Twice year we have the opportunity to listen to our church leaders speak over the course of 2 days, Saturday and Sunday. You can read more about it here. We love this weekend! We get to listen to uplifting and inspirational talks, but also spend time together as a family. One of our traditions is Cinnamon Rolls Saturday morning. We love the Caramel Sticky buns and traditional cinnamon rolls, but this year I made the Raspberry Sweet Rolls with a lemon cream cheese icing. My oldest son loves fruit desserts, so these were geared for him!
Start with a traditional sweet dough. I made mine with Einkorn flour, which I am loving in baked goods recently. It is such a great ancient grain to try out if you haven't yet. Let it rise, then roll out to a rectangle, as shown below.
Forming your rolls
Next add your Raspberry Sauce, and spread fairly thin. You want enough you can taste it in the roll,but not so much it is a ooey gooey mess. It is a fine line!
I love my offset spatula for this. If you don't own one, a spoon or butter knife will work just fine.
Ready to get messy ? Make sure the roll is rolled fairly tight, not too tight though, you still want the filling to stay in.
Now, pinch your roll to make sure the dough will hold itself and not come too unrolled. You can catch the same technique with this lovely swirl bread as well!
Cut the rolls to the size you want. Just remember, they will triple, at least, in size. I cut mine about 1 inch. Place in your pan, cover and find a warm location for it to rise.
Preparing the lemon cream cheese icing
While it is rising and baking, prep your icing. I like to put it on when the rolls are still warm, so it needs to be ready to go. It is probably best to mix in a little larger container than I used, but it was what I had close by so I used it.
Fresh lemon zest is key here. It will give you the most intense flavor. If you aren't using a microplane like I did, make sure it is chopped very fine. While the flavor is delicious, it is best enjoyed in small amounts!
You can see I use quite a bit. Trust me, you will want to!
Mix well to evenly distribute the zest.
Even looking at this photo is making me drool!
Time to bake!
I decided to bake my rolls in my Lodge Cast Iron Skillet. I own several pieces of cast iron and just love them. They are a great investment to make. Here they are risen and ready to bake.
Now, I only bake my rolls until they are a very light golden brown. You don't want to over bake or they will dry out.
These are just as delicious as they look!
Add in that icing and it takes them to a whole other level!
They are tender, flavorful and totally delicious!
Let me tell you, it was hard to even get these photos. My oldest son ate so many of these. They were gone within minutes!
- 1 ¼ cup warm milk This should be just slightly warm to the touch, about 100 degrees
- 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup honey or granulated sugar
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 ½-4 cups all purpose flour Start with 2 ½ cups and add from there. This is a variable as so much rides on climate, measuring techniques etc.
- ½-1 cup raspberry sauce recipe also included in post. If you prefer a simpler method, store bought raspberry preserves.
Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
- 6 ounces cream cheese I always use a lowfat type
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- milk How much you use depends on the consistency you are looking for.
- Activate your yeast in the warm milk and honey. You do this by simply mixing all 3 in a small bowl. Set aside for about 3-5 minutes, the yeast will get bubbly and kind of frothy (if that is a word). Once it is activated, add to your mixing bowl. To this add your eggs, butter, salt, whole wheat flour and 2 ½ cup all purpose flour. Mix for about 1-2 minutes. This first mix is to gauge whether or not you need more flour. If the dough is still really sticking to the side of the bowl after about 1-2 minutes, add in more flour- ½-1 cup at a time. Now, after each addition, make sure and mix it fully before adding more. I like to mix at least one minute. You still want the dough to feel slightly tacky (sticky) when it is done. It is a wheat dough and it is important to make sure it has a little more moisture than your all white dough. Once you have the right amount of flour, continue mixing on medium speed for about 5-6 minutes. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled. I have a proof setting on my oven, that keeps the temp about 100 degrees. If you don't have this setting, no problem. I used to place my dough in the bowl in the oven with a pan of boiling water. While it is doubling, prep your pan. I used my cast iron, so I brushed the inside with softened butter. If you prefer, you can also make these one a 9x13 pan, or even a baking sheet. If you are using one of these, you can brush with the butter or line the pan with parchment. Next, roll your dough to an 18x24 inch rectangle. You will make these rolls just as your would a cinnamon, but instead of brushing on melted butter, sugar and cinnamon, you brush on your raspberry sauce. So, brush on a thin layer, about ⅛" over all, except ½ inch on top or bottom. You will need this to pinch the roll closed. I usually like to roll from the top down, so I leave my uncovered section at the bottom. So, roll the rolls. I like to try and roll it tight,but not too tight. You want it to stay fairly close, but not squeeze out. Now, pinch the roll closed as shown in the photos. With a sharp knife, but your rolls to desired size. I like mine about 1 ½ inches. Place rolls in pan. I like mine to be pretty close so they rise together, if you prefer them separate, move them further apart. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled. While they are doubling, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove cover and place in oven.Bake for 15-25 minutes. This will depend on how close together your rolls are and how thick you cut them. While they are baking prepare your icing. Mix all ingredients together, adding milk as needed for the consistency you are looking for. The way I check for doneness is a little unconventional, but works.First I check the top for a very light brown color. Then, I choose a roll in the center and gently pull up the middle of the roll, if the center of a middle roll is done, you are good. Once they are finished, remove from oven.I like to add my icing when they are still warm, then it coats the rolls as it melts down instead of staying on top. Now, sit back and enjoy. These are delicious warm, but also really good cool or even the next day. If I so have leftovers, which is rare, I store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Simply reheat if desired, or eat them just like they are!