These White Chocolate Cranberry Sweet Rolls are perfect for Christmas brunch or a make-ahead weekend breakfast! Soft and fluffy homemade rolls are filled with homemade cranberry filling, then topped with a white chocolate glaze.
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Does anyone else get fixated on one flavor combination, then that’s all you want to eat for a while? That’s me right now with these White Chocolate Cranberry Sweet Rolls. Turns out, I love white chocolate and cranberry together. The tangy cranberry and luscious white chocolate just complement each other insanely well.
I used my favorite bun dough recipe (I use Mom’s Homemade Buns when baking rolls just by themselves), layered it with homemade sweet and tangy cranberry filling, rolled it up, then baked it to soft and fluffy perfection. Oh, then I topped it off with an absolutely perfect white chocolate glaze.
Does it get better than that?
This recipe is so good because every single component is totally homemade! A super simple dough, an easy and tasty cranberry filling, and a rich and decadent white chocolate glaze!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Milk: you’ll need warm milk to activate the yeast. I microwave mine for 30-45 seconds.
- Butter: be sure to bring the butter to room temperature before you get started.
- Granulated Sugar: they are sweet rolls, after all!
- Instant Yeast: make sure you use instant yeast so the dough rises quickly.
- Eggs: binds the ingredients together.
- Salt: enhances the flavor.
- All-Purpose Flour: gives the dough its structure.
- Cranberries: you can use fresh or frozen cranberries.
- Water: thins the mixture to make it spreadable.
- Granulated Sugar: for sweetness.
- Cornstarch: thickens the filling to give it more of a jam-like texture.
- White Chocolate: use chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips.
- Cream: melted with the chocolate to make the glaze drizzle-able.
- Powdered Sugar: makes a perfectly sweet, rich flavor for the glaze.
How to Make White Chocolate Cranberry Sweet Rolls
Here is a quick overview with some extra tips. Find the full recipe down in the recipe card!
- Make the dough and let it rise: When your dough is ready, it will be tacky but not sticky. Make sure you don’t add too much flour or it will be difficult to roll! Place in a warm, dry spot for 1-1.5 hours.
- Make the filling: Simmer cranberries, water, and sugar until the berries start to burst, then thicken with corn starch. Be sure you let it cool so it thickens further before you roll the buns!
- Assemble the rolls: Roll the dough out and spread the filling, then roll the dough up. Slice into 1.5″ rounds using a serrated knife, then place into a greased baking dish. They might be messy, but it’s all good!
- Bake: Bake at 350ºF until the tops are light golden brown, then remove from the oven and cool slightly.
- Add the glaze: In a bowl, mix white chocolate and cream. Microwave until melted, then whisk in powdered sugar. Drizzle over the warm rolls, then store or serve.
Sweet Rolls FAQs
There can be any of number of things layered into a sweet roll. Jam, frosting, glaze, even nuts! These particular sweet rolls are rolled up with a layer of homemade cranberry filling.
Finished White Chocolate Cranberry Sweet Rolls will last in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days, in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. To enjoy again, warm in the microwave, then dig in!
Tips and Notes
- Let it rise…twice! Don’t forget, there are two times you’ll set the dough aside to let it rise. Once after it’s mixed for 1-1.5 hours, then again after the rolls are assembled for 20-30 minutes. This creates the softest, fluffiest rolls!
- Find a warm, dry place. The oven (turned off) is a great place to set the dough to let it rise.
- Cool the filling. You can set it out on the counter until it comes to room temperature or speed up the process by placing it in the fridge or freezer.
- Serve warm. These White Chocolate Cranberry Sweet Rolls are so good served warm with the glaze a little bit melty. Trust me.
- To save time, feel free to use store-bought cranberry filling. If you do have time, I highly recommend doing it homemade though.
- Use another jam. Feel free to layer in whatever jam your heart desires. Strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, you name it.
- Add nuts. Give your rolls a little crunch by sprinkling a handful of chopped walnuts or pecans over the filling before rolling them up.
- Swap the topping. These cranberry rolls would also be delicious topped with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting or another type of glaze/frosting.
More Sweet Bread Recipes You’ll Love
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White Chocolate Cranberry Sweet Rolls
- 1 cup warm milk (I put mine in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds)
- ½ cup butter (softened)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 eggs
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 3 cups cranberries fresh or frozen
- ¾ cup water
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 tablespoons water
- ½ cup white chocolate chopped (or chips)
- ¼ cup cream (any kind)
- ½-¾ cup powdered sugar
Sweet Roll Dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (you can do it by hand too, you'll just need a little extra muscle), combine milk, butter, sugar, yeast and eggs. Whisk to combine.
- Put the dough hook on the mixer. Add salt and 4 cups of flour, one cup at a time with the mixer on low. Add just enough flour so that the dough comes together in a ball away from the sides — once it’s not sticking to the sides anymore, stop adding flour (even if you haven’t used all 4 cups). If you’ve used all 4 cups and the dough is still sticking, add a little bit of extra flour as necessary.
- Lightly coat the dough in oil and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a somewhat warm, draft-free spot (like an oven that's not on) for 1-1.5 hours until doubled. Meanwhile, make your filling.
- In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, water and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Reduce to medium heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have burst and are soft. Smash cranberries with the back of your spatula.
- Stir together corn starch and 2 teaspoons water. Stir into cranberry sauce and let thicken. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature (you can speed this up in the fridge or freezer).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×13" pan and an 8×8" pan or two 9×13" pans (I often put 9 rolls in each 9×13" pan, but you can do 12 and 6 as well).
- Place dough on a floured surface. Roll out to a rectangle about 10″ by 20-24″. Spread cooled cranberry filling to within 1″ of the edge and roll up, starting at the long edge (be sure not to squeeze too much or you’ll lose all your filling!). Slice in 1.5″ slices with a serrated knife and place in your prepared pans. Place in a warm spot to rise for 20-30 minutes while the oven heats.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are light golden brown all over (even in the middle). Remove from the oven and make your glaze.
White Chocolate Glaze
- In a medium bowl, combine white chocolate and cream. Microwave on high for 40 seconds, then stir until chocolate is smooth and melted.
- Whisk in powdered sugar, adding a bit more if necessary to reach desired consistency (knowing that it will thicken somewhat as it cools). My glaze was pretty thin, and it soaked into all the cracks and crevices. If you prefer a thicker glaze, simply add more powdered sugar.
- Drizzle over warm rolls. Be sure to sneak one out of the pan immediately!
- Rolls can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days, in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze for longer storage.
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