Resurrection Rolls

I love Easter! The hope, the beautiful spring blossoms and the symbolism of life rising from the dark ground of winter. Easter traditions are many around the world and this tradition has been one of my favorites with my own family. We celebrate Holy Week the week leading up to Easter as a family, and on Easter morning we make resurrection rolls together. They symbolize Jesus Christ’s resurrection and are a very good object lesson for children that also happen to taste delicious. Resurrection rolls are the perfect breakfast for Easter morning that is easy to squeeze in with church and Easter egg hunting.

Why You’ll Love Resurrection Rolls

You will love how quick and easy this recipe is to make. Sure you can use store-bought dough if you are really short on time, but these rolls are ready in just an hour with a quick-rise and they taste incredible. All you have to do is mix up the dough and then explain the symbolism behind the rolls as you make them together with your family on Easter morning. After a quick 30 minute rise they are ready to bake and you will love how when you open the roll, the marshmallow is gone and has dissolved making a hole in the center of the roll and a delicious flavor. If you are looking for a new tradition to start with your family, this is a really beautiful one.

Symbolism of Resurrection Rolls

Resurrection rolls celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They are a wonderful way to share the story of the resurrection with your family. When Jesus died, his body was wrapped in linen cloth and anointed with sweet spices before having the tomb sealed shut. Three days later, the stone was rolled away and Jesus’s body was gone. He was resurrected and later appeared first to Mary Magdalene as the resurrected Christ.

As we make these rolls on Easter morning, we talk about the symbolism of these events.

  • Sweet Spices: Cinnamon and “Oil” (melted butter) represent the sweet spices and oils that anointed Christ’s body before he was wrapped in linens and placed in the tomb.
  • Marshmallow: The marshmallow represents the body of Jesus Christ which was wrapped in white linens. We dip the marshmallow in the sweet spices/oil.
  • Dough: The dough represents the tomb that Christ’s body was put in. Take the marshmallow that has been rolled in the melted butter and cinnamon. Stick it in the center of the dough and wrap the dough around it.

Seal the dough and allow it to rise for 30 minutes, explaining that the actual wait was 3 days. After the rolls have risen and puffed up we bake them. During the baking process the marshmallow melts and forms a delicious sweetness to the inside of the roll and when you bite open the roll, the marshmallow is gone (dissolved), just as Jesus’s body was risen on that first Easter morning.  

Ingredients in Resurrection Rolls

  • Milk: whole or 2% works best in these rolls
  • Unsalted Butter: I prefer baking with unsalted butter so I can control the flavor and salt content. If you use salted butter, reduce some of the salt in the recipe.
  • Sugar: These are sweet rolls. Use granulated sugar in this recipe.
  • Instant Yeast: In order to get these rolls to rise quickly, this recipe uses 2 Tablespoons of instant yeast. If you have more time to let the dough rise, you can reduce this to 1 Tablespoon.
  • Bread Flour: For chewy and fluffy rolls, use bread flour. You can also substitute with all purpose flour.
  • Cornstarch: For a softer roll I use cornstarch in this recipe.
  • Marshmallows: 12 regular sized marshmallows
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Salt

How to Make Resurrection Rolls

Mix the Dough

To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the warm milk, sugar and instant yeast. Give the yeast a minute to activate. It should immediately smell “yeasty” and look bubbly. Once you notice that, continue adding the rest of the dough ingredients, reserving the last cup of flour to add in as the dough mixes. Add in the reserved flour as you needed while you mix. The dough should feel tacky to the touch, not sticky. Knead the dough for about 8 minutes until a smooth and cohesive dough forms.

Assemble the Rolls

Separate the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll a marshmallow in the melted butter and ground cinnamon. Then place the marshmallow in the center of the roll and pinch the dough closed around the marshmallow until it forms a roll. Place the rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover the rolls and let them rise about 30 minutes.

Bake the Rolls

Once the rolls have risen, bake them in a preheated 350ºF oven. As soon as the heat hits the marshmallow, the marshmallow transforms back into a clear sweet glaze coating the inside of the roll and leaving a hole in the middle. If the rolls are not pinched together very well, the marshmallow will ooze out and leak all over the pan as it’s going through this process. If the marshmallows do leak, the rolls will still taste delicious. Just move the rolls to a serving platter or plate before serving. Let the rolls bake completely. Let cool just a little before eating. Biting into the “empty tomb” is not only delicious but fun.


A few common substitutions that work well for this recipe:

  • Milk: Use a non-dairy milk or water if needed.
  • Bread Flour: If you don’t have bread flour you can add some vital wheat gluten to all-purpose flour or just use all purpose flour in this recipe.
  • Dough: If you want to do the tradition, but don’t want to make your own dough, you can substitute store-bought crescent roll dough.

How to Store Leftovers

Leftover rolls can be placed in an air-tight container or ziplock bag and frozen for up to a couple months.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can these rolls rise so fast?

This recipe uses 2 Tablespoons of instant yeast. That’s a lot of instant yeast! But it makes the rolls rise very quickly. It is based off my one hour or less yeast roll recipe and it works out so well. If you have more time, you can decrease the instant yeast to 1 Tablespoon and let the dough rise longer.

Marshmallow oozed out of my rolls. Why?

I seem to get a mixture of oozy marshmallows and non-oozing ones no matter how hard I try and pinch the rolls closed. It is normal. Remove the rolls from the baking sheet and put on a serving platter if you don’t want people to see the oozy marshmallow. Make sure you line your pan with parchment paper for easy cleanup.

How do I make these sourdough?

If you want to use sourdough discard, follow the tips in this post. If you want to use 100% sourdough, use the tips in this one.

I hope that however you choose to celebrate Easter this year that you will feel the hope, love and power of our Savior Jesus Christ. He has the power to take any of our weaknesses and make them strengths. He has the power to help us out of the dark winter and bring us into a beautiful spring. He has the power so that when we die, it’s not the end. “He is not here; for he is risen, as he said” Matthew 28:6

Resurrection Rolls

Resurrection rolls are a simple and delicious Easter morning breakfast tradition. Teach your children the story of Jesus Christ's resurrection and enjoy an Easter morning breakfast together.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rise Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12 rolls


  • 1 ⅓ cup milk warmed
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 3/4- 3 ¼ cup bread flour see recipe note

Resurrection Roll Filling

  • 12 marshmallows
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the warm milk (make sure this is the temperature of a baby's bathwater…so as not to kill the yeast), melted butter, sugar, yeast and salt.
  • Add the cornstarch and 2 3/4 cups of flour to the center of the bowl. Knead using the dough hook. Alternatively you can mix the ingredients together in a bowl and knead the dough on your countertop by hand for about 10 minutes. If using a dough hook, knead the dough for about 8 minutes, adding the extra half cup of flour as needed. You should be able to pinch off a chunk of dough, roll it into a ball in your fingers with just a little sticky residue left behind. You can check out this blog post for how to check for readiness of dough if you need some guidance.
  • Line a baking sheet (my favorite here, affiliate link) with parchment paper. Turn the dough out and cut into 12 equal pieces.
  • Mix together the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Melt the butter in another small bowl. Take a piece of dough and stretch it into a small circle with your fingers. Dip a marshmallow into the butter and then into the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place the marshmallow into the center of the dough and pinch the dough around the marshmallow, forming a ball.
  • Place the dough ball onto the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
  • Cover the dough balls and let rise for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Bake until the rolls are lightly golden on top for about 22-25 minutes. Top with melted butter if desired.
  • Remove rolls to a serving plate and enjoy opening the rolls and finding the “empty” tomb on Easter morning. These rolls are best eaten warm. Enjoy!


Bread Flour: This recipe works best with bread flour. You can substitute one Tablespoon of vital wheat gluten and all purpose flour for the bread flour. Alternatively you can use all purpose flour but you may need a little extra flour due to the lower protein content.
Transforming Marshmallows: When the heat hits the marshmallow, the marshmallow transforms back into a clear sweet glaze coating the inside of the roll and leaving a hole in the middle. If the rolls are not pinched together very well, the marshmallow will ooze out and leak all over the pan as it’s going through this process. If the marshmallows do leak, the rolls will still taste delicious. Just move the rolls to a serving platter or plate before serving.
Original Recipe: Originally I posted a recipe for resurrection rolls using a different roll recipe. This recipe works much better because it can be made start to finish in just about an hour. You can use any favorite roll recipe if you want.
Keyword Easter, Easter breakfast, Easter brunch recipe, quick rolls, resurrection rolls, rolls, yeast rolls,
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  1. I love these Easter rolls and what they represent! I will never forget the grandkids calling us to tell us about these rolls on Easter morning many years ago! What a wonderful way to remind them of the true purpose of Easter, while providing a delicious breakfast treat! 🙌🏻❤️🐣