North Dakota Caramel Rolls

North Dakota Caramel Rolls

So I’ve always been a huge fan of cinnamon rolls, they were what I would always order whenever we went anywhere that made pastries. But since I’ve been living in North Dakota, I  realize that  you haven’t lived until you’ve had a caramel roll. I am not sure if caramel rolls are something unique to North Dakota or the Midwest in general. But I had never come across their fluffy and creamy goodness until I moved to North Dakota.

A caramel roll is sort of like a cinnamon roll, but no cinnamon and a totally different kind of glaze. It is way more saucy than a sticky bun. Remember when I said the North Dakota lazy cheese buttons were like little pieces of heaven? Yep, these rolls are right up there too. 

North Dakota Caramel Rolls-2

This is a post I have wanted to write for a long time… But it has taken a while to perfect the dough for these rolls. Everyone here has a different family recipe for caramel rolls. I decided to use a brioche style dough for the rolls, basically a sweet dough. And then the caramel topping is courtesy of my mother-in-law. Of course, the topping was spot on from the beginning! 

 Pro tip: DO NOT forget to put a baking sheet under the cake pans OR set them on a baking sheet to catch any caramel that bubbles over. Otherwise, you will find out just how much caramel likes to smoke at the bottom of your oven! 😉 You’re welcome! 

Caramel Rolls
Yields 12
sweet rolls with creamy caramel topping
Prep Time
3 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
3 hr
Cook Time
30 min
  1. Dough
  2. 3/4 cup warm water
  3. 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
  4. 1/2 tablespoon salt
  5. 4 eggs
  6. 1/4 cup honey
  7. 3/4 cup butter, melted
  8. 3 3/4 cup flour
  9. Filling
  10. 1 stick butter, melted
  11. Brown sugar
  12. Topping
  13. 1/2 pound brown sugar
  14. 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon flour
  15. 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  16. 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  17. 1 cup heavy cream
  18. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  19. pinch of salt
  1. Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter with the warm water in a large bowl. Mix in the flour, either by hand or with a large stand mixer, until well incorporated.
  2. Cover and allow to rest at room temperature for 2 hours, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Dough can be refrigerated for the next 5 days if needed.
  3. When ready to use, remove dough from fridge.
  4. Prepare topping. Mix all ingredients for caramel topping in a medium bowl. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with butter or spray oil. Divide caramel topping between the two cake pans. Set aside.
  5. Dust the surface of the dough with flour and divide into two even pieces. Roll out the dough to an 1/8 inch rectangle on a well floured surface.
  6. Spread melted butter and brown sugar evenly over the rolled out dough. Starting with the long side, roll the dough into a log and pinch the seam closed. Don't worry if the filling oozes out as your work.
  7. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 1 inch pieces and place into the pans over caramel topping. Be careful not to overcrowd, each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls. Allow the rolls to rest for one hour, loosely covered with plastic wrap or a large kitchen towel.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Place the cake pans on a baking sheet to catch any caramel that bubbles over. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until rolls are golden brown and centers are well set.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the outer edge of the pan to release the caramel rolls. Invert cake pans onto a serving dish or plate.
  11. Enjoy or store to enjoy later on.
Prairie Californian
Jenny Dewey Rohrich



  1. March 10, 2015 / 12:38 pm

    OMG those look amazing! Can I arrange to have some shipped to Nebraska 😉

    May have to try making these (I am not much of a baker).

  2. March 10, 2015 / 12:58 pm

    I am sad it took this long for you to enjoy a caramel roll & that other areas of the country might not have access to these beauties! My mom always made a version of these while we were growing up. She adds cinnamon to the filling and it goes wonderful with the caramel sauce. Give it a try sometime if you enjoy cinnamon. Thanks for sharing. They look wonderful!
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    • March 14, 2015 / 2:47 pm

      Oh, I quickly discovered the wonderful doughy goodness that is caramel rolls… It just took me this long to MAKE them! 😉 My husband isn’t a big cinnamon fan so the ones he ate growing up never included cinnamon, but I imagine it would add nicely to it!

  3. March 10, 2015 / 1:02 pm

    My best friend from high school showed me how to make her recipe and it is the one that I always use and it is so easy! She uses froze bread dough, which makes a great base and all you have to do is literally roll it out, sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar and smear it down with butter, roll it back up and slice it!

    It always amazes me how many variations there are for desserts and recipes!

    • March 14, 2015 / 2:47 pm

      My MIL uses frozen bread dough too! Such a clever idea!

  4. March 11, 2015 / 10:26 pm

    Looks great! I’ll try this out. I’ve baked so many caramel rolls over the past 5 years it’ll be good for a change in recipes. I thought it was funny… my first ever batch of caramel rolls (in 2010) was with brioche dough and there was 1 stick of butter per cup of flour. Yours is much more waistline friendly… If that is possible!

    • March 14, 2015 / 2:49 pm

      HA! Yum! Sounds good! If in doubt, always add more butter right? <3