Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

published Aug 13, 2023
Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

These stunning rolls feature a soft, yeasted dough, warm brown sugar filling with a layer of blueberry sauce, and a drizzle of blueberry cream cheese glaze.

Serves12

Prep40 minutes to 45 minutes

Cook30 minutes to 35 minutes

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slice of cinnamon roll on plate
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

Unexpectedly last year, a new Cinnabon location popped up in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. (Who knew they were still opening new stores in 2023? Certainly not I!) Naturally, every time I walk past it, I spend the rest of the walk home thinking about cinnamon rolls and imagining fun flavors. 

The idea for these blueberry cinnamon rolls was a result of one of these said walks. Blueberry sauce gets swirled through the rolls, and also folded into the cream cheese glaze for the most delicious cinnamon rolls ever.

Tasting good is the most important factor here, but I’d be lying if I said these weren’t stunning to look at as well. The blueberries meld into the cream cheese and powdered sugar to form a majestic shade of purple.

I’d recommend making these rolls a day in advance for a really fun brunch at home. Refrigerate them and then just warm in the oven for 10 or so minutes when it’s brunch time. Warning: these blueberry cinnamon rolls will likely get pounced on immediately, so set one (or three) aside for yourself before sharing.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

How to Make Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

  • Make the blueberry sauce. You’ll begin by making the blueberry sauce, which has these bright, beautiful bursts of lemon, and then letting it cool. 
  • Meanwhile, make the dough. It’s incredibly easy — no stand mixer required. Leave it to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume,  1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Roll out the dough. When the dough is ready, it’s time to roll it out on a floured surface or a pastry mat into a 12×16 rectangle with the longer edges facing you. A mixture of melted butter, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg get spread across the surface of the dough. Then, you will add about 1/2 of the blueberry sauce and spread it out evenly on top.
  • Form the rolls. Now it’s time to roll the dough into a log starting with the long edge closest to you. Be warned:Things will get a little messy here, but if you use a pastry mat you won’t have to deal with a messy counter — just toss the mat in the sink or dishwasher once you’re done. Slice the rolls into 12 and let rise in the greased baking dish for another 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Make the glaze and bake. All you need is softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, some more blueberry sauce, and a little vanilla extract. Bake the rolls until they’re gorgeous and golden-brown, and immediately drizzle them with the glaze. Let them sit for 15 minutes, and then they’re all yours.

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

These stunning rolls feature a soft, yeasted dough, warm brown sugar filling with a layer of blueberry sauce, and a drizzle of blueberry cream cheese glaze.

Prep time 40 minutes to 45 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes to 35 minutes

Serves 12

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the blueberry sauce:

  • 1 cup

    fresh or frozen blueberries

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1/2 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons

    cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

For the cinnamon rolls:

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces)

    plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 cup

    whole or 2% milk

  • 3 1/2 cups

    bread flour, plus more for rolling

  • 1/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 (1/4-ounce) packet

    instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • Cooking spray

  • 2/3 cup

    packed dark brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground nutmeg

For the glaze:

  • 4 ounces

    full-fat cream cheese

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup

    powdered sugar

Instructions

Make the blueberry sauce:

  1. Place 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries in a medium saucepan. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon into the saucepan (about 1 tablespoon). Juice the lemon over the blueberries (about 1/4 cup). Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Fold together with a flexible spatula or wooden spoon.

  2. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the blueberries begin to break down and the mixture begins to simmer and thicken slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the cinnamon roll dough and filling.

Make the cinnamon rolls:

  1. Heat 1 cup warm whole or 2% milk in the microwave or on the stovetop until warm to the touch (100 to 110ºF). Melt 1 stick of the unsalted butter in the microwave.

  2. Place 3 1/2 cups bread flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 packet instant yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the warm milk and butter and stir until the dough comes together and fairly smooth. You may need to use your hands to knead in any loose flour. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

  3. Meanwhile, lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line the bottom and two long sides with a sheet of parchment paper long enough to hang over the sides by at least 1 inch to form a sling.

  4. When the dough is ready, generously flour a work surface or silicone pastry mat. Place the dough on the surface and knead until quite soft and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes, sprinkling with more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Do not over knead or the cinnamon rolls will be tough.

  5. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough into a 12- by 16-inch rectangle about 1/4-inch thick, with a longer side closer to you.

  6. Melt 1 stick of the unsalted butter in the microwave in a medium bowl or on the stovetop. Add 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk to combine. Use a spoon to dollop this mixture onto the dough and spread it into an even layer, leaving a 1/2-inch border.

  7. Reserve 1/4 cup of the blueberry sauce for the glaze. Spoon 1/2 cup of the remaining blueberry sauce over the cinnamon sugar mixture and spread into an even, thin layer, adding more if needed.

  8. Starting at the long end closest to you, gently roll the dough up tightly into a log, using a bench scraper as needed to help release the dough from the work surface (some blueberry sauce will leak out). Pinch the seam together at the top. Position the log seam-side down. Cut the dough crosswise into 12 pieces.

  9. Transfer the pieces to the baking dish, arranging them cut-side up. Cover the baking dish and let the dough rise until it has puffed up slightly, 30 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Place 4 ounces cream cheese for the glaze on the counter and let sit at room temperature to soften.

  10. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter. Uncover the cinnamon rolls and brush with the butter. Bake until puffed, golden brown, and a toothpick or skewer inserted in several spots comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the glaze.

Make the glaze:

  1. Place the cream cheese, reserved blueberry sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a medium bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Beat with the whisk attachment on medium speed until combined, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar and beat until the mixture is smooth and there are no visible lumps, 1 to 2 minutes.

  2. When the cinnamon rolls are ready, place the baking dish on a wire rack. Spread the glaze evenly over the rolls. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Rewarm in a 300°F oven until warmed through, about 10 minutes.