You’ve Never Dreamed of Cinnamon Rolls Like These!


Years ago, we started making filled cinnamon rolls…filled with everything from maple-flavored cinnamon and butter to lemon curd. 

Back then we were grabbing any white sandwich loaf bread mix and making cinnamon buns.  The bread was simply the carrier for whatever filling we were using.

Then one day, a lady was in the store buying a bunch of donut mixes, the raised, glazed type.

“Could she really be frying this many donuts?” I wondered. So, I went asked her.

“Oh, no,” she said. “These make fantastic cinnamon rolls.”

It didn’t take us long to try them.  They did make fantastic rolls.  Now we have a donut cinnamon roll mix.  It’s simply a donut mix and a cinnamon-sugar filling mix.  It has garnered enthusiastic reviews, including this review that was posted recently.  

“These are absolutely the best cinnamon rolls ever! I have been baking from scratch for 35 years. I hate to say this but they are as good as, if not better than mine—and people have begged me for years to open a bakery.”—Carol in Tallahassee

I love making sweet rolls.  They’re not quick but they’re easy. 

Below you’ll find recipes for apple pie cinnamon rolls plus lemon cream rolls and raspberry cream rolls made with pastry filling substituted for the typical cinnamon sugar mixture.

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls with Pastry Fillings

If you can make cinnamon rolls, you can make these filled sweet rolls.  

Use your stand-type mixer with the dough hook and let it beat for about four minutes on medium speed.  The gluten will be developed then.  Roll the dough out on the counter, cover the sheet of dough with a layer of filling and roll it up pinwheel fashion.  Cut slices, put them in a greased pan, and let them rise.  When fully risen, bake them, let them cool, and frost them.

It’s that easy.  I’ll give you more directions in the recipes but basically, you’re substituting a pastry filling for a filling of cinnamon, butter, and sugar.  You can use any pastry filling you like from raspberry to Bavarian cream.  Often, we mix a fruit filling with a Bavarian cream or a cream cheese filling to make an apple cream or raspberry cream filling.

If you buy a tube of premade filling, it’s super easy.  Snip the corner off the tube and squeeze what you want on the sheet of rolled-out dough.  Lots of filling is better so we usually use a couple cups of filling, about half a tube.  We have an excellent cherry filling, Chubby Cherry, that makes great sweet rolls.

Pastry Fillings vs. Pie Fillings

Can you use a pie filling instead of a pastry filling?  Yes, but the pastry filling is better.  With a pie, you get a little bit of pastry with a lot of pie filling where with a pastry, you get a lot of pastry with less filling.  The pastry filling has to be more intense to balance.  The pastry filing has more flavor and is usually a little sweeter.  In our store, the pastry filings are usually less money. 

The following pastry fillings are commonly available.  They are used not only as pastry filings but fillings for cupcakes and between layers of cakes.  

Apple Pie Cinnamon Roll recipe

I donut mix or a donut cinnamon roll mix

3/4 cup cinnamon chips

2 cups (about one pound) apple pastry filling

Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

1/4 cup Sweet Sensations Cinnamon Apple Bark Topping (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x13-inch baking pan.

  1. Mix the bread dough according to package directions.   Set the dough aside to rise.
  2. After the dough has risen, fold in the cinnamon chips kneading until the chips are dispersed.  Do not knead more than necessary.
  3. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rough rectangle on a floured counter with the dough about 1/4-inch thick.
  4. Spread the pastry filling on dough.  Roll the dough into a log with the filling trapped inside.  Pinch the seam with your fingers to keep the filling from falling out.
  5. Cut slices horizontally about 1 1/4-inches thick.  Place the slices in the prepared pan.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until done.  The center of the rolls will register 190 degrees with an insta-read thermometer.  Times will vary with different pans.
  6. You may let the rolls cool in the pan.  We prefer to invert the pan onto a cutting board to remove the rolls (you may need to loosen the rolls first) and then invert the rolls and the cutting board onto a wire rack so that they finish cooling right-side-up.  (If you are going to remove the rolls, do so immediately before the sugar starts to set up.  If you have trouble getting the rolls out, lift the cutting board six inches with the pan inverted on the cutting board and then drop the cutting board with the pan to jar the rolls loose.)
  7. Let the rolls cool for five minutes and then frost them.  While the frosting is still soft, sprinkle with the Cinnamon Apple Bark Topping. 

Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces of cream cheese, softened.

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon caramel flavoring

2 tablespoons milk

3 to 4 cups powdered sugar

  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese together with the whip attachment of your stand-type mixer. 
  2. Add the flavor and milk.  Beat the mixture, adding powdered sugar until the consistency reaches a soft frosting just right for spreading. 

Lemon Cream Roll Recipe

Use a donut mix instead of a bread mix.  

2 cups (about one pound) Lemon Pastry Filling. That’s half of the dispenser pack that it comes in.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

1/4 cup Sweet Sensations Lemon Cream Bark Topping  (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x13-inch baking pan.

  1. Mix the bread dough according to package directions.   Set the dough aside to rise.
  2. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rough rectangle on a floured counter with the dough about 1/4-inch thick.
  3. Spread the pastry filling on dough.  Roll the dough into a log with the filling trapped inside.  Pinch the seam with your fingers to keep the filling from falling out.
  4. Cut slices horizontally about 1 1/4-inches thick.  Place the slices in the prepared pan.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until done.  The center of the rolls will register 190 degrees with an insta-read thermometer.  Times will vary with different pans.
  5. You may let the rolls cool in the pan.  We prefer to invert the pan onto n cutting board to remove the rolls (you may need to loosen the rolls first) and then invert the rolls and the cutting board onto a wire rack so that they finish cooling right-side-up.

  (If you are going to remove the rolls, do so immediately before the sugar starts to set up.   If you have trouble getting the rolls out, lift the cutting board six inches with the pan inverted on the cutting board and then drop the cutting board with the pan to jar the rolls loose.)

  1. Let the rolls cool for five minutes and then frost them.  While the frosting is still soft, sprinkle with the lemon bark topping.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces of cream cheese, softened. 

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon lemon flavoring

2 tablespoons milk

3 to 4 cups powdered sugar

  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese together with the whip attachment of your stand-type mixer. 
  2. Add the flavor and milk.  Beat the mixture, adding powdered sugar until the consistency reaches a soft frosting just right for spreading. 

How to Make Raspberry Cream Rolls

Use a donut mix instead of a bread mix.  

3/4 cup raspberry baking chips

1 cup (about 1/2 pound) raspberry pastry filling

1 cup (about 1/2 pound) Bavarian Cream pastry filling

Raspberry Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x13-inch baking pan.

  1. Mix the bread dough according to package directions.   Set the dough aside to rise.
  2. After the dough has risen, fold in the raspberry chips kneading until the chips are dispersed.  Do not knead more than necessary.
  3. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rough rectangle on a floured counter with the dough about 1/4-inch thick.
  4. Spread the pastry fillings on dough.  Spread the fillings evenly on the dough with the two flavors mixed together.  Roll the dough into a log with the filling trapped inside.  Pinch the seam with your fingers to keep the filling from falling out.
  5. Cut slices horizontally about 1 1/4-inches thick.  Place the slices in the prepared pan.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until done.  The center of the rolls will register 190 degrees with an insta-read thermometer.  Times will vary with different pans.
  6. You may let the rolls cool in the pan.  We prefer to invert the pan onto a cutting board to remove the rolls (you may need to loosen the rolls first) and then invert the rolls and the cutting board onto a wire rack so that they finish cooling right-side-up.  (If you are going to remove the rolls, do so immediately before the sugar starts to set up.  If you have trouble getting the rolls out, lift the cutting board six inches with the pan inverted on the cutting board and then drop the cutting board with the pan to jar the rolls loose.)
  7. Let the rolls cool for five minutes and then frost them.   

Raspberry Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces of cream cheese, softened.

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon raspberry flavoring

1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

2 tablespoons milk

3 to 4 cups powdered sugar

  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese together with the whip attachment of your stand-type mixer. 
  2. Add the flavors and milk.  Beat the mixture, adding powdered sugar until the consistency reaches a soft frosting just right for spreading. 
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