How to Make Empty Tomb Rolls, the Easiest Easter Treat
Empty tomb rolls will surprise and delight kids of all ages. Make them your new Easter morning tradition.
After the excitement of finding their Easter baskets and before you’ve had a chance to finish your first cup of coffee, the kids will invariably complain, “I’m hungry!” (Maybe in unison, if you’re lucky.) This year, surprise them with some fun in the kitchen and a delicious Easter treat that’s sure to become a new tradition.
What are Resurrection Rolls?
Resurrection rolls symbolize Christ and the empty tomb after he was resurrected. Kids of all ages (even your husband) will wonder where the marshmallow went after biting into one of these warm, gooey puffs. That’s your opening for a little Easter morning Sunday school—they won’t even know that you’ve tried to wedge in an educational moment because they’ll be transfixed by the comforting aroma of cinnamon that rivals any ooey-gooey cinnamon roll recipe. Follow along to learn how to make these magical puffs (and earn your Awesome Mom badge).
How to Make Resurrection Rolls
For the Rolls:
- 2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 16 large marshmallows
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
For the Glaze:
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 teaspoons milk
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts
Step 1: Prepare the Dough
This might just be the trickiest part of the recipe. Separating refrigerated crescent dough into triangles can be tedious, but take your time! Gently unroll the dough then separate it into triangles along the perforations. Arrange all of the triangles on a work surface. If there are any tears in the dough, do a quick press-and-patch job to seal them up. (Don’t forget to preheat the oven to 375°.)
Step 2: Top with Marshmallows
Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl and add the melted butter to another shallow bowl. Dip the mallows into the butter, then roll in cinnamon-sugar and place one coated marshmallow at the wide end of each triangle of dough. I like to do this assembly line style, first coating and placing all the marshmallows before folding the dough around them so my fingers aren’t covered with cinnamon-sugar when it comes time to wrap the marshmallows.
Editor’s Tip: To speed along the dunking and coating (and for less mess), put the butter into a large sealable plastic container and the cinnamon-sugar into another large container. Add marshmallows to the butter; cover and shake. Then transfer to the cinnamon-sugar container; cover and shake. Bada-bing, bada-boom: The marshmallows are ready for placement.
Step 3: Wrap and Roll
Fold the corners of dough over the marshmallow and roll up. You might need to stretch and pat the dough as you wrap it around each mallow. Pinch the seems to seal them tightly. Dip the bottoms in butter and place, buttered side down, into ungreased regular-sized muffin cups (I make the the area with the most seams the “bottom”). This is one of those unfortunate recipes that uses one muffin pan plus one partial muffin pan. If you want to use 2 full pans, increase the recipe by 50% (use one more tube of dough).
Editor’s Tip: Some people like to to fill empty muffin cups with water to promote even baking; that’s more important if you’re making deliciously tender muffins, but still not essential. In this case, the crescent dough is pretty fool-proof, so I’d skip the water. The risk of sloshing water into a dough-filled muffin cup isn’t worth any small benefit.
Step 4: Make Magic
Pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes. You’re looking for a golden brown color and when the rolls pull away from the pans just slightly. While baking, the marshmallows will puff and melt, making the inside of the rolls a little ooey, a little gooey and a lot delicious. They’ll also disappear. (Hence the name…you get it, right?) Immediately remove them from the pans to a wire rack.
Editor’s Tip: Since there are 2 pans, it’s a smart idea to rotate them from top to bottom and front to back during baking. I like to wait until just after halfway, when the dough has had a chance to set up and are less likely to deflate from the movement.
Step 5: Glaze ’em
Combine the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla plus enough milk to make the glaze thin enough to drizzle (almond extract would taste great, too, but use just 1/4 teaspoon). I like to use a small whisk for mixing to make sure there are no lumps, but you can use a spoon, too. A whisk also works great as a drizzling tool. Sprinkle with nuts (try chopped walnuts or pecans) and serve them while they’re still warm.
Kids love eating these cinnamon treats as much as they like making them. Their little hands will make quick work of all the dipping, dunking and rolling. Serve them as an early morning treat or add them to your Easter brunch buffet. Either way, they’ll love the sweet cinnamon flavor of these empty tomb rolls, and guests will never know there was once a marshmallow inside!