These strawberry cinnamon rolls are strawberry-swirled rolls made in the style of cinnamon rolls and topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting.

Strawberry cinnamon rolls in baking dish.

These strawberry cinnamon rolls are a fun and delicious little bake! Of course, it is strawberries that are the star here and not cinnamon, though I did add a touch of cinnamon to the strawberry filling, just to keep them honest :) I love that they are lightly sweet so they are perfect to enjoy any time of day.

Ingredients and substitutions

A few notes about the key ingredients …

Strawberries – I recommend starting with fresh strawberries if you can, for the freshest strawberry flavour. I haven’t tested this recipe with frozen strawberries, so I don’t know how well they would hold up.

Yeast – You can use either Active Dry or Instant yeast to make these rolls.

Cream Cheese – I love to use full-fat cream cheese, but light cream cheese should work here, as well. Minor adjustments to the powdered sugar may be needed to achieve the right consistency.

How to make strawberry cinnamon rolls

Adding cornstarch slurry to strawberries and sugar in saucepan.
1
Mashing the strawberries with a potato masher.
2
Strawberries simmering in saucepan.
3
  1. Make ahead! Start by combining the strawberries, sugar and cornstarch mixture in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Once the strawberries have simmered, mash with a potato masher.
  3. Simmer the strawberries until reduced and thickened, then remove to a bowl and refrigerate to cool.
Finished dough in stand mixer.
4
Dough rolled into a rectangle after rising.
5
Strawberries spooned on top of dough rectangle.
6
  1. Make the dough and set it to rise in a greased and covered bowl until doubled.
  2. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Spoon the cooled strawberry mixture on top of the dough and spread evenly over the dough.
Rolling up the sliced dough and strawberries into rolls.
7
Rolls and extra strawberry mixture in baking pan.
8
Rolls after baking and being iced.
9
  1. Cut the dough into 1 1/4-inch wide strips, then roll up each strip.
  2. Place the rolls into the baking pan, together with any excess strawberry mixture spooned into the bottom of the dish, then bake.
  3. Once baked, make the frosting and ice the rolls. You can do this when they are still warm, for a melty frosting or wait until they cool completely, for a thicker frosting.

Recipe tips!

  • I leave the strawberries a bit chunky, but if you prefer to mash or immersion-blender them down a bit more, you certainly could.
  • Rolling up the rolls can be a bit messy, but trust me, it will all be good in the end. Try to lift the roll a bit as you roll, to avoid pushing the strawberry filling forward as you go. If you have bits of filling left behind when you’re done rolling, simply spoon it into the baking dish with the rolls.
  • Strawberries tend to lose their bright red colour when cooked. If you’d like, you can add a drop or two of red food colouring to the cooked strawberry mixture to keep it a lovely red colour when baked.
Strawberry cinnamon rolls in baking pan.

Making ahead, storing and freezing

These strawberry rolls are best enjoyed on the day they are baked, but are still quite passable into the second day. After that, they do tend to dry out. I suggest freezing any that can’t be eaten up in the first day or so.

I haven’t tested an overnight refrigerator rise with these rolls. While cinnamon rolls tend to tolerate an overnight refrigerator rise quite well, I would worry a bit about the extra moisture of the strawberries pooling at the bottom as they sit.

Freeze these rolls well-wrapped for up to 3 months.

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Strawberry cinnamon rolls in baking dish.

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls

These strawberry cinnamon rolls are strawberry swirl buns made in the style of cinnamon rolls. Topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting.
5 stars from 1 rating
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

Strawberry Filling:

  • 9 oz (250 g) strawberries, fresh recommended
  • 3 Tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons cold water

Dough:

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) lukewarm water, about 105F
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) lukewarm milk, about 105F
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Active Dry or Instant yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 2 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 oz (100 g) Cream cheese, at room temperature (a bit less than 1/2 a standard brick of cream cheese)
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) icing/confectioners' sugar

Instructions
 

  • Make the strawberry filling: Chop the strawberries, put them in a saucepan, cover them with sugar and leave to stand for 20 minutes (with no heat under the saucepan).
  • Place the saucepan with strawberries on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the cinnamon to the pan. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and the cold water. Add to the pan. Stir to combine and continue to stir occasionally while the mixture heats. When the mixture comes to a boil, crush the berries with a potato masher, then cook for a few minutes longer until thickened. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and place into the refrigerator to cool completely before using. *You can do this well ahead and keep it in the refrigerator if you like. It is important that the filling be cool when assembling the rolls!
  • Make the dough: Warm the water and milk to lukewarm (105F). Add the yeast and stir to combine. Set aside. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the kneading hook, add the 2 cups (250g) of the flour, the salt and the sugar. Mix briefly to combine, then add the egg, butter and yeast mixture. Mix to combine, then knead on Speed 2 for about 5 minutes. The dough should be moist and smooth, clean the bowl and wrap the kneading hook. If the dough is too sticky and is sticking to the bowl, add some or all of the last 1/4 cup of flour as needed, and knead in until the dough cleans the bowl. Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface, knead briefly, then form into a ball and place into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • While the dough is rising, prepare a 9-inch round baking pan or dish (metal, glass or ceramic) by spraying it with cooking or baking spray or lightly buttering. Set aside. *See Note 1 below for other pan options.
  • When the dough has doubled, remove to a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle 10 inches wide by 14-15 inches long. Spoon the cooled strawberry mixture onto the dough and use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly over the surface.
  • From the 10-inch side, use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 8 strips that are 1 1/4 inches wide. *See the step by step photos above this recipe card if this isn't clear.
  • Tip! For placing 8 rolls in a 9-inch round pan, place 6 rolls around the outside and two rolls in the middle. If you need to use a square pan, cut the strips of dough into 9 pieces about 1-inch wide, then place them into the squares pan in three rows of 3 instead.
  • Roll each strip up, gently lifting the rolled part as you roll forward, to avoid pushing too much of the strawberry filling forward as you roll. (This is a bit messy, but it will be all good in the end!) Place the roll into the prepared baking pan. Repeat with the remaining strips of dough. If there is some excess strawberry mixture left behind on your work surface, you can spoon it into the baking dish in between the rolls if you like. Cover the baking dish with a piece of greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 40-50 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F (regular bake setting/not convection or fan-assisted). When the rolls have risen, remove the plastic wrap and bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes until golden brown or until the centre roll measures about 195F when tested with an instant-read thermometer. (Mine usually need 30-32 minutes when baked in a ceramic baking dish).
  • Make the cream cheese frosting: In a medium bowl by hand or with a mixer, cream together the soft butter, cream cheese and icing/confectioners' sugar. Spread the icing on warm rolls if you'd like it melted into the buns or onto completely cooled rolls if you'd like them iced.
  • These rolls are best on the day they are baked, but still quite good into the second day. If you can't eat them up within that time, wrap them well and freeze them for up to 3 months.

Notes

Note 1: A 9-inch round baking pan is recommended. An 8-inch round baking pan may work, though the buns will be taller and may take extra baking time. If you would like to use a square baking pan in the 8-9 inch range, see the tip in the recipe instructions for adjusting to 9 rolls instead of 8.
Recipe tips!
I like to leave the strawberries a bit chunky, but if you prefer to mash or immersion-blender them down a bit more, you certainly could.
Strawberries tend to lose their bright red colour when cooked. If you’d like, you can add a drop or two of red food colouring to the cooked strawberry mixture to keep it a lovely red colour when baked.
For more tips on making this recipe, be sure to read the information above this recipe card. You’ll also find step-by-step photos there, that you might find helpful.
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Dessert
Serving: 1roll, Calories: 299kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 161mg, Potassium: 157mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 348IU, Vitamin C: 19mg, Calcium: 38mg, Iron: 2mg
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