gluten-free resurrection roll, cut open to reveal the "empty tomb" (hallow inside) coated with cinnamon sugar
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Easy Gluten-Free Resurrection Rolls to Celebrate Easter

Resurrection Rolls are a wonderful way to illustrate the story of Easter. It is a simple recipe, designed to be made with the help of little hands.

A big part of what makes the original version such an easy recipe is using ready-made crescent roll dough. Sadly, it is full of gluten, and not suitable for those of us who need to eat gluten-free.

Resurrection Rolls were a part of my family’s “Easter traditions” for exactly one Easter before my daughter and I were diagnosed with celiac disease. But my son, five at the time, remembered how we celebrated Jesus’ resurrection the year before and wanted to eat those yummy rolls again!

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Determined that celiac disease was not going to hold us back, I pulled off a very sticky dough recipe from on-hand ingredients that first year, and we celebrated the story of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter morning with gluten-free resurrection rolls.

Over the years since our first gluten-free Easter, I have tried different dough recipes. Eventually, I discovered gluten-free puff pastry dough, which is quick and delicious, but so hard to seal around the marshmallow without cracking.

Then, I realized that gluten-free pizza dough checks all the boxes. It tastes so good. It’s gluten-free. And the dough is to work with. It serves perfectly as gluten-free crescent rolls in this once-again simple recipe!

I’m so excited to share my family’s recipe with you for your gluten-free Easter celebration!

a pile of gluten-free resurrection rolls, with cinnamon sugar topping

Symbolism

This Resurrection Roll Recipe is a meaningful way to tell the story of Easter. Share the symbolism as you make them:

  • Marshmallow: the body of Jesus
  • Butter & cinnamon sugar: preparing Jesus’ body for burial with oils & spices
  • Wrapping the marshmallow in the dough: wrapping Jesus’ body in linens
  • Oven: the tomb
  • Oven door: the stone
  • The marshmallow melts during baking leaving the roll hollow: the empty tomb, Jesus is risen!

Ingredients

Gluten-Free Pizza Dough

The pizza dough is the secret to making homemade resurrection rolls that are gluten-free and EASY. Ready-to-go dough means you can put these rolls together in about 10 minutes. Allow extra time if you have little helpers.

Use your favorite gluten-free pizza dough.

I use Wholly Gluten-Free Pizza Dough in this recipe. It’s in the freezer section of my local Sprouts. To find a grocery store close to you, check Wholly Gluten-Free’s store locator online, and search by zip code and product (“WGF Pizza Dough Ball 14oz”).

a package of Wholly Gluten Free gluten-free pizza dough on a white counter

According to Wholly Gluten-Free, its pizza dough is gluten-free and free from wheat, dairy, casein, egg, soy, peanut, tree nut, and sesame seed.

Gluten-Free Flour

Any gluten-free flour will do. Not your most expensive. You just need a little to lightly dust your parchment paper, dough, and rolling pin, to prevent the dough from sticking as you roll it out.

Sugar & Cinnamon

The recipe calls for a 1:1 ratio of sugar to cinnamon. This gives a strong cinnamon flavor, reminiscent of cinnamon rolls. Feel free to play with the amounts, to suit your taste. For a slightly sweeter and less robust flavor, increase the sugar to 3 tbsp and decrease the cinnamon to 1 tbsp.

cinnamon sugar in a bowl (with 2 cinnamon sticks crossed on top) on a counter next to a pile of marshmallows

Marshmallows

Most marshmallows do not contain gluten. I use Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows. While they are not labeled gluten-free, Kraft Heinz labels all allergens, including gluten.

Salted Butter

I cut my butter into four 1-tablespoon pats, so they melt quickly in the microwave. They take about 30-45 seconds to melt.

If making a dairy-free version of this recipe, substitute your favorite dairy-free butter.

Dairy-Free

If you also can’t have dairy due to food allergies or dairy intolerance, these resurrection rolls are gluten-free and dairy-free with just one easy adjustment.

The recommended Wholly Gluten-Free Pizza Dough is already dairy-free, and Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows have no dairy ingredients. The only ingredient swap needed is replacing salted butter with your favorite dairy-free butter alternative.

The butter is not integral to the structure of the recipe, only the flavor. Its main job is to work like glue, holding cinnamon sugar to the marshmallows and to the top of the rolls. So, choose a dairy alternative that melts and has a flavor you love!

Also, double-check that the little bit of flour you use when rolling out the pizza dough is gluten and dairy-free. Single-ingredient rice flour is a great option.

Equipment

Silicone Muffin Pan

This is my best tip for a frustration-free experience with this recipe! While not absolutely essential, a silicone muffin pan is incredibly helpful when making resurrection rolls. If marshmallow leaks out of your dough during baking, it makes quite a mess. Making the rolls in a silicone muffin pan helps to contain both the mess and the marshmallow flavor!

If you don’t have a silicone muffin pan, line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.

gluten-free resurrection roll with marshmallow leaking out
Marshmallow sometimes leaks out. A muffin pan contains most of that marshmallow (and its flavor) with the roll. And a silicone pan is a breeze to clean.

Parchment Paper

Depending on how sticky your pizza dough is, I recommend both parchment paper and a dusting of gluten-free flour for rolling it out.

Rolling Pin

Use a basic rolling pin to roll out the pizza dough. With no rolling pin and just a little more patience, you can press the dough out by hand.

Pizza Wheel Cutter

A pizza wheel cutter makes cutting the dough triangles a breeze.

a pizza wheel cutting through gluten-free pizza dough

Instructions

Thaw pizza dough according to the instructions on the package. 

It can take about three hours to thaw the dough at room temperature. Check the instructions on your dough’s package.

If making resurrection rolls on Easter morning, thaw the dough in the fridge for 12 hours overnight.

Preheat oven to 400℉. Place pizza dough on parchment paper. Lightly flour the parchment paper, rolling pin, and dough.

gluten-free pizza dough and a rolling pan, sprinkled with gluten-free flour

The pizza dough is sticky. The extra steps of using parchment paper and a light dusting of flour will enable you to quickly roll out the dough without it sticking to everything.

Note: Because this is a sweet recipe, I tried using powdered sugar instead of flour, a trick I sometimes use with cookie dough. However, the moisture content in the Wholly Gluten-Free pizza dough was too high. The powdered sugar just became wet and sticky, increasing the stickiness of the dough. Lesson learned, just use gluten-free flour for rolling out this recipe.

Any gluten-free flour is fine. This is not the place for your most expensive gluten-free flour blend. You are using such a small amount that it won’t affect the flavor or performance of the pizza dough.

Roll out the pizza dough into roughly a 12-inch round. Using a pizza wheel cutter, cut the dough into 8 “pizza” slices and set aside.

Keeping the dough on the parchment paper (add a second sheet if necessary) use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to the size of a 12-inch pizza.

Slice the pizza dough into 8 slices. A pizza cutter makes this very easy.

gluten free pizza dough cut into 8 "pizza slices)

Mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.

The recipe calls for a cinnamon-to-sugar ratio of 1:1. I love how the strong cinnamon flavor reminds me of cinnamon rolls. If you want a less potent cinnamon taste, reduce the cinnamon and increase the sugar.

cinnamon sugar mixture in a small white bowl, a spoonful of the mixture is held over the bowl
You can see how cinnamon-y the cinnamon sugar mixture is.

Take one marshmallow (represents Jesus’ body). Roll it in melted butter. Then roll it in the cinnamon mixture (representing preparing Jesus’ body for burial with oils & spices).

Place the cinnamon-sugar-coated marshmallow in the center of a pizza dough triangle. Pull the ends of the dough together like a pouch and pinch the dough firmly together to seal. (represents wrapping Jesus’ body in linens) 

There’s no one way to do this. I start out with a pretty little package and once I’m done pinching and pressing, the resurrection roll looks like a ball.

Whatever your technique, the key is making sure that it is completely sealed, so the marshmallow does not leak out during baking.

Dip top of roll in melted butter, then in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

This step serves two purposes. It covers any visual imperfections from the pinching, sealing, and rolling of the previous step. And, it adds more of that wonderful cinnamon roll flavor.

Note, this recipe is designed to symbolize the resurrection of Jesus. This topping step is about taste and does not fit into the resurrection story. If that really bugs you or your kiddos, feel free to skip this step. Or simply tell the kids that you’re adding more sugar… that should be enough of an explanation to get their buy-in!

gluten-free resurrection roll(unbaked) with cinnamon topping visible, in a blue silicone muffin pan

Place the roll in a silicone muffin pan or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, in case the marshmallow leaks during baking.

I prefer the silicone muffin pan. If any of your marshmallows manage to seep out (this happens), the muffin pan will hold all of the flavor together with your roll. As it cools, the leaked-marshmallow goo will stick to the resurrection roll, so you lose none of the yummy taste.

The muffin pan should be silicone because you do not want to clean that mess out of a muffin tin!

If you don’t have a silicone muffin pan, line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.

Repeat the above steps until all 8 resurrection rolls are assembled and placed in the silicone muffin pan.

gluten-free resurrection rolls (unbaked) with cinnamon toppings visible, in a blue silicone muffin pan

When my kids were little, I typically made the first resurrection roll as a demonstration, explaining the symbolism of each step. Then, my kids would make the remaining rolls.

Depending on your children’s ages, you may need to assist them with wrapping the marshmallow in the dough.

Place the resurrection rolls in the oven (represents the tomb) and close the door (represents the stone). Bake rolls for ~14 minutes or until they are a light golden brown.

My kids loved this part when they were younger. They often gathered toy swords and played the part of strong soldiers guarding the tomb. Sometimes, they would place additional barriers in front of the oven door to represent the heavy rock that sealed the tomb.

CJ placing pot lid in front of oven door
CJ placed a pot lid in front of the oven door. When the resurrection rolls were ready, he “rolled away the stone.”

Before you know it, your delicious treats are ready to come out of the oven.

gluten-free resurrection roll puffed up in blue silicone muffin pan
The resurrection rolls puff up beautifully while baking.

Cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm. Cut open roll to reveal the “empty tomb”.

Just a few more minutes and you can eat these delicious rolls. Let them rest for about five minutes. They are best eaten warm, so feel free to dig in as soon as the timer goes off.

The marshmallow melts while cooking, leaving the inside of the roll hollow.

a pile of gluten-free resurrection rolls, one cut open to reveal the "empty tomb" (hallow inside) coated with cinnamon sugar

Finish telling the Easter story by cutting open a roll to reveal the empty tomb. Jesus is risen!

gluten-free resurrection roll, cut open to reveal the "empty tomb" (hallow inside) coated with cinnamon sugar

Gluten-Free Resurrection Rolls Recipe (see notes for Dairy-Free)

Sweet, gluten-free rolls that tell the story of Jesus' resurrection.
5 from 7 votes
Rate this Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings 8 people

Equipment

  • parchment paper
  • Rolling Pin
  • pizza wheel cutter
  • silicone muffin pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package gluten-free pizza dough (14 oz) thawed (Wholly Gluten-Free Pizza Dough recommended)
  • dusting of gluten-free flour for rolling out dough
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 8 marshmallows
  • ¼ cup salted butter melted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400℉.
  • On lightly floured parchment paper, roll out the gluten-free pizza dough into roughly a 12-inch round. Using a pizza wheel cutter, cut the dough into 8 "pizza" slices and set aside.
  • Mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
  • Take one marshmallow. (represents Jesus' body) Dip it in the melted butter. Then, roll it in the cinnamon sugar mixture. (represents preparing Jesus' body for burial with oils and spices)
  • Place the cinnamon-sugar-coated marshmallow in the center of a pizza dough triangle. Pull the ends of the dough together like a pouch and pinch the dough firmly together to seal. (represents wrapping Jesus' body in linens)
  • Dip top of roll in melted butter, then in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place the roll in a silicone muffin pan (or parchment-lined baking sheet) in case the marshmallow leaks during baking.
  • Repeat steps 4-6 until all 8 resurrection rolls are assembled.
  • Place the resurrection rolls in the oven (represents the tomb) and close the door (represents the stone). Bake for ~14 minutes or until light golden brown.
  • Cool for 5 minutes. Serve. Cut open roll to reveal the "empty tomb". Jesus is risen!

Notes

These Resurrection Rolls tell the story of the resurrection of Jesus. Share the symbolism as you make them:
  • Marshmallow: the body of Jesus
  • Butter & cinnamon sugar: preparing Jesus’ body for burial with oils & spices
  • Wrapping the marshmallow in the dough: wrapping Jesus’ body in linens
  • Oven: the tomb
  • Oven door: the stone
  • Empty inside of the roll: the empty tomb, Jesus is risen!
 
Dairy-Free Option:
Keyword Easter
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

This fun Easter treat is a hands-on way to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ…. gluten-freely!

gluten-free resurrection roll, cut open to reveal the "empty tomb" (hallow inside) coated with cinnamon sugar

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