strawberry rolls covered with cream cheese icing and decorated with fresh strawberries
Breads and Rolls,  Breakfast

Gooey Strawberry Cream Cheese Rolls – No Knead

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These strawberry cream cheese rolls are fluffy, buttery, and very gooey. They are filled with a homemade strawberry pie filling, fresh strawberries, and topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting. The no knead dough is soft and buttery, and so easy to make! The strawberry filling helps to steam the dough in the oven, keeping them ultra soft and gooey. 

If you have a whole lot of strawberries lying around, this recipe is perfect for that. You can use frozen strawberries for the gooey filling but I would definitely recommend using fresh strawberries for sprinkling on top before rolling them up. 

The dough in this recipe is my tried and true no knead buttery soft dough. It works perfectly in everything ranging from chocolate tahini babka and blueberry cinnamon rolls. To make it, you just stir everything together and let it rise. That’s it! You end up with the softest, fluffiest and rich dough. No one will ever know that you didn’t knead it (I won’t tell on you!)

cut open strawberry roll with gooey filling

Key Ingredients

Cornstarch: The cornstarch thickens the filling so that it becomes more cohesive. You can substitute it with all purpose flour if you don’t want to use cornstarch.

Strawberries: I use fresh chopped strawberries for the filling. Some of it gets cooked into a strawberry pie filling and some gets sprinkled on top before rolling up. That way you get all kinds of texture in the rolls. 

Lemon: You need the zest and juice of one lemon in the filling. It complements the strawberries and make them taste fresh and zingy! If you don’t like lemon, leave out the zest which has the most lemon flavour.

Butter: Add pieces of cold butter to the cooked filling to help cool down faster. It gives the filling a velvety texture. The butter needs to be very soft for the dough and frosting. 

Yeast: I always use active dry yeast in this dough recipe. You can also successfully use dry instant yeast but the texture will be a little bit different. 

All purpose flour: The best way to measure flour is to weigh the flour with a kitchen scale. If you don’t have one, measure properly with measuring cups. Fluff the bag of flour by mixing with a spoon. Spoon into a measuring cup and scrape off the excess with the flat edge of a knife without packing it in.

Large eggs: have the eggs at room temperature and whisk them together briefly before adding them into the dough.

Pure vanilla extract: I use pure vanilla extract for the best vanilla flavour.

Warm milk: I use whole milk but you can use whatever milk you prefer for this recipe. I have tried almond and oat milk and they work pretty well also.

Cream cheese: For a thick frosting that isn’t soupy, make sure you use a cold, full fat cream cheese. Cut it into chunks and let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to soften slightly. 

Heavy cream: Heavy cream will make the frosting really fluffy. If you can’t get any, you can use half and half or milk instead. Add them in gradually because you may need less. It won’t make it as fluffy though!

Filling

You can make the filling for the strawberry cream cheese rolls the day before to save on some time. Just let it warm to room temperature as you make the dough.

Add the sugar and cornstarch into a heavy bottomed saucepan. Stir until the cornstarch is mixed evenly into the sugar. This will prevent lumps in the filling.

Add the 500g of strawberries, lemon juice, and salt. Heat saucepan on medium heat and let come to a simmer. The strawberries will release their juice as it heats up. Stir frequently.

Take off the heat as soon as it thickens considerably and add the butter. Stir until melted. 

Stir in the lemon zest. Transfer into an airtight container and let cool to room temperature. While it cools, make the dough.

rolled out no knead dough spread with strawberry filling and fresh strawberries

Dough

Combine warm water, 1 tsp sugar, and yeast in a small bowl. Stir until yeast dissolves. Let it sit for about 5 minutes so that a foam starts to form on top. If a foam doesn’t form in 10 minutes, discard and try again with another packet of yeast.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, and stir. Make a well in the middle and add the butter, eggs, vanilla, milk, and yeast mixture. 

Mix until a cohesive dough forms. Cover the bowl with a dish cloth and place in a warm place (see notes) to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Butter a 9”x12” baking pan while it rises. 

Punch down the dough and transfer onto a floured surface. Roll out a little and fold the dough into thirds. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 18” by 24”. 

Spread the strawberry filling on top of the dough, leaving a 1” border on all the edges. Sprinkle the reserved chopped strawberries (250g) on top.

Roll into a log, starting at the long edge. Mark the roll into 12 equal pieces. I do this by marking it in half, each half in half again, and each of the remaining pieces into thirds. 

Using a piece of string or unflavoured floss, wrap the string around the log and pull to cut. Using a string to cut instead of a knife prevents the roll from getting squished – they hold their shape better. 

Scoop up the roll with your hands and place on the prepared baking pan. Scoop up any filling that escapes back on top of the roll. Repeat with the rest of the pieces. It will get messy but this makes it even more gooey.

Let rise until doubled in size in a warm place, about 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Bake the strawberry cream cheese rolls for 25-30 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown on top. Let cool inside the pan – make the frosting while it cools.

Cream cheese frosting

Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or with electric hand beaters until light and fluffy.

Add chunks of cold cream cheese into the butter in a few additions, beating very well in between. It should be really fluffy. 

Add vanilla and cream, and beat until fluffy. 

Spread on top of the strawberry cream cheese rolls while they are still warm so that the frosting melts into them a bit. Serve warm!

taking a bite of a strawberry cream cheese rolls with fresh strawberries

FAQ

How do I get fluffy strawberry rolls?

The most important step to getting buttery, light, and fluffy cinnamon rolls is making sure the flour is properly measured. I use a scale to weigh the flour for the most accurate results. A cheap kitchen scale works wonders.

If you don’t have a scale on hand, you can measure the flour properly using dry measuring cups. Mix up your flour with a spoon, spoon it into your measuring cup, and level off the top with the flat edge of a knife without packing in the flour. It isn’t as accurate as using a scale but is the next best option!

My favourite tip however, is to handle the dough as little as possible. The less effort I put into the roll dough, the fluffier they turn out – every time!

Is my dough supposed to be this sticky?

The dough is going to be very sticky and a little bit wet as soon as you mix all of the ingredients together. It will look more like a dough after it rests and rises as the flour absorbs more liquid.

If it looks too sticky and runny (like a pancake batter and not like a dough), then add a little more flour to make it resemble a dough.

Why is my no knead dough not rising?

The first step of blooming the yeast is mostly to just check if the yeast is active. If it doesn’t foam up after being dissolved in warm water and sugar within 10 minutes, then the yeast might not be active anymore. You might need to try a different packet or batch in yeast.

I like to let my dough rise in an oven preheating to 180°C (350°F) for 3 minutes, then turned off. If it isn’t warm enough, the dough will not rise. Do not let the oven get too hot (over 55°C) because the yeast cells will start to die off. This dough never rises on my counter because it is never warm enough for such an enriched dough to rise.

Best way to cut strawberry rolls?

My favourite way to cut rolls is to use a piece of sewing string or unflavoured dental floss. You wrap it all the way around the roll where you want the cut to be. Pull on the string to tighten and it will cut through to the middle of the roll.

This way you don’t squish the roll as if you cut through it with a knife. The roll and swirl remain perfectly round with the string method.

How do I cut even roll pieces?

To cut 12 even pieces, I have an easy trick. Mark the roll in half, and mark each half.. Then mark each piece into three pieces. Once it’s all marked, use a string to wrap and pull – cutting them in even pieces.

Can I use fresh or frozen strawberries?

You can use frozen strawberries for inside the cooked filling. Since it is getting cooked into a gooey pie-like filling anyways, there isn’t that much of a difference. I would recommend sprinkling fresh strawberry pieces into the roll before rolling it up. If you can’t find fresh at all, you can skip the fresh strawberry pieces or add frozen strawberry slices. Don’t defrost them before adding to the strawberry cream cheese rolls.

strawberry roll on a plate

Check out my other no knead recipes:


Happy baking! xx

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strawberry rolls covered with cream cheese icing and decorated with fresh strawberries

Gooey Strawberry Cream Cheese Rolls – No Knead

Mary
These strawberry cream cheese rolls are fluffy, buttery, and very gooey. They are filled with a homemade strawberry pie filling, fresh strawberries, and topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting. The no knead dough is soft and buttery, and so easy to make! The strawberry filling helps to steam the dough in the oven, keeping them ultra soft and gooey.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Rest Time 1 hr
Total Time 50 mins
Course Baking, Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 rolls

Equipment

  • 9"x12" baking pan

Ingredients
  

Filling

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 18 oz strawberries chopped (500g)
  • 1 lemon juiced and zested
  • ½ cup butter
  • tsp sea salt
  • 9 oz strawberries chopped and reserved (250g)

Dough

  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 package yeast (7g)
  • 5 cups all purpose flour (600g)
  • cup granulated sugar
  • tsp sea salt
  • ¾ cup butter very soft
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup warm milk

Frosting

  • tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 4 ½ oz cream cheese slightly softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream 35%

Instructions
 

Filling

  • Add the sugar and cornstarch into a heavy bottomed saucepan. Stir until the cornstarch is mixed evenly into the sugar.
    1 cup granulated sugar, 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • Add the strawberries, lemon juice, and salt. Put saucepan on medium heat and let it come to a simmer. The strawberries will release their juice as it heats up. Stir frequently.
    18 oz strawberries, 1 lemon, ⅛ tsp sea salt
  • Take off the heat when thickened and add the butter. Stir until melted.
    ½ cup butter
  • Stir in the lemon zest. Transfer into an airtight container and let cool to room temperature. While it cools, make the dough.
    1 lemon

Dough

  • Combine warm water, 1 tsp sugar, and yeast in a small bowl. Stir until yeast dissolves. Let it sit for about 5 minutes so that a foam starts to form on top. If a foam doesn’t form in 10 minutes, discard and try again with another packet of yeast.
    ½ cup warm water, 1 tsp granulated sugar, 1 package yeast
  • In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, and stir. Make a well in the middle and add the butter, eggs, vanilla, milk, and yeast mixture.
    5 cups all purpose flour, ⅓ cup granulated sugar, ⅛ tsp sea salt, ¾ cup butter, 2 eggs beaten, 1 tsp vanilla extract, ¾ cup warm milk
  • Mix until a cohesive dough forms. Cover the bowl with a dish cloth and place in a warm place (see notes) to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Butter a 9”x12” baking pan while it rises.
  • Punch down the dough and transfer onto a floured surface. Roll out a little and fold the dough into thirds. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 18” by 24”.
  • Spread the strawberry filling on top of the dough, leaving a 1” border on all the edges. Sprinkle the reserved chopped strawberries (250g) on top.
    9 oz strawberries
  • Roll into a log, starting at the long edge. Mark the roll into 12 equal pieces.
  • Using a piece of string or unflavoured floss, wrap the string around the log and pull to cut. Scoop up the roll with your hands and place on the prepared baking pan. Scoop up any filling that escapes back on top of the roll. Repeat with the rest of the pieces.
  • Let rise until doubled in size in a warm place, about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown on top. Let cool inside the pan – make the frosting while it cools.

Frosting

  • Beat the butter, sugar, and salt in a stand mixer or with electric hand beaters until light and fluffy.
    ½ cup butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, ⅛ tsp sea salt
  • Add chunks of cream cheese into the butter in a few additions, beating very well in between. It should be fluffy.
    4 ½ oz cream cheese
  • Add vanilla and cream, and beat until fluffy.
    1 tsp vanilla extract, 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • Spread on top of the rolls while they are still warm so that the frosting melts into the rolls a little bit. Serve warm!

Notes

Store the wrapped rolls in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Heat up before eating so that they become soft and gooey again.
Best way to let dough rise:
I let my dough rise in an oven preheating to 180°C (350°F) for 3 minutes, then turned off. If it isn’t warm enough, the dough will not rise because of how much butter and sugar it has. You do not want the oven to be hot (over 55°C) or it will bake the yeast.
Keyword cream cheese frosting, gooey rolls, no knead rolls, strawberry, strawberry sweet rolls

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