Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

by Jillian
Ultra light and fluffy cinnamon rolls swirled with both buttery brown sugar cinnamon filling and sweet blueberry filling, and slathered in a blanket of cream cheese frosting!

Ultra light and fluffy cinnamon rolls swirled with both buttery brown sugar cinnamon filling and sweet blueberry filling, and slathered in a blanket of cream cheese frosting!

If there’s one treat that I can’t get enough of, it’s DEFINITELY cinnamon rolls. As a cinnamon-sugar-a-holic, I go absolutely bonkers for that euphoric combo of soft, doughy bread and cinnamon maple ooey gooeyness. It’s simply the best breakfast pastry to ever exist on this planet BAR NONE.

Now, although it’s really tough to beat the flavor of a good ol’ fashioned cinnamon roll, I think I might’ve come up with a recipe that takes your standard cinnamon roll to the next level. It still has all of the iconically delicious elements of a classic cinnamon roll–fluffy dough, caramelized swirls of cinnamon-brown sugar filling, and tangy cream cheese frosting. However, it’s also swirled with the most delectable blueberry filling…

These Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls have got to be the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made. And that’s saying a lot since I’ve made a ton of cinnamon rolls in my lifetime. I’ve also got a pretty good collection of various cinnamon roll recipes on my blog. In fact, I even dubbed one of my recipes as the World’s Best Cinnamon Roll. These Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls, however, might steal that title…

Biting into one of these cinnamon rolls is legit like biting into a cloud. They’re extraordinarily fluffy and so soft that they almost collapse in your hand when you pick one up. Even the corner pieces, which tend to be dryer and more well-done, were impeccably moist and doughy. 

So you might be wondering exactly HOW I made the fluffiest cinnamon rolls on the planet. Well, here are a few tips:

  1. DON’T add too much flour. Adding too much flour to the dough can make cinnamon rolls dry and tough. This recipe calls for 3 cups – 3 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour. I usually start with 3 cups, and mix in my stand mixer until the dough just cleans the sides of the bowl. It should still stick to the bottom of the bowl. If it’s still really sticking to the sides of the bowl, add a tablespoon at a time until you reach the right amount.
  2. DON’T over-knead/over-work the dough. After the dough rises, punch it down, plop it onto a floured surface, and get to rolling. You might be tempted to knead the dough a little since the dough is rather sticky, but try your best not to. Just sprinkle flour all over the ball of dough and rub a good amount onto the rolling pin. The less you work the dough, the softer the rolls will turn out.
  3. DON’T over-bake the cinnamon rolls. Baking the cinnamon rolls for too long can dry them out. I baked these cinnamon rolls in a 350ºF oven for exactly 24 minutes. To prevent the tops from getting too brown, I tented a piece of tin foil over the rolls at the 15 minute mark. It can be a little trickier to know exactly when the cinnamon rolls are completely baked through, but if the filling is bubbling continuously and the tops are lightly-browned, it’s a tell-tale sign that they’re done.
  4. Secret ingredient–PUDDING MIX. I’m a huge advocate of pudding mix due to the fact that it adds both sweetness and softness to most any baked good, whether it’s cakes, cookies, or in this case, cinnamon rolls. The pudding mix makes the dough nice and pliable, and ensures that the rolls bake up EXTRA pillowy.  

Now that we’ve talked dough, let’s move onto what sets this cinnamon roll apart from all the other cinnamon rolls–the blueberry filling. Instead of simply sprinkling blueberries on top of the butter-brown sugar-cinnamon filling, I decided to make up a luscious blueberry pie filling. All you have to do is cook some blueberries (fresh or frozen) in a saucepan until their juices begin to release, stir in a mixture of granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and continue cooking until everything thickens up.

The filling needs to cool completely before you spread it on top of the dough. And just a forewarning, the blueberry filling will make things a little messy when it comes time to roll the dough up. However, using unwaxed unflavored dental floss to slice the rolls instead of a knife will make it much easier to keep the rolls nice and neat. If some of the blueberry filling slides out of the rolls, don’t worry. As long as you get them into the baking dish, they’ll bake up just fine.

Being the night owl that I am, I prefer to make my cinnamon rolls the night before, then bake them up in the morning (more like noon-ish). If you’re the same way, place your cinnamon rolls into the refrigerator immediately after you’ve sliced them and placed them into the baking dish. This is supposed to be done BEFORE their second rise. However, my cinnamon rolls end up rising in the refrigerator anyway. I’m guessing that’s ok seeing as my cinnamon rolls always seem to bake up perfectly fluffy.

Apart from biting into these cinnamon-sugary clouds of fluff, the best part about making cinnamon rolls is the heavenly aroma that permeates the entire house. There’s truly no scent that could compare to the blissfulness of freshly-baked cinnamon rolls. Heck, half the time I go to the mall it’s because I need to get my Cinnabon smell fix!

After the cinnamon rolls come out of the oven, I immediately spread the cream cheese frosting on top. The heat from the cinnamon rolls will soften the frosting, making it easier to spread without smashing your precious rolls. As the warmed frosting melts ever so slightly, it falls so perfectly into every single nook and cranny.

Mmmmm……

Is your stomach growling yet?

Ultra light and fluffy cinnamon rolls swirled with both buttery brown sugar cinnamon filling and sweet blueberry filling, and slathered in a blanket of cream cheese frosting!

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

Ultra light and fluffy cinnamon rolls swirled with both buttery brown sugar cinnamon filling and sweet blueberry filling, and slathered in a blanket of cream cheese frosting!
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 55 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Rolls

Ingredients
  

Blueberry Filling:

  • 3 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt

For the Dough:

  • ¼ cup warm water*
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce packet)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup milk (warmed in microwave for 30-40 seconds)
  • cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3-3 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Filling:

  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 5 ounces cream cheese
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Pinch of salt to taste
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
 

Make the Blueberry Filling:

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the blueberries over medium heat until they soften and their juices start to release, about 2-3 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add mixture to the blueberries and continue cooking until it begins to form a thick sauce, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, pour into a shallow bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool completely.

Make the Dough:

  • In a glass measuring cup, combine the water, yeast, and sugar; set aside to foam for about 5 minutes. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the pudding mix and milk together until combined and thickened. Add the butter, Greek yogurt, egg, and salt, beating until fully combined.
  • Switch to the dough hook, and add the yeast mixture and 3 cups of the flour. Mix the dough on low and allow it to knead for about 6-7 minutes. If dough is still too soft, add more flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until dough just cleans the bowl, but is very soft. It should still stick to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Coat a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray and place dough in bowl. Seal tightly with plastic wrap. Place bowl in a warm place and allow dough to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. In the meantime, spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  • After dough has doubled in size, punch it down. Turn dough out onto a floured Silpat or floured countertop. With a rolling pin, roll it out to an 18-by-12-inch rectangle.
  • Make the cinnamon brown sugar filling by combining the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Spread the filling evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Pour the blueberry filling on top of the brown sugar filling and spread evenly. Roll dough tightly into a log, ending with the seam side down. Pinch the ends to seal.
  • Using plain, unwaxed dental floss (or a bench scraper), slice the rolls into 12 evenly-sized rolls. Arrange the rolls cut side down in the prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.
  • *If baking immediately
  • Allow the rolls to rise again in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • *Or...If You Want to Bake the Rolls the Next Day
  • Place covered rolls in the refrigerator for up to 16 hours. Before baking, let the rolls sit at room temperature until they have nearly doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Baking:

  • For either version, bake at 350ºF for 23-25 minutes, or until the brown sugar filling is bubbling and the rolls are lightly browned. While rolls bake, prepare the cream cheese icing.

Make the Frosting:

  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium speed for about 1 minute. Add the corn syrup, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl, and beat for 1 more minute until light and fluffy.
  • Once rolls have baked, remove from the oven. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the warm rolls, allowing it to melt into every single crevice. Serve immediately.
  • Rolls are best eaten fresh, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Reheat leftover rolls for 10-15 seconds in the microwave before serving.

Notes

*Different brands require different water temperatures for the yeast to react with. Make sure to use a food thermometer to get the correct temperature. You don't want the water too hot, or it will kill the yeast; too cold, and the yeast won't react. Mine had to be anywhere between 110ºF-115ºF.
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