Raspberry Swirl Sweet Rolls
Soft & fluffy sweet roll dough filled with juicy raspberries and drizzled with glaze.
I made, what I consider, the most perfect breakfast sweet roll over the weekend and I am so very excited to share them with you today! Not only were they fun to photograph, they were SO incredible to eat and enjoy. Juicy, sticky, fluffy, sweet heaven.
Kevin’s mom and I spent our Friday night making sweet rolls. I’ve told you before, I’m a boring gal, but I really couldn’t think of a more perfect way to spend my evening after a long workweek. We decorated a Christmas tree and waited for the sweet rolls to rise. It was awesome. As we were kneading, rolling, cutting, and of course – taste-testing, I couldn’t help but kick myself in the butt. Why did I wait so long to make something like this? These rolls are SO fluffy, tender, soft, and oozing with sweet raspberry goo in every bite. I trust that you’ll be smarter than I am and dash to your kitchen right now to begin. 😉
To begin, warm up some milk. I did so on low heat over the stovetop until the milk was lukewarm – be careful not to scald the milk. I didn’t use a thermometer, but if you choose to do so, aim for roughly 95F degrees. Pour the milk into a bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment. Add your yeast and 2/3 cup of sugar. Stir it a little bit, cover, and walk away. You are testing your yeast for “proof” that it is alive and active with this first step. I checked the bowl about 10 minutes later after I finished gathering the other ingredients for the rolls. If the yeast/sugar/milk solution has become frothy or bubbly, you have your “proof” that the yeast is alive. If not, the yeast is a dud. Toss it out and start over again with a new batch of active dry yeast. Our yeast was ready and good to go.
With the mixer running, add your softened butter – be sure it is not melted or too hard. Crack 2 large eggs, add them one at a time, then a touch of salt. Let the mixer run for a bit, which slowly breaks down the butter. Next, slowly add the flour, little by little. Mix for up to 10 minutes on medium high speed until a soft dough forms. I thought my mixer was going to break down as it jostled about for 10 minutes!
For the amount of flour: I used 4 and 1/2 cups because the dough was much too sticky with anything less. To test the dough’s readiness, poke the dough with your finger and if it springs back, it is good to go. After mixing for 10 minutes and then kneading by hand on a floured surface, the dough was ready to rise. Form the dough into a ball, and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a dish towel and set in a warm place, until it doubles in size. We had the stove on earlier from warming up the milk, so we placed the bowl on the flat electric stove-top and went to decorate the tree as we waited. If you make these in the summertime, be sure it is not an overly humid day as the air’s moisture will have a negative effect on the dough’s rising. The dough took about 1.5 hours to practically double in size.
Get your roll on. Break out your rolling pin (and your ruler!) and roll that glorious ball of dough into a 12×18 inch rectangle on a generously floured surface. Trust me, it will roll out into a rectangle this large. Make sure the dough is completely uniform in thickness. Mix frozen raspberries with a touch of cornstarch and sugar. Frozen – yes, frozen. Fresh raspberries will be much too juicy and delicate for the filling, which is perfect since they are not in their prime this time of year. Frozen berries are the way to go – try blueberries or cherries instead. Pour the cold sugared raspberries over the large dough rectangle and tightly roll up.
Using your sharpest knife, cut into 12 rolls. This means the rolls were precisely 1.5 inches in thickness. Stuff the rolls into your baking pan, leaving space between each one so they have room to expand. Cover your baking pan and store in a warm place once again.
More waiting time – about 2 hours. That’s ok, there really isn’t much “work time” with this recipe – just more “wait time.” Alternatively, you could let the rolls rise overnight. See notes in the written recipe below. In this 2nd rise, be prepared for the berries to release their juices. The bottom of your pan will be FULL of a glorious sweet red raspberry juice, only to be absorbed in the baking process. It turns into an incredible sticky raspberry glaze over the bottom of the rolls.
The rolls only take about 25 minutes in the oven. Be sure to cover your rolls with foil– this is crucial to prevent the tops of your rolls from getting too brown.
Cool your rolls, in the pan, on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. I cooled mine overnight at room temperature so they’d be ready for their glaze shower first thing in the morning. Make your glaze. A simple combination of heavy cream and powdered sugar. Nothing else. Feel free to use half-and-half or milk. With either half-and-half or milk, keep in mind it you may need more sugar than I used to get the glaze to be as thick and creamy.
Serve the rolls warm. I froze a few of mine (without glaze) to warm up and enjoy on Christmas morning. My mom was so excited to see a picture when I sent one to her of the finished rolls. She cannot wait to taste one!
These are incredible. The wait time, about 4 hours total, is a bit tedious but not too bad if you have other things to do around the house or let the rolls rise overnight to bake in the morning. Yeast, an ingredient requiring a ton of patience, is so worth it. There is quite simply nothing like a from-scratch, sweet, doughy roll first thing in the morning. The rolls are tender and fluffy, so soft and springy with each bite. And so darn puffy! Simply put, imagine the softest dinner roll you’ve ever tasted. Make them a little sweeter, add some sticky raspberries and creamy glaze and you can imagine what I’m trying to describe here.
I cannot even WAIT to make these into orange rolls, or use this recipe and make a caramel pecan filling. Or a simple cinnamon/sugar/butter filling. I just cleared the store shelves from yeast over the weekend so I can get crackin’ on all my sweet roll plans.
Raspberry Swirl Sweet Rolls
Fluffy, sticky, & sweet raspberry rolls. Follow my easy directions and become a master at sweet roll making!
Yield: 12 large rolls
- 1 cup (240ml) milk
- 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast (2 standard size packets)
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into 4 pieces
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 and 1/2 cups (562g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting/rolling
- One 10-oz. package frozen raspberries (NOT thawed)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons (80g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar
- 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream (or half-and-half or milk)
- Make The Dough: In a small saucepan, warm the milk over low heat until lukewarm (no need to use a thermometer, but to be precise: about 95 degrees F). Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (OR you can use a handheld mixer OR no mixer, but a stand mixer is ideal). With a spoon, manually stir in the sugar and yeast. Cover with a towel and let sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5-10 minutes. On low speed, beat in the softened butter until it is slightly broken up. Next add the eggs, one at a time, and then the salt. The butter won't really be mixing into the mixture, so don't be alarmed if it stays in pieces. On low speed, gradually add the flour. Once it is all added, beat on medium speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and supple, about 8-10 minutes longer. *If you do not have a stand-mixer with a hook attachment, knead the dough by hand in this step.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for about 2 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Here's what I do: turn the oven on to 300F degrees. Turn the oven off. Stick the covered dough inside the oven and allow it to rise in this warm environment.
- Butter/grease/spray with nonstick spray the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish, then line with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll into a 12x18 inch rectangle. I used a ruler for accuracy. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick, even at the corners.
- Make The Filling: In a medium bowl, toss the frozen raspberries with the sugar and cornstarch. Spread the cold sugared raspberries evenly over the dough. Tightly roll up the dough to form an 18-inch-long log. Cut into 12 even rolls (about 1.5 inches in width each). Arrange them in the prepared baking pan, cut sides up. Cover the rolls and let them rise in a warm place until they are puffy, about 2 hours OR overnight (see note). The berries will release their juice at the bottom of the pan - this is OK.
- After the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Cover the rolls with aluminum foil and bake for about 25 minutes, until they are golden and the berries are bubbling. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes.
- Make The Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk the confectioner’s sugar and heavy cream until smooth. Add more sugar or cream, depending how thick you want the glaze. Pour glaze over the rolls and serve warm. Cover rolls and store at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2 months and warmed up to enjoy at a later date. Glaze them right before serving.
Make Ahead: During the second rise, cover the sliced rolls and let sit overnight in the refrigerator before baking. In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise in a warm environment for 1 hour (use your oven as noted in step 2 of the recipe).
Adapted from Food & Wine
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