Everyone loves cinnamon rolls. But you never have to make the same sweet rolls twice. By varying the frosting and the filling, you can create an endless variety of sweet rolls. Here we’ll explore some of the ways in which you can create new and exciting, sweet rolls.

Cinnamon-type sweet rolls have three components: A dough which is wrapped pinwheel style around a filling (and then sliced), the sweet filling, and a frosting. Not all sweet rolls are frosted. The filling is often made with sugar and spice.


The dough can be made with a bread dough. Often it is made sweeter and richer with sugar and butter. It’s not necessary; the filling and frosting will make your rolls sweet enough.

Here are your choices for dough:


While the filling is traditionally a mixture of sugar, butter, and spices, it doesn’t have to be. You can use fruit, nuts, or pastry filling. Look over the ideas below and then get creative.


Usually you’ll make your filling with sugar. You can use either brown sugar or white. A brown sugar, with the addition of butter, will make for a caramel-like filling.


Cinnamon is the traditional spice but a touch of nutmeg or allspice is terrific.


You can use any thick, rich frosting. Since your rolls are likely to be eaten by hand, it’s nice to have the frosting thick enough that it doesn’t drip and run. The addition of either egg whites or meringue powder will set your frosting up. Add enough and you will have a hard shell.

A cream cheese frosting is especially nice. A fudgy ganache with chocolate sweet rolls is superb. Try melting white chocolate and adding it to your frosting for a white chocolate frosting.

For a special occasion or for a holiday, consider dressing up your sweet rolls with a sprinkling of Jimmies.

Ideas for Your Next Sweet Roll Project

  1. Cranberry Nut Sweet Rolls. Use dried cranberries and walnuts in the filling. Add a little orange zest to your filling.
  2. Cranapple Sweet Rolls. Add dried cranberries and dried apples to your filling. Alternatively, use an apple pastry filling and add cranberries.
  3. California Golden Sweet Rolls. Add golden raisins and orange zest to your filling.
  4. Fruit Filled Sweet Rolls. Use a commercial fruit pastry filling with your sweet rolls. We sell apple, raspberry, blueberry, cherry, and lemon. Alternatively, make your own filling with fresh fruit.
  5. Maple Nut Sweet Rolls. Make your filling with maple chips and walnuts.
  6. Peanut Butter Sweet Rolls. Instead of butter in the filling, substitute peanut butter. Add chopped peanuts.
  7. Chocolate Fudge Sweet Rolls. Add cocoa to your dough and some extra sugar. Add cocoa and chocolate chips to your filling. Frost your rolls with a thick ganache.
  8. Cinnamon Burst Sweet Rolls. Add cinnamon chips to your filling.
  9. Jammy Sweet Rolls. Use your favorite jam or jelly in the filling.
  10. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Sweet Rolls. Make the fudge rolls above but substitute peanut butter for the butter and add extra peanut butter.
  11. Cherry Pecan Sweet Rolls. Add dried cherries or maraschino cherries and pecans to your filling. Make a cherry frosting with red or pink food coloring and cherry extract.
  12. Pear and Pecan Sweet Rolls. Add dried pears and pecans to your filling.
  13. Macadamia Orange Sweet Rolls. Add macadamia nuts, white chocolate and orange marmalade to your filling. Add orange zest to a cream cheese frosting for topping.
  14. Coconut and Pecan Sweet Rolls. Add shredded coconut and pecans to your filling. Use brown sugar in the filling and omit the spices.
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