Happy Monday, friends. We find ourselves here again, on this awful day, right after the weekend. Why does this always happen to us? The sole purpose of a Monday is to remind us that we have a long work week ahead of us. It’s torturous, really. I believe that the only way to survive these next couple of days is with a batch of these Strawberries and Cream Cinnamon rolls. I’m very spoiled because living in Los Angeles, we get strawberries pretty much all year round, but right about now is when they’re really amazing. These cinnamon rolls don’t actually have cinnamon sugar in the middle, but rather they’ve received a summer makeover. They are summer body ready. These rolls are spread with strawberry preserves (instead of butter) and then sprinkled with fresh strawberries (instead of cinnamon sugar). Then they’re rolled up, sliced and baked like traditional cinnamon rolls. Then because that just isn’t enough, they’re doused with a thick cream cheese glaze, giving them a strawberries and cream flavor. If you ask me, it’s the perfect makeover on a classic dish.
Speaking of makeovers…in other exciting news, if you’re reading this on an actual computer you’ll have noticed that I gave my site a much needed new look. It was feeling a little old and tired to me. I’ve been doing this blog for about 5 and 1/2 years now and a new look is just what the site needed to make it feel new and exciting; not just for me but for you as well. I spent all weekend getting it ready and transforming it from it’s old doughnut-filled fun look (which was great don’t get me wrong) to this new more serious and professional look. I think it showcases my images a lot better, and that’s what I value the most from my site so it’s great. Among it’s new features, my favorite part is that there is a fancy new “jump to recipe” feature at the top of each post now. That’s for people who just want to get to the recipe right away and not deal with my rambling and lots of photos. I think this is very helpful. I’m excited for you all to experience the new site and I hope you love it as much as I do! There are some awesome things coming up for the site, so please stay tuned! As always, thank you for reading and following along. You guys humble me.
Let’s start by blooming the yeast. This just means we have to wake up that active dry yeast from the packet. We do this by sprinkling the yeast into warm water with a tiny bit of sugar. Let it sit until the yeast has dissolved and foams up.
**Note: Yeast needs a little bit of “food” to wake up, just like you and I. The tiny bit of sugar helps this out. If your yeast mixture doesn’t bloom up, toss it and start over. This step is crucial for the dough to turn out right.**
In a large bowl, mix together 3 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, milk, butter, egg, and yeast mixture. Stir until it all comes together. Then add in as much of the remaining flour as needed to create a soft somewhat sticky dough that pulls away from the sides. Knead on high for about 7 minutes.
Shape the soft dough into a ball and then transfer to a greased bowl, turning over to coat both sides. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Let rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
**Tip: I like let the dough rise on top of the fridge, on top of the stove or in an oven that you’ve turned on for like 5 minutes and then turned off. It creates a warm environment for the dough to rise.**
Meanwhile, let’s macerate some strawberries. This means we’re going to slice strawberries and then toss together with sugar and a bit of salt. What this does is A) soften the berries a bit, the sugar and salt break them down slightly, and it B) makes them slightly sweeter if your berries are more tart than sweet. Let sit at room temperature until needed.
Once the dough has risen, punch it dough to release the air and then transfer to a well-floured work surface. Roll out into a large rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Spread the top evenly with a very thin layer of strawberry preserves or jam.
**Note: You don’t want to add too much moisture to the inside of the dough because it’ll be hard to roll and the dough will get soggy when you go to bake it. So spread the jam in a very thin layer, as thin as possible.**
Drain those macerated strawberries, discarding their juice, and then sprinkle the slices evenly over the top of the jam. Keep in mind that we have to roll this up like cinnamon rolls so the berries need to be sprinkled evenly over the top so that you’ll have an even log.
Roll, lengthwise, into a tight log and trim off the ends. Then cut into 9 equal rolls, placing them into a greased rectangular baking dish.
**Note: The dough is very soft and because of the jam and berries it’ll be a little difficult to roll up and cut, and when you feel frustrated and feel like giving up, I need to you to keep going because I promise in the end the rolls will turn out great.**
Cover the dish loosely with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel and let rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Once they’ve doubled, you’ll notice that some juice will pool at the bottom of the dish, that’s okay. The rolls will soak it up when they bake. Speaking of baking, bake until golden brown and cooked all the way through, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool down until for about 20 minutes.
To make the “cream” icing, beat together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Stir in the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and a bit of milk. Spread over the warm buns, allowing the glaze to slightly melt into the rolls themselves.
At this point you can just dive in and devour the rolls. If you have any leftovers, you’re doing it all wrong, but you can cover them with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.
You can try this out with other fresh berries if you’d like! Use raspberries, blueberries or even blackberries! All you have to do is swap out the jam flavor with whatever fresh berry you decide to use! These are a great summer dessert or even breakfast, if you wish to be so decadent first thing in the morning.
Give these rolls a try this week, or whenever strawberries are in season wherever you are, and let me know what you think about them! To me, they scream summer and are the only way to get through a long work week, let me tell you. I hope you love them and I hope you love the new site look. Cheers my friends!
- 1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast
- ½ cup warm water
- ½ cup warm milk (warmed to 110 degrees F)
- ¼ granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 3½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- ⅓ cup strawberry preserves or jam
- 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
- pinch of salt
- To make the dough, sprinkle the yeast into the warm water with a little bit of the sugar. Let sit for about 10 minutes, until the yeast has dissolved and blooms.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the milk, sugar, melted butter, salt, egg, yeast mixture and 3½ cups flour. Mix with the dough hook until the mixture comes together. Continue to mix, adding in as much of the remaining flour as needed to create a soft, somewhat sticky dough, that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead on high for about 7 minutes.
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for a minute or two, and shape into a ball. Transfer to a bowl greased with vegetable oil, turning over to coat both sides. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Let rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.
- Meanwhile, toss the sliced strawberries with the sugar and pinch of salt until evenly combined. Let rest at room temperature to soften.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a rectangular baking dish with cooking spray, or softened butter.
- Once dough has rest, punch down and transfer to a well floured work surface. Roll out into a large rectangle, about ¼ inch thick. Spread the dough with the strawberry preserves, into a very thin layer. Drain the strawberries and sprinkle evenly over the top. Carefully roll up the dough (as best you can with the berries) lengthwise, into a long log. Trim the ends and discard. Cut the long rope into 9 equal rolls. Place the rolls into the prepared baking dish, spacing them evenly. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Let rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Bake until golden brown and fully cooked through, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.
- To make the topping, cream the cream cheese and butter, until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the powdered sugar, vanilla, pinch of salt and enough of the milk until desired consistency is reached. You want it to be spreadable. Spread over the warm buns and serve. Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days. Enjoy!