Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

A few months ago I was thinking about various foods and recipes I wanted to try, and I was struck by a sudden blast of inspiration – blueberry cinnamon rolls.  I’d never had them before or even heard of them before, but as soon as I imagined them, I knew they would be amazing.  I’m not going to lie, I was pretty proud of my idea until a few days later when I saw blueberry cinnamon rolls appear on another blog.  Of course I realize now plenty of people have surely made these before me, but I’m still excited about them anyway.

Since I already have a basic cinnamon roll recipe that I love, I decided to tweak it only slightly to get my desired end result.  The only real changes I made were to cut the amount of cinnamon-sugar filling, add the blueberries (duh) and make the glaze thinner and more lemony.

I’m happy to report that these were even better than I was hoping for.  Blueberries really seem to take on new magical properties after being cooked or baked and I can’t resist them!  The beautiful purple color and the juices are so delectable that I didn’t get too upset when, upon biting into one, berry juice squirted on both my cute top and shorts forcing me to change outfits about 10 minutes after getting dressed the first time.

Work them into your weekend plans.  You will be so glad you did!

PS – Andrew loved them.

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls
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Yield: 8-12 large cinnamon rolls or 12-16 smaller rolls
For the cinnamon rolls:
6½ tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
5½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. lemon zest
3½ cups bread flour
2 tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
1 cup plus 2-4 tbsp. whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature

For the filling:
3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
1½ cups fresh blueberries

For the glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
6-7 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. lemon zest

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the sugar, salt and butter on medium-high speed until smooth.  Mix in the egg and lemon zest until incorporated.  Mix in the flour, yeast and milk until a dough forms.  Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed, about 8 minutes until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky.  (You may need to add a little extra flour or liquid to achieve this texture.)  Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Mist a work surface with spray oil.  Roll it out into a rectangle with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the dough with flour if needed to keep it from sticking (about 12 x 14 inches for larger rolls or 9 x 18 inches for smaller rolls).  Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix to blend.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the surface of the dough.  Sprinkle the berries over the top evenly of the dough.  Starting with the wide edge, roll up the dough into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon sugar spiral as you roll.  Pinch the seam shut, and with the seam side down, slice the log into your desired number of rolls.  Transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, placing the rolls about ½-1 inch apart.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature 75-90 minutes, until the rolls have grown into each other and have nearly doubled in size.  At this point, the rolls can also be covered and retarded in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.  Pull the pan out of the refrigerator 3-4 hours before baking to let the dough proof.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let cool in the baking about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Whisk together the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth and then swirl over the top of the cinnamon rolls.  Let cool at least 15-20 minutes before serving.

Source: adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

53 Responses

  1. Oh yum, what a great idea! I love blueberries and cinnamon rolls and I can just imagine how lovely these would be.

  2. this is a brilliant idea, look so good and delicious, I just tried your basic pizza dough recipe, I like it so much. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Inspired genius! (Is that redundant?) Nevertheless, you’ve inspired me to begin making these first thing this morning. I never thought of blueberries with cinnamon rolls but what a perfect marriage this will be.

    Every single recipe I’ve made of yours has been delicious and beautiful. I know this will be no exception. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Two or our favorite things, blueberries and cinnamon!!! Wonderful!

  5. my parents are coming up to visit this weekend and i think these would be great to make!!! perfect timing!

  6. Oooh, it’s like two of my favorite things in one! Do you think frozen blueberries would work well for the filling, or would they be too soggy?

  7. May have to be my first crack at homemade cinnamon rolls! We just picked a ton of incredible organic blueberries!

  8. Brilliant! My husband is going to LOVE these…two of his favorite things combined.

  9. oh, my goodness! i think i know what will fill our TBD breakfast this weekend 🙂

  10. I love love love cinnamon rolls and what a great twist using the blueberries! YUM!!!

  11. I’ve been on pins and needles waiting for you to post this! We had blueberry cinnamon rolls in Maine last weekend and they were incredible so I couldn’t wait for you to post about how you made yours. We’ll be going blueberry picking in a few weeks and this recipe will definitely make an appearance.

  12. Oh we wish we had some of those right this moment! They would make a delicious breakfast…!

  13. Now I know how I’ll finish off my pint of blueberries 🙂 Yum!

  14. My favorite breakfast meets my absolute favorite food ever- blueberries. I am drooling!

  15. These look absolutely amazing!! Great idea!

  16. I’ve just stumbled upon your blog ~ so yummy!

    I must make these ~ my family would surly love me forever and ever! : )


  17. I’ve added this recipe to my folder of recipes I want to try!!

    I’ve been out picking blueberries to freeze for the winter months so I have plenty on hand!! BTW, I’ve never had a problem with using frozen blueberries in baking. They taste just as great as fresh. I wash them, freeze them on a tray so they are separate; after freezeing I seal-a-meal in 1-cup portions for muffins, crisps, pies…YUM!!

    • Anna,
      I tend to disagree, personally I always think frozen have less flavor which is why I was less than enthusiastic in that response. But those you froze yourself may be a different story.

  18. Well, I’VE never heard of Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls until now, and I’ve never wanted to try making cinnamon rolls as much as I do now! I think I’ll make them this weekend – thanks for the idea and recipe!

  19. looks absolutely delicious!

    have a nice day!

  20. My eyes literally widened as I read the title! Mmmm! Can’t wait to try! Thanks so much!

  21. Gosh, I’m drooling over those pictures! Yummy!

  22. These look so delicious! I tried my hand at making pizza dough this past weekend, so I think I may need to try making cinnamon buns now! I’ve had some doubts about dough in the past.. but I think these are worth a try for sure! What a sweet summery take on cinnamon buns!

  23. I would have never thought of adding blueberries! It looks delicious, especially that last pic showing the cut-section!

  24. Annie, what a brilliant idea! For some reason, I’ve never really enjoyed cooked or baked raisins and I love blueberries so I’ll be trying these soon. I just recently found your blog and am thoroughly enjoying it and finding lots of inspiration. You are a wonderful teacher. Thank you so much.

  25. Annie, Would putting pureed blueberries instead of fresh whole blueberries be a good substitute? Thanks.

  26. I wish I lived at your house!!

    Whenever I bake using blueberries, the dough turns blue! It looks like you just placed them in the “cracks” so the dough surrounded them. Will have to try this.

    Thanks for all you do,

  27. Those look great, and oddly enough I’ve been on the hunt for a blueberry cinnamon roll recipe! 🙂

  28. Awesome idea!! I just bought blueberries this morning so will be giving these a try.
    ps.. my little guy has the same shirt at your Andrew only in lime green 🙂

  29. So I was planning to make my usual blueberry muffins this weekend, but I think my plans just changed! Thanks for the delicious recipe! 🙂

  30. Clearly you do not have a Bojangles fast food joint near you. They have this thing called a Boberry biscuit, which is amazing, unless you consider what must be in it to make it taste so good. How exciting to have a homemade version with real blueberries and no lard (I’m just guessing at their secret ingredient there). I will try them this weekend!

  31. my only problem with cinnamon rolls or any kind of yeast yummy goodness is the time…can you explain how you can make and serve these for breakfast and not have to get up at 3 in the morning? what steps can you tweak…I know at one point in the recipe, you say that you can keep them in the fridge for up to two days, but the next step requires 3-4 hours out…

    they do look amazing and since it is the first version like this that I have heard of, I will give you FULL credit for the discovery…esp if you help me time these out so that I can make them for my sweeties for breakfast!

    • Kristen,
      That depends on what time you eat breakfast, but I actually do sometimes set an alarm, get up to set them out, and then go back to bed.

  32. Hi Annie,

    This post came at the perfect time; we are going blueberry picking sometime this week, and we always have and abundance of blueberries when we come home.

    Thank you!

  33. I never thought of such a combination. Yum!

  34. Ditto to all the rave comments!! 🙂

  35. They look amazing.

  36. Ohhh yum! I don’t think I would mind if I got blueberry juice all over me either… 🙂

  37. OOOOOOH! Annie! These look delish!

    I know it’s still only July but looking at these reminded me of Christmas and cinnamon buns. Will you be making cinnamon buns at any point, Annie?

    P.S Andrew is a gorgeous little man! You must be so proud! 😀

  38. These look so yummy, I love cinnamon rolls but never thought of adding blueberries! Does anyone have any freezing advice/experience for these? I have frozen cinnamon rolls unbaked before, but has anyone frozen these after they have been baked? I like to make batches of treats and then freeze them to take to work. Thanks!

    • Rosie, I froze them after being baked (and glazed) and they are wonderful. I thaw mine in the microwave on the defrost setting for a couple minutes to take off the chill and then pop them in the oven at 350 for a few more minutes. Almost as good as fresh!

  39. I thought of this last summer, after thinking of various ways to incorporate all the blueberries we picked that summer. But I never got around to make it! But now that I see yours I’m surely going to! 🙂 Still have lots of blueberries in the freezer…

  40. Made these today for my husband and my parents. So yummy! The lemon zest and fresh blueberries made them taste so refreshing.

  41. Made the recipe with my bread machine and it turned out great 🙂 Thanks again!

  42. Made these this past weekend, and they turned out great. My first attempt at ever making anything with yeast. Such great flavor!

  43. Funny, we were just planning on cinnamon rolls for tomorrow. Now that I see this, I think I may have to incorporate those leftover blueberries sitting in the refrigerator into them. Looks delicious!

    ♥ Rebecca Jean

  44. I made these this morning and they were delicious! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. This is one of my new favorite websites and I look forward to trying many more of your recipes. Matter of fact I have the double cookie dough ice cream chilling in the fridge now just waiting to be mixed up and eaten. 🙂

  45. I baked these yesterday evening and they taste amazing. 🙂 I don’t have an oven that is large enough for baking trays, so I just placed the rolls in a round baking dish, so that during baking they’d grow together and form a cake. But you can easily brake them apart to get your individual roll. 🙂 When you don’t have a proper oven, it’s so difficult finding recipes that in the end will give me individual little things , but this one worked, thanks for the recipe! 🙂

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