Unexpectedly, a new Cinnabon location popped up in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. (Who knew they were still opening new stores in 2023? Certainly not I!) Naturally, every time I walk past it, I spend the rest of the walk home thinking about cinnamon rolls and imagining fun flavors.
The idea for these blueberry cinnamon rolls was a result of one of these said walks. Blueberry sauce gets swirled through the rolls, and also folded into the cream cheese glaze for the most delicious cinnamon rolls ever.
Tasting good is the most important factor here, but I’d be lying if I said these weren’t stunning to look at as well. The blueberries meld into the cream cheese and powdered sugar to form a majestic shade of purple.
Blueberry Cinnamon RollsServes 12
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 medium lemon
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup whole or 2 percent milk
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 (1/4-ounce) packet instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- Cooking spray
- 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 4 ounces full-fat cream cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- Place 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries in a medium saucepan. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon into the saucepan (about 1 tablespoon). Juice the lemon over the blueberries (about 1/4 cup). Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Fold together with a flexible spatula or wooden spoon.
- Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the blueberries begin to break down and the mixture begins to simmer and thicken slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the cinnamon roll dough and filling.
- Heat 1 cup warm whole or 2 percent milk in the microwave or on the stovetop until warm to the touch (100 F to 110 F). Melt 1 stick of the unsalted butter in the microwave.
- Place 3 1/2 cups bread flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 packet instant yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the warm milk and butter and stir until the dough comes together and fairly smooth. You may need to use your hands to knead in any loose flour. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line the bottom and two long sides with a sheet of parchment paper long enough to hang over the sides by at least 1 inch to form a sling.
- When the dough is ready, generously flour a work surface or silicone pastry mat. Place the dough on the surface and knead until quite soft and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes, sprinkling with more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Do not over knead or the cinnamon rolls will be tough.
- Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough into a 12-by-16-inch rectangle about 1/4-inch thick, with a longer side closer to you.
- Melt 1 stick of the unsalted butter in the microwave in a medium bowl or on the stovetop. Add 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk to combine. Use a spoon to dollop this mixture onto the dough and spread it into an even layer, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
- Reserve 1/4 cup of the blueberry sauce for the glaze. Spoon 1/2 cup of the remaining blueberry sauce over the cinnamon sugar mixture and spread into an even, thin layer, adding more if needed.
- Starting at the long end closest to you, gently roll the dough up tightly into a log, using a bench scraper as needed to help release the dough from the work surface (some blueberry sauce will leak out). Pinch the seam together at the top. Position the log seam-side down. Cut the dough crosswise into 12 pieces.
- Transfer the pieces to the baking dish, arranging them cut-side up. Cover the baking dish and let the dough rise until it has puffed up slightly, 30 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350 F. Place 4 ounces cream cheese for the glaze on the counter and let sit at room temperature to soften.
- Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter. Uncover the cinnamon rolls and brush with the butter. Bake until puffed, golden brown, and a toothpick or skewer inserted in several spots comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the glaze.
- Place the cream cheese, reserved blueberry sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a medium bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Beat with the whisk attachment on medium speed until combined, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar and beat until the mixture is smooth and there are no visible lumps, 1 to 2 minutes.
- When the cinnamon rolls are ready, place the baking dish on a wire rack. Spread the glaze evenly over the rolls. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.