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 accomplishβ€”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!

Chocolate Hazelnut Rolls

These last few weeks have been a blur of exhaustion and responsibilities. Time is lost in the small necessities of lifeβ€”days pass quickly, but each week drags on in a disorienting march. As the school year nears a close, I find myself in my classroom hours after the last bell rings, lesson planning and grading assignments while the nice weather mocks me through the windows. I swing by the gym on the way home, not because I want to, but because guilt delivers me to the door. Exhaustion claims me in the first few minutes of group classes, and I wonder if sitting on my couch to recharge would have been the better choice. I come home to a messy apartment, an empty refrigerator, and three days of dishes sitting in the sink. I look through bills, health benefit packages, and lease renewal forms in the evenings, too tired to make useful decisions.

Even though its foolish, I sometimes wish adulthood came with accolades. You made the responsible decision and went to the gym? You get to watch Fixer Upper on the couch for two consecutive hours without moving! You did all the dishes in the sink? You get a phone call from your mother telling you she's proud of you!

Some days are easy and some days are hard. I keep telling myself these waves of overwhelming responsibilities will fade and calmer waters will soon arrive.

This weekend I am carving out time to relax. A quiet morning of coffee drinking and pastry making sounds healing. This recipe for chocolate hazelnut rolls uses Quick Puff Pastry as the base. By removing the need for yeast and rising time, the rolls come together quickly. The puffy pastry can be made several days in advance or, if you are like me, you already have a batch stored in the freezer for pastry emergencies.

With a generous amount of chocolate hazelnut spread, a sprinkling of demerara sugar and cinnamon in the filling, and a topping of chopped hazelnuts, these flaky rolls will brighten any weekend morning. 

Chocolate Hazelnut Rolls are a celebration of butter and chocolate in pastry form. With puff pastry as the base, the rolls become golden and flaky in the oven. The inside features a smooth layer of chocolate hazelnut and cinnamon, and the top emphasizes texture with toasted hazelnuts. These are rolls for special occasions, certainly, but should be served on the average weekend after a hard week of being an adult. Your own adult accolade, if you will.

One Year Ago: Blueberry Oat Bars (GF) 
Two Years Ago: Blueberry Pie 
Three Years Ago: Sunflower Seed Bread, Blackberry Fool, Lime Curd Tart, & Honey Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Four Years Ago: Homemade Mascarpone, Ladyfingers, Tiramisu Cake, & PB Cornmeal Cookies
Five Years Ago: Strawberry Milk, Vanilla Pear Muffins, Chocolate Filled Buns, & Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Rolls
Inspired by Joy the Baker

Yields 12 rolls

1 recipe Quick Puff Pastry, chilled (or thawed, if previously frozen)
1 cup (300 grams) chocolate hazelnut spread
1/4 cup (50 grams) demerara or brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ounces (55 grams) hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled puffed pastry into a 12 by 16 inch rectangle. Spread the dough evenly with the chocolate hazelnut spread, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges.

In a small bowl, stir together the demerara sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the chocolate hazelnut spread. From the longer end, roll the dough tightly until it forms a log. Cut off the ends of the dough and cut the log into 1 1/4-inch thick segments. Place the rolls individually into a muffin tin and sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts over the top.

Bake for 28-35 minutes, or until the rolls are bubbling and golden. Serve warm.

Swedish Tea Ring

Starting the morning with sweet rolls warm from the oven makes the holiday season feel more special. Whether on Christmas morning, after the stockings have been opened, or to recover from a late evening on New Year's Eve, the smell of yeast creates sweet memories. In years past, I have made chocolate hazelnut rollsalmond cardamom rolls, and cinnamon sugar swirl bread. This year I have been testing out the Swedish Tea Ring, a sweet bread similar to a cinnamon roll, but in a shape that is better suited for sharing.

In partnership with King Arthur Flour, each month I want to challenge you with a new recipe, filled with step-by-step explanations and techniques, to help you grow and develop as a baker. This month we're tackling sweet yeasted dough. Just as coffee cakes are meant to be served alongside a cup of coffee, the Swedish Tea Ring is meant to be served with a mug of hot tea. Swedish Tea Rings come in a variety of forms, some with fresh fruit and some with dried fruit, but the most common ingredient is finely chopped nuts. 

This dough combines a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose flour. Whole wheat flour is a healthier alternative to white flour and has a nutty undertone, which complements the almonds in the recipe. Sweet dough has higher levels of fat, sugar, and egg than traditional dough, which keeps the bread soft and tender after baking. This recipe uses milk and butter to retain moisture in the final product. The dough is also spiced with ground cardamom to give it additional warmth in flavor.

After the dough is mixed together, it must be kneaded to develop gluten before rising. (1) To begin kneading, bring the dough into a ball shape on a lightly floured surface. (2) Using the heel of your hand, push the dough downwards at an angle to stretch it away from you. (3) Rotate the dough 90 degrees. (4) Fold it in half and repeat, beginning with step 2. As the dough is kneaded, you will be able to feel the dough firm up as the gluten forms. As the texture of the dough changes, the dough will also require less flour and may be easier to knead on a flour-less surface. If too much flour is incorporated into the dough, it will become stiff and difficult to work with; take care not to sprinkle too much flour on the surface. 

After 7-10 minutes of kneading by hand, the dough will begin to feel elastic and spring back under your touch. I prefer to knead by hand to feel the texture of the dough change (and for the personal relaxation that comes from repetitive motion), but directions for kneading by machine are included in the recipe below. Place in a bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 1-2 hours.

The filling contains a mixture of butter, cinnamon, and demerara sugar. Demerara sugar is a partially unrefined, raw sugar. It has larger crystals than brown sugar, but a similar caramel and molasses flavor profile. If you do not have demerara sugar on hand, brown sugar can be used as an alternative. 

After the dough has risen, roll it out into a 12 x 18-inch rectangle. Take care not to use too much flour on your work surface or the dough will be more difficult to roll out. It is best if it lightly sticks to the surface because the dough will better hold its shape. Evenly coat the dough with the brown sugar mixture and sprinkle on a layer of finely chopped almonds. In the photograph below, the almonds are uneven in sizeβ€”try to avoid this. The filling retains a better texture when the nuts are chopped small and evenly sized.

From the long edge, the dough is tightly rolled into a log and placed seam side down onto a baking sheet. The ends are cut off the dough and the exposed ends are brought together to create a circular, ring shape. Pinch the ends together to seal. Using a kitchen shears, cut the log two-thirds of the way through in two-inch thick segments around the circle. Carefully turn the segments upwards so the interior of the dough is exposed. Cover and allow to rise a second time for 30-45 minutes.

Brush the exterior of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle on additional demerara sugar before baking. The egg wash helps the dough brown to a deep golden color in the oven. The large grains of the demerara sugar keep their shape in the oven, adding a unique look and texture to the final product. Large white crystal sugar can also be used, but avoid granulated or brown sugar because it will melt in the oven and you will not be able to achieve the same look. 

To begin your weekend or holiday morning with a warm slice, the Swedish Tea Ring can be assembled the night before and baked the next morning. The evening before, prepare the dough and arrange it to form the final shape. Wrap the dough 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 for the second time for 45-60 minutes. Brush on the egg white and sprinkle with demerara sugar just before baking.

The Swedish Tea Ring brings together the warm winter spices of cinnamon and cardamom in a sweet, buttery bread. The ring is filled with demerara sugar to bring out caramel tones and finely chopped almonds for their nutty flavor and texture. The shape of the sweet bread makes it easy to cut and share with the people you hold near and dear.

One Year Ago: Almond Espresso Cookies
Two Years Ago: Cranberry Upside Down Cake and Peppermint Marshmallows
Three Years Ago: Lemon Cranberry Scones, Chocolate Pomegranate TartAlmond Cardamom RollsRed Wine Chocolate Truffles, and Gingerbread Cookies
Four Years Ago: Pumpkin Panna Cotta, Honey CookiesPeppermint Pinwheels, and Sugar Cookies
Five Years Ago: Blueberry Brownies, White Chocolate Saffron Truffles, Pear ChipsCandy Striped Meringues, and Chocolate Truffles

Swedish Tea Ring

Yields 14-18 servings

2/3 cup (155 mL) milk, lukewarm in temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
4 tablespoons (56 grams) butter, melted
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups (240 grams) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup (128 grams) King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons (56 grams) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (110 grams) demerara sugar, plus extra for sprinkling*
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
4 ounces (115 grams) almonds, finely chopped
Egg wash (1 large egg + 1 tablespoon water, whisked)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the lukewarm milk, sugar, egg, melted butter, and yeast. Using a bowl scraper, fold in the flours, cardamom, and salt until the dough comes together and appears uniform. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. If using a stand mixer, knead the dough on low for 3-5 minutes with the dough hook attachment, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. 

Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and allow the dough to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 to 2 hours.

To make the filling, mix together the butter, sugar, and cinnamon until it forms uniform paste. 

When the dough has doubled in volume, punch down the dough and, on a lightly floured surface, flatten the dough into a rectangular shape. Roll out the dough to a 12-by-18 inch rectangle. Using an offset spatula, spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around all edges. Sprinkle on the finely chopped almonds evenly and press the almonds down lightly into the filling.

From the long end, roll the dough tightly into a log and place seam side down. Cut off the ends so the log appears uniform. Form the log into a ring shape and pinch the open ends together. Using a kitchen shears, cut the dough 2/3 of the way into the log into 2-inch segments. Carefully turn the segments upwards so the interior of the dough is exposed. Cover and let rise for an additional 30-45 minutes. 

While dough is rising, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Brush with egg wash and sprinkle lightly with additional demerara sugar. Bake the tea ring for 25 minutes, or until golden. If it browns too quickly, cover with aluminum foil to prevent browning during the last 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

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