Raspberry Swirl Rolls

My family's holiday traditions have evolved throughout the years. While some traditions stay true, others have gone through revisions. Locations have changed and the guest list adapts as we welcome new faces and say goodbye to those we have loved the longest. While some changes may be bittersweet, we know the importance of gathering together to share and show our love, whether catching up over good food and conversation or stopping on each other's doorsteps for a brief hello.  

For the last few years, my family has spent Christmas close to home. On Christmas Eve, we open presents near the fireplace, as A Christmas Story plays quietly in the background. In the spirit of new holiday traditions, I wake up early on Christmas Day to bake something warm from the oven to create a new set of sweet memories. Since I fly home across state lines near Christmas Eve, I look for recipes to bake that are simple and easy to accomplish—there is no time to spend hours in the kitchen. 

This year I have partnered with Dole Sunshine to #SharetheSunshine by bringing you a holiday recipe that meets these criteria. These Raspberry Swirl Rolls give a fruity twist to the classic cinnamon roll. While a yeast dough may not appear simple at first glance, it is during a closer look. Since the dough spends the majority of time rising and baking without needing attention, there is only a half hour of active time in the preparation. Even better, the recipe can be prepped the evening before and tossed into the oven the next morning for a warm breakfast without creating a messy kitchen.

In the winter, frozen fruit can provide a superior quality in both flavor and consistency when compared to fresh fruits that are out of season or shipped in from another country. Frozen raspberries are the key to making these rolls with less mess and a more vibrant flavor. The frozen raspberries keep their shape when mixed into the filling and when rolled into the dough and sliced, which keeps the counter tops clean.

In the oven, the raspberries transform into a bubbly, gooey filling, which is brightened by the addition of orange zest. A white chocolate spread on the rolls hot from the oven makes these worthy of a second helping. 


To begin your weekend or holiday morning with warm rolls, the rolls can be assembled the night before and baked the next morning. The evening before, prepare the dough and place the sliced dough in the 9 x 13-inch pan. Wrap the pan tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, preheat the oven and set out the dough to warm and rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes, and bake the rolls as indicated. 

Alternatively, the rolls can be baked the evening before, covered with aluminum foil, and reheated in a 350 degree F oven until heated through. 

May your holiday mornings be filled with flavor, family, & cheer. Happy Holidays, dear friends.


Raspberry Swirl Rolls with White Chocolate Glaze make for a dreamy addition to your holiday brunch menu. The tartness of the raspberries is complemented by the sweetness of the white chocolate glaze and the hint of orange zest in the filling. The rolls have a soft, but chewy texture enhanced by the gooey fruit filling. Serve warm from the oven and share with dear family and friends.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Cream Pie
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Four Years Ago:  Sugar Cookies 
Five Years Ago: Candy Cane Cupcakes & Chocolate (Dairy-Free!) Ice Cream
Six Years Ago: Chocolate Clementine Cupcakes & Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Seven Years Ago: Gingerbread Cheesecake & Peppermint Ice Cream

Raspberry Swirl Rolls with White Chocolate Glaze

Yields 12 rolls

1 cup (240 mL) lukewarm milk (about 100 degrees F/38 degrees C)
1/4 cup (56 grams) butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 large egg
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups (420 grams) all-purpose flour

Raspberry Filling
Zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
10 ounces (283 grams) Dole Frozen Raspberries

White Chocolate Glaze
4 ounces (130 grams) white chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the dough, place lukewarm milk, melted butter, yeast, egg, sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl.  Whisk until combined. Add flour and stir until the mixture begins to form a dough. On a lightly floured surface, place the dough and knead by hand until smooth and elastic, about 5-8 minutes. Alternatively, place the dough into a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment and knead on low for 5-8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

Form into a ball and place into a lightly greased bowl. Cover and allow the dough to rise in a warm environment until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12 x 15-inch rectangle.

For the filling, mix together the sugar and orange zest until fragrant. Mix in the cornstarch. Gently stir in the frozen raspberries. Working quickly to prevent the raspberries from thawing, sprinkle raspberry mixture uniformly on the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Starting lengthwise, roll the dough into a log shape. Trim off the ends and slice the roll into 12 evenly sized pieces. Place rolls into a parchment-lined 9 x 13-inch pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). 

Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned (internal temperature of 190 degrees F/87 degrees C). 

While the rolls are baking, stir together the melted white chocolate, heavy cream, and vanilla extract in a small bowl until smooth. Spread baked rolls with glaze using an off-set spatula while still hot. Serve warm.

This post is sponsored through a partnership with Dole Sunshine. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I am incredibly excited to be working with Dole Sunshine because of the excellent quality of their frozen & preserved fruits. Thank you for supporting Pastry Affair & my wonderful sponsors!

Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

Spring is a time of transition. The long daylight hours and warmth of the sun bring promise of summer, but the chill of the mornings are still reminiscent of winter. The bare branches are beginning, ever so slowly, to gain color. In my personal life, it is also a time of transition. After an exhausting search for a house involving multiple offers and multiple disappointments, an offer was accepted on my dream house. I am still nervous, fearful that somehow even now it will all be too good to be true. There are still compromises, as I knew there would be (mainly being in proximity to a busy, noisy road), but the rest is more beautiful than I dared to imagine.

As the reality of a huge purchase is settling in, I am trying to shake off the anxious energy building within me. The closing date is two months away, so I'm spending my time designing the new space instead of worrying about the decision. The move from an apartment to a home will be an enormous shift in a dozen different ways, but I couldn't be more excited about the change.

Over the last couple months, the overwhelming stress of the house search made it difficult to take proper care of everything else. Dishes sat on the counter, clothes piled up on the floor, and other responsibilities were set aside as all free time was devoted to looking at houses. Making meals in large quantities was one choice that helped ease the stress. One of the best breakfast decisions was making a large batch of baked oatmeal on the weekends.

During the spring months, when the weather is still unpredictable, I find that a big bowl of hot cereal satisfies the hunger as well as the soul. Oatmeal has a warmth and heartiness that starts a day off right. With this baked version, I used frozen blueberries for convenience. The oatmeal comes together quickly and leftovers can be easily reheated to enjoy during the rest of the week.

Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal is a hearty breakfast that is enjoyed hot from the oven. Cinnamon spiced oats are layered with sliced bananas, toasted almonds, and blueberries. The oats are lightly sweetened with maple syrup; additional syrup can be added to each serving to find the ideal level of sweetness. The baked oatmeal reheats well, which makes it ideal for a quick breakfast on weekday mornings.

One Year Ago: Bananas Foster Sauce 
Two Years Ago: Banana Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes 
Three Years Ago: Orange Coconut Pull-Apart Bread & Coconut Macaroons
Four Years Ago:  Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Coconut Whipped Cream, Chocolate Ginger Biscotti, & Banana Cinnamon Pancakes
Five Years Ago: Chocolate Caramel Crispy Bars, Tropical Banana Bread, Strawberry Balsamic Jam, & Strawberry Honey Oatmeal Bars
Six Years Ago: Banana Pudding, Devil's Food Cake, Flourless PB Cookies, & Orange Scones

Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal
Adapted from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day

Yields 4-6 servings

2 cups (160 grams) old fashioned oats
1/2 cup (70 grams) almonds, toasted and chopped
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (500 mL) whole milk (I used almond milk)
1/4 cup (65 mL) pure maple syrup
1 large egg
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 to 1 1/2 cups (175-225 grams) fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease an 8 x 8-inch square baking pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, half of the almonds, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, maple syrup, egg, olive oil, and vanilla extract. Set aside.

In the prepared pan, place banana slices in a single layer. Sprinkle on 2/3 of the blueberries and cover with the oat mixture. Pour milk mixture over the oats. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 blueberries and remaining almonds.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown and oats are set. Serve with a splash of milk and a drizzle of maple syrup for extra sweetness, if desired.  

    Cinnamon Star Bread

    When the weather turns cold and the snow starts to fly, I use my oven to fill my home with the scents of the season—warm vanilla, spiced cinnamon, and intoxicating cocoa. The kitchen is my sanctuary, a place of peace and shelter from the stress the holidays can create. Baking is one of the ways I show and share my love towards friends and family. During this time of year, there is a lot of love to go around.

    As a holiday tradition, each year I look for a new recipe to serve on Christmas morning. Since the days leading up to the holidays can be busy, the recipe needs to be simple, sweet, and easy to accomplish—there is no time to spend hours in the kitchen. When I found this recipe for Cinnamon Star Bread from King Arthur Flour, I knew it was the perfect fit. Though this twist on the classic cinnamon roll may not suggest simplicity, the reality is that this recipe does come together easily. While the bread takes about three hours from start to finish, only about a half hour of that time is active. While the dough rises, you are free to move about the house and do other things. Perhaps, best of all, the pull-apart shape of the bread is already suited for sharing. 

    The sweet bread dough comes together quickly and easily. All dough ingredients are tossed into a mixing bowl and mixed either by hand (I prefer using a dough scraper) or machine until the dough comes together. Then, the dough is kneaded—again, either by hand or machine (using a dough hook with a stand mixer or bread machine)—for several minutes until it takes on a soft, smooth appearance. The process is simple, and the dough itself is very forgiving.

    I prefer using all-purpose flour in this recipe because it yields a more tender dough. Traditional bread flour forms a more structured dough because bread flour has more protein than all-purpose flour, and forms more gluten when kneaded. Therefore, using a flour with less gluten, like all-purpose flour, creates a softer dough. In addition to the flour, nonfat dry milk and potato flour (or instant mashed potato flakes) are also added to create a tender bread. Don't worry—the potato doesn't add any flavor here; it just helps the bread retain moisture after baking. 

    Once kneaded, the dough is placed in a lightly greased bowl, covered with a clean kitchen towel, and left to rise at room temperature for one hour, or until it doubles in size.

    Once the dough has risen, divide the dough into four equal parts. Form the dough into balls and let rest for 15 minutes. Don't skip this step—the resting process relaxes the gluten in the dough and makes the dough easier to roll out. When time is up, roll out the dough into four 10-inch circles. I realize that sounds intimidating (I have a difficult time rolling out anything to a perfect size), but there's a quick trick that can help with the job. Trace the outline of a 10-inch springform or tube pan onto parchment paper, cut out the circle, and use it as a guide when rolling out the dough. It not only helps you visualize the size you need, but you can periodically place the parchment circle on the dough to check your progress.

    The best part of the bread is the sweet, cinnamon sugar layers that saturate the loaf. To assemble the layers, place one 10-inch circle of dough onto a sheet of parchment paper. Brush the dough with a thin layer of beaten egg and sprinkle on 1/3 of the cinnamon sugar mixture, taking care to leave a 1/4-inch border around the edges. Repeat this process two more times, placing each layer on top of the other and adding the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place the last circle of dough on top, leaving it bare.

    After making this bread several times, I found it is easier to twist the layers of dough if the dough circles are even. Even though you may have made best attempts to make perfect 10-inch circles, it's likely they still vary slightly on the edges—and that's okay. Simply place your parchment circle on top and use a pizza cutter to trim the very edge of the layers to an even size. 

    Once the dough is stacked and layered with the cinnamon sugar mixture, it is time to cut the dough into strips to twist. Place a 2 1/2 to 3-inch round cutter on the center of the dough to use as a guide (if you don't have this size cutter, a canning jar lid will work as well). Use a bench knife or sharp knife to cut the dough into strips. Start by cutting the circle into fourths, and then cut each fourth in half and then in half once more to create 16 even strips. 

    To twist the layers into the star pattern, take two adjacent strips and twist them away from each other twice (twist one clockwise, twist the other one counterclockwise). Since I do not have the fine motor skills to do both strips at the same time, I twist them separately and then pinch them together along the ends to hold them together. I also found it is easier to twist the dough if you lift it up slightly so it does not brush against the other strips of dough. 

    Using the parchment paper, transfer the star to a baking sheet, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for another 45 minutes, or until noticeably puffy. While the loaf rises, preheat the oven. Just before baking, brush the loaf with a thin layer of beaten egg and bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.

    To serve the bread in the morning, I recommend baking the loaf the evening before and reheating the loaf in the oven the next morning at 350°F for 5-10 minutes, or until heated through. This bread is not a good candidate to raise overnight because the cinnamon sugar has a tendency to leak out of the loaf in a thin syrup if left too long. Since we want to keep as much flavor in the loaf, it is best to bake it on schedule. Reheating the bread in the oven will keep the texture and retain the moisture.

    Sprinkle with powdered sugar after baking and serve warm. If you are feeling particularly festive, serve the bread alongside a mug of hot cocoa. In fact, I recommend it. 

    For more of my favorite seasonal recipes from King Arthur Flour and additional baking tips, join me at their Holiday Table.

    Cinnamon Star Bread is a pull-apart style bread that gives a twist to the classic cinnamon roll. The bread is layered with cinnamon sugar and twisted into a star shape. As the loaf bakes, the cinnamon sugar caramelizes the outside edges while the interior stays soft and tender. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm. Your friends and family will adore this sweet addition to your holiday table.

    Cinnamon Star Bread
    Recipe from King Arthur Flour

    Yields 1 star loaf, or 8-12 servings

    3/4 cup + 2 to 4 tablespoons (198-227 mL) lukewarm water, enough to make a soft, smooth dough
    2 cups (241 grams) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
    1/4 cup (4 tablespoons or 57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 teaspoon Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor, optional; for enhanced flavor
    2 teaspoons instant yeast, SAF Gold instant yeast preferred
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup (35 grams) Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
    1/4 cup (46 grams) potato flour or instant mashed potato flakes

    1 large egg, beaten
    1/3 cup (64 grams) cinnamon-sugar, or your own mix of cinnamon sugar*

    To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a soft, smooth dough. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 60 minutes, until it's nearly doubled in bulk.

    Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, cover the balls, and allow them to rest for 15 minutes.

    On a lightly greased or floured work surface, roll one piece of dough into a 10" circle. Place the circle on a piece of parchment, brush a thin coat of beaten egg on the surface, then evenly sprinkle with 1/3 of the cinnamon-sugar, leaving 1/4" of bare dough around the perimeter.

    Roll out a second circle the same size as the first, and place it on top of the filling-covered circle. Repeat the layering process — egg, cinnamon sugar, dough circle — leaving the top circle bare.

    Place a 2 1/2" to 3" round cutter in the center of the dough circle as a guide. With a bench knife or sharp knife, cut the circle into 16 equal strips, from the cutter to the edge, through all the layers.

    Using two hands, pick up two adjacent strips and twist them away from each other twice so that the top side is facing up again. Repeat with the remaining strips of dough so that you end up with eight pairs of strips. Pinch the pairs of strips together to create a star-like shape with eight points. Remove the cutter.

    Transfer the star on the parchment to a baking sheet. Cover the star and let it rise until it becomes noticeably puffy, about 45 minutes.

    While the star is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F (or 205°C).

    Brush the star with a thin coat of the beaten egg. Bake it for 12 to 15 minutes, until it's nicely golden with dark brown cinnamon streaks; the center should register 200°F (or 93°C) on a digital thermometer.

    Remove the loaf from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

    * Stir together 1/3 cup granulated sugar with 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon for a homemade cinnamon sugar blend.

    This post is sponsored through a partnership with King Arthur Flour. All thoughts and opinions are my own.