If you love cinnamon rolls, and you love blueberries, you NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE!
Long time no blog. Lots has been going on in my corner of the real world… including a new job (still at my library, just new responsibilities) and the start of marathon training (Rocket City Marathon in December). I know I could blog in the evening but I’ve honestly been more interested in reading a nice book. Currently, The Outsider by Stephen King. Eeeeek! I’m actually typing away at this post during my lunch break. But I’m back, and I bring BLUEBERRY SWEET ROLLS! These are absolutely phenomenal and I hope you can make them before summer is up. If you like cinnamon rolls, and you like blueberries, you will l-o-v-e these blueberry sweet rolls. #promise
Homemade cinnamon rolls are my love language. If someone tells me they’re making cinnamon rolls for brunch, and I show up expecting homemade cinnamon rolls and am greeted with their sad canned counterpart… I have to admit I’m a little disappointed. Not that people need to make good food (read: homemade cinnamon rolls) to be my friend exactly, but just that soft, fluffy sweet rolls are absolutely fabulous… and the canned kind are just a little blah. I know people are scared of baking with yeast, but it’s totally doable–and this recipe is a great place to start! For these blueberry sweet rolls, I use the same dough as my Copycat Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls… and that dough is SO forgiving. I’ve screwed it up more times than I can count. I’ve mismeasured the yeast, added too much flour, forgotten the buttermilk… I could go on. Basically, it takes a lot to mess up that dough, and even if you do, chances are good that your sweet rolls will still bake up soft and tender. And still be easy to roll out. #winning And for the record, if you invite me over, ask ME to make the cinnamon rolls. I’ll be happy to oblige!
I could eat regular cinnamon rolls year round, but in the summer, I want to add fruit to everything! I mean, I eat copious amounts of fruit every day… so it’s only natural. Peaches! Watermelon! Berries of all types! This time, I loaded up on the blueberries because why not? The sweet blueberry filling I made is good enough to eat with a spoon, but please save some for your sweet rolls. You’ll probably have extra so you can swirl it in your oatmeal, top your ice cream with it, or just enjoy it as is. I added some cinnamon to the blueberry filling because it seemed only natural, but there’s also some cardamom in there to make it extra special. The best part about the blueberry filling is that some of it pools on the bottom of the baking dish as the rolls rise and bake. Yum!! After the rolls are baked up and before you dive in, take a minute to make a super easy cream cheese frosting. I added a bit of lemon juice and lemon zest, and that citrus addition was perfection! I prefer cream cheese frosting on my cinnamon rolls, blueberry or otherwise, but if you want something a little lighter, you could just make a glaze with powdered sugar, cream/milk, and lemon juice. There are recipes online but you could improvise with a cup of powdered sugar, a tablespoon of cream/milk, and a tablespoon of lemon juice and go from there. I highly recommend the cream cheese frosting but if you want something simpler, that glaze would also be fantastic.
Oh, and while this post is 100% NOT sponsored, if you’re in Nashville… be sure to check out Mr. Blueberry for the delivery service of your blueberry dreams. I used their luscious Michigan blueberries to make these sweet rolls (and to devour!). The season is almost ending (I think the last delivery is next weekend, August 24-25, 2018). Just FYI, friends! 🙂 Have a great Wednesday!!
one year ago: Mexican Lasagna
two years ago: Awesome Kale Salad
three years ago: Cheesy Veggie Pasta
four years ago: Dulce de Leche Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
five years ago: Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
six years ago: Cinnamon Bacon Carbonara
seven years ago (wow!): Maple Pecan Pear Scones
Blueberry Sweet Rolls
adapted from my Copycat Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls
- 3/4 cup water – microwaved for about 15-20 seconds, should feel warm like bathwater, about 105-110 degrees F
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup buttermilk [1/4 cup milk + a couple drops of lemon juice/vinegar stirred and left to sit for 5 minutes works great]
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- zest of one large lemon
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together warm water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let rest for 5-10 minutes until yeast starts to bubble. When frothy, add salt, buttermilk, egg, oil, and remaining sugar. Whisk to combine. With a wooden spoon, stir in 2 cups of the flour. Then using a dough hook, add flour in 1/2 cup increments, mixing on low speed until dough begins pulling away from the side of the bowl. When a total of 4 1/2 cups flour have been added, increase speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes. If you need to add an additional 1/2 cup flour, do so during this kneading process. I usually add the extra flour if the dough seems too sticky.
Grease a bowl with cooking spray [you can use the same bowl if you are coordinated enough to grease while the dough is in there/hold it to the side], then allow dough to rise in a warm location, covered with a dish towel, until doubled in size. This should take 1-2 hours.
When dough is almost ready, prepare filling.
In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, stir together blueberries, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch, then pour into blueberry mixture. Cook for another minute or two until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Allow to cool. Mixture will thicken a little more as it cools.
Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan and set aside.
When dough is ready, flour your clean counter top/work surface. Punch down the dough and roll into a large rectangle, about 20×30 inches. Spread butter over dough, leaving a 1 inch margin on all edges.
Next, top with the blueberry filling mixture. You probably won’t use all of it, and if your filling is very runny, you will want to use a slotted spoon to remove excess liquid. I overfilled the rolls so I would recommend starting with 1/3 cup of the filling and adding more from there. Extra filling is great on ice cream or oatmeal, or by the spoonful!
Roll into a tight log, rolling from the long side closest to you. When you are almost to the other end, bring the far long side up and over so the seam is on top. Gently press the exposed edge to the top of the dough to seal.
Divide the log into three sections, then divide each section into four or five rolls depending on how big you want them. Cut with a sharp knife and gently transfer cinnamon rolls to prepared pan. If you lose the filling along the way, just gather it up and sprinkle over cinnamon rolls. Cover rolls with a dish towel and let rise in a warm location for another 1-2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to bake the next morning [this is what I always do]. For the refrigerator rise, remove from refrigerator and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15-17 minutes for 15 rolls or about 18-22 for 12 rolls. Bake until tops begin to brown, but check in the middle to make sure the dough isn’t raw. If they need additional baking time, cover with foil to prevent excess browning.
While rolls bake, prepare frosting. Using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or a whisk, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest, beating until combined. Add powdered sugar gradually, mixing until smooth. In my stand mixer this usually takes about 2-3 minutes. When I make the rolls the night before, I leave the butter and cream cheese on the counter overnight so they are soft in the morning.
When rolls come out of the oven, immediately spread half of the frosting on top. Add additional frosting on individual rolls for serving, or when they have cooled down considerably. Serve warm–they reheat well too!