These Blackberry Vanilla Sweet Rolls are perfect for a special weekend breakfast or brunch! Tender rolls filled with a sweet blackberry vanilla filling and topped with cream cheese frosting. They’re made without yeast so you don’t have to wait for them to rise!
This recipe and photos have been updated since it was originally published on 4/3/2015
Sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, sweet rolls, call them what you will, but they are an absolute favorite of mine. I’ve even gone as far as to tell my husband that they need to be included in my last meal.
While they aren’t difficult to make they can be time consuming and daunting if you’ve never worked with yeast before. If you’re looking for an alternative that doesn’t use yeast and doesn’t require waiting for dough to rise, then I highly recommend making these Blackberry Vanilla Sweet Rolls.
The dough for these rolls is similar to biscuit dough. You’ll still roll it out like you would a yeasted dough, but you don’t need to wait for it to rise. The hardest part about making these sweet rolls is waiting for them to bake so you can dive into a warm one fresh out of the oven!
Ingredients needed to make blackberry vanilla sweet rolls
- all purpose flour
- whole wheat pastry flour
- granulated sugar
- baking powder and baking soda
- low fat buttermilk
- unsalted butter
- vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- cream cheese
- powdered sugar
How to make the blackberry vanilla filling
The blackberry filling is similar to making a quick jam. Add the blackberries and sugar to a small pan and cook them over medium heat until they’re soft enough to mash. Combine the lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir together until the cornstarch dissolves.
Pour the mixture in with the blackberries and stir until the sauce thickens. Remove the blackberry sauce from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let the sauce cool before spreading it all over the sweet roll dough.
How to make blackberry vanilla sweet rolls
The great thing about this sweet roll dough is you don’t need an electric mixer or any other special equipment. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and use a rubber spatula to combine them. The dough will look a little shaggy, similar to what biscuit dough looks like. Dump it out onto a floured surface and knead it together until it’s smooth. This shouldn’t take very long.
Roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it’s approximately a 12” x 9” rectangle. It doesn’t need to be exact. Spread the blackberry filling onto the dough, but leave about an inch border all the way around. The filling will squeeze out towards the edge as you roll it.
Roll the dough lengthwise away from you. You want to get the roll as tight as you can, it helps to do a roll tuck motion. When you get to the end pinch the seam closed. You may need a little water if it won’t stay sealed.
Cut the roll into 12 pieces and place them cut side down into a greased 12 inch cast iron skillet or 9 x 13 casserole dish. Brush the tops with a little melted butter and then put them in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes or until they’re golden brown on top. Let them cool for 10 minutes before adding the cream cheese frosting.
While the rolls are baking, make the cream cheese frosting. Use a stand mixer, hand mixer or a whisk to mix together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, pinch of salt and vanilla. Whisk or beat it until it’s smooth and spreadable.
Depending on how thick or thin your frosting is, pour or spread it over the warm rolls. The only thing left to do now is eat them! You will likely have extra blackberry filling. If so, serve it with the sweet rolls or spoon it over the tops of them after they’ve been frosted.
Frequently asked questions
Can I use a different type of berry?
Yes. Blueberries, strawberries or raspberries would all be delicious. You may need to use more or less sugar depending on how sweet the berries are. Just taste and adjust as needed. The amount of cornstarch shouldn’t need to be adjusted.
How to make buttermilk
If you don’t have buttermilk you don’t need to go out and buy it. In a glass measuring cup add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. Fill the measuring cup up with the remaining amount of milk needed for the recipe. Let it sit for 5 minutes before using.
What can I use instead of buttermilk?
Buttermilk can be replaced with whatever type of milk you prefer. Be aware that you won’t have the subtle tang that buttermilk provides if you replace it. Also, the higher fat content your milk has, the richer tasting the rolls will be.
More Berry Breakfast Recipes
- Blackberry Maple Tahini Muffins
- Blackberry Almond Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal
- Berry Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
- Fluffiest Blueberry Pancakes
- Baked Blackberry Ricotta French Toast
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups low fat buttermilk
- 2 tablespoon melted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 pint fresh or frozen blackberries
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, more if needed
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 tablespoons low fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 3/4 - 1 cup powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
For the Blackberry Filling
- In a small saucepan over medium heat add the blackberries, sugar and a pinch of salt. Once the blackberries are heated and start to pop and release their juices, turn the heat down to medium low, and mash them with a potato masher or the back of a fork.
- In a small bowl whisk the lemon juice and cornstarch together into a slurry. Add the mixture to the blackberries and stir everything together until the blackberries sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and mix in the vanilla. Set aside to cool completely while you make the rolls.
For the Sweet Rolls
- Preheat oven to 400° F. spray or grease a 12 inch cast iron skillet with cooking spray or butter.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold together with a rubber spatula until the liquid is absorbed (the dough will look shaggy). Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it just until smooth.
- Pat or roll the dough out into a 12x9 inch rectangle. Spread the cooled blackberry filling over the top of the dough leaving a 1/2 inch border all the way around. You will probably won't need to use all of the blackberry filling, save the rest for serving.
- Starting at a long side, roll the dough, pressing lightly to form a tight log. Pinch the seam to seal. With the seam side down, cut the log into 12 slices.
- Place the rolls cut side down into the cast iron skillet leaving a little space in between them. Brush the tops with the remaining tablespoon of butter then place them on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown.
- Remove the rolls from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before spreading the cream cheese frosting over the top.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Whisk together the softened cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar until smooth and spreadable. Add more powdered sugar to thicken or a splash of milk to thin the frosting. Spread over the tops of the rolls.
Rolls are best served the day they are made.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 318mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 3gSugar: 16gProtein: 6g