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Strawberry Cheesecake Cinnamon Rolls

These strawberry cheesecake cinnamon rolls are packed with a sweet cream cheese filling, fresh strawberries, and graham cracker crumble. They are topped with a whipped cream cheese strawberry frosting (that also includes fresh strawberries!). These sweet rolls will be gone as fast as you made them–they are THAT good!

Closeup up strawberry cheesecake sweet rolls.

The idea for these cinnamon rolls (technically sweet rolls, because there is no cinnamon in sight) actually came to me in a dream. Yes, apparently I am dreaming up my recipes now. I woke up and declared that I MUST MAKE THESE DREAMY ROLLS.

After mulling it over, I decided that it was best to use fresh strawberries and instead of cinnamon and sugar in the rolls, I’d crush graham crackers in the food processor and make a cheesecake-like filling for the center of the rolls.

They turned out incredible. I promise, your whole family will devour these things in no time. The recipe is unique, the flavor is fresh, and it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day or as a spring or summer brunch.

If you’re in the mood for more fruity goodness, check out these Strawberry Crunch Cookies, Sourdough Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes, or Lemon Blueberry Cookies.

Frosted Strawberry Cheesecake Cinnamon Rolls in a White Baking Dish.

Why You’ll Love These Strawberry Rolls

  • Perfect for Strawberry Season – This recipe is best enjoyed during the strawberry season when there are fresh berries, they’re easy to find, and are low-cost!
  • Easy, Homemade Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing – It’s hard to figure out what to call what I topped these rolls with. It could also be considered strawberry glaze or frosting. The base is cream cheese, fresh strawberries are added to it, and you mix with an electric mixer until it is whipped and creamy. It adds so much sweet flavor to these strawberry cinnamon rolls!
  • They Taste Like Actual Cheesecake! – We’re not just slapping some cream cheese frosting on these rolls and calling it cheesecake flavored. The cream cheese filling and graham cracker crumbs inside the rolls give them the out-of-this-world cheesecake flavor.
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Ingredients and Substitutions

Ingredients for the strawberry cheesecake sweet rolls: warm milk, flour, eggs, powdered sugar, strawberries, butter, vanilla extract, yeast, sugar, graham crackers, cream cheese, lemon juice.

For the dough:

  • Warm Milk – I use whole milk. Skim, 1%, or 2% milk works too.
  • Active Dry Yeast
  • Granulated Sugar – You could use brown sugar in place of granulated sugar. The yeast requires sugar to activate, so either works fine.
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Salted Butter – I always use room temperature salted butter instead of unsalted butter. You could substitute it if unsalted butter is all you have. Just add a pinch more salt to the dough.
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Salt

For the Filling:

  • Salted Butter – Use a softened half stick of butter for the filling and use the other half for the frosting below.
  • Cream Cheese – Room temperature full-fat cream cheese works here. Not whipped cream cheese, but block cream cheese. I used half a block for the filling and saved the other half for the frosting.
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Crushed Graham Crackers – I pulse these in my food processor until they resemble a fine crumb. You can also put them in a plastic Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
  • Chopped Strawberries – I used fresh strawberries for this recipe. I imagine thawed frozen strawberries would taste lovely too. They just might make for a messier process when you’re slicing the rolls, but I don’t see that as an issue. 😉

For the Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Cream Cheese – Full-fat block cream cheese works best here.
  • Salted Butter
  • Lemon Juice – I used up the juice from a medium lemon here. You could also use bottled lemon juice if it’s what you have on hand.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Chopped Strawberries

See recipe card for quantities.

Instructions

Step One: Yeast, sugar, warm milk in mixing bowl.

Step One: Add the warm milk, yeast, and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. The milk should be between 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit. To do this, I microwave the milk in 20-second increments. It should be warm but not hot! Cover with a kitchen towel and let sit for 5-10 minutes. It will be bubbly and foamy when it is active and ready to use.

Step Two: Kneading the dough in a stand mixer.

Step Two: Add the eggs, vanilla extract, butter, flour, and salt to the milk mixture in a stand mixer fixed with a dough hook attachment. Knead for 7-10 minutes on medium speed.

Kneaded ball of dough in a bowl ready to be covered and let rise.

Step Three: The dough is ready to rise when you press your finger against it and the dough doesn’t stick to your fingers. Form the dough into a ball. Cover the ball of dough with a kitchen towel and let rise for 2 hours in a warm place.

Strawberry Cheesecake cinnamon roll dough fully risen in the mixing bowl.

Step Four: The dough is ready when it has doubled in size. Gently punch the dough down and remove it from the bowl onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Finely crushed graham cracker crumbs in a bowl.

Step Five: Crush the graham crackers into a fine crumb either using a food processor or by crushing them in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin.

Cream cheese filling in a mixing bowl with a rubber spatula in the bowl.

Step Six: Make the filling: In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and cream cheese for 2 minutes. Then add the vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl until there is no more dry sugar and the filling is nice and creamy.

Strawberry cheesecake cinnamon roll dough rolled out in a rectangle.

Step Seven: Roll the dough out on the floured surface into a 12″x18″ rectangle.

Strawberry cheesecake cinnamon roll dough rolled out with cream cheese mixture spread on it.

Step Eight: Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the top of the dough.

Strawberry cheesecake cinnamon roll dough rolled out with the graham cracker crumbs added to it.

Step Nine: Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs evenly over the cream cheese mixture.

Chopped strawberries added to the rolled out dough.

Step Ten: Chop the strawberries up into small pieces and sprinkle them over the cream cheese and graham cracker crumbs.

Twelve Unbaked strawberry cinnamon rolls in the baking dish.

Step Eleven: Roll the dough tightly length-wise into a long tube. Use a serrated knife or a piece of unflavored dental floss to slice the dough into 12 rolls. Put them in a greased 9×13 baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes. The rolls will be golden brown on top and the middle of the rolls will be baked fully and no longer doughy.

Whipped cream cheese strawberry frosting in the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula in the bowl.

Step Twelve: For the frosting: With an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and powdered sugar. Then, mix in the chopped strawberries. You’ll mix until the frosting is whipped and creamy and the strawberries are slightly broken up into the frosting. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Baked and unfrosted strawberry cheesecake cinnamon rolls in the baking pan.

Equipment

  • 9×13 Baking Pan
  • Stand Mixer with a dough hook attachment (or electric mixer and you can knead with your hands)
  • Electric Mixer
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Cups
  • Rolling Pin
  • Food Processor (optional)

Storage

Store the leftover sweet rolls in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Top Tips for the Best Strawberry Sweet Rolls

  • Use a kitchen thermometer to get the exact temperature of the milk before adding it to the yeast. This way you will avoid making the milk too hot and thus kill the yeast.
  • When your yeast mixture is ready to use, it will be foamy and active. If it’s not foaming up, your yeast is expired or your milk isn’t at the appropriate temperature. You’ll need to start over because the dough will not rise appropriately without an active yeast. It’s best to put this mixture in a warm spot in your kitchen.
  • Cut the softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer as you add it in. This helps the machine knead it in easier instead of mixing in one big stick of butter.
  • Keep the rising dough in a warm place away from drafty areas or open windows. I like to place mine in my microwave or on the back of my kitchen counter where I know it will stay warm.
  • When slicing the 12 rolls, I like to first make a mark halfway through the tube of dough, then split the halves in half (making 4 sections). Then cut each section into 3 sliced rolls. That way they are all even.
Strawberry cheesecake cinnamon rolls with strawberry icing and a few strawberries on top of them for decoration.

Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:

Closeup of strawberry cheesecake cinnamon rolls in a pan.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cinnamon Rolls

These strawberry cheesecake cinnamon rolls are packed with a sweet cream cheese filling, fresh strawberries, and graham cracker crumble. They are topped with a whipped cream cheese strawberry frosting (that also includes fresh strawberries!). These sweet rolls will be gone as fast as you made them–they are THAT good!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rise Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 12 rolls
Calories: 431kcal
Author: Jamie

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 cup warm milk temperature should be 105℉-110℉
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast or one packet of active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter room temperature, cut in tablespoon slices
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour add 1-3 tablespoons more if the dough is still very sticky after kneading for 7 minutes.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature, half a block of full-fat cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers about 6 total squares
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries

For the frosting:

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped strawberries

Instructions

  • Microwave the milk in a microwave-safe container in 20-second increments until it reaches a temperature between 105-110℉. It should be warm but not hot. Add the warm milk, yeast, and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Cover with a kitchen towel and let sit for 5-10 minutes. It will be bubbly and foamy when it is active and ready to use.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla extract, butter, flour, and salt to the milk mixture in a stand mixer fixed with a dough hook attachment. Knead for 7-10 minutes on medium speed. The dough is done when you press your finger into it and it doesn't stick to your fingers. If you find the dough is still sticky, add an extra tablespoon or two of flour and knead for a minute or two longer. Form the dough into a ball. Cover the ball of dough with a kitchen towel and let rise for 2 hours in a warm place. 
  • While the dough is rising, work on the filling. First, crush the graham crackers into a fine crumb either using a food processor or by crushing them in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin. Set aside.
  • Make the filling: In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and cream cheese for 2 minutes. Then add the vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl until there is no more dry sugar and the filling is nice and creamy. Set aside.
  • The dough is ready when it has doubled in size. Gently punch the dough down and remove it from the bowl onto a clean, lightly floured surface.
  • Roll the dough out on the floured surface into a 12"x18" rectangle. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the top of the dough. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs evenly over the cream cheese mixture. 
  • Preheat oven to 350℉. Chop the strawberries up into small pieces and sprinkle them over the cream cheese mixture and graham cracker crumbs.
  • Roll the dough tightly length-wise into a long tube. Use a serrated knife or a piece of unflavored dental floss to slice the dough into 12 rolls. Put them in a greased 9×13 baking dish and bake for 25-35 minutes. The rolls will be golden brown on top and the middle of the rolls will be baked fully and no longer doughy.
  • Make the frosting: With an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and powdered sugar. Then, mix in the chopped strawberries. You'll mix until the frosting is whipped and creamy and the strawberries are slightly broken up into the frosting. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Store leftover sweet rolls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Warm up before eating. 
  • Avoid overheating the milk before adding it to the yeast–you risk killing the yeast and your dough will not rise. Keep it under 110°F. 
  • Use fresh ingredients (especially fresh yeast!) and make sure the butter and cream cheese is at room temperature (softened). 

Nutrition

Serving: 1roll | Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 282mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 740IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2mg

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