Breakfast & Brunch | September 27, 2020

Raspberry Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Raspberry Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls are heaven sent! This recipe takes cinnamon rolls to a whole new level of delicious.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

What comes to mind when you hear raspberry and cinnamon roll together? In the past, every time I purchased a raspberry cinnamon roll at a bakery I was disappointed. The thin layer of jam, or jam in the icing, or red food coloring combined with a lot of sugar and raspberry flavoring left me craving something better…

Fresh Raspberry Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

If I’m going to eat a raspberry cinnamon roll, I want RASPBERRIES in my rolls! Once I get an idea into my head, there’s no stopping me. My new mission in life was making the best Raspberry Cream Cheese Cinnamon Roll ever.

Fresh raspberry cinnamon rolls

A Fun Change to an Old Favorite

The idea of a raspberry cinnamon roll is basically the same as a traditional cinnamon roll, only with fresh raspberries in the filling. I love the little bit of tart the raspberries give to the sweet roll and the way the raspberries slightly melt into the buttery sweet filling after being baked. I just wash and dry the raspberries thoroughly, then sprinkle on top of the filling just before rolling up(see photo). It’s not absolutely necessary to top the rolls with more fresh raspberries, but I think it takes this recipe to over-the-top status!

unfrosted cinnamon rolls with fresh raspberry filling

Fresh Fruit FTW

There’s nothing better than a homemade cinnamon roll. My favorite type of cinnamon roll is not too light, not too heavy, a bit chewy, moist, with gooey filling and smothered with thick, dreamy frosting. I’ve developed a similar idea using traditional cinnamon rolls made into a fresh raspberry version!

fresh raspberries on roll dough

You won’t find thin, flavorless filling in these rolls. This filling is pure heaven. Combined with the most perfect roll texture and thick cream cheese frosting, talk about a fun new way to celebrate the humble cinnamon roll!

rolls before frosting

When I’m in the mood to make a sweet breakfast treat, I tend to turn to my traditional Overnight Cinnamon Rolls or Cutler’s Cinnamon Rolls. Raspberry Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls are the best of both worlds. They are perfect for so many occasions: family brunch, holiday time, conference weekend, you name it! These sweet rolls belong on your table. 

Fresh fruit, moist filling

Some may be hesitant to add fresh fruit in baked goods, because it can make the bread or dough a little soggy. These rolls are definitely best served the same day, but they are perfectly delicious, even on day two.

Cinnamon rolls before baking

I highly recommend using fresh raspberries when possible. My favorite brand of fresh raspberries for any type of baking are Driscoll’s. I’ve found this brand to be picked fresh and packed with very little water if any, so they work well in this recipe. You will need two pints or about 3 1/2 to 4 cups for one recipe if you’d like enough for topping the rolls as well as the filling!

Gooey raspberry cinnamon rolls

The secret to moist gooey cinnamon rolls!

Last year, Kathleen (my assistant and dear friend) told me she and her daughters tried pouring cream over cinnamon rolls before baking and they were over crazy about the results. I have to agree! The combination of cream poured over the rolls (see below) just before baking, juicy raspberries, and then frosting the rolls partially with a decadent cream cheese frosting while they’re still warm…amazing! Did I mention more fresh raspberries on top?! You’ve never tasted a roll this good.

Pour warmed or room temperature cream over rolls just before baking…

How to make-ahead Raspberry Cinnamon Rolls

If you’re like me and you like to make everything ahead as much as possible, without compromising quality, I have good news for you! I initially thought this recipe would not freeze well because of the fresh berries. I was wrong. After experimenting, I’ve found a method that works and the rolls taste just as wonderful as if made and baked the same day! Follow the recipe until the rolls are shaped and placed into the baking pan. See recipe notes for details. After the rolls are shaped, they may be frozen until day of baking. You need to allow about 3 hours to let the rolls thaw and rise before baking.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Rolls with fresh cream

Raspberry Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls are a must have on your holiday menu this year Pin this recipe so you’ll be able to find it easily. This recipe is sure to become a new family favorite. Oh, and one more bit of advice, take out your dessert plates, this sweet roll can’t be eaten on a napkin!

fresh raspberry breakfast rolls

5 from 5 votes
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Raspberry Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Thick and gooey cinnamon rolls filled with fresh raspberries, topped with cream cheese frosting and more fresh berries! Don't be intimidated by the amount of steps in this recipe! There are a few basic steps: make dough, let rise, make filling, shape rolls, make frosting, bake rolls, frost rolls. Much of the time in the recipe is to allow the dough and shaped rolls rise!

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cinnamon rolls, cream cheese frosting, raspberries, sweet rolls
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
rising time and cooling time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12
Author Si Foster A Bountiful Kitchen

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 cups warm water 1 3/4 cups in extremely humid environment
  • cup nonfat dry milk
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup canola or sunflower oil
  • 1 large egg PLUS one yolk room temperature
  • 4½ to 5 cups bread flour or all purpose *see recipe notes
  • Oil for coating bowl

Filling

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries (more needed for topping) see recipe notes
  • 1 tablespoon cream for each roll room temperature

Frosting

  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened regular (not low or no fat)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt

Topping

  • fresh raspberries for garnish, about 1 1/2-2 cups see recipe notes

Instructions

Roll dough

  1. Combine water and dry milk powder in a large bowl of a stand mixer. Using paddle attachment, stir until milk dissolves. You may also use a whisk and mix this portion by hand.

  2. Add yeast, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, ⅓ cup melted butter, 1/4 cup oil, 1 egg PLUS 1 yolk, and 2 cups of the bread flour. Mix on low speed until ingredients are combined. Increase mixer speed to medium and mix for about 1 minute. Turn mixer off.

  3. I like to change to the bread or dough hook at this point.

    Add 2 more cups of flour. Mix on low speed until ingredients are combined for 2 minutes at low speed. Dough will start to get stiff. Remaining flour may need to be mixed in by hand.

  4. Add remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, until dough is soft and not sticky or wet looking (it is not necessary to use all of the flour). When the flour is mixed in, scrape down sides of bowl, and turn dough over in bowl. Lighly apply oil to the inside of the bowl with cooking spray or a paper towel coated with canola oil or butter.

  5. Set the bowl in a warm place away from drafts. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a light clean kitchen towel and let rise for about 60-90 minutes or until dough has doubled.

Prepare fruit & filling (while dough is rising)

  1. Wash raspberries gently in cold water, toss lightly and drain so all of the water is out of the cavity of the fruit. Let sit on on paper towel and come to room temperature while dough is being prepared and rising. Save about 1 1/2 cups of the raspberries for topping the rolls after baked and cooled. Two cups of the raspberries go in the filling of the roll.

  2. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon all purpose flour, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

Frosting (prepare while rolls are baking)

  1. Place 6 oz cream cheese and 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until combined.

    Add 3 cups powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix on low until powdered sugar is combined. If mixture is too thick, add a little milk or cream. Set aside until ready to frost rolls.

Assemble, let rise & bake rolls

  1. When the dough has risen, generously flour a clean surface with all purpose flour.

  2. Roll out dough into approximately a 20"x10" rectangle. Spread 6 tabelspoons room temperature butter over filling. Sprinkle filling onto the dough evenly. Sprinkle 2 cups of the raspberries on top of the filling evenly over the dough (see photo).

    Roll up the dough, starting with the long side, until the dough is rolled into one long piece (see photo).

  3. Using a sharp knife, pastry scraper with sharp edge or unflavored dental floss, cut the rolled dough into half, then each half into 2 pieces, then each portion into 3 even portions. You should have 12 rolls when finished.

  4. Butter a 9×13 pan, or two 9 inch round cake or pie plates, or line with parchment paper. All of the rolls will fit into one 9×13, or if you prefer to space the rolls out a bit, use 2- 9×13 pans or 6 each in the round pans. Place the rolls into prepared pans.

  5. Cover the rolls with parchment or a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for about 45 minutes in a draft free place at least 72 degrees.

  6. Place rack in middle of oven, and preheat oven to 375 degrees 15 minutes before baking.

  7. Before baking, pour 1 tablespoon cream or half and half over each roll in pan. Make sure the cream is room temperature.

  8. Bake the rolls for 18-20 minutes or until golden on top and the bottom is cooked and slighly golden as well. While rolls are baking, make frosting.

  9. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. While rolls are still hot, frost with about 1/2 of the frosting, being careful to not press down on the rolls too much.

  10. After 30 minutes, frost rolls with remaining cream cheese frosting and place a few fresh raspberries on top of each roll before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • Remember, the amount of flour you will need depends upon the climate in which you are baking. If you are baking in a dry climate, your dough may only need 4 1/2 cups of flour. Especially if using bread flour! Bread flour has a higher protein content than all purpose flour, and usually when I’m baking in Utah, I need about 4 1/2 cups of flour in this recipe. In Spain, where it is very humid, and we are at sea level, I need 5 cups of bread flour plus I have to reduce the liquid in this recipe by 1/4 cup. Follow recipe directions and watch the dough. If you have mixed in all of the flour and it still is wet and very sticky, add an additional 1/4-1/2 cup of flour until you have the right consistency!
  • For success in roll making, always start with a warm bowl. Run warm water into the bowl used for making rolls and wipe out with towel. Precede with making rolls.
  • Use large, room temperature eggs.
  • If you do not have access to dry milk, you may use 2 cups of whole milk, warmed just a bit. I like the texture better when using dry milk and water. 
  • Keep flour at room temperature, not in a cold or hot garage or storage space for best results. I use bread flour for cinnamon rolls. Bread flour has a higher protein content than all purpose flour and will produce a bit better rise and a chewier texture in cinnamon rolls.
  • Pouring cream or half and half or milk over the rolls is not absolutely necessary, but  will change the overall moistness of the roll after baked. It also creates a creamy, soft texture inside of the cinnamon roll.
  • This recipe requires about 4 cups or two pints total of raspberries. 
  • You should allow about 3 1/2  hours start to finish (majority of time rising and baking). 
  • For make ahead: Follow directions, make dough,  let rise, roll up dough and cut into pieces. Instead of letting rise again in pan, place the rolls in a freezer proof pan, cover tightly and freeze.  When ready to bake, remove from freezer and place in a warm (at least 72 degrees) room, covered. Let rise for about 3 hours. or until almost doubled in size.  Top with cream and bake as directed.

6 thoughts on “Raspberry Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

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Recipe Rating




  1. 5 stars
    I am a huge fan of these rolls!! I am not a fan of dry rolls. These are so moist and yummy. Don’t skip putting cream on before you bake. It really makes the rolls delicious. Thanks Si for another no fail recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    I love the simplicity of these recipes. These rolls are super easy to make, but when you serve them to your family and friends they think you slaved away at them. I don’t know if they taste the same the next day because everyone asked to take at least one roll home. These rolls go fast!

  3. 5 stars
    You never can go wrong with fresh raspberries! We made these once this week and they disappeared so we made them again on the weekend. Delicious! If you use the recipe notes then you can’t go wrong. I even used the same trick of warming the bowl with warm water to get my eggs to room temperature. These rolls are huge and can easily be cut in half if you want to share.

  4. 5 stars
    Love love love! I’m no pro by any means, and followed this recipe to a T with the tips and everything and they turned out delicious! Even prepped all the ingredients the night before so in the morning everything was measured and ready to use which made it easier for me! Best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made!