Baking enthusiast Sally McKenney Quinn is the author of the popular blog and cookbook Sally’s Baking Addiction as well as PEOPLE.com‘s newest food blogger. Check back each month for her latest easy-to-follow recipes! Warning: Don’t read when hungry.
I’m so excited to share one of my favorite breakfast indulgences: a giant fluffy sweet roll swirled with homemade strawberry filling and topped with sweet lemon glaze that drips down into every crevice.
Sally McKenney Quinn
There is nothing, and I mean nothing, better than sinking your teeth into one these strawberry rolls this spring!
The wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can make it ahead. Busy morning? Have guests arriving? You can prepare this dough the evening before and bake the rolls in the morning so they’re fresh and warm on the breakfast table — and you can press the snooze button a few times!
Make sure you read my make ahead tip* for instructions how to prepare these rolls ahead of time.
Strawberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Glaze
Makes 12 large rolls
1 cup (240ml) whole milk
⅔ cup (135g) granulated sugar
1 and ½ tbsp. (14g) active dry yeast (2 standard size packets)
½ cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into 4 pieces
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ tsp. salt
4 and ½ cups (558g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting/rolling
1 and ¾ cups (222g) finely chopped strawberries
⅓ cup (68g) granulated sugar
1 and ½ tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2-3 tbsp. (30-45ml) fresh lemon juice
1. Make the dough: In a small saucepan, warm the milk over low heat until lukewarm (about 95 degrees F). Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (OR you can use a handheld mixer). With a spoon, manually stir in the sugar and yeast. Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5-10 minutes. If the yeast does not dissolve and foam, start over with fresh yeast. On low speed, beat in the softened butter until it is slightly broken up. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the salt. The butter won’t really be mixing into the mixture, so don’t be alarmed if it stays in pieces. On low speed, gradually add the flour. Once it is all added, beat on medium speed until a soft dough forms.
2. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and supple, about 6 minutes longer. If you do not have a stand-mixer with a hook attachment, knead the dough by hand in this step.
3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap, a paper towel, or aluminum foil and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Here’s what I do: turn the oven on to 200F degrees. Turn the oven off. Stick the covered dough inside the oven and allow it to rise in this warm environment.
4. As the dough rises, make the filling: Warm the strawberries in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly for 4 minutes until the strawberries begin to release juices. Add the granulated sugar and cornstarch and continue to stir for another 2 minutes. The mixture will thicken. Remove from the heat, spoon into a heatproof bowl or container, and chill until ready to use. You do not want a warm filling as you spread it onto the dough.
5. Grease the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish, then line with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll into a 12×18 inch rectangle. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick, even at the corners.
6. Spread the strawberry filling all over the dough. Tightly roll up the dough to form an 18-inch-long log. Cut into 12 even rolls (about 1.5 inches in width each). Arrange them in the prepared baking pan.
7. Cover the rolls and allow to rise in a warm environment once again until the are puffy—about 1 – 2 hours (or overnight, see make ahead tip.)
8. After the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 375F degrees. Bake for about 25 minutes, until they are golden brown. About halfway through the bake time, I like to cover the rolls loosely with aluminum foil so the tops don’t brown too much. Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes as you make the glaze.
9. Make the glaze: Whisk the lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar together until smooth. Pour over warm rolls and serve. Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2 months and warmed up to enjoy at a later date.
*Make ahead tip: For the second rise in step 7, cover the sliced rolls very tightly and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise in a warm environment for 1 hour then continue with step 8.
Prep time: 1 hour
Total time: 5 hours and 40 minutes or overnight