Soft and tender dough wrapped up with a cream cheese filling, fresh strawberry puree, and graham crackers that warm up all the flavors. A strawberry cheese cake lover’s dream married with the flufifest dough. You can easily half or double this recipe!
Next Level Sweet Rolls
These strawberry cheesecake sweet rolls take your sweet roll game to the next level. I’ve used my tried and true sweet roll dough from my classic cinnamon roll recipe and swapped out the filling with a cream cheese mixture, homemade strawberry compote, and graham crackers that soften up during baking that add a subtle warm touch to the taste.
I topped it with my favorite classic cream cheese frosting and some additional graham cracker crumbs. They are heavenly! There are many ways to break up the steps and prepare things in advance, so the tips below are worth a read!
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?
Yes! There are two options for an overnight rise.
First, you can make 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, and place the formed rolls in the fridge overnight. In the morning let the rolls set out for about 45 minutes while you preheat your oven. Forming them in advance can often lead to to some of the filling oozing to the bottom, but for an occasion like Christmas morning where you don’t want to hassle with any mess, it’s worth the small compromise for me.
How else can I break up the steps?
Every step can be done separately and ahead of time. There are 3 main components:
1. Dough: can be made day/night before
2. Fillings: all can be made separately up to a week before; can even be frozen
3. Frosting: can be made up to a week before; can even be frozen
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, and then let it rise again before putting in oven – so two rises. I’ve found it makes for a lighter, fluffier roll. However, I’ve cut out the first rise before, and they’ve still been a hit, so do that if you need to and your family will still devour them.
Can I half or double the recipe?
Yes! This recipe halves and doubles great. In fact, these pictures that you see on this recipe page are a HALF BATCH. Fits fantastic in a 9×13 pan. Otherwise, I use a half sheet jelly roll pan to fit the full amount – about 2 dozen.
Can I make this into a mini cinnamon roll?
Yes! Mini buns are perfect for brunches and showers, or little kids. I do so by forming my rectangle to be a 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!
Can I switch out the cream cheese frosting for an icing?
Of course! If you’re not a cream cheese fan, I suggest this recipe for a basic light icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 TB butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3-5 TB milk
Beat all ingredients together.
How to Form Sweet Rolls
First, I like to roll my dough out into about a 15×20″ rectangle. Then I spread with first the cream cheese mixture, then the compote, then sprinkled with graham crackers and cinnamon.
Depending on how large your rectangle is and how big you want your rolls to be will determine which way you should roll up the dough. For less but larger bakery style rolls, roll out longer For more but smaller rolls, roll out wider.
To slice the rolls, you can use a sharp serrated knife or my personal favorite…floss! I know, kind of funny, but this priceless secret I learned from my mom is now the only way I do it! It makes for a cleaner cut. The floss keeps the swirl layers perfectly even. Just cross the ends over and pull tight. It’s magic!
In working with soft fillings (like this strawberry jam!) one tip I’ve found helpful is using chilled dough. When the dough is rolled out cold, and the filling is also chilled, it makes for a much cleaner cut and the fillings don’t escape. Warm dough and warm fillings can make an oozy mess! Still delicious, but it feels like more filling is wasted and leaves your hands and pans in a bit of a mess.
Just put your dough in the fridge overnight (or at least one hour) to get it in a chilled state to roll out. If you’re chilling it for a short time, like 1-3 hours, I just recommend that you let it rise most of the way first if you have time.
Unbaked, risen sweet rolls
Baked sweet rolls
Frosted sweet rolls
More sweet roll recipes you'll love...
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!
Strawberry Cheesecake Sweet Rolls
- 2 cups warm whole milk* any milk will do; fattier the better
- 1 ½ tbsp dry instant yeast
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp salt
- About 6-7 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups hulled and diced strawberries (~1 lb) fresh or frozen; thaw if using frozen
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp E-Z gel thickener can sub with corn starch
Cream Cheese Filling
- 12 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 9 sheet (1 sleeve) graham crackers, divided
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/4 cup butter, room temp
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt (1/4 tsp if using salted butter)
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice optional for extra tang
- In a large bowl stand mixer, place together the warm milk (about 110 degrees, comfortably warm to the touch), yeast, and sugar. You will see the yeast begin to activate by it beginning to get foamy.
- Add 1 cup of flour, salt, butter, and eggs. Turn mixer on low and let it begin to incorporate. Then slowly add remaining flour while the mixer is running. The amount of flour depends on several factors, including the brand of flour, elevation, and moisture levels in the air that day. You will know when you’ve added enough flour when the dough is soft and slightly sticky, but doesn’t stick TO you. When it reaches that point, let the mixer knead the dough for 8-10 minutes.
- Cover the mixing bowl with a sack cloth towel and let it rise in a draft free place until doubled in size, about 30-60 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare fillings. (You can also put the dough in the fridge overnight at this point to break up the steps.)*This first rising step is optional. You can omit it and achieve great results. But if you have the time, it doesn’t require extra work and helps yield a fluffier roll.
- Tip: This can be made up to a week a head of time!
- Wash, hull, and chop strawberries. Place in a medium pot on the stove at about medium high heat. Stir occasionally as the strawberries soften and break down.
- Add sugar, and lemon juice, and EZ-gel (or equal sub of corn starch and water mixed together).
- Stir occasionally, for about 6-10 minutes to allow the juices to release, and for the mixture to turn into a semi-chunky jam. Place in a separate bowl or container and place in the fridge (or freeze if you want to expedite) to continue to set.
Cream Cheese + Graham Filling
- Tip: This can be made up to a week a head of time!
- Using a hand mixer, combine the cream cheese and butter together. Add the powdered sugar and mix together until combined and smooth.
- Break apart the graham crackers into small pieces and set aside. Keep a small portion aside separately to top the finished rolls with if desired.
Forming & Baking
- After it’s risen, punch down the dough to release the developed gas bubbles, and then you can begin to form.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Spray a half sheet pan (or most any other baking pan will work). Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 15"x18".
- Add an even layer of the cream cheese filling over the entire rectangle, leaving about 1/2 inch border around the edges.
- Next, spread the strawberry jam filling on top of the cream cheese filling. Lastly, sprinkle the graham cracker pieces and ground cinnamon on top of the jam.
- Roll up into a nice thick log and using a sharp serrated knife or floss, slice into 1” rolls. Place on half sheet about 1-2 inches apart so they have room to grow and rise. (In the pictures presented here, it is a half batch, which fits in a 9x13" pan perfectly.)
- Cover and set aside to rise for about 20-30 minutes until puffy.
- Once risen, bake for about 20 minutes, until tops are just barely lightly golden. Remove from oven and top with cream cheese frosting. Add additional graham cracker crumbs if desired. Enjoy!