Empty Tomb Rolls + Video
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Empty Tomb Rolls (aka Resurrection Rolls or Hocus Pocus Buns) are delicious cinnamon-sugar sticky buns with a melting marshmallow inside. A family-friendly recipe that teaches the story of Easter. So easy to make with Rhodes rolls.
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These magic disappearing marshmallow rolls (aka Hocus Pocus Buns) were something I was first introduced to in a home economics class in high school. They’re so easy to make and super delicious.
It wasn’t until a little later in life that I learned that these rolls were a symbolic recipe for Easter and the resurrection of Christ.
Symbolism of Empty Tomb Rolls
These four separate accounts are virtually the same, and are recounted by four of the disciples of Christ.
Reading the story before making these resurrection rolls is a nice way to ponder what Christ did. It also helps bring home the meaning of the object lesson when making the rolls.
The ingredients of these empty tomb rolls symbolize these elements of Christ’s resurrection:
- Large Marshmallow – body of Jesus
- Melted Butter – oils of embalming
- Cinnamon-Sugar — spices used to anoint Christ’s body
- Yeast Dough (I use Rhodes Rolls) – the wrapping of Jesus’ body and his body being placed in the tomb
- Empty Roll (after being baked) – the empty tomb or the empty cloths (Christ is resurrected!)
Empty Tomb Rolls (aka Resurrection Rolls)
These rolls have a lot of names: they can be called empty tomb rolls, resurrection rolls, or (magic) disappearing marshmallow rolls.
Either way, they are a soft, homemade roll that has a buttery cinnamon-sugar dipped marshmallow inside.
The dough is formed around the marshmallow and dipped in more butter and cinnamon sugar, and then baked.
As the dough bakes, the marshmallow melts inside the dough. When you open the resurrection rolls the marshmallow is gone but the dough is sweet and sticky.
These empty tomb rolls are an indulgent breakfast or dessert. They are similar to sticky buns, and so easy to make with Rhodes (real yeast) dinner rolls.
I like to thaw my Rhodes rolls in the refrigerator overnight to make these rolls for breakfast, or you can thaw them on the counter during the day to make them for dessert.
I actually think we used canned biscuits to make these in high school, but nothing beats real, yeast bread. So soft, fluffy, and delicious. My kids love to help make these resurrection rolls. It’s a sweet, meaningful family tradition.
- 12 Rhodes Rolls, thawed*
- 12 large marshmallows
- 4 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- *THAW Rhodes rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet covered with sprayed plastic wrap for 1-2 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator. Just long enough for the rolls to thaw and be pliable, but not completely risen.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12-cup muffin/cupcake pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a bowl in the microwave. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl.
- Use a rolling pin to flatten a thawed roll into a circle.
- Roll a large marshmallow in melted butter, then cinnamon sugar, and place it in the center of the flattened dough.
- Lift the edges of the dough around the marshmallow and pinch the seams together well. Dip the top of the roll in the melted butter and then the cinnamon sugar. Place the roll seam-side down into the prepared muffin/cupcake pan.
- Repeat with each dinner roll. Let rolls rest for 15 minutes.
- Bake rolls at 350˚F for 15 minutes or until golden. Immediately invert rolls onto a platter. Eat while warm. (TIP: Soak pan ASAP for easy cleaning, especially if marshmallow oozed out.)
- Store leftovers in an airtight container up to 3 days. Must nuke leftovers in microwave 10-15 seconds to soften before eating.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 roll
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 175Total Fat: 6gCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 2g