Cranberry-Walnut Rolls

These are phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal. I was cleaning out my stack of Bon Appetit magazines from last year and came across this recipe. I have no idea how I missed it the first time around. As soon as I saw the combination of cranberries and walnuts in large-sized dinner rolls, I made it my business to make them immediately. And they were absolutely everything that I imagined they would be. The rolls are soft, have an incredibly light and tender interior, and are packed with dried cranberries and toasted walnuts. Totally festive for the holidays, or really any time of year.

This dough comes together really easily and was great to work with. It rose nicely, held the roll shape beautifully and puffed up and browned like  a dream in the oven. The recipe calls for sprinkling the rolls with some raw sugar (also called turbinado or demerara), but I didn’t have any so I just skipped it. My sister ate one of these with apple butter and raved; I personally think they would be fabulous served with an orange-infused butter. These are perfect for a holiday table (they are huge, so figuring one per person is plenty) or even for a breakfast treat.

One year ago: Cheddar and Chiles Bread

Cranberry and Walnut Rolls

Yield: 12 rolls

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes (active), 3½ hours (inactive)

Total Time: 35 minutes


1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3½ cups (or more) bread flour
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1½ teaspoons quick-rising dry yeast
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ cups whole milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus additional for coating bowl
1 large egg
1 cup dried cranberries
Nonstick cooking spray
1 large egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)
Raw (turbinado or demerara) sugar


1. Stir the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until toasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Mix 3½ cups bread flour with the brown sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Warm the milk in a small saucepan over low heat until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the milk registers 95 degrees F. Add the oil; remove from the heat. Add the milk mixture and 1 egg to the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until a wet coarse ball forms, about 1 minute. Add the nuts and the cranberries. Replace the paddle attachment on the mixer with a dough hook. Mix dough on low speed until smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky, adding more flour by the tablespoonfuls as needed, about 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes.

3. Lightly oil a large bowl. Shape the dough into a ball; place in the prepared bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until almost doubled in volume, 1¾ to 2 hours.

4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to an unfloured surfaced; divide into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a smooth round ball. Transfer the rolls to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them apart. Spray the rolls with nonstick spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let rise at room temperature until 1½ times original size, about 1½ hours. Brush rolls with egg glaze; sprinkle with raw sugar. Let rise 15 minutes longer.

5. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.

6. Place rolls in oven; reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees F and bake 7 minutes. Rotate baking sheet; continue to bake rolls until golden and slightly firm to the touch, about 8 minutes longer. Cool completely on a cooling rack.

*Note: You can wrap these in foil and place in an airtight bag and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Thaw the rolls at room temperature. If desired, you can rewarm the rolls wrapped in foil in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes.

(Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2009)


81 Responses to “Cranberry-Walnut Rolls”

  1. the blissful baker on November 23, 2010 at 1:05 am

    these rolls look delicious! i love that this bread has walnuts and cranberries in it; it’s so much more interesting than plain dinner rolls.


  2. Cherine on November 23, 2010 at 3:36 am

    Those rolls are so beautiful and delicious!


  3. Estela @ Weekly Bite on November 23, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Oh my!! Fresh bread is my favorite! these look amazing!


  4. jenna laughs on November 23, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Oh my goodness. That first picture did me in. I need these in my life.


  5. briarrose on November 23, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Yummy! A roll with a little bite to it.


  6. Amy on November 23, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I’ve just been invited to my first ever Thanksgiving-with-the-Boyfriend-and-family, and I’ve been fretting over what to bring, especially because his sister and I bond over cooking and baking, and I kind of want to impress everyone. This recipe looks perfect!


  7. Laura Roth on November 23, 2010 at 9:30 am

    you’ve got me sold—rethinking the roll choice for Turkey Day now 🙂


  8. linda d on November 23, 2010 at 10:05 am

    These look absolutely fabulous! I have to make my potato rolls for the big day-they are the most requested holiday recipe from my family. But I will be making these today; I can taste that next day turkey sandwich on these! Maybe a little thyme in the dough?


  9. Lisa on November 23, 2010 at 10:07 am

    I would have never thought to put cranberries and walnuts in a roll. Looks delicious!


  10. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on November 23, 2010 at 10:35 am

    These look wonderful! Adding cranberries and walnuts is always a good thing, if you ask me!


  11. Irina@PastryPal on November 23, 2010 at 10:37 am

    These look really incredible. The added fruit and nuts really elevate these into something special. I’d be happy with a little butter on them.


  12. RavieNomNoms on November 23, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Oh just lovely! I bet they are sensational!


  13. amanda @ fake ginger on November 23, 2010 at 10:52 am

    YUM! I think I might be changing my T-giving bread plans!


  14. Green Girl @ A little bit of everything on November 23, 2010 at 11:03 am

    My favorite tea-cakes have cranberries in the dough, seeing your rolls I know these will be a hit in my family too. So fluffy and full of goodies, yummy.Thanks for sharing
    an award is waiting for you on my blog


  15. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen on November 23, 2010 at 11:13 am

    These rolls sound amazing. They would totally work in with my thanksgiving menu!


  16. megan @ whatmegansmaking on November 23, 2010 at 11:13 am

    beautiful! I want to make them! 🙂


  17. Lori @ RecipeGirl on November 23, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I’d love to try these sometime- they look delicious!


  18. Maria on November 23, 2010 at 11:17 am

    These look SO SO SO good! Please email me one right now to enjoy:)


  19. Tina from PA on November 23, 2010 at 11:31 am

    OMG! I’m so making these NOW! They look and sound incredible,I agree on the orange butter! I was also thinking about………a leftover sandwich turkey on these,oh I have to stop ! Thanks for sharing another winner ,you haven’t failed me yet!


  20. Shelly on November 23, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I think I’m going to try pecans instead of walnuts. That’s all I have and I did my grocery trip last night. I also like the flavor of pecans more than walnuts. I love the idea of the orange-infused butter…yum!


  21. Rachel on November 23, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    A rave review from someone who bakes more than most means these must be REALLY good! Cranberries and walnuts can’t be anything but good in bread. These really scream holiday festivities to me and I love the orange infused butter idea. Maybe just a dollop of marmalade over butter would be good.


  22. Made With Pink on November 23, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    These look delicious! And look at those shiny golden tops! I’m alergic to Walnuts, so will try making these with pecans. Thanks for the recipe!


  23. Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes on November 23, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    gorgeous! can not wait to give these a try. Yeast baking is my most favorite thing!
    cathy b. @ brightbakes


  24. Dee on November 23, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    I made these last year and they were so good I had to make them again the weekend after Thanksgiving!


  25. Sneh Roy on November 23, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    ooooh, sticky and fresh! I love the cranberry bits sticking out everywhere!


  26. leslie on November 23, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    These look amazing. I cant bear to throw away any food related magazines! 🙁


  27. AmyRuth on November 23, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    I just can’t imagine these being anything but wonderful. Heaven, actually. Thanks for making and sharing these. I think I’m gonna make ’em.


  28. Jenny on November 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Wow…just wow. You’re making me hungry!


  29. Sandra on November 23, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Great idea for a dinner roll.


  30. Imwaytoobusy on November 23, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    The cranberries in your rolls look unreal! What fantastic photos!


  31. Lori T. on November 23, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    I have been buying this kind of dinner roll from an artisan baker at my local farmers market for a while now. I love them stuffed with my favorite Cranberry, Pecan and Rosemary Chicken Salad
    Now I can make my own, and I’m sure it will cost a lot less than what I’ve been paying!


    • Michelle on November 24th, 2010 at 8:20 am

      Oh gosh, love the idea of that chicken salad on these rolls! Fabulous!


  32. Yesim on November 24, 2010 at 7:11 am

    looks awesome..


  33. Marla {family fresh cooking} on November 24, 2010 at 9:17 am

    These rolls do look amazing! I just added them to my Thanksgiving Round-Up. Please add more links at the bottom of the post if you wish. Your recipes are FAB!!

    Happy Thanskgiving 🙂


  34. Marla {family fresh cooking} on November 24, 2010 at 9:17 am

    That would be:
    Happy Thanksgiving 🙂


  35. Sues on November 24, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    These look perfect! And they might just have to be my next task in bread 🙂


  36. Patty on November 24, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Woah. Those look tasty. Nice buns Michelle! 😉
    Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!
    xo Patty


  37. Tracy on November 24, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    These are so festive and they look delicious! Hope you have wonderful Thanksgiving! 🙂


  38. Liz @ Blog is the New Black on November 24, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    I love this idea for a combination of flavors!


  39. Jenny Nguyen on November 25, 2010 at 3:55 am

    yum they look amazing and fluffy 🙂


  40. Quay Po Cooks on November 25, 2010 at 5:25 am

    Give me these rolls for breakfast, lunch and dinner! They can be my main meals:D


  41. Katrina on November 25, 2010 at 8:05 am

    These rolls look lovely. Great recipe!


  42. Aunt Vicki on November 25, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I hope these are on the Thanksgiving table today, Michelle!


  43. Cookin' Canuck on November 25, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Those look so light and airy, and what a beautiful crust!


  44. Marty on November 26, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    They look delicious! Can’t wait to make them. I think they would make a nice gift to give to the neighbors. Thanks for another wonderful recipe.


  45. Janie on November 28, 2010 at 11:27 am

    These look great…

    I absolutely hate to say it but….this is why I can’t throw certain magazines out! Our tastes change, maybe we were “off” the day we saw the magazine, and when you look back over them, something jumps out and you think to yourself..”How did I miss this?”..

    Silvia carter did an article for Newsday ( LI NY) a couple of weeks ago, about going through her boxes of clipped recipes and saved magazines…oh how we have SO much in common! I am SO glad I never threw any of the Gourmet Magazines I haven gotten (mostly one and off) out…


  46. Shannon on November 29, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    I had a batch just come out of the oven, and they are SUPERB!!
    Highly recommend this recipe to everyone. Hopefully they stay as soft and yummy overnight!


  47. Cheryl on December 2, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Made these for Thanksgiving…and they came out GREAT!! It was the first time I’ve ever made any kind of yeast bread or roll:) The dough was verrrry sticky and I mixed it by hand! I just ate one I found hidden in the fridge and warmed it up to have with a bowl of apple squash soup..YUMMMMM they held up great and absorbed all the soup but still could taste the bread, walnuts and cranberries! Thank you for inspiring me to make these:)


  48. Walnut Lovers on December 2, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Your recipes always look so delicious. Thanks for sharing with us. Can’t wait to try these, although still not sure when I will have time.


  49. Melody Fury on December 2, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    What a stunning holiday recipe! Would you like to submit it to my contest to win a cookbook? Just wanting to share the holiday cheer (and exposure to your blog) Would love for you to win 🙂


  50. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef on December 6, 2010 at 9:54 am

    just emailed these to my mom as a suggestion for christmas dinner. yum!


  51. Jen @ How To: Simplify on December 11, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    This looks like a delicious recipe for rolls. I love the flavors, especially the addition of cranberries!


  52. sue griffore on November 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Can these be made without a stand mixer? Any suggestions? thanks


    • Michelle on November 2nd, 2011 at 10:11 am

      Yes, definitely. Just mix in a large bowl and then knead by hand.


  53. sue griffore on November 20, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I would like to have these for dinner on Thursday. Can they be made Wednesday and what is the best way to keep them the freshest? Any suggestions? thanks


    • Michelle on November 22nd, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      Yes, you can definitely make them on Wednesday. I would let them cool, and can wrap them individually in plastic wrap and keep them in airtight bags. Then you could always reheat them briefly in the oven before eating on Thursday.


  54. Cheryl on November 23, 2011 at 6:02 am

    These look delish!! There’s a bakery here in town that makes awesome (seasonal) cranberry orange rolls. I wonder if adding some orange zest to the dough would replicate that flavor? Hmmm – worth a try. 🙂


  55. Amy on November 21, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    How do you make these the night before without baking them that night? Would I make the dough and after step 3 or step 4 put in the fridge? Or freeze? Thank you!


    • Michelle on November 22nd, 2012 at 8:41 am

      Hi Amy, In step 4, after you shape the rolls, cover and allow to rise again. You can cover with plastic wrap then put in the fridge overnight. Let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes in the morning, then proceed.


  56. Donna on December 3, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    I have only just found you site! My new favorite!!!!!!


  57. Jay on February 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    There is a terrific bakery in Rye, NY – Patisserie Salzburg – that makes a cranberry/raisin/nut roll that we buy whenever we are passing through, they are THAT good. This recipe, with a few tweaks, almost perfectly duplicates the PS rolls. We used 1-1/2 cups of berries (equal parts cranberries and raisins), and 1-1/2 cups of chopped nuts (equal parts pecans and walnuts). We also added a dash of cinnamon.


  58. Silvia on September 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    At this moment I only have all purpose flour and some white whole wheat flour. Do I need to buy bread flour for this recipe? I would love to try those rolls, they look amazing!


    • Michelle on September 7th, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      Hi Silvia, Bread flour will give you the best results. If you use all-purpose flour, you may not wind up with the correct texture.


  59. Silvia on September 13, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Thank you Michelle for your answer!


  60. Deb on November 21, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Is it necessary to use whole milk ?


    • Michelle on November 21st, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      Hi Deb, Whole milk has more fat, so using a lower fat milk could affect the texture of the final product. I do recumbent whole, but if you must use a 1% or 2% (I strongly discourage skim), know that the texture could be different.


  61. susan krisch on November 22, 2013 at 10:01 am

    anyone tried this without nuts- allergic crowd here


  62. Adele on January 9, 2014 at 9:14 am

    This looks amazing 🙂 My mum loves cranberry walnut rolls and I’m hoping to bake it for her on her birthday. However, I’m a real amateur when it comes to baking 🙁 I was wondering, can I use instant yeast instead of quick rising dry yeast? What’s the difference? (Also, is quick rising dry yeast = rapid rising yeast?) Thank you Michelle xx


    • Michelle on January 9th, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      Hi Adele, Actually instant yeast is the same thing as quick rising, rapid rising, bread machine yeast. I know it’s confusing because different brands call it different things!


  63. Barb Szabo on January 13, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Made these tonight but with pecans and I am enjoying one now warm out of the oven with butter. Superb recipe!!!!!!!


  64. Cynthia on February 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I just ran across this recipe. These rolls remind me of ones that Trader Joe’s sold at the holidays this past year, but instead of walnuts, they used dark chocolate chunks and shaped them into rectangles. Fabulous. Hmmmmm….must try…


  65. Heidelind on November 23, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    I made a batch of these this morning, to have something to nibble on throughout the day. I love the cruch that walnuts give, and anything with cranberries is awesome:)


  66. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup on November 26, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    I’m so glad you made it your business to make these and then share the recipe with us. Now I’m going to make it my business to make these for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Thanks so much, in advance.


  67. Danielle on December 14, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    In the oven now! I cant wait to tear into them with dinner!!!


  68. Yumi on June 21, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    I made them couple times and love them! But mine comes out very dense… too heavy. How can i modify to make lighter & fluffier? Use half portion of flour with all-purpose flour? Any baking powder or soda? Any suggestions, please?


    • Yumi on June 21st, 2015 at 6:05 pm

      By the way, i’m very beginner in bread making, also i don’t own standing mixer…
      Last time i made, i also mixed in matcha (pure green tea) powder a bit, which came out nicely, except still dense…
      I’ve read in other sites saying i need to knead more & rise more/longer. FYI: My house sits just above 2,000.


      • Michelle on June 23rd, 2015 at 9:16 pm

        Hi Yumi, I have not tried playing around with the texture of these rolls. You definitely want to knead until you have reached the correct consistency for the dough, and you need to let it rise until 1.5 or double size, regardless of the time – it could potentially take a longer or shorter amount of time in your kitchen based on the temperature and humidity.


        • Yumi on July 1st, 2015 at 2:34 pm

          Thank you, Michelle for your response. I tried to knead longer and let it rise double size. But it was still bit denser than I would liked… 🙁 Maybe the temp & humidity, which higher temp (although we keep our a/c setting 75ish, but humidity is usually 15 – 17%. might be causing…


  69. Terry on November 4, 2015 at 7:46 am

    I have made these and served them with honey butter. Everyone loves them, they are perfect for Thanksgiving morning.


  70. Randy on November 24, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Found these rolls on pinterest and they look delicious. Made them last night and confirmed that they are delicious. Thank you for the recipe!!


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