Empty Tomb Cinnamon Rolls (or Resurrection Rolls) taste exactly like a fluffy cinnamon roll made in just a fraction of the time! These are SO easy and perfect for getting the kids involved – and they make a great Easter object lesson!
Rejoice! Easter is here — it’s one of my favorite holidays. Yours too? Then you’ll love making all these delicious, Easter dessert recipes too: Easter Nest Almond Ring, Overnight Cinnamon Roll French Toast, and One Hour Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls.
Why This Recipe Works
The rolls really are empty — The marshmallows melt leaving an “empty tomb” inside the roll when you bite in/cut it in half. It’s so cool! My kids love these. They are educational as well as delicious. (See below section titled Easter Object Lesson for specific scripture references and ideas for using this recipe as an Easter object lesson!)
Easy — Don’t stress over having to work long hours to get the “trick” of having these empty tomb rolls work correctly. They’re almost impossible to mess up. The marshmallow does all the work for you, I promise.
Simple ingredients — These resurrection rolls require no fancy ingredients. I use refrigerated croissant rolls, marshmallows, butter, sugar, and some cream cheese for the frosting and that’s nearly all the ingredients right there. Amaze your family and provide an Easter object lesson for kids all in a delicious Easter breakfast recipe.
Delicious — Those same easy ingredients are also delicious! Plus, how can you go wrong with cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing? Fresh and warm right out of the oven is the best way to enjoy them but they are also just as good the next day, warmed up for a bit in the microwave.
Easter Object Lesson
This recipe makes for a great object lesson for teaching children about the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Suggested scripture references include the accounts of the apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as found in the King James version of the Bible. My suggested specific scripture references are listed below:
Suggested scripture references:
- Luke Chapter 23, Verse 46 (Christ dies)
- Luke Chapter 23 Verses 52-56 (Christ’s body is taken to the tomb and prepared with oils and spices)
- Luke Chapter 24 Verses 1-6 (Christ has risen and the tomb is empty)
Object Lesson Representations:
- Marshmallow: represents the body of Christ.
- Butter: represents the oils used to prepare His body before being sealed up in the tomb.
- Cinnamon and Sugar: represent the spices used to prepare His body before being sealed up in the tomb.
- Crescent Dough: represents the tomb in which the body of Christ was laid to rest.
- The hollow cinnamon roll center and missing marshmallow: represents the empty tomb after Christ was resurrected.
- Refrigerated croissant rolls — Purchase either two, 12-ounce packages or 8-ounce packages depending on the size of your muffin tin (see note, below)
- Marshmallows — The marshmallows have to be the big ones here. A bunch of little ones simply won’t work. These are the key in making the empty tomb rolls “empty.”
- Butter — Any good brand of butter works in this Easter breakfast recipe. I prefer to use unsalted when I bake.
- Sugar — What rolls are complete without sugar? Use your favorite brand.
- Cinnamon — Another key to cinnamon rolls is this delicious spice, which, when combined with sugar and butter, just cannot be beat for taste!
- Cream cheese — Integral to the icing is the softened cream cheese. It makes the icing so rich and creamy, you don’t want to skip this part.
- Powdered sugar — This kind of sugar makes the icing sweet and completely blends into the cream cheese for a smooth icing consistency.
- Vanilla extract — I use pure vanilla extract when baking but you can use imitation too.
- Milk — Milk helps thin the icing out to make it spreadable. Whatever milk you use will work just fine in this Easter dessert recipe.
Here’s How You Make It
- Turn your oven on to preheat at 375 degrees and then grease a large muffin tin (see note below in Expert Tips and Tricks section if you only have a regular size muffin tin). (photo 1)
- Melt the butter in a small bowl and, in a second bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon.
- Open the croissant package and unroll the croissant dough. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut through the perforated lines to separate the triangles of the dough. (photos 2-4)
- Now, one at a time, dip marshmallows into the melted butter, and then roll each marshmallow into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. (photos 5-6)
- Place each marshmallow on the wide end of a croissant dough triangle and roll the dough up to cover the marshmallow, making sure to pinch the sides tightly so that the marshmallow is completely covered with the dough and to keep it from leaking. (photo 7)
- Dip one half of the rolled croissant roll in the butter, then dip it into the cinnamon-sugar mixture so that the roll is only halfway covered in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place each roll in the greased muffin tin with the cinnamon-sugar half facing up. Repeat this process with the remaining marshmallows and croissant dough. (photos 8-10)
- Put the rolls ino to bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges (11 minutes tends to be perfect for me). While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the icing.
- To prepare the icing, cream together the softened butter and the softened cream cheese. Next, mix in the powdered sugar, the vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of milk. Add more milk, a little at a time, as needed, until the mixture is smooth and easily spreadable (you don’t want it too thin as it’ll melt a bit on the warm cinnamon rolls). (photo 11)
- Allow the cinnamon rolls to cool slightly (they will be filled with HOT gooey cinnamon mixture inside) before removing them from the tins and topping with a drizzle or dollop of icing. (photo 12_
- Gently pull apart to see the marshmallow has disappeared and reveal the empty tomb within!
Expert Tips and Tricks
- I use the 12-ounce packages of croissant rolls because I think they work best for covering the marshmallows completely and preventing leaking of the melted marshmallow, but the 8-ounce package also does work and can be baked in a regular-size muffin tin.
- Not everyone has large muffin tins. If that’s the case, and you only have regular-sized ones, then you’ll want to use 8-ounce packages of croissant dough.
- These empty tomb rolls will keep in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days.
If we’re talking Easter brunch, I have you covered. Some of my favorite dishes to serve with these resurrection rolls include:
- The all-in-one goodness that is Baked Croissant Breakfast Sandwiches
- A selection of juices.
- Hot chocolate for the kids (and adults, too).
- Sheet Pan Eggs Benedict for easy clean-up.
- Deviled eggs with a paprika topping.
- Scrambled eggs are always a hit at my house.
- Bacon for the breakfast crew.
- Glazed ham because what’s Easter without ham?
- Fruit salad to balance out all the carbs.
- And of course, dessert in the shape of carrot cake cookies.
More Easter Recipes
- Best Glazed Ham
- Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Quick and Easy No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls
- Easter Bunny Spinach Dip
Did you make this recipe? FANTASTIC. Please rate the recipe below and be sure to tag me on social when you share a photo – I love seeing what you’re up to in the kitchen!
Empty Tomb Cinnamon Rolls
- 2 12-ounce packages refrigerated croissant rolls - see note for 8-ounce package options
- 16 large marshmallows
- 6 tablespoons butter - melted
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter - softened
- 1 ounce cream cheese - softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-6 tablespoons milk - as needed
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a large muffin tin (see note for using regular size muffin tins with 8-ounce croissant packages).
- Place your melted butter in a small bowl. Stir together sugar and cinnamon in a second bowl.
- Open croissant package and unroll croissant dough. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut through perforated lines to separate the triangles of dough.
- Dip a marshmallow in the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place on the wide end of a croissant dough triangle and roll to cover the marshmallow. Be sure to pinch the sides tightly so that the marshmallow is completely covered with the dough and to prevent leaking.
- Dip one half of the rolled croissant roll in the butter, then the cinnamon-sugar mixture so that the roll is halfway covered in cinnamon-sugar. Place in greased muffin tin with the cinnamon-sugar half facing up. Repeat process with remaining marshmallows and croissant dough.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until golden around the edges (11 minutes tends to be perfect for me). While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the icing.
- To prepare the icing, cream together the softened butter and cream cheese. Mix in powdered sugar, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of milk. Add more milk as needed until mixture is smooth and easily spreadable (you don't want it too thin as it'll melt a bit on the warm cinnamon rolls).
- Allow cinnamon rolls to cool slightly (they will be filled with HOT gooey cinnamon mixture inside) before removing from moving tins and topping with a drizzle or dollop of icing. Gently pull apart to see the marshmallow has disappeared and reveal the empty tomb within!
Can you freeze the Resurrection Rolls?
I don’t recommend it. They are best eaten fresh. Once they cool down they become dry and deflate.
I had these they delicious