When I was a kid, I used to constantly eat fruit. I loved every type of fruit, give me whatever was available and I would happily gobble it down. Not much has changed over the years as I still crave fresh fruit daily. One of my absolute favorites other than peaches, persimmons, and figs, are strawberries. It only seemed natural that I create a strawberry dessert to satisfy both my fruit and dessert cravings. Inspired by cinnamon rolls, these strawberry poppy seed cinnamon rolls have quickly climbed the charts as the best summer dessert. With just the right amount of sweetness, these rolls are filled with strawberry preserves and fresh strawberries and then covered with a strawberry cream cheese frosting for the ultimate berry dessert. Go make these now, I urge you.

strawberry poppy seed cinnamon rolls

strawberry poppy seed cinnamon rolls

strawberry poppy seed cinnamon rolls

Serves 8


Strawberry Poppy Seed Cinnamon Rolls

3 hrTotal Time

Yields 8 rolls

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  • 1/2 cup milk, warm (100-110 degrees F)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, warm (100-110 degrees F)
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Strawberry filling
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserves
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • Strawberry cream cheese frosting
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 tsp water
  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Egg wash
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp water


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm milk, warm heavy cream, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes or until the yeast has been activated and the mixture is foamy.
  2. Add the egg, salt, and all-purpose flour. Mix until a shaggy dough comes together. Knead for 8-10 minutes or until a smooth dough forms. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Meanwhile, make the strawberry cream cheese frosting. Combine 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries with 1 tsp water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until almost all of the juices have evaporated, about 5 minutes. Beat together the softened butter and cream cheese until creamed. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cooked strawberries. Beat until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Lightly dust a clean work counter with flour. Divide the dough in half. Working with the first portion, roll out the dough into a 12x16 inch rectangle. Spread the strawberry preserves, fresh chopped strawberries, and poppy seeds in an even layer on the dough. Roll the dough into a log. Cut the log into 2-inch portions for a total of 8 rolls. Place the rolls cut side facing up in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the egg with water. Brush the egg wash on the tops of the rolls and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  6. Spread the strawberry cream frosting on top and serve.


**Helpful tips and common mistakes

You may be looking at the total cooking time for these strawberry poppy seed cinnamon rolls and be thinking, “3 hours?! Who has time to make these?!” If it helps at all, 2 hours are spent letting the dough rise so it’s actually not that much active time. Plus, once you make these, you’ll push those doubts away, trust me.

Start by making the dough. Unlike other cinnamon roll recipes, we’re incorporating milk and heavy cream to the dough. The fat from both liquids will help develop the softest rolls, making them much better than the standard rolls. Heat the milk and heavy cream until it reaches about 100 degrees F. The quickest method is to use the microwave. Heat in 20-second intervals to avoid overheating the liquids. If it gets too hot, just let it sit and rest. You don’t want the milk and heavy cream to get too hot or it will kill the yeast.

Combine the milk and heavy cream with the yeast and sugar and let it sit until the yeast is activated about 5 minutes. The mixture won’t be as foamy as it would be if we used water, but the yeast should bloom at least a little. Add the remaining ingredients and knead until a dough forms. The dough will feel a little heavy, but don’t worry. As it proofs, it will rise beautifully.

strawberry poppy seed filling

While the dough is rising, chop up the strawberries for the filling and for the frosting. You will need a total of 2 cups of chopped strawberries. Set aside 1 cup and cook the remaining 1 cup with just a dash of water until they have cooked down and softened. Let it cool.

If you forget to leave out the cream cheese and butter beforehand, you can soften it using this handy method I recently discovered. Microwave a bowl with water for 5 minutes. Cut the cream cheese and butter into small chunks, remove the bowl of water and place the two inside the microwave. Close the door and let the residual steam and heat work its magic. Ten minutes later, the butter and cream cheese should be ready. Whip the softened butter and cream cheese until well combined and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cooked strawberries and beat until smooth.

roll out the dough and spread filling

Now comes the fun part, making the rolls! The dough has enough fat in it that you don’t need to dust your counter with that much flour. A little sprinkle should do the trick. The rectangle doesn’t have to perfect since it’ll be rolled up.

proof for second time

Spread the strawberries, strawberry preserves, and poppy seeds in an even layer and roll up the dough. Okay so for the picture, I accidentally only spread it on the bottom half but it’s best to spread an even layer so every bite has the filling. Cut the log into 8 equal rolls using floss for nice clean cuts. Sounds bizarre but it works! Just make sure to use flavor-less floss.

Place the rolls cut side up in a 9×13 baking dish or 2 9-inch cake pans. Cover the rolls and let it rise once more.

strawberry poppy seed cinnamon rolls

Now it’s finally time to bake! Brush on the egg wash to help the rolls develop a lovely golden brown color and bake for 25-30 minutes or until browned. Remove from the oven, let it cool and spread on that delicious strawberry cream cheese frosting.

Oh my goodness. Friends. These strawberry poppy seed cinnamon rolls are everything. The dough for these rolls is insanely soft while the filling and frosting deliver on the strawberry flavor to the max. I mean strawberry preserves, fresh strawberry plus strawberry frosting? You really can’t get more strawberry flavor than that. I’ll have another, please!

strawberry poppy seed cinnamon rolls


Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.


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