Saturday, July 21, 2012

Spiced Cranberry Sweet Rolls

This past weekend, my mother asked me to make her favorite rolls - Tyler Florence's Parker House Rolls. I was more than happy to oblige, so I made up a batch of the dough and put it in the fridge to rise overnight. Then, seeing as how it was after midnight, I began getting ready for bed.

While I was doing so, however, I kept thinking about making a new type of bread, one that would be sweetened with honey, spiced with cinnamon, and bursting with cranberries. I knew that I wouldn't be able to sleep until I tried my idea out, so back to the kitchen I went, even though it was now past 1am. I began mixing up the dough, throwing in a little of this and that as I went along - honey, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger powder, and the dried cranberries. I had absolutely no idea if the bread would be any good, but I had high hopes that it would.

The next morning, I began playing with the dough even more as I decided how I wanted to shape it in the muffin cups. With some of the dough, I simply rolled it into small balls and put three into each cup. With the rest of the dough, I rolled it into a rectangle, sprinkled it with some brown sugar, cut it so that it looked like mini cinnamon buns, and then put three of those into the rest of the cups. Finally, before baking it, I brushed them with an egg wash and sprinkled them with cinnamon-sugar.

After baking them, I eagerly bit into one and they were awesome! I loved how the juicy cranberries matched so well with the cinnamon and how the fluffy bread was sweetened just to my liking. If you really wanted to get fancy, or if you have an extra sweet tooth, you could also top these with a powdered sugar glaze or even an orange powdered sugar glaze. I may try making them that way too one day, but for now, I like them just the way they are. Having these for breakfast made my day!

Spiced Cranberry Sweet Rolls (created by Sweet as Sugar Cookies)

1 Tbsp. yeast
1 c. + 3 Tbsp. warm water (105F - 110F)
5 Tbsp. honey
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
7 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger powder
3/4 tsp. salt
3-4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. dried cranberries (or more if desired)

1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Combine the yeast with the warm water and a pinch of sugar and let sit until foamy. Add in the honey, brown sugar, and butter and stir to combine. Add in the cinnamon, ginger powder, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Mix well. Gradually add more flour until the dough no longer sticks to the bottom of the bowl. Knead the cranberries into the dough and continue kneading the dough (adding in flour as necessary) for 5-6 min. until it is smooth and elastic (bounces back when you push your fingertip into it). Put into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a dishtowel, and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Alternately, you can put it into the fridge to rise overnight.

Grease muffin tins. After the dough has risen, divide it into 12-16 equal pieces.

  1. Roll each piece into a 2 x 4 inch long rectangle. Sprinkle with some brown sugar and roll up from the short side. Slice into three equal pieces (like mini cinnamon rolls) and put the pieces side by side in the muffin cup.
  2. Divide each piece into three little balls and put the pieces into the muffin cup.
Cover with a piece of greased plastic wrap and a dishtowel and let rise in the muffin tins for 30 min., or until doubled in size. Before baking, brush each roll with the egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Bake at 375F for 25 min. or until the tops of the rolls turn golden brown.


  1. Oh, these sound wonderful and they look great, too! I love how you added cranberries!

  2. These look so amazing, Lisa! Thank you for sharing. Now I'm totally inspired. I want to make cinnamon rolls!

  3. These look and sound amazing. I wish I had one (or three!) right now to go with my coffee!

  4. Mmmmmm....these look fantastic, Lisa! I'd much rather eat dried cranberries than raisins :)

  5. Those are so pretty. I don't have dried cranberries available to me. I will try some other dried fruit.