Strawberry Jelly Rolls

This was the first thing I made in my Aruban kitchen this trip that I turned on the oven for and they were absolutely worth it.

The smell of bread in the oven, cinnamon and sugar, butter and jelly, made our little Caribbean house smell like a bakery and was worth heating the joint up for.

If you do it my way, this is a 15-minute recipe from start to finish, including baking time and the dishes.

There’s no dishwasher here (other than yours truly) so those need to be kept to a minimum, too.

I used white dinner rolls as a major shortcut. Of course, you’re free to make your own bread dough, make and bake rolls, and then use said rolls for this recipe. But clearly I wouldn’t do that on vacation or probably ever.

It’s enough that I cook three squares a day, and I don’t mind, but bread-making from scratch isn’t ever happening in an un-airconditioned kitchen.

They’re a snap to make. Just beat a couple eggs, make a cinnamon-sugar mixture, poke holes in a half dozen dinner rolls with your fingers and dredge them through the egg and cinnamon-sugar, fill with jelly, add a couple pats of butter to the pan and bake. Done.

While baking, the butter and cinnamon-sugar creates this little glaze at the bottom of the pan that’s finger-lickin’ good.

And did I mention how much I love jelly? There’s nothing worse than a skimpy-on-the-jelly jelly roll and I made sure these were no where near skimpy.

When I walked into the home office with the tray of these where Scott was working, he exclaimed, Ohmygawdbabe what did you make?!

He told me he only wanted one because he was going to be getting into a swimsuit in a few minutes and he took his one little roll from the tray.

Apparently men think about jelly rolls and how that may impact their own jelly roll prior to getting into swimsuits.

Then as he was walking out the door 10 minutes later with Skylar to take her to the pool, he said, “Hey babe, do you think you could wrap up a few of those rolls for Skylar and I because they’re amazing.”

I assure you this is the best ever use of white dinner rolls and no one will suspect that you didn’t make elaborate pastries from scratch.

Don’t you just want to tear into all that jelly? I did.


Strawberry Jelly Rolls

Makes 6 rolls – double the recipe and bake in a 9-by-13-inch pan if preferred (use 3 eggs rather than 4, if doubling)

2 large eggs, beaten

1/3 cup granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons for sprinkling

2 teaspoons cinnamon

6 small white dinner rolls

12 tablespoons+ strawberry jelly or jam (about 2 tablespoons per roll)

1/4 cup butter, diced into about 6 cubes (half of one stick)

Preheat oven to 375F, line a 9-by-9-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.

In a small bowl, lightly beat two eggs with a fork; set aside. In another small bowl, combine 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon, and stir to combine; set aside.

With your thumb or finger, gently break the top surface of one roll, going about 1-inch deep and 1-inch wide. Don’t actually remove any bread, don’t “core” it; just open it up. Dip the bread in the egg, allowing some egg to enter the hollowed out part; let it soak into the interior. Dip and dredge the roll through the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place in prepared pan. Repeat with the other 5 rolls. Rolls will be nearly touching or touching each other in the pan depending on size; stagger them if necessary to avoid touching too much so they crisp up on the edges.

After all the rolls have been dipped into the egg, coated cinnamon-and-sugared, and in the pan, spoon about 2 tablespoons of jelly into the hole of each roll; be generous (use your favorite jelly such as raspberry, blueberry, lemon, or cherry). Add a final dusting of about 2 tablespoons granulated sugar over the tops of the rolls, distributed evenly. Place cubed butter pieces in the bottom of the pan in open spaces; it’s okay if it touches rolls since it will melt and ultimately touch them.

Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until rolls are golden. Butter will have melted and combined with excess cinnamon-sugar mixture and it will be bubbling and have thickened. Allow to cool and serve immediately, taking care not to miss any of the buttery cinnamon-sugar sauce on the bottom of the pan. Rolls are best fresh, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


Related Recipes:

Cinnamon Sugar Crust Cream Cheese and Jelly Danish Squares – uses one of my favorite shortcuts

Cinnamon Bun Pie – an easy shortcut makes these some of my favorite cinnamon rolls

Caramel Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars (GF with Vegan adaptation) – I will always love PB & J in any form

Cranberry & Orange Ginger Mango Chutney – jelly-like and so good

Hot Pepper Jelly (vegan, GF)

Stovetop Hot Pepper Jelly (vegan, GF)

Do you like jelly?

I love condiments, sauces, chutneys, dips and spreads of all types and jelly is no exception; sweet or savory. And all of it applied in abundance; the more, the merrier.

If you have any good shortcut-containing recipes, or any great recipes that use jelly, feel free to link them up.

The winner of the Bella Bars Giveaway is Laura (Tutti Dolci)

Have a great week!


  1. Oh my gosh – yum ! I want to try these with cherries ! I love jelly, I just got a guava jelly at a little country market that I can’t wait to try.

  2. Man, those look so fantastically gooey! I just got a sweet gift of really nice homemade jam, so I definitely know where that’s going now…

  3. Neat shortcut!! They look made from scratch. Like a naked jelly donut. They sound so good, and I’d totally heat up the house for them too. Agreed about skimpy jelly too… need lots!

  4. This is honestly pretty genius and even by looking at the pictures they look like decadent little homemade munchkins. I was ALL about jelly donut holes growing up, only kind I would eat. And I’m all abotu short cuts these days!

  5. I never would have guessed from the pictures that those were made from rolls! Sounds good, almost like a bread pudding with the egg mixture. It reminds me a little bit of the first “recipe” we made in middle school home ec, we used the refrigerated Pillsbury dough rolls that pop out of the can, dip them in melted butter or oil, dip in sugar to coat, and put jam in a thumb hole on top. They bake up puffy and delicious, but so simple!

  6. Wow, these are just delicious. Beautiful homemade rolls.

  7. Going to try these out soon. Especially like the PB&J bars. Is There any special program you use to put words over a photo like strawberry jelly rolls picture?

  8. I would like to think Jason would think about how it’d affect his jelly roll…but i really don’t think he would. He’d grab 2 to start with LOL

  9. These look amazing. I love how simple they are, beautiful photos too!

  10. Um, I think I would inhale all of these in one sitting. So much for having to put on a swimsuit! ;)

  11. The best use of dinner rolls EVER! Love the jelly filling oozing out of them! Scrumptious!

  12. What a creative little recipe Averie! Simple, quick, and full or cinnamon, butter and JAM! Three of my favorites, of course! I never, ever would’ve thought to combine all three with some egg wash over a pre made dinner roll! Crazy! Jam-filled donuts have always been, and still are, my favorite. I could see these being delicious with apricot or peach jam. LOVE peach + cinnamon together these days. :) SO glad your fan enjoyed them too, I’m not surprised. Easy + quick.. a perfect 1st recipe in Aruba for ya!

    • I was thinking of you when I made these because of the cinnamon-sugar coating and because we share a love of most flavors and baked goods…and I LOVE peach jam. Honestly, would have used a peach or apricot in these if I didn’t think it would have gotten totally washed out and blurred. I have enough lighting issues down here as it is…lol

  13. I love your description of men and their “jelly rolls.” I also love this quick and easy recipe! I’m a fanatic for anything and everything PB&J, but my favorite two ways of eating it are a) loaded on apple slices (a great snack!), and b) in my smoothies. By the way, I was having a Julie & Julia day yesterday with one of my girlfriends, and your food interactions with Scott reminded me so much of that movie. Absolutely sweet. Thanks for sharing!

    • Some men pretend they don’t care what they look like, but I actually think men are just as self-conscious (at times) as women are. Male hair restoration clinics for balding exist for a reason :) They care about their hair and things like that, too! Well, my hubs does as least and I love him for it. And glad you like my little story and the recipe!

  14. Oh. My. Goodness! So, I just made these! :-) I used buttermilk biscuits instead of dinner rolls because that’s what I had, but, my boys loved them! I love the heavy on the jam part of the photos…they just look so flippin’ delcious! Thanks for the great recipes, lady! I make so many of yours! :-)

    • Ok that has to be one of the fastest posts-to making it-to reporting back about it’s that I’ve ever had…but leave it to you, and I love that! Thank you! Glad they were a hit and yes, any little biscuit or roll will do. Glad your boys loved them and you are such a good mama!

  15. Yum, those rolls look like a delicious treat as always!

    I do enjoy jelly in moderation. Too much and I find it too sweet, but it’s great in moderation. I also really enjoy spiced jams and chutneys- yum!

  16. I never would have guessed you started with pre made dinner rolls for this recipe!! What a great short cut (love those). They look so delicious in the photos and remind me of a jelly filled donut! I tried something that officially makes me a bona fide chocolate fiend (as if there were EVER any doubts). Roasted cauliflower dusted with paprika, garlic salt, and cocoa powder! There is only a teaspoon of cocoa and paprika sprinkled all over but it’s really good (husband approved too)!

    • Oh that cauli sounds great! I know people who put a tbsp or two of cocoa powder in chili – I can see with the paprika, same concept. And Mexican Hot Chocolate involves a pinch of cayenne or chili powder in hot cocoa – so there is so much overlap with cocoa and savory and kicked up savory…great idea. And yes, ” remind me of a jelly filled donut!” <– that was the point :)

  17. ohh ok I didn’t know they were rolls
    that’s a great idea for using stuff up, right?
    I would have to do this with a touch of cream cheese.
    I can’t get enough cream cheese with my raspberry jam

  18. Such a creative and tasty (not to mention decadent use) of white dinner rolls! LOVE :)

  19. Mm. LOVE jelly and I absolutely, positively LOVE condiments. Sauces, dips, spreads, jams, jellies… all so very good! Though I’m partial to guac, salsa, and mustard. Amazing! These rolls remind me of jelly doughnuts–loving them!

  20. ah! I had leftover rolls from yesterday’s party and I totally tossed them. Had I seen this deliciousness…they would have stayed around! Great idea

  21. Dessert in 15 minutes?! Yes please!! Definitely buying extra rolls next trip to the grocery store :)

  22. These look amazing!

    Too bad I don’t eat egg :(

    • well use anything you’d use in your repertoire then to get the cinn-sugar coating to adhere, perhaps a flax egg? whatever it is, it’s just there to get the coating to stick, battering them

  23. These look amazing and are so easy! I just love it! I have some homemade wheat rolls in the freezer, do you think wheat will be ok to use? I’d love to try these!!

    • yes wheat will be just fine – I knew someone would ask about that. The reason I said white was I was specifically trying to recreate what I grew up on, which was a jelly-filled donut, of sorts, and there was nothing wheat about those :) But another reader made them already with buttermilk biscuits with great success. LMK how it goes!

  24. hehehe, do I love jelly? good question! Even though I don’t like sweets, I do like raspberry jelly/jam. After reading about your love with hot pepper jelly, I made one myself and loved it too! Here is one of the jam/jelly creations: Chilli-quince jam ( – scroll down to see it. :)

  25. See, these seem like a healthified version of a jelly-donut to me, which means I can eat twice as many. Gorgeous!

  26. Yum! These are like strawberry french toast rolls. Love it. Hope you are enjoying every second of your time away.

  27. These look so good! I have a bad habit of snatching up day old bread when I see it at the store and tossing it into the freezer. I think I’ve found a new use for some of it!

  28. No dishwasher, huh? Wonder what that’s like. ;)

    I hear you about using as few utensils and bowls as possible. I just had a BBQ and as I was washing the plates and forks, and grill utensils, and spoons and bowls and wine glasses….all I could think was that I wished I didn’t feel eco-guilt about using disposable stuff.

    I was going to make a dessert for the party too, but what stopped me was the dishes. Not the bowl to mix the pudding in, but each individual bowl that people would eat out of. I hate dishes.

  29. very creative, A! These jelly rolls look incredible!

  30. Oh gosh, I was convinced you had made the entire recipe (including dough) from scratch until I saw the rolls! This totally seems like one of those recipes you could wow crowds with, while laughing on the inside since you whipped ’em up in just a few minutes. ;) Love them, Averie!

  31. woah… these look amazing and oh so decadent!

  32. I would have loved to have a jelly roll for breakfast now. You captured it so beautifully!

  33. My husband’s reaction to the food I make is always worth any difficulties I may experience in the kitchen. Yesterday I was making pancakes for the blog and he hovered nearby waiting for me to yell “ugly pancake!!!” so he could gleefully run in and scoop it up. These rolls would get a similar reaction!

  34. WOW, these look amazing!! I almost didn’t even open the email because my husband’s allergic to strawberries, but I thought, “what the heck, I love looking at Averie’s pics!” Then when I saw the rolls, I started thinking, “well, I could make these for a party, or I could even sub a different filling.” But it wasn’t until I found your suggested alternatives that the light bulb moment truly happened: my husband loves lemon! I’ll definitely try these out some time and will use a lemon curd or lemon jam filling! Thanks. :)

  35. Perfect & easy, just like vacation should be!!

  36. These are seriously brilliant! I would have never imagined that they were just from bread rolls.

  37. Oh my god I cannot wait until the morning so I can make these, GORGEOUS

  38. I am not really a fan of jelly unless it is made savoury in some way … like hot pepper jelly ;-) I also like a sweet jelly mixed with a chipotle pepper and then put over brie cheese or cream cheese and baked.

  39. I have an insane urge to bake and devour an entire pan of these solo. BEAUTIFUL Averie!

  40. Oh my gosh Averie, these are amazing! We aren’t huge jelly fans here, but I could totally see myself using Nutella. :) Pinned!

  41. Oh boy!!! These are incredible looking and so easy to throw together in a hurry!!! My mouth is watering at the thought of cinnamon and sugar and jelly!! mmmmm!!!

  42. A super idea Averie, especially fast and delicious! What a great way to use leftover rolls!

  43. Wow, this is amazing! You totally took dinner rolls to a whole different level! I think I might make some homemade lemon curd and use that in place of the jam, although the use of strawberry jam is great too. I’ll just have to make both of them then!

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  48. You are a genius! My husband thought we needed a little something extra to go with our comfort food supper casserole. I had impulsively bought a dozen water rolls yesterday just because they looked so good. I was thinking I’d heat a few and set out the last of a large jar of strawberry jam. I followed somebody’s link to your website while I was waiting for the casserole to bake and found your recipe for strawberry jelly rolls. I had them ready to go in the oven when the casserole came out. They were spectacular and the ease of preparation was so welcome. I’m already thinking of variations — slightly drained, no added sugar cherry pie filling instead of the jelly or jam. I might even replace the sugar with Splenda, but that might clump up. I’ll just have to see. Thanks for the recipe, and I look forward to trying more of your foods.

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