A few days ago, The Pioneer Woman posted a recipe for Blueberry Lemon Sweet Rolls. I thought it would be a delicious recipe to try. First, I love blueberry muffins. Plus it would also allow me to use up the whole milk left in my fridge (I never drink it and bought it for a Thanksgiving recipe) and would be a nice variation on her Cinnamon Rolls which I’ve made several times before.
I’m not going to go through a step by step instruction. The Pioneer Woman’s website does that better than I could. I’ll share my results, good and bad, and give you some tips I think might be helpful.
update: after seeing these pictures on another device, I had to mention the color on these images is awful. My computer where I edit the pictures must be way off. Check out the PW link for a better representation. My pictures don’t look appetizing (or accurate) at all – the rolls aren’t orange!!
The recipes can be found here:
Blueberry Lemon Sweet Rolls (picture below is before icing)
I’ve made the cinnamon version four or five times. I made the blueberry version for the first time this morning. Both are equally delicious. If I had to choose, I’d go with the cinnamon version – it probably appeals to more people.
Learn from my mistakes – I’ve made some in every batch, I think! Don’t look at this list and think the rolls are difficult – they aren’t. Most of these suggestions are probably basic to experienced bakers but, unfortunately, I learned the hard way. And even if they don’t look pretty, they sure taste good!
- Allow yourself enough time. The dough needs to rise a couple times through the process and with baking time, it can take awhile. Fortunately, the dough will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator. This weekend I made the dough Friday night and the rolls Sunday morning.
- This recipe makes A LOT of rolls. Have at least 7 or 8 pie pans ready. I use disposable foil pans so I can freeze them, give them out or take them places without worrying about my dishes. You could also bake these in a larger pan if you’re serving a large family or a crowd.
- Both of these recipes make about 40-50 or so rolls. BUT, the Blueberry Lemon version’s recipe for the filling and glaze quantities are only for half the dough (about 24 rolls). The Cinnamon Roll filling and icing recipes will cover the entire amount of dough. I made one recipe of dough, followed the blueberry recipe for the filling and glaze and halved the cinnamon roll filling/glaze quantities to get seven total pans.
- I prefer very, very soft butter to melted butter when making the filling. I know Ree (The Pioneer Woman) swears by melted butter but it just oozes out when rolling up the dough and makes a total mess. My counters are just not that big and it will fall to the floor. I made that change after my first batch and prefer it.
- Allow the rolls to rise before putting in the oven. I am a hypocrite here. I’ve never been able to get that to work.
- Roll the dough thin and roll it up tightly! Really – this makes a huge difference. Take your time to make sure it’s rolled snugly.
- Cut thin rolls. I seem to never remember this. If you don’t, it will be hard for the middle to cook. See the difference below between the blueberry and the cinnamon versions. (it’s the same dough – just weird lighting in my kitchen)
- Allow space in the pan. Another I seem to forget/ignore. These get HUGE in the oven. Again, it will be hard for the center to cook if they are too thick and/or crowded. I did this with the cinnamon version and they came out great.
- My cooking time (in two different ovens) is always longer than the recommendation. I start with the recipe amount and then add and check in 2-3 minute increments.
- For the Blueberry version – On the glaze, do NOT start with 2 cups of whole milk (as the recipe states). That is way, way too much. Start with 1/4 to1/2 Cup and add more. I just followed the recipe and it was so watery, I kept adding powdered sugar to thicken it and then had to add more lemon juice. As it was, the lemon flavor was diluted and I ended up throwing away a bunch after I was done. It tasted good but was a waste. As a comparison, the cinnamon roll icing (which isn’t halved like the blueberry) calls for 1/2 Cup.
Like I said, don’t let those tips make you think these are difficult; they’re not. They are really easy to make and so, so delicious. I make these once or twice a year and love having them on hand. They’re great to give as gifts or easy solutions for weekend mornings!