Strawberry Cream Cheese Overnight Sweet Rolls

Reason #153 I Love You Guys: these overnight strawberry cream cheese sweet rolls. Believe me when I say, this incredible version may not have come into existence if not for one of you.

Remember the cinnamon and sugar sweet rolls I posted a few months ago? I hope you’ve made them. They are divine. So light and flaky and amazing.

They are perfect for holiday mornings or when company is in town or just for a delicious Saturday morning breakfast.

The huge advantage of these rolls is that the dough is made the day before, so come morning, all you have to do is shape them and bake them (and I’ve even included notes in the recipe how to adapt the process so baking is all that stands between you and warm sweet rolls in the morning).

I make the cinnamon and sugar version all the time.

And even though I feel like I’m kind of creative in the kitchen sometimes, it never really crossed my mind to change the rolls up at all until Jessica, who obviously believes sharing is caring, emailed me to tell me about her cream cheese version that she made and served for company – apparently they were ridiculously amazing, and I believe it.

I kind of sat there after reading her email, jaw hanging open, thinking (you know what’s coming): how on earth did I not think of this?

Strawberry Cream Cheese Overnight Sweet Rolls

Thanks to Jessica’s inspiration, the very next day I started experimenting with a strawberry cream cheese version (like the cream cheese danishes you can get at Costco, or similar places, but a million times better), and wow, I tell you what, these strawberry cream cheese sweet rolls are out of this world.

That flaky, tender, lightly sweet dough stuffed with a creamy filling and tart, sweet strawberry jam might be my favorite sweet roll combination ever.

And now, I feel like a whole world has been opened to me. Was I truly alive before now? I’m not sure. What variation shall I try next? That is the burning question.

Magnificent, these sweet rolls are truly magnificent (not to mention gloriously pretty). They will make the perfect Easter morning breakfast.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Overnight Sweet Rolls

One Year Ago: Homemade Flatbread {Greek Pocketless Pitas with a Simple Tutorial}
Two Years Ago: Carrot Cake Cheesecake
Three Years Ago: Strawberries and Cream Scones

Overnight Strawberry Cream Cheese Sweet Rolls

Yield: Makes about 2 dozen rolls, depending on size

Overnight Strawberry Cream Cheese Sweet Rolls

If you want to have these ready even faster on a given morning, simply start a day ahead of time. Make the dough the morning before, refrigerate it for 8-10 hours, take out and follow the directions to shape and place on the baking sheet. Cover the shaped rolls with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate until the next morning. Take out in time to come to room temp and rise and then bake as directed.

For the jam, I really recommend using jam that has strawberries as the first ingredient (instead of sugar or corn syrup) so that delicious fruit taste will really shine through.

If you are new to these overnight sweet rolls (even the cinnamon and sugar version) there are step-by-step pictures and a quick video on this post detailing how to cut and twist the rolls.


  • 4 1/2 cups (22.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 1/3 cup (2.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs (7 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 cup hot water
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, melted
  • Filling:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) powdered sugar
  • Zest of a lemon (about a teaspoon)
  • 1 to 2 cups strawberry jam, depending on how jammy you want them
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed
  • Splash of vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl (to allow for about 7-8 cups of dough to double in bulk), whisk together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  2. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and pour them into the well. Use the same measuring cup for the hot water. Pour it around the edges of the well (not directly on the eggs) and then add the melted butter to the bowl. Use a large spoon to mix the ingredients together until a soft, rather wet dough is formed. It won't look like traditional cinnamon roll dough; it will be much softer and it's ok if it looks a bit lumpy. Magic happens overnight, I promise.
  3. Cover the bowl with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for 8-10 hours.
  4. When ready to roll out the rolls, prepare the filling: in a blender or with an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon zest together until smooth and creamy.
  5. Using about 1/4 - 1/3 cup flour (more or less), dust a clean countertop. Lightly punch down the chilled dough and roll it out on the floured counter to a long, skinny rectangle (about 24-inches long and 7 or 8-inches wide).
  6. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the rectangle, spreading evenly with an offset spatula or knife. Dollop spoonfuls of jam across the top and spread into a somewhat even layer - the exact amount of jam you use will depend on how luscious and jammy you want the filling. The more jam you use, the messier the rolls will be to twist but it can be done.
  7. Fold one long edge of the rectangle up to meet the other long edge so the dough is folded in half - it may want to slip and slide around because of the jam, just do your best. Use a pizza cutter or knife and cut the dough into 1-inch strips. With each strip, hold an end in each hand and twist it up several times and roll it around the center into a circle (see pictures and video in this post for a visual). Place the rolls on a large, rimmed baking sheet (11X17-inch) lined with parchment paper (about 12 per tray). The filling might be a little messy and want to squeeze out as you twist - don't stress about it; if it oozes out, just pat it back in or on top of the rolls after they are shaped.
  8. Cover the trays with greased, plastic wrap and let the rolls rise until puffy and doubled, an hour or so.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees F for 12-14 minutes until just barely golden on top (don't overbake or they'll be dry).
  10. For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla. Add more milk as needed until the glaze is thick but pourable. Let the rolls cool for 5 or so minutes before drizzling with glaze.

Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (variation on this favorite Overnight Cinnamon and Sugar Sweet Roll recipe after Jessica B., a reader, emailed and told me about her cream cheese version)

71 Responses to Overnight Strawberry Cream Cheese Sweet Rolls

  1. JaNae says:

    I have wanted to make these rolls since you posted them last year, and I FINALLY got around to it yesterday. They were every bit as yummy as I hoped they would be! I think they may be the best sweet roll I have ever tasted! Thanks for a great recipe!

  2. Dorothy says:

    I’ve made these rolls before – both the cream cheese/jam version, and the cinnamon version. They are dangerous to any weight loss attempts! BUT I recently fell in love with almond croissants, and I’m going to try this dough recipe with an almond cream filling! I can’t wait!

  3. Kirk says:

    Mel. I made these last night/this morning. They turned out great. A couple of things: I’m an experience baker and was shocked when I saw the dough this morning in the fridge. It looked horrible, very lumpy and not consistent looking, completely not what I expected. The rolls turned out fine, but some may be surprised by the look of the dough. I think maybe I should have stirred it a just little more before refrigerating. Those who find the dough too wet, might not be adjusting the liquid if they’re using regular yeast and blooming it in water. I think 2 cups of strawberry would be impossible to manage. A cup was about right. BTW – I put some lemon juice in the glaze and that was good. Thanks for the good recipes, I cook a lot from your blog.

  4. annabel says:

    Hi, Mel – I made these for conference weekend – again. My favorite conference tradition! They turn out wonderful every time [except the time I forgot the yeast πŸ™ Thank you for one of my very favorite recipes.


  5. Christine McNutt says:

    I just made these delicious rolls and they smelled amazing even during the prep process. My grandson asked all night and this morning were they ready yet. Yellow jacket swarmed my open windows because it smelled sooo good! It was the messiest thing I ever made but it was so worth it. I was afraid the center ones weren’t done so my bottoms and edges were a bit dark so I’ll adjust my cook time next time but these will become a staple for the family. I’ve never baked anything with yeast and the recipe was so perfect I felt like a pro. Everything turned out better than expected for a firs time. Thanks for sharing

  6. Lori V says:

    Hi Mel,
    I am in the process of making these and had some trouble with the dough. I followed the instructions, even bought a scale and weighed the ingredients, and yet after 10 hours in the fridge the dough was kinda soft and gloppy. I proceeded to roll it out on a floured surface, but when it came to folding it and cutting it, it didn’t work very well. Then trying to twist the strips was impossible. It was so gloppy in my hands. I somewhat rolled the strips and plopped them on a tray. Not giving up. Maybe a miracle will happen when they bake. Who cares how they look if they taste good? πŸ™‚ But what do you think went wrong?

    I also made your homemade pesto and froze it in an ice cube tray (genius!) and made Garlic Chicken Penne Pasta and both turned out great!!

    I think you’re awesome and you’ve made me such a better cook. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      How did these turn out, Lori? It is a rather messy process getting them rolled up but usually they bake up light and tender!

  7. Liz says:

    I hope you try them with HUCKLEBERRIES! I’ll be watching for that post!

  8. Emilee says:

    Am I the only one brave enough to post that this really did not work for me. I have used yeast before and I am an experienced orange/cinnamon roll veteran but this was a fail. The dough was extremely lumpy and from there everything went down hill fast. This was worse than the cinnamon roll sugar cookies (another fail for another day)
    My inent is not to place blame – I just am not sure what I did wrong
    Lumpy dough; unappealing oozing goo; and a lot of odd looking shaped structures (not really sure what to call them)
    Any feedback from others who may not have had success would be great. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Sorry these didn’t work out for you, Emilee. You may have needed to stir the dough a little more. A a few slight lumps are ok but it shouldn’t be extremely lumpy like you described.

    • Laura H. says:

      I too had trouble working with this dough. But it was my own fault for skimping on the flour when I rolled them out. (Using a silpat to roll them out, I thought I didn’t need 1/4 flour under the dough, it seemed like way to much!) It turned into a sticky sloppy mess, more like blobs that I plopped on my tray, not a twist! BUT, the second half of my dough, I added more flour to my work surface, and that was the key! I think using enogh flour when rolling out is too important to miss! I took a picture of my two trays because it was so laughable what a night and day difference using enough flour made!
      If you try again, definitely keep in mind that the dough will be lumpy and soft, but the extra flour when rolling (or patting in my case) the dough into the 8 by 24 inch rectangle is probably needed for structure. That’s my feedback, hopefully it helps!

  9. Grace says:

    Hi Mel! I’m dying to make these rolls but the dough would have to be in the fridge longer than 8-10 hours. Do you think it would be okay if I left them in the fridge for more like 20-22 hours? Thanks so much! They look delicious πŸ™‚

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t tried it that way but usually yeast doughs do quite well in the fridge for a while – if doing so, I’d probably cut the yeast in half (or at least down a little bit).

  10. Shannon says:

    We had these for Easter breakfast and they were delectable! I used homemade raspberry freezer jam because that’s what I had. It was so messy to twist them, but it was worth it. We had some left over the next day and I don’t think they were quite as good. Maybe that’s just me. I love cinnamon rolls, but these were a fun and winning change up.

  11. Shanna says:

    If I only wanted to bake a half batch, do you think it would work to freeze some if the rolls once they are formed to use on a later date? Thanks in advance!

  12. Kara says:

    Hey Mel! Do these have to rise overnight? Or would 5-6 hours be sufficient? In other words I really want to make these today…and don’t want to wait until tomorrow to scarf them down.

  13. Rachel says:

    Made these for our Easter breakfast — SO incredibly good! This recipe is a keeper for sure!

  14. Carole says:

    Hi Mel,

    Thanks for the great recipe. I made these for our Easter breakfast at church this year. They were a huge hit. I did half as strawberry and half with Apricot jam. I had the dough rise for 2 days and they were still great.

  15. Ellen says:

    Gaaah! These were almost too good to deal with! I had to pawn of the few leftovers lest I ate them for a midnight snack. I did half the batch strawberry, the other half blueberry/lemon. Couldn’t decide on a favorite, so I had to sample many, many, many times.

  16. Leisel says:

    Darn, that should have read thank you so much for sharing!

  17. Leisel says:

    Wow! Those are unbelievable! My husband said its like eating a cloud! Thank you some have for sharing the recipe!!!!

  18. Lindy says:

    So I goes I am dumb but when you say fold in half are you talking about folding like a hotdog or hamburger? Little confused!

  19. Kelsey K says:

    I just want to double check… It’s 2 tablespoons of yeast, not 2 teaspoons? Two tablesoons seems like an awful lot

  20. Michelle G. says:

    These are so yummy! I mixed the dough up last night and then made them this morning for our early Easter breakfast since we have 9am church this year. I used the juice from half of my zested lemon to the glaze and that was a delicious idea!

    Thanks for the yummy treat! πŸ™‚

  21. RUTH says:

    Hello Mel! A friend of mine posted a picture of one of your creations on Instagram recently and I have been hooked on all of your great recipes! Thank you!

    I am wanting to make this recipe for tomorrow and wonder do I really just mix the dough around 9 or 10 pm and then shape them around 6 or 7 am?

    Thanks again for sharing your wonderful talent! You are a rock star!

    • Mel says:

      Yep, as long as it is refrigerated for 8-10 hours, it should work out great. Hope they turn out!

      • RUTH says:

        They turned out Mel!!! Thank yo so much!! I posted a photo on Instagram and tagged you in the comment. I will double the lime filling next time, but all in all they were delicious and many friends and family are anxious to try and learn more from you.

        I also read your post this morning on your skin cancer experience. Thank you for sharing. I am a native of AZ and have been meaning to go and get an exam to check things out. I will do it. You are healing beautifully!

  22. Nancy says:

    These look amazing. I don’t think they’ll be appropriate in my home on easter morning (we have fast Sunday and plus all the easter basket candy is sugar over load, but on any other day, wonderful.

  23. Jessica says:

    These looks so tasty! I made these for Christmas morning and added orange zest to the cinnamon and sugar and then used fresh orange juice instead of water for the glaze. They were divine!
    Thanks for all the fun and delicious recipes Mel!!

  24. Shanell says:

    The only thing I keep thinking is, these would make GREAT orange rolls! Can’t wait to make these…going to the top of the list.

  25. Jessica Bystrom says:

    I knew you would be able to do something amazing with my idea! Glad I could provide some inspiration! Thanks for sharing all the great recipes!

  26. CjR says:

    Can you use freezer jam?

  27. Carlee says:

    Those look amazing! I need more time so I can make all of your rolls!

  28. Debbie says:

    Is the dough suppose to be rising in the fridge? Because mine has not

    • Mel says:

      Yes, it should get puffy and rise – but sometimes when I’ve made it, it’s risen and already kind of popped and deflated when I check on it.

  29. Andi says:

    I always use your recipes but never leave a comment so it’s about time I say THANK YOU! Love so many of your recipes. You are fabulous!

  30. Kim says:

    Do you think I could mix up the dough two days in advance? (Please say yes, please say yes)

    • Mel says:

      Usually yeast doughs do pretty well in the refrigerator for a couple days so I’m saying yes, although I’d probably decrease the yeast a bit so it doesn’t develop a strong yeasty taste that long in the fridge.

  31. Christine says:

    These look amazing! Do you think I could half the recipe? I always hate to mess with amounts on recipes using yeast. Thanks for sharing this!

  32. Paige says:

    These rolls look amazing! I usually make cinnamon rolls for holidays, but I think I’m totally going to go for these this weekend!


  33. Sarah says:

    I had just put the dough for the overnight cinnamon and sugar rolls in the fridge to rise, and then I saw this post. Now I have a hard decision about which version to try first. They both look absolutely delicious! Thanks so much for all the great recipes and inspiration in the kitchen… Have a blessed Easter!

  34. Helen says:

    These look amazing!! You are amazing… 3 posts in 3 days, I seriously don’t know how you do it?! But I’m really glad you do πŸ™‚

  35. Ketz says:

    These look sooo good !

  36. Heather says:

    Those are just beautiful and sound so yummy. My baby is nursing and allergic to dairy or I’d whip up a batch right now. Just curious what brand of jam you used. It’s so bright and beautiful.

    • Mel says:

      I used some home canned strawberry jam from last year but I’ve also used Smucker’s low-sugar jam with good results for other recipes like this.

      • I am sure that none store-bought jam want taste as good as home made one. I also thought of using soaked and blended dry fruit (figs / dates / apricots). There is no need to add sugar as they are sweet enough and this filling should be OK without dairy. It would be thick and sticky enough. What do you think Mel?

  37. Jamie says:

    Hi Mel!

    We moved to Colorado recently and I have trouble with baking due to the altitude. Do you or anyone else have any tips for a recipe like this? Thanks so much!

    • Mel says:

      Have you tried to make these rolls and had specific issues, Jamie?

      • Peggy says:

        I would add about 2 more cups of flour. They were so sticker I couldn’t get them off the counter even though I floured the counter really well. I ended up getting about 6 of them on the baking tray and threw the rest of the dough away. The ones I did get to bake were heavenly

        • Mel's Kitchen Cafe Admin says:

          Hello Peggy. Mel doesn’t have access to internet right now so I’m helping her out with comments for the next few days. Thanks for the suggestion. I will pass it on to Mel. Flour can definitely be tricky, especially because everyone measures differently. I hope they work out better if you try them again!

    • Celi says:

      When we moved to Colorado, I thought we had an altitude issue, but nobody had any advice. Then my oven died, and I bought a nice oven. Turns out it was the oven – it was cheap and heated unevenly, quickly, and frequently. A heavy pizza stone in the bottom of the oven helps, but not as much as a quality oven.

    • Julie says:

      I have lived in Colorado for a long time, and I never change my baking recipes due to altitude. I know on a cold day, these probably won’t rise, so I just put them in my oven on the Proof setting to rise, not on the counter. Hope that helps! πŸ™‚

  38. You can never ever go wrong with strawberry and cream cheese. I had something similar on my radar to make and now I am even hungrier.

    Have a wonderful Easter, Mel!

  39. Anna says:

    Hi Mel, these look amazing, I have made many rolls from your site but these, I am most positive, will be my favourite! I can’t wait until I make these over the weekend, drooling already πŸ™‚ I might whip up some fresh strawberry jam for them too.

  40. Ashley says:

    Apple filling sounds heavenly to me.

  41. Lachelle says:

    These look divine! I don’t have strawberry jam on hand but have some homemade raspberry jam so I think that may be our version! Thanks so much! We have loved the cinnamon sugar variety and I’m excited to try this new version.

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