Fresh strawberries, lemon and a touch of cinnamon in a super soft and fluffy bread roll, these strawberry cinnamon rolls are such a fun twist on the classic.
- Soft and fluffy homemade cinnamon roll dough
- Homemade easy strawberry jam filling
- 2 ingredient delectable lemon glaze
- Perfect for brunch, especially when the sun’s shining
I took a little inspiration from my maritozzi recipe for the dough for these strawberry sweet rolls and used a tangzhong starter to keep the rolls extra fluffy and soft over a few days. These rolls had all my taste-testers oohing and aahing and I think these may very well be their favourite recipe so far.
You should also try making my small batch cinnamon rolls.
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Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
- Flour: I use bread flour for this recipe for a chewy yet soft texture. You can use plain flour (all purpose flour) but bread flour will give the best textural result.
- Milk: Use whole milk for the best flavour.
- Sugar: Two types of sugar in this recipe – granulated for the dough and icing sugar (powdered sugar) for the lemon glaze.
- Yeast: I use instant yeast for this recipe. Active dry yeast will also work.
- Oil: Use a neutral flavoured vegetable oil or light flavoured olive oil.
- Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavour. Don’t use essence which is a synthetic flavouring:
- Eggs: Just large eggs.
- Strawberries: Fresh berries are best but frozen strawberries will work too.
- Lemon zest and juice: Make sure to zest your lemon before juicing it – much, much easier.
- Cornflour: Cornflour where I am is the same as corn starch in the US. It’s a super fine flour that’s often used for thickening sauces.
- Cinnamon: A little ground cinnamon gives just a background hint in these strawberry cinnamon rolls and it adds a certain cosiness.
That’s it! Not too many ingredients and most of them you’ll have on hand.
How to make strawberry cinnamon rolls (step-by-step)
Make the dough
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
- Tangzhong: Don’t be intimidated by making a tangzhong. It’s very easy and only takes a minute or two. Just heat flour and water together in a saucepan until it forms quite a thick paste (photo 1).
- The dough: Combine all the dough ingredients, along with the tangzhong starter in the bowl of a stand mixer (photo 2) and knead to a soft, sticky dough (photo 3).
- Rise: Oil a bowl lightly and place the dough in. Let it rise for about an hour in a warm place or in the oven on the bread proofing setting.
Make the easy strawberry jam
- Combine all the strawberry jam ingredients together in a heavy based saucepan (photo 4). Mix it all together and cook on low.
- Once they start to get soft and there’s lots of liquid in the pan, use a potato masher to mash the strawberry pieces (photo 5).
- Continue cooking, letting it come to a simmer and stirring fairly regularly until it’s reduced and thick like jam (photo 6). Stir in the cinnamon right at the end.
Make sure to keep an eye on the strawberry jam as it bubbles away or it might catch on the bottom of the pan. Stirring regularly will stop it from catching and burning.
Roll the strawberry cinnamon rolls
- Once the dough has risen (photo 7), roll it out to a large rectangle (photo 8).
- Spread the cooled strawberry jam over the dough (photo 9) then roll it up.
- Cutting the rolls: This part is a little tricky, mainly because it’s a super soft dough. I use a piece of cotton or unflavoured dental floss to cut them really neatly into 12 (photo 10) but you’ll notice the dough kind of joins back together. Have a sharp knife at the ready to cut through if it’s hanging on and just be really gentle with the dough.
- 2nd rise: Carefully transfer the rolls to a greased baking tray (photo 11), cover with a piece of plastic wrap and let them rise.
- Bake: Once risen, brush with egg wash (photo 12) and bake for 20 minutes or so.
Add the glaze
- Mix together the icing sugar, lemon juice and zest and drizzle it over the rolls. All done!
Tips and tricks
- Use a scale: It’s so important to weigh ingredients where a weight is given. Things like flour and even sugar will give you different quantities depending on how you measure them. It’s also helpful when you’re trying to weigh ounces that aren’t whole numbers (like 3.2oz). Finally, there’s less washing up since you don’t have all those cups to wash. Grab yourself a kitchen scale if you don’t already have one – they’re cheap and last forever.
- Don’t be tempted to add too much flour: If the dough is unbearably sticky, you may feel the need to add more flour. If you do, don’t add too much. The dough should be quite sticky and soft to get those beautifully soft rolls.
- Make sure the jam is really thick: The jam must get as thick as store-bought jam so that it spreads over the dough nicely but doesn’t squeeze out the ends when you roll it.
- Slicing the rolls: When cutting it into rolls, I find a piece of cotton or dental floss works best. Take a longish piece and slide it under the log of dough to the centre. Cross the two ends and pull to cut through. Repeat over and over until you have 12 rolls.
- This dough is super soft: Be really patient with the dough when cutting it – it will try to seal back together again being so soft and sticky. Have a sharp knife on hand and as you take one from the log, just carefully slice through if it’s joined again. Use very gentle hands as the dough is soft and can deform easily. It’s worth it I promise, for super soft and fluffy rolls.
Yield and storage
While always best fresh, these strawberry rolls do stay nice and soft for 2 days after baking.
Keep them stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and either let them come to room temperature or gently heat in the microwave before eating.
You can freeze strawberry cinnamon rolls too, again in an airtight container.
Did you try this strawberry cinnamon rolls recipe?
Leaving a rating and comment below the recipe is so helpful!
Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls
FOR THE TANGZHONG
- ½ cup water (125ml)
- ⅓ cup bread flour (43g/1.5oz)
FOR THE DOUGH
- ⅔ cup warm milk (160ml)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons instant or active dry yeast (1 sachet / 7g) (notes)
- ½ cup white granulated sugar (66g / 2.3oz)
- 520 g bread flour (3 ¾ cups / 1lb)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temp
FOR THE STRAWBERRY FILLING
- 525 g whole fresh strawberries (3 cups hulled & diced ) (1.2lb)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (notes 1)
- 3 teaspoons cornflour (US cornstarch)
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
FOR THE LEMON GLAZE
- 1 ½ cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- Make the tangzhong starter: Add the water and flour to a small saucepan and whisk until smooth. Place of low-medium heat and cook, whisking constantly until you have very thick roux (thick paste). Remove from heat and set aside.
- Bloom the yeast: Add the warm milk, yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar to a bowl of a stand mixer and mix a little. Let it sit for 5 minutes to bloom.
- (Keep in mind this is a very sticky dough and will be best made in a mixer. If you do try it by hand, don’t be tempted to add too much flour and use a bench scraper to help.)
- Create the dough: Add the rest of the ingredients in the order listed (you mainly don’t want the salt to touch the yeast directly), including the remainig sugar. Add the tangzhong to the opposite side of the bowl to the eggs in case it’s still a bit hot. Make sure to use a rubber spatula so you don’t leave any behind.
- Knead: Using the dough hook, start on low speed just until the ingredients are combined. Turn it up to level 2 and knead the dough for around 7 minutes. The dough at the end will still be quite sticky and sticking to the sides of the bowl.
- Add a splash of oil to a large clean bowl and rub it around the sides. Rub a little of the oil over your hands and over the rounded edge of a dough scraper so the dough is easier to handle.
- Rise: Lightly oil your hands and a dough scraper. Scrape around the dough bowl to pull the dough into a ball, then lift it out with your hands and roughly fold it into a ball. Place into the oil bowl and flip to lightly coat. It will be sticky but that’s perfect. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and rest and allow to rise for 1 hour to rise until about doubled in size.
- MAKE THE FILLING:Place the lemon juice and cornflour into a heavy based saucepan over low heat and mix until combined. Add the sugar and strawberries and mix well.
- Heat gently, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan 10 minutes until you notice the liquid double. Mash the strawberries and bring to a simmer.
- Cook for another 10 minutes or so, stirring regularly so it doesn’t catch, until very thick like jam.
- Stir in the cinnamon and transfer to a dish in the fridge to cool.
- ASSEMBLING THE CINNAMON ROLLS: Grease a 9×13 inch baking tray well with butter.
- Punch down the dough and transfer it to lightly floured surface.
- Gently stretch or roll the dough out to a large 35x40cm (14×16 inches) rectangle, about 7mm thick.
- Spread over the cooled strawberry filling.
- Roll up from the longest side nearest you towards the other, as tightly as you can without squeezing the filling out.
- Cut 12 even slices using a piece of cotton or dental floss. The dough is extremely soft so and will try to stick back together. Have a sharp knife on hand and slice through the joins when you pick them up. Use light fingers to transfer them to the baking tray and adjust them slightly once there.
- THE SECOND RISE: Place the rolls evenly spaced onto the baking tray cut side up (cleanest side up). Let them rest and rise for another 45-60 minutes until roughly 1 ½ times the size and they look puffy.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan forced) / 350F.
- BAKE: Bake for around 20-22 minutes, turning the tray at the halfway mark, until pale golden brown and baked through (if you have a digital thermometer handy, they should reach 88C/190F).
- Let them cool a little before serving, so they are warm and fluffy but not piping hot.
- FOR THE LEMON GLAZE: Sift the icing sugar into a medium mixing bowl.
- Add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Mix until smooth and runny adding a little more lemon juice as necessary to get a thick consistency that still runs off the spoon.
- Pour over the strawberry cinnamon rolls and serve.
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons). Check yours before measuring.
- For best results, you should always weigh ingredients where a weight is the first measurement given. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- All ovens vary – test for doneness 2-3 minutes before the recipe suggests
- Yeast: You can use instant or active dry yeast. If you use rapid rise, your dough may double in size quicker. If using active dry, add it to the milk mixture and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it’s nice and frothy before proceeding.
- Strawberry cinnamon rolls are best eaten fresh but will keep fairly soft in an airtight container 2-3 days. They can be warmed for 10-15 seconds in the microwave (even iced) to soften them if a little stale.
- Make ahead: The recipe can be made ahead up to the point that the individual rolls have been placed in the baking tin. Cover the tin with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge overnight. Let them come to room temperature before baking – roughly 60-90 minutes.
- Cutting with dental floss or cotton: Take a nice long piece of floss or cotton. Gently slide it underneath the dough log to the centre. Take the two ends of the floss and cross them over the top, then pull the two ends away from each other in a quick movement to cut straight through. Repeat until you have 12 even pieces.
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