls (and the luck of the Irish) with a favorite person or two! What’s more, surround yourself with an Irish gnome or two to add to the festivities.

Jim Shore Irish Gnome with shamrock on barnwood tabletop in front of green plants and spots of clear lights
Jim Shore Irish Gnome with Shamrock (#1251169, $26) Available in-store or by contacting customer service at 989.652.9931 or
Plush Irish gnome with dangling legs on barnwood tabletop with green plants behind it along with a green Christmas tree with clear lights
Irish Plush Gnome with Dangle Legs, 2 styles (#1252461, $14.99) Available in-store or by contacting customer service at 989.652.9931 or

Or maybe you’d like to craft your own Irish gnome?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

One thought on “Shamrock Cinnamon Rolls

  • March 16, 2022 at 7:40 am

    5 stars
    Luv the recipes


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