The most tender, better than Cinnabon sweet rolls, now in small batch form to yield 6 perfect rolls, wrapped up in my favorite homemade raspberry sauce.
The best sweet roll dough
This recipe is a modification from my original tried and true, family favorite raspberry sweet roll recipe, which is the same base dough as my master cinnamon roll recipe. A tender, fluffy, better than Cinnabon kind of roll.
We all have those occasions where we want to treat ourselves or a loved one with some fresh warm sweet rolls, but we don’t need a huge batch! I cut down the ratios to make a batch perfect for 6 rolls. It fits in a 8″ or 9″ cake pan wonderfully. I loved putting it in this 8″ heart pan for Valentine’s Day. Perfect for a group of 2-6. Any leftovers can be saved in the freezer too! Wrap up one at a time for an easy, quick treat to pull out and reheat in the microwave.
Sweet roll FAQ's
I’m new to using yeast. Any tips?
Yes! Check out my working with yeast guide for some insights and tips.
Can I make this overnight?
Absolutely. Two options for an overnight rise.
First, you can make the the dough and stick in the fridge overnight to freshly fill and bake the next day. The second option is to make the dough and form, then placed the formed rolls in the fridge overnight. In the morning let the rolls sit out for about 45 minutes while you preheat your oven. Forming them in advance can lead to some of the filling slowly leaking out of the bottom, but for busy occasions like Christmas morning where you don’t want to hassle with any mess, it’s worth the small compromise for me. Also, dusting a bit of flour on the bottom of the pan can help prevent some of the leaks.
Can I cut out the first rise if I’m short on time?
Yes! I love to make the dough, let it rise, form the rolls, then let them rise one more time before putting in the oven – so two rises. I’ve found it makes for a lighter, fluffier roll. However, I’ve cut out the first rise many times before and they’ve still been a hit, so dot hat if you need to and your family will still devour them.
Can I make these into mini sweet rolls?
Yes! Mini buns are perfect for brunches, showers, or when you’re wanting to stretch the batch and have it as a side treat. I do so my forming my rectangle to be a better longer log and shorter width. This will make your swirl tighter and smaller by the time you roll it up. You’ll have one long skinnier log instead of a shorter fat one. Cut the log in 1″ sections and it’ll make the perfect mini cinnamon rolls! Just make for a few less minutes.
Can I swap out the raspberry sauce?
Yes. You can use any sort of jam or swap it with cinnamon sugar for a classic cinnamon roll!
Can I make sweet rolls dairy free?
Yes! Swap out the milk for water or a dairy free milk alternative and substitute the butter for oil of choice.
Can I switch out the cream cheese frosting for an icing?
Absolutely. If you’re not a cream cheese fan, I suggest the following recipe for a basic light icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp melted butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1-3 tbsp milk
Beat all ingredients together.
More sweet roll recipes you'll love...
(And you could half these filling batches to use the same flavors with this small batch dough!)
If you make this recipe, make sure you tag @loskitchenco on Instagram and leave a comment below! You can also save for later by clicking the ‘Pin Recipe’ button on the recipe card. Happy baking!
Small Batch Raspberry Sweet Rolls
- ½ cup warm whole milk (or milk of choice; fattier the better)
- 1 ½ tsp instant yeast
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 1 large egg
- ¼ tsp salt
- About 1 ½ cups (155 grams) all purpose flour (+/- 2 tbsp flour)
- 1 cup raspberries frozen or fresh
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (or more to taste)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp E-Z gel thickener or corn starch
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup butter softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp lemon juice (optional)
- 1 tbsp milk if needed
- Preparing the dough: Heat milk to be warm to the touch (about 110° F). Using a stand mixer* with a dough hook, combine the warm milk, yeast, and sugar together. *If you are using a Bosch, I recommend using the dough hook extender attachment due to it being a small batch. You can also knead by hand.
- Add about 1/2 cup of flour and mix together. Once it's mostly incorporated, add softened butter, eggs, and salt. Continue to mix on low.
- Slowly add the remaining flour. Carefully watch the dough. You may need a few tablespoons less or more than the recipe indicates depending on your altitude, brand of flour, and humidity. When you've added enough flour, the dough will be soft and slightly tacky - not wet and also not tough.
- When you've added enough flour, knead for 8 minutes if using a mixer, or about 10 minutes if kneading by hand.
- Take your dough hook out, and cover the bowl to let the dough rest and rise for about 30-60 minutes.
- Filling: In a medium sauce pan over the stove, combine all of the filling ingredients and let it simmer for about 8-10 minutes and let it begin to thicken. Remove from the heat and store in refrigerator while you wait to assemble your rolls. (This is an easy step to make in advance earlier in the week as well!)
- Assembly: When the dough has about doubled, punch it down and place on a clean, floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into about a rectangle about 1/4-1/2 inch thick, making sure the dough is smooth and even in the corners. Spread an even layer of the chilled raspberry filling. PRO TIP: Because raspberry sauce can be a bit slippery, I've found great results in chilling the dough first before assembling. The cold dough helps keep it in place more. Cover and stick in the fridge for an hour, or even up to 24 hours in advance. *Such a great way to prep in advance!
- Gently roll it up into a log, using the long end of the rectangle. Use a strand of floss to cut into 1 inch sections and place in an 8" or 9" pan. You should yield about 6 rolls.
- Rest & Bake: Overnight Instructions: Cover well with sprayed plastic wrap and let them rest in the fridge overnight. The next morning, preheat the oven to 350°F and let the rolls get back to room temperature and rise (usually takes about 1 hour). Baking immediately: Keep the rolls in a draft free place and let them rise until they've grown and the dough gets soft and puffy, usually about 25 minutes. While they're resting, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for 16-20 minutes. I like to cover them with foil about half way through so they don't brown as much on top. They're done when the tops and bottoms are starting to get lightly golden and it doesn't look doughy.
- Frosting: While the rolls bake, make the frosting (or make in advance night before). Beat the butter and cream cheese together, then add remaining ingredients and beat until light and spreadable. Add milk if needed to get to desired consistency. Spread the frosting on while warm and serve immediately.
- Storing: Store airtight for up to 5 days. You can freeze them, but I recommend freezing the rolls plain and adding the glaze day-of for best results. Heat up slightly before serving for the ultimate gooey treat! Enjoy!