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cherry cinnamon rolls before being baked

Cherry Cinnamon Rolls with Homemade Filling

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.

a cherry cinnamon roll with a bite taken out of it.

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 egg-y 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.

A pan of cherry cinnamon rolls topped with cream cheese icing.

More Sweet Roll Recipes to Try

Cherry Cinnamon Rolls with Homemade Filling

4.2 from 18 votes
Recipe by Samantha Citro
Course: Sweet Recipes, Sweet Roll RecipesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
Servings

12

servings
Cooking time

40

minutes
Total time

2

hours 

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.

Ingredients

  • The Cherry Filling
  • 3 1/2 cups frozen cherries (454g)

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (67g)

  • 1/4 cup cold water (60g)

  • 2 tbs corn starch (20g)

  • The Dough
  • 1/4 cup warm water (60g)

  • 1 tsp active dry yeast (6g)

  • 3/4 cup whole milk (180g)

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (67g)

  • 2 large eggs

  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour (540g)

  • 1/2 tsp salt (3g)

  • 6 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature

  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature (57g)

  • 3 oz cream cheese, room temperature (85g)

  • 2 cups powdered sugar (260g)

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1-3 tbs whole milk (20-60g)

Directions

  • Make the Filling
  • In a medium-sized pan, combine the fresh or frozen blueberries and sugar. Stir the mixture continuously as you bring it to a gentle boil over medium-high heat.
  • In a small bowl combine the cold water and cornstarch. Mix until fully dissolved, then gently stir into the cherry sugar mixture and continue stirring until thickened.
  • Once thickened, remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool before transferring it to a bowl. Place the bowl of homemade cherry filling into the fridge while the dough is being made to allow it to fully chill.
  • Activate The Yeast
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the warm water, active dry yeast, and a pinch of sugar. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes, or until the yeast blooms, and becomes bubbly and activated.
  • Make The Dough
  • Add the milk, sugar and eggs to the bloomed yeast, and whisk until they are thoroughly combined.
  • Sift the bread flour and sea salt into the mixture, stirring just until a shaggy dough forms.
  • Work in the room temperature butter by hand or with a stand mixer on low speed until incorporated, about 3 minutes.
  • Once the butter is fully incorporated, knead the dough on medium speed using a dough hook attachment, or knead it by hand, for approximately 10 minutes or until the dough fully pulls from the sides of the bowl.
  • First Rise
  • Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, and cover it with a damp cloth or kitchen towel. Let the dough rise at a temperature of around 72°F (22°C) for 1 hour, or until it has almost doubled in size.
  • Make The Rolls
  • Before turning out the dough, lightly dust your work surface with flour. Gently pat the dough into a rectangular shape and use a floured rolling pin to roll it out into a 14″x16″ rectangle.
  • Pull the cherry filling from the fridge and spread it over the sheet of dough, leaving a one-inch margin along the length of the dough. This margin will help to seal the rolls when you roll up the dough.
  • Next, roll dough up tightly. Start with the end opposite of the margin and roll inwards applying a gentle pressure. Lightly wet the margin with water before sealing and allow the roll to rest, seam side down, for a minute to ensure a tight seal. This step can be messy.
  • Using a non-serrated knife, cut the log into twelve equally-sized cherry cinnamon rolls and arrange them in an 11″ x 15″ pan.
  • Second Rise
  • Pre-heat your oven to 350°F (177°C).
  • Place your pan of rolls in a warm spot of your kitchen, and allow them rise at a temperature of around 72°F (21°C) for approximately 30 minutes. During this second rise, the rolls will increase in size and become visibly poofy. 
  • Bake and Frost
  • Position the rolls on the center rack of your 350°F (177°C) preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops are just beginning to brown.
  • While the rolls are baking, prepare the frosting. In a medium sized bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until you achieve a creamy lump-free frosting. Add more or less milk as needed to achieve your desired consistency.
  • Once out of the oven allow the cherry cinnamon rolls to cool for 15 minutes before frosting. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • 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.
  • Cutting Quickly – Fruit Rolls can be messy to fill and cut. Wetting your knife every few cuts and working quickly will prevent the dough from pulling and give you the cleanest outcome
  • 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.

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9 Comments

  1. Hello, Samantha!

    In your recipe notes, you state that you used bread flour and to increase the amount of flour if using AP. However, the ingredient list says AP flour, not bread flour. Is the 4.5 cups of AP flour called for in the recipe already an increase from the amount of bread flour you used originally?

    Thanks much, can’t wait to try these out!

  2. I have jarred sour cherries. Can I use these?

  3. Am I missing something? Why are these called Cherry Cinnamon Rolls when there’s no Cinnamon in the recipe? They’re simply Cherry Sweet Rolls.

  4. JOAN STOK

    I have not made these yet but am planning to. I noticed when I was reading through the recipe that under 4 and 5, activate the yeast, they are both the same instructions.

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