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Strawberry Sweet Rolls + Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

April 16, 2018
Use up your fresh farmer's market berries this summer with some decadent Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze! Homemade yeasted dough wraps around a yummy strawberry-lemon filling before becoming blanketed in a lemony cream cheese frosting. You've never had any pastry roll like this before!

Strawberry Sweet Rolls + Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

These Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze are made in the style of a cinnamon roll, but they use the fresh fruits of summertime! A tender, risen dough is mixed from scratch before filling with a lemon-strawberry mix. These rolls are then glazed with a tart cream cheese frosting that will make your mouth water!

Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

Pastries are such a fun recipe category to browse. They can oftentimes be daunting, as pastries typically require lots of steps to get them right. With a little time and patience, you end up with a melt-in-your-mouth sweet treat in the end. These Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze are exactly that!

You might ask, “what is the difference between these and a cinnamon roll?” and the answer is – the filling! Cinnamon rolls are well-loved treats reserved for the colder months. I don’t know about you, but I like to enjoy warming spices during the fall and winter seasons. The comforting nature of a cinnamon roll reminds me of cozying up to the fire with my dessert.

We’re here to celebrate summer, so a pastry roll with fresh strawberries and lemon is the perfect filling for July. Any fruit you like will work for this dish, but I can’t resist the gorgeous red strawberry and lemon filling. Be sure to over-buy berries at the farmer’s market, or take advantage of a pick-your-own strawberry farm near you for the freshest fruit! Or, be like me and use good-quality strawberry preserves to save on time.

Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

Sweet Rolls vs. Sticky Buns

You may have heard both of the above terms used to describe a dessert such as these. Although they appear similar, sweet rolls and sticky buns are very different in how they are baked. Just because they are both rolled and sliced, that does not make them the same.

Sweet Rolls are what you would consider your traditional cinnamon roll. These Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze are also in the same category. The reason they are both labeled sweet rolls is due to the method of baking.

After the dough is filled and rolled, the sweet rolls are sliced with their signature swirl exposed. Then, they are layered in a baking dish nearly touching so that the dough rises again and the rolls stick together. After baking, they are topped with yummy, creamy frosting.

Sticky Buns often use a similar dough and cinnamon-scented filling, but that does not make them sweet rolls. You will usually see sticky buns containing nuts in the filling or topping. Again, the main difference is in the bake.

Before baking, the pan is coated in a sugary, caramel-like mixture that the sticky buns are placed on top of. While baking, the caramel becomes one with the sticky buns. When they are done baking, the pan is inverted and the bottom caramelized part now becomes the top! No additional glaze is used.

So while you can use both of these terms, sweet rolls and sticky buns are actually two different desserts.

Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

Ingredients in Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze 

  • 2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups artisan bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely-ground sea salt
  • 1 packet Rapid Rise Yeast
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar + 1 tablespoon
  • 1 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • For the Strawberry Filling:
  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserve/jam
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • For the Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze:
  • 4 oz. organic cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract or juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons organic heavy cream

Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

How to Make Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze 

  • Begin by blooming your yeast. Add the yeast and brown sugar to your mixing bowl and add the warm water. Mix everything together and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. The mixture should become foamy.
  • Melt the butter and milk together over the stovetop on low to medium heat, stirring frequently until the butter has fully melted.
  • *NOTE: You don’t want the mixture to get too hot or boil! Set it aside and let it cool until just warm.
  • Add lukewarm butter-milk mixture to yeast and mix until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, and continue mixing at low speed until well combined.
  • Next, combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour, brown sugar, sea salt, and cinnamon to the wet ingredients and mix at low speed until well combined.
  • Change the mixer attachment to the kneading one at this stage. Knead for 10 minutes until a springy dough ball forms. If the mixture is too wet, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time to achieve the right consistency.
  • Once the dough ball is perfectly kneaded, add it to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit and rise for 1 hour to an hour and 15 minutes.

The Filling

  • Now you can make the filling. In a small bowl, add 1 cup of strawberry preserves and lemon juice together and stir until preserve/jam becomes light and easy to stir. Set aside.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Next, flour a flat surface and place the dough on it. Using a rolling pin, roll it out to a rectangle (approximately 9″x14), trimming the edges if needed.
  • *NOTE: Try not to make the dough too thin or else rolling it up will be hard to do!
  • Then, generously spoon strawberry filling overtop of dough until mostly covered.
  • Tightly roll dough (long-ways) and using a pastry cutter, cut dough into 1.5″ rolls, placing each roll into a large baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  • Place plastic wrap over the baking dish with rolls and let them rise again (for another 20 minutes).
  • Once the rolls have doubled in size (once again!) or have gotten significantly larger, brush the tops of the rolls with a little more melted butter and then bake them for approximately 40-45 minutes in the preheated oven.
  • While all the baking magic is happening, make the lemon cream cheese glaze.

The Glaze

  • To make the glaze, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer & beat together on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, lemon juice/extract, and heavy cream, continuing to mix on medium speed until you reach the desired consistency. Add more heavy cream (1 tablespoon at a time if too thick) or powdered sugar (for more thickness).
  • Remove the rolls from the oven and wait 15-20 minutes or so until they are completely cool, and then spread the glaze atop the rolls using a rubber spatula.
  • Top with freshly sliced strawberries, if desired.
  • Bon Appetit!

Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

Other Recipes You’ll Adore

If you love these Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze, then you will also love these other recipes of mine!

 

Strawberry Sweet Rolls + Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

Strawberry Sweet Rolls + Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Rising Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs 10 mins
Serves: 12 servings
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Ingredients

SWEET ROLLS:

  • 2 cups Organic All-purpose flour
  • 3 cups Artisan Bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp finely-ground sea salt
  • 1 packet Rapid Rise Yeast  (That's 2 1/4 tsps!)
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar + 1 Tbsp (I use Sugar in the Raw)
  • 1 1/4 cup Almond milk (I use Califia Farms; You can also use whole milk if preferred)
  • 1/4 cup WARM water
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (That's 4 Tbsps!)
  • 2 large eggs, room temp.

STRAWBERRY FILLING:

  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserve/jam
  • 1 tsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice

LEMON CREAM CHEESE GLAZE:

  • 4 oz. organic cream cheese, at room temp (That's 1/2 a pack!)
  • 3 Tbsps unsalted butter, softened at room temp
  • 3 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp lemon extract or juice of a lemon
  • 1-2 Tbsps organic heavy cream

Instructions

TO MAKE SWEET ROLLS:

  • Start by combining the yeast and 1 Tbsp brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and then slowly pouring in the warm water, while stirring everything together. Allow 10 minutes for the mixture to sit and the yeast to activate (It'll become foamy when done right!).
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter and milk together over the stove top on low to medium heat, stirring frequently until the butter has fully melted. NOTE: You don't want the mixture to get too hot or boil! Set aside and let it cool until WARM.
  • Add lukewarm butter-milk mixture to yeast and mix until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time and continue mixing on low speed until well combined.
  • Next, combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour, brown sugar, sea salt and cinnamon to the wet ingredients and mix on low-speed until well combined. 
  • Change "mixer head" to kneading accessory and knead dough for 5-10 minutes on medium-high speed until dough ball becomes smooth and elastic and dough springs back when lightly pressed with 2 fingers. NOTE: If dough is too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until texture is achieved!
  • Once dough ball is perfectly kneaded, add it to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit and rise for 1 hour to an hour + 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, you can work on the filling!

STRAWBERRY FILLING:

  • In a small bowl, add 1 cup of strawberry preserves and lemon juice together and stir until preserve/jam becomes light and easy to stir. Set aside.

ASSEMBLY:

  • Once the hour has gone by and your dough has risen (about double it's original size), preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, flour a flat surface and place the dough on it and using a rolling-pin, roll it out to a rectangle (approximately 9"x14), trimming the edges if needed. NOTE: Try not to make the dough too thin or else rolling it up will be hard to do!
  • Then, generously spoon strawberry filling overtop of dough until mostly covered.
  • Tightly roll dough (long-ways) and using a pastry cutter, cut dough into 1.5" rolls, placing each roll into a large baking dish (lined with parchment paper!).
  • Then place plastic wrap over the baking dish with rolls and let them rise again (for another 20 minutes).
  • Once the rolls have doubled in size (once again!) or have gotten significantly larger, brush the tops of the rolls with a little more melted butter and then bake them for approximately 40-45 minutes in the preheated oven.
  • While all the baking magic is happening, make the lemon cream cheese glaze and set aside.

TO MAKE LEMON CREAM CHEESE GLAZE:

  • Simply combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer & beat together on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, lemon juice/extract, and heavy cream, continuing to mix on medium speed until you reach the desired consistency. **Add more heavy cream (1 Tbsp at a time if too thick) or powdered sugar (for more thickness).*
  • Remove the rolls from oven and wait 15-20 minutes or so (until it completely cools), and then spread the glaze atop the rolls using a rubber spatula. Top with freshly sliced strawberries, if desired.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • TO STORE: Leftovers can be kept fresh at room temperature when tightly wrapped or sealed for up to 3 days. Fresh for up to 1 week in the Refrigerator. Baked rolls can be frozen for up to 2 months.
  • RAPID (INSTANT) RISE YEAST VS. ACTIVE DRY YEAST: If you’re not using the Rapid Rise Yeast for this recipe, please know that the rise time will be twice as long (about 3 hours) since regular Active Yeast doesn’t work as quickly.
  • OVERNIGHT OPTION: If you don’t want to make your Sweet Rolls on the same day, you can simply follow all steps (including the initial 1+ hour rise) and after cutting rolls and placing them into your baking pan, just cover them tightly (using foil paper of plastic wrap) and refrigerate them overnight or for 8-12 hours instead. The following day, remove from refrigerator and keeping them covered, let rolls rise at room temp 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY COMPOTE: Combine 3 cups diced strawberries, 1 cup cane sugar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, and 1 tsp vanilla extract in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat to low and simmer until the strawberries are soft, about 10 minutes. Now mix together 1 Tbsp arrowroot starch in a small bowl along with 2 Tbsps warm water until combined, smooth, and "milky" in consistency. Add mixture to the saucepan with strawberries and stir until everything thickens.

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Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze.

ORCHIDS + SWEET TEA

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  1. I agree, strawberries and cream cheese do go very well together, these sweet rolls look and sound amazing, I can only imagine how amazing your kitchen smelled when you made these 🙂

    • Albert, I’m so happy that you agree! They really are amazing and they made my kitchen smell SO GOOD! Haha!

    • Yes, I’ve been enjoying them with some tea! But coffee would definitely work amazingly!