These Strawberry Donut Rolls are such a fun weekend baking project. Soft, fluffy, buttery brioche dough, twirled into scrolls sandwiching layers of sweet strawberry jam, baked, then tossed in strawberry sugar. Such fun!
Making brioche dough is one of my favourite activities after a long week. The act of making the dough is therapeutic and the versatility of what you can make with it is mind-blowing. Cinnamon Brioche Rolls and Brioche French Toast are the best!
These Strawberry Donut Rolls are one such example. The dough is soft and fluffy on the inside and filled with a sweet strawberry jam. Make sure to check out my Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls- I reckon you'll enjoy those too.
I have to say though that the strawberry sugar that these donut rolls are coated in is the absolute highlight. They taste like a donut without the hassle of frying in hot oil. What's not to love?
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Uses basic ingredients. Most of the ingredients for the dough are basic pantry or fridge staples. Freeze-dried strawberries and fresh strawberries may need a grocery trip to buy.
- I guide you through the process. Don't be intimidated about making brioche dough. I've got your back with step-by-step instructions and images. The same goes for shaping the scrolls too!
- So much fun to make. Get your kids involved with this one! they'll love it! Have fun! And play the game to see if they can eat it without licking their lips!!
- If you love strawberry doughnuts, you'll love the taste of these!!
🧾 Ingredients Needed
I've broken the ingredients into two parts, the dough and then the jam and sugar coating. Some ingredients are worth mentioning, so make sure to have a quick read below.
The Brioche Dough
Yeast: I use active dry yeast, which means that before baking, we need to activate the yeast. We do this by mixing it into warm milk with some sugar (you could use honey if you prefer.) Whisk it together and let it stand for 15 minutes. The yeast will then become frothy and bubbly.
This step allows you to test that the yeast is ‘alive’ as, over time, it can ‘expire’. If it doesn’t bubble, you’ll need to use a new packet and start this process again. Using fresh yeast is also an option, but for the home baker, it's harder to come by.
Rapid-rise yeast (instant yeast) can also be used. Just add it in with the flour- there's no need to activate it.
Milk: It needs to be warm (approx 35C/95F if you use a thermometer) as this helps activate the yeast initially and provides moisture to the dough.
Flour: Use plain flour (all-purpose flour) to provide structure to the dough.
Eggs: I use large eggs and they act as a binding agent but also add flavour and richness.
Butter: An invaluable and necessary addition when making enriched brioche bread as it adds immeasurable flavour and aids in providing that tender crumb. Brioche just isn’t brioche without butter! Go for unsalted butter as you can control the amount of salt added, plus salted butter contains higher water content than unsalted.
The Jam and Sugar Coating
- Jam - Use your favourite strawberry jam or conserve. It's better if it doesn't have large fruit chunks in it.
- Freeze-dried strawberries - these may be tricky to find in your local grocery store but are easily available online. I buy mine from Amazon and it lasts for ages. Tip: after a couple of months, I find the powder can solidify. If it does this, then grind it up with a mortar and pestle to a fine powder. Good as new!
- Sugar - use granulated rather than caster sugar (super-fine sugar). You want that crunch from the granules!
- Raspberry Donut Scrolls: Substitute the strawberry jam with raspberry jam and mix freeze-dried raspberry powder (also easily found online) with the sugar.
- Lemon Donut Scrolls: Fill the rolls with lemon curd. Rub the zest of two lemons into the sugar (that's the best way to get maximum flavour out of your zest).
- Orange Donut Scrolls: Fill with orange marmalade and add the zest of two oranges to the sugar.
👩🏻🍳 How to Make
There's no question about it, making anything with brioche dough is a labour of love. The hands-on time needed is not huge, but yes, there's a fair bit of time for the two rises.
I've split this section into three parts:
- Making the dough
- Filling and shaping
- Baking and coating
I'll take you through each of the components with process images, notes and tips. Hopefully, this will help guide you through making these fun baked Strawberry Donut Rolls.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
Make The Brioche Dough
I recommend casting your eye over my post for brioche bread as we use the same dough. That post goes into more detail about making the dough which may prove useful to you.
Note: If making the rolls to be eaten the same day, in the afternoon, then I suggest starting to make the dough at noon. If making the rolls to be enjoyed the next day at breakfast, then start to make the dough late afternoon/early evening.
STEP 1: Activate yeast and mix in dry then wet ingredients (minus the butter). Add the yeast to half the milk and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Leave for 15 minutes until bubbly (Image 1). Add flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough attachment and mix.
Add yeast mixture, eggs, and milk and mix together until a dough forms. If there are dry crumbly bits at the base of the bowl, add an extra tablespoon or two of milk to bring it all together (Image 2).
STEP 2. Add the butter. Whilst beating on medium speed, add the butter, one tablespoon adds a time (Image 3). Beat until well incorporated before adding the next tablespoon. Once fully added, beat for 10-15 minutes until the dough forms a tornado around the dough hook attachment and pulls away from the side of the bowl (Image 4).
You'll know if the dough is ready if it passes the window pane test (see below).
TIP: The window pane test
Roll a small ball of dough and then using oiled fingers and thumbs, stretch the dough apart. If you can see the light through it without it tearing, it's' perfect. If it tears, then carry on kneading in the mixer and try again.
STEP 3: Place in a bowl and set for the first rise (cold-proof). Knead the dough a couple of times on a lightly oiled surface and form into a ball. It should be shiny, elastic, and strong. Place in an oiled bowl (Image 5), cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for 3 hours or until doubled in size (Image 6).
TIP: Cold proofing
often you'll see dough doing this first rise in a warm environment for a lot less time, usually around 1.5 hours. But by doing this, you'll be working with a warm dough to shape the scrolls. And that just makes for a red-hot mess! It's much easier to shape with cold dough- plus the dough gets more flavourful.
At this point, you can also place dough in a bowl and cover, and refrigerate overnight, then shape cut rolls and proof at air temperature for 45 minutes before baking.
STEP 4: Punch down the dough. Once risen, remove the bowl from the fridge and punch down the dough (Image 7). Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form a rectangle (Image 8). Being cold from the fridge, it should be nice and firm to roll out.
Fill and Shape the Dough
STEP 5: Roll out dough. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a large rectangle. It should measure slightly larger than 30 x 48cm (12 x 18 inches). (Image 9).
STEP 6. Cut the dough. I used a ruler to get this part more exact. But you can eyeball it if you'd prefer. Using a ruler just makes for more even-sized scrolls. This is purely for visuals and different-sized scrolls won't impact the taste.
Trim the outside edges of the dough so that you have a neat 30 x 48cm (12 x 18 inches) rectangle. Then, on the short side, mark the edge of the dough every 2.5cm (1 inch). Using a sharp knife (or pizza cutter) slice the dough into 12 strips (Image 10). Keep the strips pressed together.
STEP 7. Cover the dough with filling. Carefully, cover the dough in the strawberry jam and smooth it out evenly using an offset spatula (Image 11). It's best not to have big chunks of fruit.
TIP: Why cover the dough in the jam after the strips are cut?
There's a method to my madness, promise! I use my ruler to cut the dough into straight, even strips. The ruler would get absolutely covered in the sticky jam if it had already been smoothed out onto the dough!
Just make sure that when you do cut the strips, they stay next to each other.
STEP 8. Roll up the dough. Now the fun bit (and slightly messy bit- be warned!!) Starting from one end, roll up one strip of the dough at a time (Images 12). As the scroll gets bigger it can get a bit slippery from the jam, so use your fingers to keep it in place (Image 13).
Place the scroll on a baking tray lined with parchment paper (Image 14). Repeat with the remaining strips of dough until all are rolled and on the baking tray. Leave 5cm (2 inches) between all the scrolls.
STEP 9. Second rise and prep for baking. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise in a warm place for 45 mins. The dough visually has to expand by at least half its original volume (Image 15). Whilst the dough is on its second rise, this is the time to preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
Optional steps: The jam may have squeezed out a little- so I tidy the tops up by scraping any excess jam away with an offset spatula (Image 16). I then brush the rolls with an egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water) (Image 17). This provides a golden sheen and crunch once baked. You don't need to do either of these steps.
Bake and Coat in Strawberry Sugar
STEP 10. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown (Image 18). Halfway through, tent in aluminium foil if the rolls are browning too quickly.
STEP 11. Make strawberry sugar. Add sugar and freeze-dried strawberry powder into a medium shallow bowl and mix well together (Images 19 & 20).
STEP 12. Brush in butter and cover in sugar. Brush the outside of the scrolls with melted butter (Image 21). Dip the scroll in the strawberry sugar and make sure to coat the underside, top and sides (Images 22 & 23).
Shake off any excess sugar (Image 24). Serve immediately. These are best served as soon as they're made. After a couple of hours, the sugar granules do start to break down and liquefy.
💭 Recipe Pro Tips
- Windowpane test. To ensure the dough has been kneaded enough in the mixer and the gluten has been developed enough, the windowpane test is a quick and easy trick!
- Refrigerate the dough for the first rise: When it comes to rolling out the dough, sprinkling the sugar filling, re-rolling, and cutting into scrolls - this is so much easier to do with the cooled dough. Trust me!
- Don't roll up the scrolls too tightly. If you do, you'll find the centers will pop up and out during baking. As the dough expands it has nowhere to go but up if it's too tight!
📋 Recipe FAQs
Absolutely not! If you'd prefer to cover them in a cream cheese frosting or a glaze then they would be totally delicious too.
Yes! It's the exact same recipe that I use to make my classic Cinnamon Rolls and Sweet Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls.
It's much easier to use a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook to do all the leg work.
Saying that though, you can definitely make this dough by hand, it will just take a lot of time and arm muscle to get the dough supple, smooth, and with appropriate elasticity. Using the Slap and Fold Method is a good way to knead quite a moist dough by hand.
❄️ Storage and Freezer Instructions
To store: Strawberry Donut Rolls are definitely best eaten fresh as soon as they've been coated in strawberry sugar. If you do need to store them, then place the rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day.
To freeze: With the sugar coating, these rolls won't freeze well. I suggest freezing the dough after the first rise. Punch it down, wrap the dough well in plastic wrap, and freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and continue to shape as per the recipe.
🍓 More Strawberry Recipes
If you tried this Strawberry Donut Rolls Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Strawberry Donut Rolls Recipe
Enriched brioche dought
- 10 g active dry yeast, 1 envelope
- 240 ml whole milk, luke-warm
- 65 g caster sugar (superfine)
- 540 g plain flour (all-purpose)
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or extract
- 140 g unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (or canola oil), for greasing
For the scrolls
- 240 g strawberry jam
- 1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
- 150 g sugar
- 10 g freeze-dried strawberry powder
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
Make the Dough
- Activate the yeast then mix in dry and wet ingredients. Add the yeast, milk, and 1 tablespoon of sugar into a small bowl and mix well. Set to one side for 15 minutes until foamy.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the flour, remaining sugar, and salt. Quickly mix them together. Add the foaming yeast mixture, eggs, and vanilla bean paste and mix on low for 5 minutes until the dough comes together.
- Add butter and knead in the mixer. Then add the butter gradually, whilst the mixer is running on medium and once incorporated, turn the mixer up and knead for ten minutes. The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl but have formed a ‘tornado’ around the dough hook.Tips for doing the windowpane test in step-by-step instructions in the blog post.
- Place in a bowl and set for the first rise (cold-proof). Tip the dough onto a lightly greased worktop and do the stretch and fold method. Pull each corner out and fold it back over itself into the center.Turn the dough over so that the seams are underneath and place the dough ball in a lightly greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.
- Punch down the dough. Once doubled in size, gently punch down the dough and tip out onto a lightly floured bench top. Using your hands, form the dough into a rectangle.
Fill and Shape the Dough
- Roll out the dough to be slightly larger than 30 x 48cm (12 x 18 inches).
- Cut the dough. Trim the outside edges of the dough so that you have a neat 30 x 48cm (12 x 18 inches) rectangle. Then, on the short side, mark the edge of the dough every 2.5cm (1 inch) using a ruler for accuracy. Using a sharp knife (or pizza cutter) slice the dough into 12 strips (see post for images). Keep the strips pressed together.
- Cover the dough with jam. Spread the jam evenly over the dough.
- Roll up the dough. Starting from one end, roll up one strip of the dough at a time. As the scroll gets bigger it can get a bit slippery from the jam, so use your fingers to keep it in place. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.Repeat with the remaining strips of dough. Place on the baking tray leaving space between each scroll.
- Second rise and prep for baking. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise in a warm place for 45 mins. The dough visually has to expand by at least half its original volume. Whilst the dough is on its second rise, preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).Option: scrape off excess jam that has squeezed out of the scrolls. Eggwash each roll with a pastry brush.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Make strawberry sugar by adding the sugar and freeze-dried strawberry powder to a medium shallow bowl and mixing together.
- Brush in butter and cover in sugar. Brush the outside of the scrolls with melted butter. Dip the scroll in the strawberry sugar and make sure to coat the underside, top, and sides. Shake off excess and set aside. Repeat with remaining scrolls. Serve immediately.
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
This post was originally published in July 2020 but has been updated with new photos, new content and a revised recipe.