Cranberry Sauce Breakfast Rolls

Making these cranberry sauce breakfast rolls the night before and baking them in the morning is the ideal way to use up leftover cranberry sauce.

Happy Thanksgiving eve, everyone! I hope it finds you enjoying the food and drinks before the big day with friends and family, not locked in an airport.

While we had to get up at 3am to get here, we couldn’t be happier to be enjoying the sun and getting away from chilly Chicago. We flew down to Florida this morning to visit Brian’s great aunt and uncle (they are both over 90!). Brian’s mother Colleen and I will be working in the kitchen all day on Thanksgiving Day in a lovely property on the ocean. I am really excited! Instead of conducting a typical roast, we’re going to try spatchcocking a turkey. so please keep us in your prayers.

However, this past weekend, we went to a Friendsgiving with several of our college buddies before we departed. It’s always entertaining to observe what people come up with and the various approaches they take to the classic recipes. We had quite a bit of leftover cranberry sauce, which was one of my responsibilities, so of course I had to come up with a unique method to use it.

Although I used raw cranberries rather than cranberry sauce, I really liked the cranberry orange rolls I made the previous year. I was looking for a use for the sauce! As a result, I made an experiment using my favourite cinnamon roll recipe, which is also the most popular recipe on my website, substituting cranberry sauce for the traditional filling of cinnamon, sugar, and butter. When cinnamon roll dough is involved, what possibly could go wrong?

Cranberry Sauce Breakfast Rolls

The answer is null. It was flawless. As they baked, the aroma filled our flat, and I couldn’t get enough of the flavour!

On Monday, I brought these to work, and, well, let’s just say they were well received. With these little fellows, you can’t go wrong.

I made the decision to glaze them with a simple vanilla orange glaze. My standard cinnamon roll recipe calls for a cream cheese glaze, but I decided against it because I believed the sharpness of the cream cheese would clash with the tartness of the cranberries, and we don’t want conflict when it comes to cinnamon buns. Or perhaps we do; judging a cinnamon roll contest wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

Anyway, one of the best things about this recipe is that you can prepare it the night before and let it rise overnight in addition to it being simple to make. So you can prepare the dough tomorrow evening when everyone is in a state of turkey coma, save it in the refrigerator, and bake it to your heart’s content the following morning. I experimented with baking them right away and baking them the next morning, and I discovered that the dough’s flavour was much better the next day. The rolls are more complex than the ones that were baked right away because to the lengthier fermentation, but, believe me, no one will object either way.

Cranberry Sauce Breakfast Rolls

See my original cinnamon roll recipe or my recipe for carrot cake cinnamon rolls for detailed instructions on how to prepare, roll out, and shape the cinnamon roll dough. The procedure is precisely the same here! The dough is prepared in a stovetop pot, and once it has risen, it is one of the most straightforward doughs to roll out. Not much of it sticks at all!

By the way, a bench scraper is much easier than a knife to use to cut the dough into even rolls. On this one, believe me.

I sincerely hope you can find space in your life for these cranberry breakfast buns this holiday weekend. I also hope it’s filled with joy, laughing, and delicious food. Dear ones, Happy Thanksgiving!


For the breakfast rolls with cranberry sauce:

  • Milk, two cups (I used whole milk)
  • Canola oil, half a cup (or another neutral oil, or melted butter)
  • Granulated sugar, 1/2 cup
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast from 1 package; I’ve also used quick yeast successfully.
  • 4 split into half cups of all-purpose flour (see below)
  • A half-teaspoon of baking powder
  • A half-teaspoon of baking soda
  • Salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • leftover 1 cup of cranberry sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (only if your cranberry sauce is runny; skip this step if it’s jam-thick)

When applying the vanilla orange glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, powdered
  • a half-teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • orange juice, 2 to 3 teaspoons
Cranberry Sauce Breakfast Rolls


For the breakfast rolls with cranberry sauce:

I used a Dutch oven to cook the milk, oil, and sugar over medium heat until the mixture is just about to boil. When the mixture is just warm to the touch, about 105-110 degrees F, turn off the heat and let it cool.

Let the yeast rest on top of the milk mixture for a couple of minutes. With a wooden spoon, incorporate the remaining 4 cups of flour with the liquid ingredients until a cohesive dough forms.

If your kitchen is cold, turn on the oven while the mixture is covered and let to rise for about an hour. Verify if it is rising after 30 minutes by checking. In the event that it isn’t, your yeast could not be active, and you might have to start over. It ought to have doubled in size and begun to smell yeasty by the end of the hour.

Salt, baking soda, and the remaining 1/2 cup of flour are added, and they are all thoroughly mixed in.

Cranberry Sauce Breakfast Rolls

Divide the dough in half, then roll out one half to a about 12×8-inch rectangle on a floured board. Spread half of the cranberry sauce over the dough, leaving about an inch of space around the edges uncovered (if your sauce is liquid, thicken it with cornstarch first).

Roll the dough towards you, starting with the long edge that is furthest away from you. As you do so, move your fingers evenly back and forth along the dough. Place in a greased pie dish or 9-inch round cake pan, and then use a bench scraper or a sharp knife to cut into 8 equal rolls.

Utilizing the second half of the dough, repeat steps 5 and 6.


Set oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. For 15 to 20 minutes, let the rolls rise slightly on top of the oven. Until golden brown, bake for 22–24 minutes. While the rolls are baking, make the glaze.


Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and leave them in the refrigerator overnight once they are formed and in the pans. Take the rolls out the night before and let them set at room temperature for 30 minutes while preheating your oven to 375 degrees F in the morning. 24 to 25 minutes in the oven, or until golden brown. While the rolls are baking, make the glaze.

When applying the vanilla orange glaze:

One spoonful of the powdered sugar, the vanilla paste or extract, and the orange juice should be whisked together until the liquid is pourable but still thick.
Over the warm cinnamon buns in the pan, evenly drizzle the glaze. Serve warm with plenty of love and laughter and coffee!


If there are any leftovers (unlikely), simply reheat them in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.

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