Recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Sweet Rolls, a springtime southern pie flavored take on a cinnamon roll. Fresh strawberries rhubarb preserves add a sweet zing to the cream cheese frosting. Store in the fridge for a week or wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze for a month!
April seems to be the month when everyone starts thinking about Strawberries!! It’s kind of like October and Pumpkin flavors galore. Not a stranger to either bandwagon, I choose to hop on the strawberry train with a big smile and handful of fresh berries. I also love warm sweet breads and pies..duh! That’s why I decided to combine the two for a flavorful pink sister of the cinnamon roll.
Growing up in the South I’ve had my fair share of strawberry pies, jams, and turnovers. Only a few time were they paired with rhubarb. I can remember my first rhubarb cobbler, thinking, “hmmm what is this gonna taste like”? But, to my surprise I loved it, especially when it was topped with vanilla ice cream! Now I say, bring on the rhubarb baby, and make mine a double:)
Researching ways to prepare rhubarb for my sweet rolls I stumbled upon a recipe for ‘Strawberry Rhubarb Refrigerator Jam” by Pam. Instead of the traditional way of preparing preserves by boiling the fruit and adding sugar, this method is a simple overnight chill with pureed strawberries, rhubarb, honey and chia seeds. The chia seeds gel and help to thicken the puree, creating the texture of preserves. Perfect for adding to the sweet roll dough. A pectin and refined sugar free preserve recipe, whoa!
What is Rhubarb?
Rhubarb is a technically a vegetable, but prepared like a fruit. Only its stalks, which are pink or red in color are safe to eat. The leaves of the plants are actually poisonous! So, make sure to only prepare the pink stalks when cooking or baking. It looks and grows very similarly to celery. Rhubarb is only in season from April to June.
What Does Rhubarb Taste Like?
Rhubarb is extremely tart! Which is why it is usually paired with sweeter fruits like strawberries and cherries. It can also be combined with sugar and honey to make Rhubarb only desserts.
Why is Rhubarb Healthy For You?
Rhubarb is jam packed full of minerals, vitamins, organic compounds, and other nutrients beneficial to our health. Some examples are dietary fiber, protein, vitamin C, vitamin K, B complex vitamins, calcium, potassium, manganese, and magnesium. It has also been researched that each serving of rhubarb provides 45% of our daily vitamin K needs. Vitamin K supports healthy bone growth and can limit neuronal damage in the brain, aiding in the prevention of Alzheimer’s. So don’t be shy have an extra sweet roll!
Why Strawberry Rhubarb?
Why not I say? Juts kidding:) Strawberry sweetness and Rhubarb tartness equal symmetry in the flavor department. Great pairing for jams, pies, cobblers, and bread fillings!
Strawberry Rhubarb Sweet Rolls
Dough for Sweet Rolls
- 2 1/2 tsp (8.75 g) active dry yeast
- 1 cup (250 ml) warm unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 cup (64 g) raw organic sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup (43 g) unsalted butter melted then cooled
- 4 - 4 1/2 cups (575 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Strawberry Rhubarb Refrigerator Preserves
- 1 1/2 cups (192 g) chopped strawberries
- 1/2 cup (64 g) chopped rhubarb stalk
- 3 Tbsp organic honey
- 3 Tbsp chia seeds
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces (226 g) cream cheese at room temperature
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups (320 g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp Strawberry/Rhubarb Preserves add only if want extra flavoring, otherwise its just vanilla frosting
Strawberry Rhubarb Preserves
Combine all ingredients in blender or Nutribullet. Blend on high until liquid.
Pour into glass mason jar and set in fridge over night to thicken.
In a bowl of stand mixer, combine yeast, 1 Tbsp of the sugar, and warm almond milk. Let rest for 5-10 min or until foamy.
Meanwhile sift your all purpose flour into a separate bowl and whish in salt.
Next add in eggs, unsalted butter, and remaining sugar. Mix on medium low speed with paddle attachment.
Slowly spoon in flour until a consistent dough is formed. May need to scrape sides of bowl and across bottom with spatula to incorporate all ingredients.
Switch to dough hook and beat for 5-6 min or hand knead dough for 8-10 min.
Place dough in lightly oiled bowl or container and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm draft free space and let rise until doubled in size. Usually this takes 45 min to an hour.
Place dough on a well floured surface and roll into roughly a 12 X 15-inch rectangle.
Take your jar of strawberry rhubarb preserves and gently spread a thin layer across the dough leaving a small border around the edges. If you over do you preserves, it will all squeeze out when rolling and cutting.
Next roll your dough inwardly and lengthwise. Cut into 12 small slices for small rolls or 6 slices for jumbo rolls!
Arrange rolls into greased baking 9 x 13 in pan or cast iron skillet. Make sure pan is large enough to fit rolls, if there are too many packed tightly in a small pan they will have a hard time baking through the center.
Cover with a thin towel and allow to rest and puff for an additional 30 minutes.
While rolls are puffing preheat oven to 375 F.
Bake for 20-21 minutes or until center reaches 190 F.
While rolls are baking make your frosting!!!
Cream Cheese Frosting
Clean your stand mixer bowl. Add butter and cream cheese and whip with the whisk attachment at medium speed until blended. Take a spatula and push through the whisk if getting stuck.
Next add vanilla and powdered sugar. Blend on low speed until the powdered sugar is just combined. Then add strawberry rhubarb preserves if you decide, and increase speed to medium until reach desired thickness. Add more powdered sugar as needed.
Once rolls are cooked, remove from oven, slather on frosting and eat warm!!