My favorite time of the day has always been EARLY morning...when it's still quiet and peaceful. And even more so in the summertime, I love to watch the sun come up, have a hot cup of coffee, and get a jump on the day. As crazy as everyone is at our house about Caramel Pecan Sweet Rolls, these Raspberry & Rhubarb Swirl Sweet Rolls may actually be even more of a favorite in the summertime! With all the homemade Rhubarb Jam and Raspberry Rhubarb Jam that I've been making, I'm always looking for new ways to use the sweet and thick preserves in new ways!
And if you love sweet rolls, these sweet little rolls are SO FLUFFY, tender, soft, and just oozing with sweet and tangy raspberry and rhubarb filling in every bite!
These take about four hours from start to finish, which is just about perfect for everyone sleeping around here! There's something so wonderful about the smell of yeast dough rising in the warm sun, and these are so easy to get started! After an hour and a half, they were ready to roll and spread with homemade jam and fresh berries - but you can always use frozen berries if fresh sweet berries are hard to come by.
Roll 'em up tight, cut and place in a baking pan, and they're ready for another 1-1/2 hour quiet time in a sunny window. If you're making these during the cold months, you can also preheat your oven to 300 degrees, turn the oven off, and place the sweet dough in the oven to rise - it will usually add about half an hour longer to your timing.
You can also make these the night before, covering the sliced rolls BEFORE your second rise and keeping them in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise in a warm location for about an hour or so.
A quick 25 minutes in the oven, and your whole home will be smelling so wonderful! Right before you want to serve these, whip up a creamy vanilla glaze and pour over the top and serve warm.
By now, everyone is pretty much awake, and once they get a whiff of these baking, they come running! Such a delicious and sweet way to start their day!
SWEET ROLLS RECIPE VARIATIONS:
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FOR THE DOUGH:
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 & 1/2 Tablespoons active dry yeast (2 standard size packets)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened to room temperature and cut into 4 pieces)
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting & rolling)
FOR THE RASPBERRY RHUBARB FILLING:
1 cup raspberry rhubarb preserves
2 cups fresh raspberries or frozen raspberries
FOR THE GLAZE:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons heavy cream or half & half
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
HOW WE MAKE THESE:
OPTION 2: I placed my bowl in a sunny kitchen window and it worked great! If you make these in the summertime, be sure it is not an overly humid day as the air’s moisture will prevent the dough from rising. The dough took about 1.5 hours to double in size.
MAKE THE ROLLS: Butter/grease/spray with nonstick spray the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish, then line with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll into a 12x18 inch rectangle. I use a ruler for accuracy. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick, even at the corners.
Gently spread the raspberry rhubarb jam evenly over the dough. Sprinkle raspberries evenly over the surface. Tightly roll up the dough to form an 18-inch-long log. Using a very sharp knife, cut into 12 even rolls (about 1.5 inches in width each). Arrange each roll in the prepared baking pan, cut sides up, leaving space between each one so they have room to expand. Cover your baking pan and store in a warm place once again.
Cover the rolls again and let them rise in a warm place until they are puffy, about 2 hours OR overnight (see note below). The jam and berries will release their juice and the bottom of your pan will be FULL of a glorious sweet red raspberry and rhubarb, which will be absorbed during the baking process. It turns into an incredible sticky raspberry rhubarb glaze over the bottom of the rolls.
After the rolls have risen, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cover the rolls with non-stick aluminum foil - this is very important to keep the tops of your rolls from getting too brown. Bake for about 25 minutes, until they are golden and the berries are bubbling. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes.
MAKE THE GLAZE: Right before serving, in a small bowl whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, heavy cream and vanilla until smooth. Add more sugar or cream, depending how thick you want the glaze. Pour glaze over the rolls and serve warm.
NOTE: TO MAKE AHEAD: During the second rise, cover the sliced rolls and let sit overnight in the refrigerator before baking. In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise in a warm environment for 1 hour (or use your oven as noted in step 3 of the recipe).
YIELD: 12 large rolls
Original recipe created by Snowflakes & Coffeecakes published June 2014; revised & reposted May 2022.
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