10 Pound Cherry Challenge: Cherry Cinnamon Sugar Sweet Rolls

by alexandra

Cherry Cinnamon Sugar Roll-Ups | brighteyedbaker.com

Sweet rolls are like bread bliss. I don’t care whether they’re laden with cinnamon sugar, mixed with sweet potato, or riddled with juicy cranberries and dark chocolate – give me any sort of soft, pillowy sweet roll and I’ll be content. So really, these cherry sweet rolls just had to happen. Shame on me if I have 10 pounds of cherries at my disposal and don’t turn them into sweet rolls.

Cherry Cinnamon Sugar Roll-Ups | brighteyedbaker.comThese may not look like your typical sweet roll, but trust me, they’re that and more. You still get the buttery, tender dough baked to soft perfection, but you also get to turn a Sunday morning breakfast treat into an any-time grab-and-go snack. Yup, that’s right, portable cinnamon sugar sweet rolls, no fork required. Why can’t all the tastiest foods be like that??

Cherry Cinnamon Sugar Roll-Ups | brighteyedbaker.comThe best part, of course, is that inside each one of these scrumptious rolls is not only a good dousing of cinnamon sugar, but also a sweet, dark cherry compote. The cinnamon sugar and the cherry compote were practically made for each other; each bite of super-soft bread with sweet and fruity flavors is incredible. You know how sometimes, you hit on something really good? This is one of those times. When even your pickiest taste-tester says, “This is actually REALLY good,” you know you have something special on your hands – err – in your stomach. ;)

In case you’re just tuning in, I’m taking part in a 10 Pound Cherry Challenge hosted by OXO and the Northwest Cherry Growers. This week will feature back-to-back cherry recipes on the blog, which will be entered into a contest along with the contributions from other participating bloggers. Be sure to follow along for more cherry goodness!

You can also check out what I’ve made so far…

Brown Butter Cherry Crumbles

Update: The 10 Pound Cherry Challenge Contest is open for voting! I would love it if you’d vote for me by “liking” the photo for this recipe (and my other cherry recipes!) on OXO’s Facebook Page. Here’s the link for this recipe’s photo. Voting is open until Friday, August 16th at 4PM EST. 


Cherry Cinnamon Sugar Roll-Ups | brighteyedbaker.com

Cherry Cinnamon Sugar Sweet Rolls

  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 rolls


These roll-ups are like soft, pillowy cinnamon rolls, but with a twist – a layer of sweet cherry compote rolled into each one makes them irresistible!


Cherry Compote:

  • 11 ounces (2 cups) pitted bing cherries
  • 1 3/4 ounces (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cherry juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


  • 8 1/2 ounces (1 cup) milk
  • 1 3/4 ounces (1/4 cup) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs, room temperature*
  • 1 lb 3 5/8 ounces (4 5/8 cups, spoon and level) bread flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Filling, Glaze, and Topping:

  • Prepared Cherry Compote
  • 3 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 ounce (1 1/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • sparkling sugar


Cherry Compote:

  1. Combine cherries, sugar, and juice in a small saucepan and stir together until evenly combined. Set over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally; the liquids should simmer and the cherries should get soft. With heat on, gently mash cherries to break into smaller bits and release more juices, making sure no cherries are left whole. Once done, remove from heat.
  2. Sift cornstarch into a small bowl. Add cold water and whisk until totally smooth, making sure no undissolved bits of cornstarch are left on the bottom of the bowl. Slowly add cornstarch mixture to cherry mixture while stirring.
  3. Place cherry mixture back on stove with the heat just over medium. Cook, stirring gently, until the mixture comes to a low boil. Continue to stir and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract.
  4. Cool compote in saucepan for 10-15 minutes, and then transfer to a jar or other covered container to cool completely in refrigerator.


  1. Place milk in a large, microwave-safe bowl and heat in microwave until an instant-read thermometer registers 180ºF, about 1 min. 30 sec. – 2 min. Stir in 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and allow to cool to 110º-115ºF (you can put it in the fridge/freezer to speed up the cooling). Sprinkle yeast over cooled milk and stir in with a wooden spoon. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, until foamy.
  2. While yeast is proofing, melt 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) butter in the microwave. Make sure the mixture reads 110º-115ºF or slightly cooler before adding to proofed yeast.
  3. Add the butter and eggs to the proofed yeast and stir in, breaking up the eggs in the process. Sprinkle 14 7/8 ounces (3 1/2 cups) bread flour over the liquids. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and the salt on top. Stir in until combined into a wet dough.
  4. Gradually add just enough of the remaining 4 3/4 ounces (1 1/8 cups) bread flour to the dough, stirring in a bit at a time, until the dough is no longer too sticky to be worked by hand. Turn out onto counter and knead for about 10 minutes, adding more of the remaining flour as needed, until the dough is very soft and elastic. Add only enough flour to prevent the dough from getting stuck to the counter or your hands; you don’t necessarily need to add it all.
  5. Grease a bowl about twice the volume of the dough with cooking spray. Shape dough into a ball with a smooth top and place in bowl, turning once to coat top with spray. Cover with greased plastic wrap and leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together cinnamon and sugar in a bowl for filling.
  7. Punch down fully risen dough and roll out to a 16″ x 18″ rectangle – do your best to roll the dough evenly and make the dimensions accurate. You will be cutting the dough into 4″ x 6″ portions – cutting every 4″ on the shorter side and every 6″ on the longer side. Use a bench scraper (or knife) to slice off the first portion of dough and cover the rest with plastic wrap. Spread 1 tablespoon cherry compote over the piece of dough, leaving a clear margin of about 3/4″ around all sides. Liberally sprinkle cinnamon sugar over cherry compote. Starting on one of the longer sides, tightly roll up dough, forming a seam once you reach the opposite end. Place on one of the prepared baking sheets, seam-side down, and cover with plastic wrap.** Repeat with remaining dough to make 12 rolls. You should have extra cinnamon-sugar left over to use for sprinkling on rolls before baking.
  8. Let the rolls rise until very puffy, about 40 minutes. Towards the end of this time, preheat oven to 350ºF with oven racks in the middle and bottom-third positions. Whisk together melted butter and milk for glaze.
  9. Just before baking, brush all exposed areas of rolls with glaze, sprinkle liberally with remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture, and add sparkling sugar to the tops.
  10. Bake rolls in preheated oven for 20 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets halfway through. Enjoy warm. Keep any leftovers in an airtight ziploc or container. These are best fresh, but will keep for a few days at room temperature. Reheat in microwave for about 25 seconds before serving.


*To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, place in a small bowl filled with warm (not hot!) water. If you do this at the beginning of the dough-making process, the eggs should be warm enough by the time you’re ready to add them.

**A bit of the compote juices might leak from the rolls during the second rise, but don’t worry; they’ll still be filled with lots of the good stuff!

You can check out all the blogs participating in the #10lbcherrychallenge for more creative cherry-filled recipes:


Disclosure: As part of my participation in the 10 Pound Challenge, I was sent cherries and tools from OXO and Northwest Cherry Growers. I was not compensated for writing this post; this is all me!

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Consuelo @ Honey & Figs August 7, 2013

Wow. these look beyond fantastic! I’m loving these 10 pounds of cherries challenge, all your recipes seem wonderful!
Sweet yeasted breads are my (second) favourite thing ever (I still love my cheesecake more than anything. Cherry cheesecake anyone?), and these look amazingly delicious. I’m sure they make a great breakfast treat… I need these in my life! xxx
Consuelo @ Honey & Figs recently posted..Mixed Berries Cheesecake / Tarta de Queso y Frutos RojosMy Profile

alexandra August 7, 2013

Thank you! I’ve yet to make cheesecake, but cherry cheesecake sounds like it would be awesome! Though I should probably learn how to make cheesecake in general first, eek!

Laura (Tutti Dolci) August 7, 2013

I love sweet rolls too and these are gorgeous with that cherry compote filling!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently posted..chocolate-espresso & caramel sandwich cookiesMy Profile

alexandra August 7, 2013

Thanks Laura! The filling is fab :D

Heather @ French Press August 7, 2013

I am in LOVE with sweet rolls {well pretty much any roll} and I am staring at a HUGE bag of cherries – if only I had a pitter
Heather @ French Press recently posted..Mediterranean Pasta Salad ~ and a GIVEAWAY from Hodgson MillMy Profile

alexandra August 7, 2013

Go get one!! I have an OXO one (which I’ve used for years) and it works like a charm! You’d think pitting ten pounds of cherries would be brutal, but so far it’s actually been a breeze. :)

Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious August 7, 2013

These sweet rolls are my weakness! I’m sure I could make dinner out of this!
Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious recently posted..Sriracha Guacamole Hot DogsMy Profile

alexandra August 11, 2013

Hah, sounds good to me!

Belinda @themoonblushbaker August 8, 2013

These look wickedly good! Cherry and cinnamon has got to be one of the most under rated flavours, But I love it. Pass me a few please!
Belinda @themoonblushbaker recently posted..Clutter bug paradox/-/ Hong Kong sausage bunMy Profile

alexandra August 9, 2013

Thanks Belinda! The first time I made these, I did it without the cinnamon sugar, and they were still good, but the cinnamon sugar just puts it over the top! Definitely an underrated combo I’d say, because they work so well together.

Laura August 8, 2013

These are absolutely gorgeous. I’m always looking for something to do with gorgeous dark cherries when they’re in season!

alexandra August 9, 2013

Thank you so much! Cherry season is so short; you gotta get the best out of it while you can. ;)

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