Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls

The Foody Bean
by The Foody Bean
9 Rolls
55 min

These cranberry cinnamon rolls are stuffed with cranberry sauce with a regular cream cheese vanilla glaze and smeared with leftover cranberry sauce. The dough itself is made with cranberry. It is just so darn good sometimes I can’t believe I made this!

You can totally buy the cranberry sauce from the grocery store, but a homemade cranberry sauce recipe is included below. A homemade cranberry sauce is literally just boiling cranberries, sugar, and water together until the cranberries soften and become jam like.

The best part is spreading the glaze all over the rolls and watching it sink into the folds and crevices of the rolls. It’s so therapeutic for me! If you have any leftover cranberry sauce, spread that in addition to the cream cheese glaze for an instant mood booster. It’s just really comfort food you make once in a blue moon so don’t be afraid to go wild with chopped nuts or fruits as toppings.

Recipe details
  • 9  Rolls
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 40 Minutes Total time: 55 min
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Cranberry dough for the rolls
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter, still warm
  • 4 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm whole milk or half and half cream
  • 1 large egg, whisked (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce(ingredients below)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce (ingredients below)
Cranberry sauce
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
Cream cheese glaze
  • 1/4 cup block cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cranberry sauce
Boil cranberries, water, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan until the cranberries burst and start looking mushy. You may hear popping noises at this stage.
Once it’s done, it should be chunky and not too watery.
Let it cool.
Cranberry dough for the rolls
Whisk the instant yeast, salt, sugar and flour together in a bowl. This is your dry ingredients.
Mix the warm milk/half-and-half, melted butter, and whisked egg together. Pour this into the dry ingredients from the previous step. Fold in 1 cup cranberry sauce.
On a lightly floured disk, knead the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. I prefer using glass because the dough doesn’t stick to it as much.
Cover with cling wrap and let it rise for 30 minutes. 
Roll the dough out into a long rectangle about 16x10 inches. Mix the softened butter with brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread this over the dough. Spread another 1 cup of cranberry sauce next.
Tightly roll the dough gently into a log. It’s okay if some of the cranberry sauce falls off.
Cut this log into equal pieces by placing a dental floss or a thread underneath the roll and twisting it.
Place each roll close together in a greased 13x9 inch pan. Bear in mind that the dough will expand so don’t squish them together. I cut mine into 2 inch wide rolls so I got 9 rolls.
Wrap the pan with cling wrap and let it rise in a warm place away from drafts for 1 hour. It should have doubled in size afterward.
Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes at 375°F/190°C.
It should look lightly browned on top.
Cream cheese glaze
Whisk the softened cream cheese, icing sugar until smooth. Add vanilla extract and cream.
Check the consistency-if it is too watery, add more icing sugar, if too thick add more cream.
Spread this glaze generously over the rolls and spread some extra cranberry sauce if you want.
  • P:s I used instant yeast for this recipe but you can also use active dry yeast (about 2&1/4 teaspoons). Instant yeast simply takes a shorter time to rise but you will still get delicious rolls with active dry yeast .
The Foody Bean
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  • Sassycoupleok Sassycoupleok on Nov 27, 2021

    Perfect for this time of year, a must try. THX for sharing.

    Ms. K

  • Jennifer Jennifer on Dec 05, 2022

    Made these yesterday to take to work today. I used my homemade cranberry/cherry sauce that has brandy in it. Can't wait to try them.