Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls

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This Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls recipe is a keeper! Fluffy homemade cinnamon rolls with a fresh strawberry filling and topped with lemon cream cheese icing – perfect for breakfast or dessert.

cutting a bite from Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls with a fork

Strawberry Cheesecake Cinnamon Rolls

These soft and luscious strawberry sweet rolls are worth every minute they take to make. They have the perfect amount of strawberry flavor balanced with a tangy lemon cream cheese frosting on top creating a balanced and tasty bite. They remind me of spring and get me excited for the warmer months of the year!

I use fresh strawberries but there are some great alternatives to use in a pinch that will still provide the same scrumptious result. As long as you are willing to give the dough the time it needs to rise, I promise the rest of the steps are so incredibly easy.

Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls close up

Why You’ll Love These Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls

  • Great twist on cinnamon rolls: A fruity and fresh take on classic cinnamon rolls that is just as good as the original.
  • Fresh fruit flavor: The strawberries and lemon pair beautifully in this recipe.
  • Perfect anytime: Make these for breakfast with a cup of coffee or enjoy after a yummy dinner. The choice is yours.
wooden spoon holidhg Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for the dough, filling, and frosting for these strawberry cinnamon rolls. The exact measurements can be found on the recipe card below.

For the dough

  • Milk: I used 2% for this recipe but you can use whole milk if you prefer.
  • Flour: Substitute whole wheat or bread flour for all-purpose flour if needed.
  • Butter: I like to use unsalted butter for this recipe because it also requires salt and I don’t want the rolls to taste salty.
  • Sugar: White granulated sugar is the best for this.
  • Yeast: I use dry active yeast but instant yeast can be used the same way with the same result.
  • Salt: All baked goods need a little salt to balance the flavors.

Filling Ingredients

  • Strawberries: Frozen strawberries can be used instead of fresh strawberries in this recipe.
  • Lemon juice: The acidity of the lemon juice brings out the natural flavor of the strawberries as well as being a great thickener since it contains pectin.
  • Sugar: A little sweetness to make the best filling.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt to balance flavors.
  • Cornstarch and water: I add a cornstarch slurry to the strawberry filling to get the perfect consistency.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream cheese: Be sure to leave the cream cheese out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to soften. This will prevent a lumpy frosting.
  • Lemon: Fresh or bottled lemon juice adds a subtle lemon flavor that compliments the cream cheese. The addition of the zest really makes it pop!
  • Salt: Again, I like to add salt to balance the sweetness.
  • Vanilla: A hint of pure vanilla extract brings it all together.
  • Powdered sugar: The addition of powdered sugar is great for texture and sweetening the cream cheese frosting.
ingredients needed to make Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls

How to Make Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls

We have provided you with all of the steps to make the best strawberry cinnamon rolls. We separated them as well so you can see exactly what to do for each component!

To make the dough

  • Warm the milk. Pour the milk into a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals until it reaches between 95 and 110 degrees F.
  • Transfer and add butter and sugar. Transfer the warm milk to the bowl of a stand mixer and add the melted butter and sugar. Stir well.
  • Add dry ingredients. Use the dough hook attachment and add yeast salt, and 1 cup of flour to start. Mix until thoroughly combined and allow it to sit for 5 minutes for the yeast to soften. 
  • Stir in the remaining flour. Gradually add the rest of the flour ⅓  cup at a time, mixing at medium speed. Once the dough starts to release from the sides of the bowl, it’s mixed. 
  • Knead the dough. Increase the speed to medium-high and knead the dough for about 5 minutes. 
  • Shape and cover. Shape the dough into a ball and place it back into the mixing bowl. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap.
  • Let it rise. Place the bowl in a warm place and allow it to rise for at least 1½ hours or until it doubles in size.

For the filling

  • Cook strawberries and lemon. While the dough is rising, add 2 cups of strawberries to a medium pot with the lemon juice. Heat at medium and let the strawberries soften.
  • Mash strawberries. Once the strawberries start to fall apart, gently mash them with a potato masher. 
  • Make slurry. Add cornstarch and water to a small bowl and whisk until combined.
  • Combine with strawberries. Pour the slurry into the strawberry mixture and mix.
  • Add sugar and salt. Add sugar and salt to the mixture and combine.
  • Bring to a boil. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently until thickened.
  • Transfer and cool. Transfer the thickened strawberry sauce to a bowl to cool down. Leave it at room temperature for the first 30 minutes and then place it in the refrigerator. 
  • Slice strawberries. Remove the tops from the remaining fresh strawberries and slice them. Set them aside in a small bowl.

Baking

  • Prepare a casserole dish. Line a dish with parchment paper and as an optional step,x spray with cooking spray. 
  • Roll the dough. After rising, place the dough ball on a floured surface and roll it out into a 9×13 rectangle.
  • Add strawberry mixture and fresh berries. Spoon the cooled strawberry filling onto the dough and top with a layer of the freshly sliced strawberries. 
  • Roll into a log. Gently take the long side and roll it into a log. 
  • Slice. Cut the log into 2-inch pieces using a sharp knife or plain floss. 
  • Cover and rise. Place them in the baking dish, cover them with a kitchen towel, and let them sit and rise for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees during the last rising phase.
  • Bake. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Making the frosting

  • Combine ingredients. While the strawberry buns are baking, add all of the ingredients minus the powdered sugar to a medium mixing bowl. 
  • Mix. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, mix on medium speed until smooth.
  • Add powdered sugar. Gradually add the powdered sugar and continue to mix until your desired consistency.
  • Cool and frost. Once the baked strawberry rolls are cooled, spoon the frosting over the tops and spread evenly.

Tips & Variations

  • Frozen berries. Instead of fresh strawberries, you can use frozen strawberries for the filling.
  • Preserves or jam. A shortcut is skipping the cooking of the strawberries and using strawberry jam or preserves. They have chunks of real strawberry in them which mimics the consistency.
  • Make it sweeter. Add ⅓ cup of sugar to the strawberry filling to make it extra sweet.
  • Make sure the filling is cooled. If the strawberry filling is too warm, it causes the cinnamon roll dough to break and fall apart. Ensure it is cooled before adding it.
  • Don’t rush rising. Allowing the cinnamon rolls to properly rise will ensure the fluffiest result.

Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls in baking dish ready to serve

How To Store Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls

Place the strawberry cinnamon rolls in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place a roll on a microwave-safe plate and heat in 30-second intervals until warm. 

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Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls

This Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls recipe is a keeper! Fluffy homemade cinnamon rolls with a fresh strawberry filling and topped with lemon cream cheese icing – perfect for breakfast or dessert.
Servings: 12 Rolls
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours
Total: 3 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients
  

Dough

  • 1 ½ cup Milk
  • 4 – 4 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup Unsalted Butter Melted
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 2 ¼ tsp Dry Active Yeast
  • 1 tsp Salt

Strawberry Filling

  • 2 cups Strawberries tops removed
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch + 2 tbsp water
  • ½ cup Fresh strawberries tops removed and sliced (optional)

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Instructions

  • In a large sized microwave safe bowl warm the milk to between 95-110 degrees F by warming the milk in 30-second intervals, this will prevent the milk from becoming too hot.
  • Once the milk has warmed, transfer it to the bowl of your stand mixer.
  • Next add the sugar and melted unsalted butter. Stir to combine.
  • With the dough hood attached, add the yeast, salt, and 1 cup of flour to the bowl with the milk mixture. Stir to fully combine.
  • Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. This will help soften the yeast.
  • Slowly add in more of the flour by adding about ⅓-½ cup at a time. Pausing in between to make sure the flour and milk mixture are combined.
  • Slowly add in more of the all purpose flour about ⅓ cup at a time, mixing the dough on medium speed. Once the flour has been added and is mixed in, repeat this process until you’ve added the remaining flour and the dough is releasing itself from the sides when being mixed. **I weighed the four and it was exactly 480 g of flour which is 4 cups of flour.
  • Next, set the stand mixer to medium high and allow to “knead” the dough for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the dough hook and shape the dough into a ball. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and place the dough in a warm place and allow the dough to rise for about 1 ½ hours or until it’s doubled in size. **I like to place the dough on the counter and run the dishwasher, the dishwasher warms the counter slightly. You can also place the dough in the oven with the light on. DO NOT TURN ON THE OVEN.
  • As soon as the dough is made, it’s time to prepare the filling. You will want time for the filling to cool.

Strawberry Filling

  • Place the 2 cups of strawberries and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Turn the burner on to medium heat. Using a spatula stir the berries and lemon juice allowing the juices to release from the strawberries. Once the strawberries are starting to fall apart, using a potato masher, mash the strawberries slightly.
  • In a small bowl (like a cereal bowl or pinch bowl) add the cornstarch and water, using a small whisk or fork stir until the water and cornstarch are combined.
  • Add the cornstarch slurry to the strawberry mixture. Stir to combine,
  • Next add the sugar and salt to the mixture. Allow the mixture to come to a slight boil but make sure to stir constantly.
  • Now that the strawberry mixture has thickened you’ll want to transfer the sauce to a medium sized bowl and place on the counter for about 30 minutes to cool, then place it in the fridge so it can cool down more. **The strawberry mixture needs to be cooled before placing it on the dough, it will affect the dough causing it to split and make it hard to roll up.
  • Line a 9×13 casserole dish with a piece of parchment paper and then spray with some baking spray and set aside.
  • Prepare the fresh strawberries, if using, by removing the tops and slicing them into rings. Place them in a bowl and set aside to use a little later.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, place the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a 15”x20” rectangle (about double the size of your casserole dish). The dough will be about ¾” thick.
  • Spoon the strawberry mixture onto the rolled out dough. Using an offset spatula, butter knife, or spatula, spread out strawberry mixture over the top of the dough making sure it’s evenly distributed and touching the ends..
  • Place the cut strawberries over the top.
  • Gently roll the dough up to form a log by taking one long side and rolling it up to meet the other side.
  • Using a knife, plain and unwaxed floss, or a bench scraper, cut the dough into 12 rolls (about 2” thick). Place them in the prepared 9×13 dish.
  • Cover with a piece of plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  • Once you’re about 25 minutes into the last rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
  • Bake at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) for 35-40 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • While the rolls are baking, prepare the frosting by adding the room temperature cream cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and salt to the bowl of your stand mixer.
  • With the paddle attachment added, mix the cream cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt on medium speed until they come together.
  • Next slowly add in the powdered sugar. I like to add in about ½ cup at a time. Continue to add in the powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Remove the strawberry rolls from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before adding the frosting and serving.
  • Spoon the lemon cream cheese frosting on top of the strawberry rolls and spread evenly then enjoy.

Last Step:

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Notes

  • For this recipe, dry active yeast was used. You can use instant yeast with the same results. 2 ¼ tsp does equal 1 packet.
  • 2% dairy milk was used in this recipe but any milk can be used with the same results. If you want to make this recipe dairy-free, you can use non-dairy milk (plain & unsweetened) but I do recommend adding ⅓ cup of butter instead of ¼ cup to increase the fat content.
  • Frozen whole strawberries were used in this recipe. You can use fresh or frozen strawberries for this recipe.
  • I mentioned this in the directions but wanted to make sure that this is noted, make sure that the strawberry mixture has cooled before adding it to the dough. Adding a hot strawberry mixture will affect the dough causing it to split. It’s not fun and makes a mess.
  • Want to speed up this recipe? Substitute the strawberry filling for strawberry preserves or jam. I don’t recommend using jelly. You will want the strawberry chunks.
  • For a sweeter filling you can increase the sugar to ⅓ of a cup of sugar. Please note that the smaller the strawberries the sweeter they are so keep that in mind if you are thinking of increasing the sugar.
  • I use unsalted butter for the dough, you can use margarine or salted butter. I recommend reducing the salt you add by half (so ½ tsp instead of 1 tsp).

Nutrition

Calories: 515kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 365mg | Potassium: 181mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 426IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 2mg

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