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A summery twist on cinnamon rolls, these glazed strawberry rolls can be made ahead to save time in the morning.

strawberry sweet rolls with lemon glaze on a cream plate

Make-ahead strawberry rolls are on the menu this week and there’s no breakfast more tempting. The rolls are soft and fluffy with a homemade strawberry filling, topped off with a sweet and tangy lemon glaze that seeps into every crevice.

strawberry sweet rolls with lemon glaze on a white plate

Everyone’s had cinnamon rolls before but how many of you can say you’ve had strawberry lemon rolls?! Consider these summer’s version of a cinnamon roll!

You may have already spotted this recipe on People a couple months ago. I first made them when the weather began warming up and have made them almost a half dozen times since. (We do not take weekend breakfast lightly in this house. Go BIG or go back to bed.) Oh, the best part! You can easily freeze the rolls and wake up to warm, gooey, soft, and sweet strawberry rolls in the morning. For freezing directions, see the recipe below.

A Few Quick Tips

I want everyone to make these rolls successfully because no one should be denied their sweeeeeet strawberry satisfaction! This recipe starts off as a regular yeasted roll. The importance of some dough ingredients:

Use whole milk for the best taste. Whole milk, with its creamy and thick texture, will produce the softest, fluffiest dough. Shocking, I know. 2% works, yes, but whole milk is best! I don’t recommend anything else.

Butter = flavor. You simply cannot create a buttery, tender dough like this without butter! Make sure it is softened. Not melted or cold. Softened to room temperature.

Eggs are everything in dough. Bread dough that is rich with eggs will rise very high because eggs aid in leavening. Not only this, the fat in the yolks help tenderize and lighten up the dough.

strawberry sweet rolls before baking
strawberry sweet rolls with lemon glaze on a cream plate with a fork

The strawberry filling is homemade. It’s the same filling I use for my strawberry shortcake cupcakes, only slightly scaled down. Nothing artificial or fake, just pure strawberry goodness. Shortcut tip: you can use your favorite strawberry jam or preserves if that’s more convenient. And if you’re short on time, try this filling with my no yeast cinnamon rolls dough.

The glaze is all lemon, baby! These rolls are kind of like a big ol’ glass of strawberry lemonade. Only 1,000x better because it’s a doughy sweet roll. If lemon isn’t your fave, try the cream cheese icing from these overnight cinnamon rolls instead. If lemon IS your favorite, you must try my lemon sweet rolls— double the lemon flavor with lemon in the filling AND frosting. And don’t sleep on blueberry sweet rolls either! (–> Different dough recipe. Today’s dough, with two rises, is a little more tender!)

overhead image of strawberry sweet rolls with lemon glaze on a cream plate with a fork
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strawberry sweet rolls with lemon glaze on a cream plate

Strawberry Rolls with Sweet Lemon Glaze

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours, 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 rolls 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


A summery twist on cinnamon rolls, these glazed strawberry rolls can be made ahead to save time in the morning.




  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk*
  • 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and ½ Tablespoons (14g) 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, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 and 1/2 cups (563g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for dusting/rolling


  • 1 and 3/4 cups (222g) finely chopped strawberries*
  • 1/3 cup (68g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 23 Tablespoons (30-45ml) fresh lemon juice


  1. Make the dough: In a small saucepan, warm the milk over low heat until lukewarm– about 95°F (35°C). Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (OR you can use a handheld mixer). With a spoon, manually stir in the sugar and yeast. Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5-10 minutes. If the yeast does not dissolve and foam, start over with fresh yeast. On low speed, beat in the softened butter until it is slightly broken up. 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– about 4 minutes.
  2. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and supple, about 6 minutes longer. If you do not have a stand-mixer with a hook attachment, knead the dough by hand in this step.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap, a paper towel, or aluminum foil and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Here’s what I do: turn the oven on to 200°F (93°C). Turn the oven off. Stick the covered dough inside the oven and allow it to rise in this warm environment.
  4. As the dough rises, make the filling: Warm the strawberries in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly for 4 minutes until the strawberries begin to release juices. Add the granulated sugar and cornstarch and continue to stir for another 2 minutes. The mixture will thicken. Remove from the heat, spoon into a heatproof bowl or container, and chill until ready to use. You do not want a warm filling as you spread it onto the dough.
  5. Grease the bottom of a 9×13 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 12×18 inch rectangle. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick, even at the corners.
  6. Spread the strawberry filling all 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.
  7. Cover the rolls and allow to rise in a warm environment once again until the are puffy—about 1 – 2 hours (or overnight, see Overnight instructions.)
  8. After the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake for about 25 minutes, until they are golden brown. About halfway through the bake time, I like to cover the rolls loosely with aluminum foil so the tops don’t brown too much. Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes as you make the glaze.
  9. Make the glaze: Whisk the lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar together until smooth. Pour over warm rolls and serve.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cover leftovers tightly and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2-3 months and warmed up to enjoy at a later date.
  2. Overnight Instructions: For the second rise in step 7, cover the sliced rolls very tightly and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, remove from the refrigerator, keep covered, and allow to rise in a warm environment for 1 hour then continue with step 8.
  3. Freezing then Baking: Let the rolls rise as instructed in step 7. Bake them at 375°F (190°C) for only about 10 minutes. Cool completely, then cover tightly and freeze up to 2-3 months. Take the rolls out of the freezer and thaw completely in the refrigerator. Then, finish baking them.
  4. Milk: Whole milk encouraged. 2% is fine, but whole milk is best with its higher fat content. For best taste and texture, I don’t recommend any other milk or milk substitutes.
  5. Strawberries: Fresh or frozen chopped strawberries work. Do not thaw first if using frozen.
  6. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: strawberry sweet rolls

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Yeast packets-  regular or quick-rise…or does it matter?

    1. I’ve used both. The rise times are slightly less with quick rise.

  2. These are in the oven right now. They were really easy to make! Maybe because it was so hot upstairs I just let them rise up there. 🙂 They’re out now, and they were a hit! Everyone loved them. One tip: Use dental floss, waxed, to cut the rolls out of the log. So much easier, and prettier!

  3. I made these last night, and they are sweet and fruity and fluffy. Great dough, makes a nice brioche-style bun. I don’t think that I made my roll tight enough, the dough was pretty soft and difficult to roll – I must need to make more for extra practice! I followed the recipe except that I did not have whole milk, so I used 5/8 c. skim milk and 3/8 c. half and half, because Google told me that was an okay substitution. My rolls are delicious, so I think it was fine. It took my strawberry filling more than 2 extra minutes to thicken (probably 5-6 min after adding starch/sugar), but once it did it was perfect, and when I spread it on the dough later it spread thin and did not look like it was going to be enough, but after baking and taste-testing two of them in a row I saw it was the perfect amount – gotta trust Sally. Thanks for the recipe, please keep the breads and rolls coming 🙂

  4. I’ve picked up baking again after a long break and happened upon your website when looking for a snickerdoodles recipe (they were fabulous by the way!). I was a bit intimidated by making the dough from scratch, but I must say, it was very easy and the dough didn’t stick to my board or rolling pin, which is my usual experience. I started them yesterday and took them out of the refrigerator for their last rise this morning. I realized I didn’t have any powdered sugar for the glaze, but found through an Internet search that I could make it at home in my blender — who knew? Anyway, these rolls are heavenly! Soft, pillowy mounds of strawberry and lemon goodness — thanks for sharing a fantastic recipe…I’ll definitely be making these again!

    PS – Chocolate Cherry Blossom Cookies and Honey Ginger Salmon are also terrific!

  5. Hi Sally. I really enjoy your blog and recipes.  Everything always comes out delicious and your step-by-step instructions are very helpful.  I have a question about this recipe.  Step 1 states, “Once it is all added, beat on medium speed until a soft dough forms.” About how long does this usually take using a standard KitchenAid mixer and what setting do you use? I made these rolls the other day and had some trouble around this stage. Thanks for the help!

  6. So delicious!!! Mine weren’t nearly as pretty (actually they were a mess) but they were still amazing!!!

  7. Hey Sally! 
    just wanted to tell you that after a few hours baking and getting eveything cleaned up, these rolls were a huge success with my family! this my first time baking with yeast and I can honestly tell you that thanks to this recipe I have overcome my insecurity with it, so thanks!!

  8. Hi Sally! Love that these rolls are make-ahead; what is the max number of hours they can stay in the fridge overnight?

    1. Hey Nicole! I’d say no longer than 12 hours.

  9. I started these last night and finished them this morning per your instruction. They are so wonderful!

    I only changed two things. I added lemon zest to the glaze. This was zest from the entire lemon that I juiced for the glaze. The other thing I did was bake for 35 minutes.

    I have some questions. Baking time was extended to finish the ones in the center of the pan. This meant the ones on the edge were over baked, any suggestions? I’m just learning to use a stand mixer and the recipe said to run at medium. My manual said #6 is medium. Then I read in the manual not to exceed #2 for yeast dough. It was confusing but my crumb turned out perfect, I did some time at #2 and some at #6. I followed the portion direction carefully and found the dough very soft. It did not gather into a ball when it was kneading in the mixer with a hook attachment. I choose not to add more flour but took a chance that although very soft it would be good. I was happy with the final crumb, but again it was a little confusing for a person new to using a stand mixer. Thank You!!!

  10. Can the strawberry filling be made ahead and refrigerated? For how long?

  11. I just made these tonight and they are absolutely perfect! I divided the 12 rolls into 2 round dishes as I was going to freeze half and I was forced to fully bake the second half by my husband. Love this recipe but, just on a personal note, I would just add a tad bit more strawberry filling because the gooeir the better in my house. Divine 🙂 

  12. I made these yesterday along with some pecan sticky buns and Paula Dean’s cinnamon rolls.  I wanted a variety and I have never seen anyone make a strawberry rolls.  These were just amazing.  You and Paula Dean tied for first place with may 25 taste testers.  My husband who LOVES cinnamon rolls had a hard time trying to decide which was his favorite.  The lemon glaze was the perfect pairing to make them not too sweet and definitely added something extra.  These rolls are definitely hard to roll tight.  Do they roll tight for you?  It was okay that they didn’t because they baked up lovely but they were kind of messy cutting and putting in the pan.  
    Thank you so much for sharing.  These are a hit.

    1. What a compliment to the recipe! Thank you 🙂 If I roll slowly and carefully, I can get them to roll up quite tight. Not as tight as cinnamon rolls though.

  13. Made these last night came out perfect. The only problem is that it was just too much for my small household of two. I put half in the freezer. Hope it will thaw well . I discovered that while my husband and I like these sweet rolls ,one or two are just enough for us. Wished the recipe could have been halved. I also combined the lemon glaze with cream cheese . Nice combination. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. So glad you liked these! Yes, we freeze a lot in our house too, they should thaw just fine 🙂

  14. I made these today and they were so delicious. My only issue was the strawberry jam all came out when I tried to roll the dough tightly so I had to unroll to do it a little looser. Still came out great though! Will definitely be making again!

  15. Hello! Could I make the filling using fresh blueberries?

    1. Yes! You might want to cut the blueberries in half before making the filling- I haven’t tried it so if you do, let me know how it goes! 🙂

      1. Perfect! I’ll definitely let you know. Same amount of weight of blueberries as strawberries?

  16. Made these yesterday morning! They were so delicious! The rolls were super moist, and the filling wasn’t overly sweet. Everyone loved them! I have one question for future reference. After rolling out the dough, do you think I couldn’t refrigerate for an hour to let it firm up before rolling up and cutting into rolls? Mine lost its shape and flattened out a little when I tried to cut them, so I had to reshape them into circles. Please let me know if you have tips on this step.

    1. I’m so glad they were a hit, Sarah! If you are baking them with the overnight method then you could possibly roll the dough up, over tightly and refrigerate for an hour, cut them into slices, and continue refrigerating them according to the directions. If you are not doing the overnight rise I don’t recommend it. Be sure you are rolling the dough tightly and using a very sharp knife (you might even want to wipe it clean between cuts) to help the rolls maintain their shape.

  17. I made these for my family yesterday and they turned out fantastic !! Very yummy and great texture !! Thank you Sally, I will be making these again soon 🙂

  18. Just made these since my husband requested cinnamon rolls. I don’t have a mixer I made them using a dough whisk and kneaded them by hand. I did add raisins that plumped up and patted dry. They came out perfect… a gigantic hit. Great recipe…

  19. Recipe is great, only thing is my cornstarch clumped up… I think it would’ve been better to break it down in some water first, then add to the mixture.

    1. I usually mix my cornstarch with the sugar first before adding to avoid clumping.

  20. I made these and my whole family loved them. The only problem was the strawberry jam that I used all melted out and settled in the bottom of the pan where in some places it caramelized and in other places it burned. Is there any way to prevent this loss of filling?

    1. Hi Chris, We’re so glad to read that your family enjoyed these! Store-bought jams and jellies are a little thinner, so that’s likely why some of yours seeped out and burned. If you try the recipe again, use this homemade filling. It stays pretty thick inside the rolls.

  21. Delicious! I did the overnight version but let them do the 2nd rise before refrigerating overnight so they’d be ready to bake post-hike for brunch. They needed about 10 extra minutes in the oven that way, but were amazing! Definitely would make again.

    1. Wonderful recipe!! We loved it.. did the overnight version and my own addition was I added softened cream cheese on the dough before the strawberry jam… fabulous!! Always love your recipes Sally, they are always a great success

  22. These are delicious! My only problem is that the icing I made melted into the dough, so they still taste good but don’t look as nice as in the picture. I waited until the buns had completely cooled- so why did the icing melt? Thank you!!

  23. Hi! I made a recipe similar to this from one of the cookbooks (strawberry rolls with vanilla glaze). My rolls were not sweet – they tasted more like sourdough. Any thoughts on what I did wrong? I was so excited about these!

    1. Hi Kristin, Do you remember how long you let your dough rise when you made them? The most common cause of a sour tasting dough is letting the dough over proof. That should be an easy fix if you try these again!