Nothing beats a juicy slice of cherry pie, except maybe a fluffy cherry cinnamon roll. A rich yeasted dough, tart cherry pie filling, and buttery cream cheese frosting make these the perfect treat. These cherry cinnamon rolls with homemade filling are sure to become a favorite.
Why I Love This Recipe
I’m a sucker for a good sweet roll recipe, so much so that I have an entire category on this blog dedicated to my cinnamon roll obsession. I am also a sucker for cherry pie – so naturally these cherry cinnamon rolls are one of my favorites. The homemade cherry filling is made with frozen cherries so you can make these delightful rolls any time of year. The sweet eggy dough in this recipe uses active dry yeast, meaning these rolls only need to rise for an hour before they are ready to be rolled and filled. This recipe is as quick and easy as it is delicious.
Ingredients and Tools
Every ingredient plays an important role when making these cherry cinnamon rolls. This list explains the role of each ingredient when making this recipe, and also offers possible substitutions. See the recipe card below for a list of the ingredients with their amounts.
The Dough Ingredients
- Water, Yeast, and Sugar – Warm water and sugar will help activate the dry yeast. Ensure that your yeast is fresh and within its expiration date, as expired yeast may not activate properly.
- Milk – Incorporating milk adds moisture, replacing the need for water. It also adds fat to enrich the dough, making these rolls soft and fluffy.
- Sugar – Sugar makes the dough sweet and helps it to rise. I use raw organic cane sugar when baking, but any sugar will work.
- Egg – Egg plays a crucial role in enriching the dough and providing these rolls with a light and tender texture. For best results, use a room temperature egg when making the dough.
- Bread Flour – For this recipe, I used organic bread flour. Bread flour will give these brioche cinnamon rolls the best rise and the softest crumb. If using all-purpose flour, you may need to increase the amount of flour called for in the recipe.
- Salt – Salt is added to enhance flavor without making the rolls salty. It also acts to strengthen the dough.
- Butter – Butter is crucial in enriching this dough and giving these rolls that tender and flaky brioche quality. I use unsalted butter when baking, but you can use salted by omitting the salt in this recipe.
The Cherry Filling Ingredients
- Cherries – This recipe uses frozen cherries making it a easy recipe that can be made year round. You can use fresh cherries in place of frozen cherries if you have them on hand.
- Sugar – Sugar makes the filling for these cherry cinnamon rolls sweet, and helps to combat the tartness of the cherries.
- Corn Starch – Corn Starch helps to thicken the cherry filling. If you don’t have corn starch use flour in its place.
Tools I Recommend
For this recipe I find the following tools quite handy (Amazon affiliate links):
Tips for Making This Recipe
- Use fresh ingredients – Make sure the yeast you use in this recipe is within its expiration date. If using expired yeast you may not see your rolls rise as they should.
- Chill the filling – Filling that isn’t fully chilled will warm the dough when it is spread on top and make the dough extremely lax and hard to roll up. Make the filling before mixing the dough so that it has an adequate amount of time to chill in the fridge.
- Use the right pan – These rolls will expand quite a bit in the oven. I recommend baking them in a 11″ x 15″ Cake Pan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I substitute whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour for bread flour?
Bread flour will give these cinnamon rolls the best rise and the softest crumb. If using whole wheat or all-purpose flour, you will need to increase the amount of flour or reduce the milk called for in the recipe and strengthen the dough a bit more
Can I make the dough ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the dough the evening before you plan to bake, and refrigerate it overnight. First rise will happen in the refrigerator at a much slower rate than at room temperature. Take the dough out the morning of, and roll it out to make the rolls. Second rise will take a little longer as the dough will be chilled.
How do I store my leftover cinnamon rolls?
To store any leftover cherry cinnamon rolls, place them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
What is the best way to reheat leftover cherry cinnamon rolls?
You can reheat leftover cinnamon rolls individually in the microwave, or reheat all the leftovers in a 300°F (150°C) preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through.