Soft and rich homemade strawberry cinnamon rolls that you can make overnight are a great way to start off any weekend or holiday. Plenty of butter and strawberry jam, with a tangy cream cheese frosting.
There’s nothing like homemade cinnamon rolls to get your weekend or holiday started. Add jam, strawberry or strawberry rhubarb or your favorite brand, on top of a buttery cinnamon sugar base and create a scrumptious gooey strawberry cinnamon roll.
I just finished making my last batch of strawberry jam for the season and decided to add some to a batch of homemade cinnamon rolls. This recipe makes two large pans of rolls, so I made half plain and half with strawberry jam. While I love a traditional cinnamon roll, and adding strawberries was heavenly.
Cinnamon rolls made with butter really don’t need a frosting, but a cream cheese and butter frosting adds just the right amount of tang and is a nice compliment to the strawberry flavor. I prefer it over a powdered sugar icing any day. Add some caramel to it and serve over apple cinnamon rolls in the Fall.
Since my homemade strawberry jam is not overly sweet, it just adds a fabulous strawberry flavor to these buttery rolls. I’ve seen where others have added fresh strawberries to cinnamon rolls, but by adding jam, you keep the gooey cinnamon roll texture and don’t have all the extra liquid you would get by adding fresh strawberries.
Instead of adding the jam to the top of a melted butter layer, try creaming the butter with the sugars and cinnamon, this makes it easier to spread the mixture over the dough.
It also keeps everything from falling out when you roll it and guarantees a cinnamon buttery mixture in every bite. If you’re using an overly sweet jam, you could reduce some of the sugar that you add to the filling.
The best part about making a large batch of cinnamon rolls is that you can freeze some for when you have overnight guests or want to share with friends. Just wrap them in foil and warm them in the oven and you have instant bliss.
How to freeze cinnamon rolls
You have two options for freezing cinnamon rolls. The first option is to bake them until they have just started to turn brown but have not cooked through. Remove them from the oven, let cool completely and then wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. When you’re ready to serve them, take them out of the freezer the night before to thaw and let them come to room temperature in the morning. Bake for about 10 minuets at 350º to complete the cooking.
While that method works and keeps them from getting dry, I’m reluctant to give someone homemade rolls that are not completely cooked. So for the second option, I prefer to bake them as directed, let them cool, wrap and freeze. When you’re ready to serve, let them come to room temperature and cover with aluminum foil and bake 5-10 minutes until just heated through. The foil will keep them from drying out when they’re reheated.
Why you’ll love them
- A rich buttery dough that you don’t have to knead
- Fresh strawberry taste without a runny center
- An overnight option
- You can freeze for later
- A scrumptious cinnamon roll with a tangy frosting
What you’ll need
- Whole milk – even though it has butter, the best cinnamon rolls need the fat from the milk for a rich soft dough
- Butter – this recipe has lots which is what makes the dough so irresistible
- Yeast – you’ll need two packs, you can use instant or active. If using active, the rising time may be a little longer.
- Strawberry Jam – my homemade is fantastic in these rolls.
- Pantry items – just the basics, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, milk and powdered sugar.
Step by step guide for homemade cinnamon rolls
Step 1: Melt the butter in the microwave and add milk and sugar and warm until lukewarm. sprinkle with yeast and add flour and stir to combine. You can do this in a stand mixer with a dough hook, but it’s not necessary. Let it rise until double.
PRO TIP: If you need a warm humid place for your dough to rise, try placing a glass bowl of water in the microwave and bringing it to a boil. Place the bowl of dough in the warm humid microwave.
Step 2: Once it has risen, add the baking powder, soda, salt and a little more flour and stir to combine.
Step 3: Cream butter with cinnamon and brown and white sugar.
Step 4: Divide dough in half and roll out into a 24 x 10 inch rectangle. You can make the dough as thick or thin as you prefer. Cover with half of the butter mixture.
Spread ½ cup of strawberry jam on top and roll it tightly into a long cylinder.
Step 5: Cut into 1 ½ inch slices and place in pie pans or 9 x 13 pan pan. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Let rise for 30 minutes while the oven preheats. Bake until golden brown.
Step 6: For the optional frosting, cream the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla and milk and spread over slightly cooled cinnamon rolls.
FOR OVERNIGHT CINNAMON ROLLS: Tightly cover the pans of rolls with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, let them come to room temperature before placing them in the oven, it will take about an hour.
For a variety, divide the dough into fourths and try adding cut peaches, or raisins and nuts to the dough. A fourth of the dough will make enough to fill a large pie pan.
FAQs about overnight cinnamon rolls
You can prepare the dough and refrigerate the rolls overnight and then bake them in the morning or you can bake them and freeze them for later. Just cover in foil and warm in the oven before serving.
No, fresh strawberries will be add too much liquid. If you have fresh strawberries, cook the strawberries in a saucepan with a little sugar until it’s slightly thickened. Let it cool and then add on top of the cinnamon sugar mixture.
This decreases the amount of time the dough has to rise and gives it a great texture.
With the buttery dough and sweet strawberries, these cinnamon rolls do not need a sweet frosting. A cream cheese frosting adds a nice tangy taste to them but it is not needed.
If you don’t want a ton of homemade cinnamon rolls, you can easily half this recipe.
To keep cinnamon rolls soft, when you re-heat them, cover them in foil and warm in a 350º oven for about 5-10 minutes. You can also sprinkle a little water on top before reheating.
The difference between active and instant yeast is that instant yeast does not need to be proofed so you can add it directly to the dry ingredients, while active yeast is larger and needs to dissolve before adding it. You can use the interchangeably. Active yeast may require an extra 10-15 minute rise time.
Don’t let those fresh picked strawberries get moldy in the fridge before you enjoy them! Read all my tips for keeping your strawberries fresh longer in the fridge.
More Cinnamon Rolls to try
More Breakfast favorites
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Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 cup butter two sticks
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 packages instant or active dry yeast 4 ½ teaspoons
- 9 plus cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1½ cups butter
- ¼ cup cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup strawberry jam
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- salt pinch
- Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Add milk and sugar and microwave for 1-2 minutes until the sugar has melted. Do not let it come to a boil. Let it cool to lukewarm and then sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for 1 minute. Add 8 cups of flour, stir until just combined. Cover with a towel and set aside in a warm place for an hour.
- Remove and add the baking powder, soda, salt and remaining flour. Stir thoroughly to combine.
- FILLING: Cream butter, cinnamon, and sugars together with a hand mixer.
- To assemble the rolls, divide the dough in half. Place one half on a floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle about 24 X 10 inches.
- Spread half of the butter mixture over the dough going all the way out to the edges. Spread ½ of the jam on top.
- Roll the rectangle tightly toward you, using both hands to keep the roll tight. Pinch the seam together when you have finished rolling. Cut into 11/2 inch slices and place in pie pans or a rimmed baking sheet that has been greased with butter. Do not overcrowd the rolls. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Preheat the oven to 375º and let rolls rise for 30 minutes while the oven is preheating. Bake for 13-17 minutes, until golden brown.
- FROSTING: In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter and add powdered sugar and vanilla and enough milk to get to the consistency that you want. Spread on partially cooled cinnamon rolls.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- If the dough shrinks while you are trying to roll it out, cover it and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- For a warm humid rise, place a bowl of water in the microwave and bring it to a boil. Then add the covered bowl of dough and shut the door.
- To freeze the rolls, let them cool completely and cover with plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. When ready to eat, let come to room temperature, wrap in foil and place in a 250º oven for 10-25 minutes.
- Once you have assembled the rolls, you can refrigerate them for up to 24 hours. Cover tightly in plastic wrap and let rise on the counter for an hour before baking.