Move over cinnamon rolls, Strawberries and Cream Sweet Rolls are here to spruce up your spring brunch! Fresh strawberries and preserves are rolled up and baked in sweet yeast dough. Topped with swirls of light and fluffy cream cheese frosting.
I don’t often stray from My Mom’s Cinnamon Rolls recipe. Because it is truly perfect as-is. But spring will make a gal like me wander off the beaten path. I might give into little impulses, like cutting myself some fringe (I’ve resisted so far). This time, thankfully, it was my favorite sweet dough recipe that received the spring makeover. Which turned out to be the most delicious thing ever!
Really good strawberry preserves, topped with an abundance of fresh strawberries, rolled up in yeast dough and baked to golden brown goodness is a real spring kind of thing. Fluffy cream cheese frosting is lightly sweet, beaten to a cloud-like texture, and not at all optional on these Strawberries and Cream Sweet Rolls.
Sweet yeast dough.
Begin with active dry yeast. Let it foam in a bowl with some warm water and a little sugar. This should take about 5 minutes.
After that, a couple of eggs and warm milk mixed in creates the perfect tepid environment. Mix in flour and some melted butter for richness, then knead well. You can do this by hand, but I rely on my standing mixer and dough hook attachment.
After a 45 minute rise in a greased bowl, punch down the dough and divide it in half. Roll out each half to about 1/8 inch thickness. Then spread on some high quality prepared strawberry preserves. I recommend and use Bonne Maman. But before I started spreading, I mixed a little vanilla exact into the preserves. The vanilla lends a creamy note to the filling.
A fresh addition.
Scatter on some fresh strawberries. Quartered strawberries do the trick, although I wonder if dicing them would make them a little easier to roll up. Maybe I’ll try that next time. Roll everything together and place the dough seam side-down.
Use a serrated knife and light sawing motions to cut through the dough. The sawing motions help cut through the berry chunks. Wipe your knife clean after each cut. This can get a little messy, so have a damp towel close to hand.
Place each batch of buns in 9-inch cake pans (or even 9-inch square pans). This recipe makes 24 rolls, that means 12 to each pan. Let them rise under plastic wrap until puffy and touching each other. Bake them until golden brown and fragrant.
Good gracious! I could have eaten six of these in one sitting. I didn’t. Maybe I’m getting better at controlling those impulsive urges? Honestly, it’s hard to say because I ate one just before dinner last night.
It’s good for the soul to mix things up sometimes. I’ve never been afraid to experiment with flavors, but with beloved traditional family recipes, like my mom’s cinnamon rolls, I was… hesitant. Luckily, everything turned out just right. And I think she’d love these.
Strawberries and Cream Sweet Rolls
- 9 inch round cake pans (2) or 9 inch square pans
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water 90-110°F
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 6 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup prepared strawberry preserves divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 drop red food color optional
- 2 cups quartered strawberries
- 1/2 cup salted butter at room temperature
- 4 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat the milk, 1/2 cup sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar melts and a few small bubbles appear at the edges of the pan. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm.
- Meanwhile, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in very warm water (90°F to 110°F) in the bowl of a standing mixer (or a large bowl if you don’t have a stand mixer). Stir the mixture with the paddle attachment or a wooden spoon until well blended. Let stand for 5 minutes or until the mixture foams and bubbles.
- Beat the eggs into the yeast mixture. Stir in the lukewarm milk. Switch to the dough hook then add in flour a little at a time until a shaggy dough forms. Mix in the melted butter then add in more flour until the dough is elastic and pulls away from the sides of the mixer. Note: you may not have to use all the flour. Do not add so much flour that the dough does not stick to your hands.
- Set a timer and mix with the dough hook for 5 minutes. If you are kneading by hand, work the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes.
- Place the dough in a buttered bowl and turn it over to coat the entire surface. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled.
- Punch down dough and turnout onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times and cut into two pieces. Roll out each piece to roughly 1/8-inch thickness, about 15×12-inch rectangles.
- Stir together the strawberry preserves, vanilla extract, and food color, if using.
- Evenly spread 1/2 cup of the preserves onto one of the dough pieces. Scatter 1 cup of the quartered strawberries across the dough. Starting at a long end, carefully roll up the dough. Trim away about 1" of the tapered ends to even the roll (discard). Cut the dough into 12 buns using light sawing motions with a serrated knife. Wipe the blade with a damp towel between each cut. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling ingredients.
- Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with flour-based baking spray. Place 12 slices in each pan, just touching. Cover and let rise for about 45 minutes or until well puffed.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°.
- Bake rolls for 22-26 minutes or until golden on top. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t over-bake! Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before frosting.
- Beat the butter and cream cheese together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until just combined. Add the vanilla extract and beat again. Turn the mixer to high and beat until light and billowy, about 3 minutes with a timer set. Spread the frosting over the warm sweet rolls in the pans. The frosting will melt slightly.
- Serve warm.