Cherry Sweet Rolls are sliced, soft sweet bread rolled into pinwheels with a tangy cherry filling and topped with a creamy icing. This recipe was created for #SummerDessertWeek! I was sent samples by some of the sponsor companies but as always opinions are 100% mine.
Let’s talk about these gorgeous Cherry Sweet Rolls!
Because oh. mah. GOODNESS! I want to talk about these Cherry Sweet Rolls, Friends. I mentioned my love for all things cherry when sharing my Cherry Lime Bellini recipe earlier in the week. Well, I also have a thing for sweet rolls. Vanilla Latte Cinnamon Rolls are probably my most often requested dessert to bring to pot lucks. Springtime has me craving Lemon Sweet Rolls like crazy. For cooler weather, I like Apple Cinnamon Rolls myself, but I also get a lot of requests for my Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls–not that any of those sweet rolls are limited by season. Sweet rolls are always in season!
Naturally, summer calls for for Cherry Sweet Rolls! The always perfect sweet roll dough is soft, pillowy, and the perfect base for the cherry filling. I use both fresh sweet cherries, along with a few tart dried cherries to give the filling the right balance of sweet and tangy. Then there’s the creamy icing with just a hint of butter to tie it all together. I think that I’ve found a new favorite sweet roll! Perhaps you’ll agree?
I made the most of Dixie Crystals sugar, Adam’s Extract cherry flavoring, and the always reliable Red Star Yeast in creating this recipe.
Yields 18 Servings
Cherry Sweet Rolls are sliced, soft sweet bread rolled into pinwheels with a tangy cherry filling and topped with a creamy icing.
3 hr, 30 Prep Time
20 minCook Time
3 hr, 50 Total Time
- For the Dough:
- 2 C. 2% milk
- ½ C. granulated sugar
- ½ C. canola oil
- 4 ½ C. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- 2 ¼ tsp. active dry yeast
- For the Filling:
- 12 oz. (~2 C.) fresh sweet cherries, pitted and cut in half
- 1 C. dried cherries, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbs. cold water
- 1 Tbs. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp.salt
- For the Icing:
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 ½ C. (1 pound, weight) powdered sugar
- 4-6 Tbs. 2% milk, to desired consistency
- 1/8 tsp. cherry extract, optional
- For the Dough—
- Before applying heat—pour the milk, canola oil, and sugar into a large Dutch oven, whisking to combine. Heat the milk mixture over medium heat until it begins to simmer and bubble around the edges, whisking occasionally. (Do not allow the mixture to come to a rapid boil.)
- Turn off the heat and allow the milk mixture to cool to lukewarm (warm, but not hot to the touch.)
- Once mixture has cooled to lukewarm, sift the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda over top.
- Sprinkle the yeast over all and stir well with a wooden spoon until blended. The dough will be very sticky. Cover the Dutch oven with a clean towel, and allow the dough to rise until it doubles in bulk--about 2 hours.
- For the Filling—
- Whisk the cornstarch, sugar, and salt to combine in a medium sauce pan. Add the cherries and stir to coat. Stir in the water. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat; stirring frequently. Once the cherries begin to release their juices and bubble slightly, stir continuously while lightly mashing the cherries against the side of the pot, until filling thickens to the consistency of pie filling. Fold in the dried cherries.
- Remove from heat and transfer the filling to a glass bowl to cool.
- For the Icing—
- In a medium bowl, beat the softened butter until soft. Mix in half of the powdered sugar, along with half of the milk, mixing until smooth. Blend in the remaining powdered sugar and enough of the milk to achieve a smooth icing with a thick yet spreadable consistency. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside while assembling the sweet rolls.
- To Assemble the Sweet Rolls—
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Generously grease four 9-inch (glass or aluminum) pie plates with butter; set aside. (Smearing about a half of a tablespoon in total of cold butter onto the pie plates should be enough to sufficiently coat the interiors.)
- Turn the risen sweet dough out onto a clean, well floured work surface. Form the dough into a large ball. Cut the dough in half with a bench scraper or sharp knife. Return half of the dough to the pot while working with the other half.
- Gently knead the working dough by folding it into thirds toward the center, pressing, turning, and repeating the process 2 or 3 more times. Lightly flour the top of the dough, and roll it evenly into a 12” x 8” rectangle. Dough will be about ¼ inch thick. If at any time the dough sticks to the rolling pin, sprinkle the dough with a little more flour.
- Spoon half of the filling over the dough, gently spreading to cover the dough, leaving a ½- inch margin clear around the edges.
- Beginning with the long side of the rectangle farthest away from you, tightly roll the dough over the filling towards yourself. Take the time to roll it tight to ensure that the rolls won’t loosen and allow the filling to seep out while in the oven. If at any point the dough is sticking to the work surface, gently run a thin bench scraper underneath it to loosen without tearing the dough.
- Once the dough has been rolled tight, pinch the edges and seams together to seal the sweet cherry goodness inside.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into nine 1-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices (cut side up) about an inch or so apart in the prepared pie plates. I find that 6 rolls fit nicely in each pie plate—one in the middle, and five around the perimeter.
- Repeat with the process with the remaining sweet dough and lemon filling to make a total of 18 sweet rolls.
- Once all the rolls are cut and nestled into their respective pie plates, allow them to rest for about 10 minutes to rise.
- Bake the sweet rolls for 16-18 minutes or until they are a light golden brown around the edges, and the centers are set, but not browned.
- Remove sweet rolls from the oven to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before icing.
- After the brief cooling period, pour the icing over warm sweet rolls, spreading to coat all exposed surfaces with the rolls with an offset spreading knife. Pouring the icing while the rolls are still warm will enable it to seep into the creases of the rolls, which is a very good thing.
- To serve warm Cherry Sweet Rolls, let the iced rolls rest for another 10 minutes prior to serving. Alternately, the sweet rolls may be cooled to room temperature before serving.
- Store leftover Cherry Sweet Rolls tightly wrapped and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
After the initial rise, place a lid on the pot, and refrigerate overnight. The dough is quite sticky, and will be easier to work with after being refrigerated. Refrigeration also slows the yeast, still allowing the dough to rise. The next morning, take the dough out of the refrigerator, and allow it to stand at room temperature while preparing the filling and icing. Afterward, proceed as directed in the recipe. The use of dark and/or nonstick pans is not recommended, as they cook the outside of the rolls too quickly, thus darkening/crisping the outsides before the centers are done. In lieu of the pie plates, the sweet rolls may also be arranged into two 9”x13”x2” baking pans. Baking time may need to be extended by 3 to 4 minutes when baking in larger pans. Sweet rolls may be baked, cooled, tightly wrapped, then frozen for up to one month. If freezing, I recommend doing so without the icing and icing them after thawing and prior to serving.
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