After a long, long, long, longgggg (did I mention long?) winter, summer is finally here! I thought I would post this recipe before it ended.
As a kid, I loved to eat strawberries sprinkled with sugar. It was a crunchy, sweet, and refreshing treat. When I saw this strawberry cinnamon roll recipe on userealbutter, I was mesmerized.
I made them in cupcake form knowing that it would be really messy. Before I even put them in the oven, they smelled mouthwatering. Fresh from the oven, they tasted every bit as amazing as I thought they would.
Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from userealbutter
makes 24 rolls
1 1/4 c whole milk
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 c (3.5 oz) granulated sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sea salt
5 c (22.5 oz) all purpose flour
3 c fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and cut into medium dice
1/3 c granulated sugar
1/2 c dark brown sugar
3 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c reserved strawberry filling
1 tsp orange zest
pinch of sea salt
Dough: Place the milk in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 15 second increments until temperature reaches between 100 and 110 degrees F. Pour the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast of the milk. Let sit for 5 minutes until frothy. Add the sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt to the milk and beat until combined. Slowly add the flour 1 cup at a time, mixing until combined. Switch to a dough hook and knead the dough until it becomes smooth (it took my stand mixer about 7 minutes). You can also mix all the ingredients by hand and then knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes. Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray or grease with vegetable oil or butter. Place the dough in the bowl and flip it over to coat–this prevents a skin from forming. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator overnight. You can also let these raise in a warm, draft free place for 2 hours. I prefer to do overnight for cinnamon rolls/sticky buns/yeast dough because there is no way I am waking up 2+ hours early to prepare breakfast.
Strawberry Filling: Place the diced strawberries and the 1/3 cup of granulated sugar in medium saucepan over medium high heat. Stir the mixture until it comes to a boil and then lower the heat so the mixture is simmering. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or until it has a consistency halfway between a syrup and jam. I prepared this the night before as well and stuck it in the fridge. Reserve 1/3 cup of the strawberry filling for the strawberry frosting. I also mixed together the brown sugar and cinnamon and kept it in a zip top bag overnight. Yes, I am a total zombie in the morning.
Make the frosting: Add all the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl. Beat mixture until smooth. Resist eating the entire bowl with a spoon.
The Best Part: Place 24 liners in your cupcake tin(s). Or you can butter two 9 inch round pans or two 9×13 inch rectangular baking pan. If you chose the refrigeration option, you will need very little flour on your rolling surface. This is another reason I prefer to refrigerate my dough. Cut the dough into two equal halves (yes, I did weigh them) and make a 14×12 inch rectangle. Spread 1/2 cup of softened butter over the dough, leaving a a half inch margin along the long edge. Sprinkle half of the brown and cinnamon mixture over the butter, patting down lightly. For the 1st batch, I placed 1/2 of the strawberry mixture on the dough. Starting at the long edge, I rolled the dough into a log and pinched the end to seal it. Using a sharp knife, I sliced it into 12 equal slices and placed them in the prepared cupcake tin (or whatever pan you’re using). It was a huge mess with strawberry juice oozing out everywhere. I felt like I was leaving a lot of deliciousness behind.
For the second half of the dough, I omitted the strawberry mixture from the filling. I preferred this method because it was easier to roll into a log, slice, and a million times less messy (no need to wipe down the board between rolling out the dough). Instead I put a little bit of the strawberry mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner before placing the slices of dough on top. Then I topped each piece with a little bit of strawberry mixture.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until they fill the cupcake liner, about 1 hour. There was a noticeable difference in taste and texture between the two batches. Batch 1 was crispier on the outside and wetter toward the center. Batch 2 was softer all around and had more of an all over strawberry taste since their was some juice drizzled over the top.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the pans on a baking sheet because they do get oozy. Bake the rolls for 22-25 minutes or until the center of the dough reads 180 degrees F. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before bathing them with frosting.