Every Easter our family makes these sweet empty tomb rolls (aka resurrection rolls) where the marshmallow melts down to a caramel sauce inside the roll. This is one of our all-time favorite Easter recipes!

We usually start our Easter with these sweet rolls for breakfast. They can also be eaten as an appetizer, side dish or dessert. They go great with a honey baked ham and potato casserole. No matter when you eat them, they will make a great addition to your Easter celebration.

cinnamon sugar resurrection roll split in half so you can see the empty inside

What are Resurrection Rolls?

These rolls can be called empty tomb rolls or resurrection rolls, heck you can even call them disappearing marshmallow rolls if you prefer. Either way, they are a soft, homemade roll that has a cinnamon sugar, butter-dipped marshmallow inside. The dough is formed around the marshmallow and dipped in more butter and cinnamon sugar then baked. As the dough bakes, the marshmallow melts into a sweet caramel-like sauce inside the dough. When you open the resurrection rolls the marshmallow is gone but the dough is sweet and sticky.

The empty tomb rolls are meant to symbolize the burial and resurrection of Christ. It is a tender object lesson to teach kiddos what we celebrate on Easter. The marshmallow represents Jesus’ body and the roll dough represents the tomb.

If you aren’t religious it doesn’t really matter because you still get to eat a yummy roll! They are easy and so tasty!

a photo of a round pan full of six baked resurrection rolls covered with cinnamon and sugar

Our Story of Faith While Preparing for Another Baby

Heads up, I’m about to get personal so feel free to keep scrolling if you just want the recipe.

We had a special little conversation while making these resurrection rolls. You see, I’ve been incredibly ill with Hyperemesis Gravidarum with all three of my pregnancies. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve endured in my 30 some odd years of life, but it’s obviously been incredibly rewarding too.

Our oldest daughter witnessed so much this last pregnancy that she was able to grasp what was happening a little more than before. She asked me yesterday why I had been willing to be pregnant a third time knowing that it would be so horrible and I jumped at the opportunity to tell her.

Someone was Missing

Have you ever felt this stirring inside of you and you know you are meant to do something? Or had that odd feeling that someone is missing? It may be that you felt this great pull and desire to start your own business, be a teacher, have children, or anything else you can dream up, and all you can say is that you just knew you were meant to do it? We — I especially — have had both feelings each time we’ve had a baby. Every. Single. Time.

PREGNANCY

It took us five years to put on our brave pants and try for another baby. We had felt strongly that there was another who was meant to be in our family, but we thought it would probably be through adoption or foster care. We continuously prayed and sought medical advice in the meantime but just never felt the time was right, which to be honest, after a few years had created quite the hole in our hearts as we yearned to have a third but were afraid of the dangers it carried with it.

At one point, we knew it was time. We just felt it and there is literally no other way to explain it. It would take great sacrifice so this was not a selfish desire, instead it was a humbling experience to have the opportunity to consider another baby.

The Faith to Sustain Us

To say that we were nervous, scared, and everything else you could think of about getting pregnant and going through Hyperemesis again is an understatement. One night we decided that no matter what, we didn’t want to ever look back with regret that we didn’t listen to what we were feeling so we knelt in prayer and asked that we be given the faith needed to move forward, leave our adoption papers as is, and proceed with a pregnancy of our own if it was the right choice. It took all the faith that I had to say those words out loud.

As the words rushed out of my mouth I felt a great desire to just sit and listen and as we did just that our hearts were filled with the most amazing peace I’ve ever felt. Cade and I both looked at each other and just cried. One of those cries that says everything your lips cannot utter. Faith welled up in us both and I know this all sounds like some big amazing story but I knew without a shadow of doubt that we were meant to have one more, that I would be cared for and survive as would the baby and that our faith would in fact sustain us.

Prince of Peace

That’s what I told her, that we had faith in the answer we’d been given. We prepared with a wonderful doctor and nurses for everything we could so that my body was ready to be so sick. We went every week while I was pregnant, which was an enormous sacrifice for someone who couldn’t make it more than a few hours without throwing up. And in the end, we had a healthy little boy who I wish you all could know. He’s a gift and he is our missing puzzle piece. You can read our whole store here.

The Prince of Peace is a new Easter initiative that we’ve felt so inspired about so thank you for letting us share our experience of using faith in our lives. I don’t know why I needed to share this, and I hope you all know that we completely respect differences of opinions and beliefs, but this is in fact our story and as Easter approaches and the new Prince of Peace initiative takes place I had to tell my story of how faith was given, and my faith increased all because of Him. If you feel up for it, we would love to hear your stories as well.

Now, let’s get back to those resurrection rolls.

empty tomb rolls on white plate

Resurrection Rolls Ingredients

To make this easy resurrection roll recipe, all you’ll need is:

  • Rhodes Rolls: you could also use crescent dough or make your own dough
  • Marshmallows: you’ll want the large size
  • Granulated Sugar: adds sweetness
  • Cinnamon: adds flavor and warmth
  • Melted Butter: used to coat the marshmallows and rolls helping to make the caramel and help the cinnamon sugar to stick to the outside

The measurements for each ingredient can be found at the end of the post in the recipe card.

plate of cinnamon sugar resurrection rolls

How to Make Resurrection Rolls

Start out with your favorite homemade roll dough, crescent rolls, Rhodes frozen rolls, whatever you like. Yes, I shortcut these all the time. In fact, I like to get the dough in balls into the fridge the day before so they can defrost if frozen.

Press each dough ball into a flat circle. Then, dip your marshmallow in melted butter and then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place it in the middle of the dough circle and seal it up around the marshmallow and roll it in more butter and cinnamon sugar and place it in a greased baking dish, baking sheet or muffin tin. Bake until golden brown.

Let the empty tomb rolls rest for 15 minutes and then bake at 350ºF. When you open the rolls the marshmallow will have melted down into a caramel like sauce that you can barely see.

You can now talk to the kiddos about the resurrection and how Christ’s body wasn’t there, but that just like how the rolls have become sweet so is His death sweet because all of us can live again because He is Risen. In fact, I like to just barely under bake them so a little marshmallow is remaining and talk about the white burial clothing that remained in the tomb. Plus, extra marshmallow is AWESOME!

Watch How these Resurrection Rolls are Made

How to Explain Resurrection Rolls

These empty tomb rolls (or resurrection rolls) are meant to made along with the Easter story in the Bible. Specifically, Christ’s body being wrapped in the white clothing, the butter represents the oils they anointed him with as well as the cinnamon sugar for the spices and herbs, then he is placed in the tomb, and finally resurrected on the third day.

“He is not here: for he is risen…” (Matthew 28:6). When you tell the story, make sure you get to the part where he is not found in the tomb and open up your rolls at the same time. Kids and adults love it!

empty tomb roll cut in half on plate

Can I Prep Resurrections Roll in Advance?

Yes, you can prep the rolls the night before, pop them into the refrigerator, and then bake them off the next day. Just be sure to let them come to room temperature before baking them (set them on the counter for 30ish minutes, then bake).

empty tomb roll with marshmallow filling

Tips for Making Empty Tomb Rolls

  • If making the dough from scratch, you’ll want to section it off into golf ball-sized pieces to make the resurrection rolls. That’s roughly how large the Rhodes rolls are, so I’m thinking that should work when making empty tomb rolls from scratch!
  • Also make sure to use large marshmallows. Mini marshmallows won’t work and the giant sized marshmallows will puff up too much (even if you cut them down to a normal size).
  • Have everything out and ready to go before you start assembling them, especially if you have little ones are helping you. Oh, and prepare for a mess…rolling the marshmallows and rolls in melted butter and cinnamon sugar is so fun for the kiddos but it ends up everywhere! All part of the fun (deep breathing for me)!
  • Make sure you seal the dough around the marshmallow well. You don’t want the gooey marshmallow to leak out too much.
  • I prefer to bake these in a muffin tin. If the marshmallow does leak out a little bit, the muffin tin helps contain it and it actually makes the bottom of the roll so gooey and delicious!
  • Note that these resurrection rolls are best fresh from the oven, but leftovers are tasty too! They tend to deflate a little as they cool.
  • This makes a great Easter gift for neighbors and friends. Give a bag of marshmallows, some Rhodes rolls, a container of cinnamon sugar, and a stick of butter with a little explanation of the meaning of the resurrection rolls.
a photo of a round cake pan full of baked resurrection rolls coated with cinnamon and sugar.

This Easter recipe has been become an annual tradition for us and one that my children love. It’s so sweet (pun intended!) to see my little guy’s eyes light up when that marshmallow is gone and the tomb is empty! I love having those teaching moments in the kitchen and these resurrection rolls are both delicious and celebratory! The tomb was empty!

More of our FAVORITE EASTER RECIPES:

Empty Tomb Rolls

4.36 from 68 votes
Servings: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Description

Every Easter our family makes these sweet empty tomb rolls (aka resurrection rolls) where the marshmallow melts down to a caramel sauce inside the roll. This is one of our all-time favorite Easter recipes!

Ingredients 

  • 12 Rhodes Rolls, (or homemade dough or crescent roll dough)
  • 12 Marshmallows, (normal sized)
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Melted Butter

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish or a muffin tin.
  • Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
    1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar, 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Press the dough out into a circle. Roll a marshmallow in the butter and then the cinnamon sugar and place on the dough.
    12 Rhodes Rolls, 12 Marshmallows, 1/4 Cup Melted Butter
  • Pinch the circle closed around the marshmallow and roll the dough in the butter and cinnamon sugar.
  • Place in the baking dish.
  • Repeat until you’ve used all the dough.
  • Let rest 15 minutes and then bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

Store covered at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1rollCalories: 191kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 4gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 261mgPotassium: 54mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 120IUVitamin C: 0.02mgCalcium: 84mgIron: 2mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: Over 100 Easter Recipes for Spring, Yeast Bread Recipes and Quick Bread Recipes
Cuisine: American

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cinnamon sugar resurrection roll split in half