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Making Cranberry Sweet Rolls

We always have leftover cranberry chutney after Thanksgiving and I was looking for a way to use it up. As I perused recipes, I happened upon a recipe for Chocolate Sweet Rolls and thought, "Why do they have to be chocolate"?

I skipped the section for a chocolate filling and used my chutney instead. Then, I made an orange vanilla icing instead of the espresso icing that the recipe originally suggested. While the chocolate version sounds amazing and I will have to make it soon, the cranberry version was perfect.

The Original Recipe for Chocolate Sweet Rolls

This is one of my favorite blogs when I'm looking for the perfect baked goods recipe. I highly suggest you poke around and check out her amazing recipes! The one that inspired me can be found HERE.

Making Cranberry Sweet Rolls

How I Made Them (I made a half batch)



  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 3 TBSP sugar

  • 2 tsp yeast

  • 2 TBSP salted butter, melted and cooled

  • 1 egg, room temperature

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour (plus more for work surface)


  • approximately 1 cup leftover cranberry chutney (if using canned cranberry sauce, add 1/2 TBSP grated orange peel, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1 TBSP of sugar)

  • sprinkle of additional cinnamon, optional


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1-2 TBSP orange juice (enough to get the consistency to drizzle icing over rolls)

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine milk, sugar, and yeast. Whisk together and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.

  2. Add in the butter, egg, and salt. Whisk to combine. Using the dough hook attachment, slowly add in flour until a moist dough forms.

  3. Allow the mixer to 'knead' the dough on low speed for about 3 minutes.

  4. Lightly grease a bowl and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size. I did this in my oven with just the oven light on. The warmth from the bulb is just enough to keep the dough toasty.

  5. Roll out the dough to an 8x12-inch rectangle. Spread filling on the dough and roll into a 12-inch log.

  6. Using a sharp knife or unflavored dental floss, cut into 6-7 even pieces.

  7. Place rolls in a greased baking dish (8x8, 9x9, pie pan, 8-inch cake pan).

  8. Let rise until almost doubled in size.

  9. Preheat oven to 350⁰F and bake rolls 20-25 minutes. If they begin to brown too early, lightly cover them with aluminum foil.

  10. Allow to cool slightly before drizzling icing over top.

Other Filling Options

Obviously, I want to make the chocolate version, but what other filling options are there? Off the top of my head, I want to play around with all of these ideas.

  • cinnamon and sugar

  • pumpkin spice (canned pumpkin, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice)

  • baklava filling (honey, cinnamon, walnuts)

  • blueberry (blueberry jam and fresh blueberries)

  • raspberry (raspberry jam and fresh raspberries)

  • lemon (sugar, butter, lemon zest or lemon curd)

If you have another suggestion, let me know in comments!


This recipe did take quite a while to make because of all the time needed for the dough to rise. If you want to have these fresh out of the oven for breakfast, I suggest mixing them up in the evening and preparing them until the step of letting the rolls rise before baking. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rise overnight in the refrigerator. The fridge slows down the process. Then in the morning, simply uncover the rolls, let them warm to room temperature while you are pre-heating the oven, and bake. What could be better than sweet rolls for breakfast, still warm from the oven?

Pin It For Later

pinterest graphic showing a pan of cranberry sweet rolls



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