In today’s post: Similar to a cinnamon roll, these homemade raspberry rolls are heavenly! They’re perfect for brunch, breakfast, or any time you want a sweet treat. Step by step photos make it easy to follow this delicious recipe.
I don’t love winter, but I do love BAKING, and there’s no better time to do it than on a cold winter morning. Honestly, these raspberry rolls (a close cousin to cinnamon rolls) almost make waking up to a foot of snow a happy occasion – if you’re going to be stuck inside, you might as well delight your family with a pan of deliciousness. Of course, they’re not only good in the winter – I’m pretty sure you and every single person you know would enjoy these any day of the year.
Why You’ll Love Raspberry Sweet Rolls
I’ve always liked my mom’s cinnamon roll recipe, but I actually find that cinnamon rolls are sometimes a bit too sweet (crazy, I know). But soft homemade bread wrapped up with raspberry filling and topped with cream cheese frosting? I’m telling you, it’s absolutely perfect. And this recipe is made with my tried and true basic bread dough that I’ve tested hundreds of times, so I can guarantee that if you follow the recipe, the rolls will be amazing. Then you’re going to topping them with a generous amount of the best cream cheese frosting you’ve ever tasted.
Making Yeast Bread Dough
I know making your own bread dough can be intimidating, but once you’ve done it a time or two it’s really not that hard! If you’ve never made bread before, visit my basic bread dough post – I’ve included a 10 minute video in that post that walks you step by step through the process of mixing, kneading, rising and baking. And if you’re already familiar with making yeast bread, you’re all set to dive into this recipe.
Here’s a quick video that shows the process for making raspberry rolls:
How to Make Raspberry Rolls
You’ll start with my basic bread dough recipe. It’s an enriched dough with butter, an egg, and sugar, so it works perfectly for a sweet roll recipe with no adjustments. Mix up the ingredients and knead as directed. It’s easiest to do this in a stand mixer with a dough hook, but you can knead the mixture by hand if you prefer. Cover the dough with a towel and allow it to rise for at least an hour until nearly doubled in size. Then you’ll start shaping as raspberry rolls.
How to Shape Raspberry Rolls
- Liberally sprinkle your work surface with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll out dough to a 12×18 rectangle.
- In a medium bowl, stir together raspberry preserves and softened butter. Spread the mixture evenly over the dough, leaving 1 inch uncovered along top edge as shown.
- Carefully roll up the dough from the bottom, pinching to seal seam.
- Use a sharp knife to mark 14 equal pieces.
- Gently slide a 12 inch length of thread or dental floss under roll until it’s even with the first mark. Criss cross thread across top of roll and pull ends gently to slice through.
- Either discard end pieces or place them in separate, small baking dish. Place remaining 12 rolls in a greased 9×13 pan.
NOTE: You don’t have to cut off the ends and discard them or bake them separately, but I like to because I find using the entire amount of dough in a 9×13 pan results in an overfilled pan and slightly uneven baking. So I generally just put the two end rolls in a small, greased casserole dish and cook them along side the 9×13 dish. That makes an extra treat for the kids if I plan to serve most of the rolls to guests!
Baking the Rolls
- All 12 rolls are in the pan.
- Let rise for 20-30 minutes or until rolls are puffed and just touching.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until tops are golden brown. (I like to gently pull two of the center rolls apart from each other to be sure the dough is fully cooked in the middle before I take them out of the oven – last time mine cooked for exactly 22 minutes).
- Let rolls cool for at least 15 minutes before topping with frosting.
Here they are fresh out of the oven:
And after they’re topping with the sinfully delicious cream cheese frosting:
The rolls really are best warm, but they taste great cooled as well. Start to finish they take about 3 hours.
- 1 cup Warm Water
- 1 tablespoon Active Dry Yeast
- 2 tablespoons Butter softened
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 3 and 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 3/4 Cup Raspberry Preserves
- 1/4 Cup Butter softened
- 1/2 Cup Margarine or Butter softened
- 2 Oz Cream Cheese softened
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 5 tablespoons Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Raspberry Preserves
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- Place all dough ingredients (except 1/4 cup flour) into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low until combined.
- Turn mixer up and knead dough for 5-10 minutes, adding in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour (if you live in a humid climate you may need up to an additional 1/4 cup of flour). Knead until smooth and elastic.
- Turn dough out onto floured surface and form into a ball. Cover loosely with towel and allow to rise 60-90 minutes, until dough has doubled in size. (If you live in a dry climate, spray the dough with nonstick spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap before covering with a towel.)
- Roll dough out on a floured surface to a 12×18 inch rectangle. Mix softened butter with raspberry preserves and spread across dough. Roll dough into a log, and cut off each end. Mark 12 equal pieces on the log and cut with a very sharp knife or piece of thread. Place pieces in a greased baking dish.
- Let rise 20-30 minutes until puffed and just touching. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Let cool for about 15 minutes before frosting.
- Beat together all of the frosting ingredients, then smooth frosting over warm rolls and serve immediately.
Tips for making raspberry rolls
Tip #1: My recipe calls for raspberry preserves. I love homemade raspberry jam, but I use storebought raspberry preserves or jam for this recipe because storebought is usually thicker than homemade jam. After all, you don’t want all that raspberry filling leaking down beneath the rolls while they bake! I also tend to like the stuff in the jars labeled “preserves” better than what’s in the jars labeled “jam”, but either should work fine as long as it’s thick. You may be able to replace the raspberry preserves with a mixture of frozen raspberries, sugar, and cornstarch, if desired, but I don’t have amounts for this substitution. If you experiment with this, let us know in the comments.
Tip #2: The frosting recipe makes quite a good amount of frosting – more than you see in the photos here. I usually go ahead and dump it all on – everyone loves frosting right? – and I’ve never had any complaints. But if you prefer a smaller amount of frosting on your rolls, feel free to scale down the frosting ingredients.
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