Celebrate the true meaning of Easter by making these Homemade Resurrection Rolls from scratch! They really look like empty tombs and taste delicious!

Easter is my favorite holiday. I love everything about it. Getting dressed up, going to church, and celebrating the most significant event in human history…the death and resurrection of Jesus!

If you didn’t know, my husband is a pastor. Just over 3 years ago we moved from Chicago to Salt Lake City to plant a church. It has been a challenging yet beautiful adventure for our family. If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, then you know that our faith is a huge part of our lives. It informs all of our decisions…including the way we celebrate Easter {i.e. no egg-laying bunnies come to our house, LOL}!

One of the ways we celebrate is by making resurrection rolls. Sometimes I take the easy route and make this “recipe,” but when we have time I love making them from scratch because I think they look SO much more like actual tombs, and they don’t have any artificial ingredients!

So, this post is going to be a touch different than my usual recipes…because I’m going to walk you through the process of how we make these Homemade Resurrection Rolls with our kids, and the way we use each step as a teaching moment about the true meaning of Easter!

Celebrate the true meaning of Easter by making these Homemade Resurrection Rolls from scratch! They really look like empty tombs and taste delicious!

Step 1: making the dough and prepping the ingredients.

This job currently falls mostly to mommy {minus some help kneading and mixing of course} because my kids are so little. But I bet by next year Bethany will be able to help with much more of the process!

Each ingredient in these Homemade Resurrection Rolls represents an important part of the resurrection story. The marshmallow represents Jesus’s body. We discuss how Jesus died {Matthew 27:45-57} and why {John 3:16-17}.

Celebrate the true meaning of Easter by making these Homemade Resurrection Rolls from scratch! They really look like empty tombs and taste delicious!

Step two: Jesus’s Body Prepared for Burial

Next, we explain that Jesus’ body was prepared for burial according to the Jewish customs of the time.  The butter and cinnamon sugar mixture represent the oils and spices used to do this.  The kids dip their marshmallows in butter and then roll them in cinnamon sugar. This is probably their favorite part {besides eating them} because they get messy! 🙂  {John 19:38-42}.

Celebrate the true meaning of Easter by making these Homemade Resurrection Rolls from scratch! They really look like empty tombs and taste delicious!

Then we discuss why Jesus needed to die. We explain that we’re all sinners {Romans 3:23} and that the wages of sin is death {Romans 6:23}. In order for our sins to be forgiven a perfect sacrifice had to be made, and that was only possible in the death of Jesus. {2 Corinthians 5:21}.

Celebrate the true meaning of Easter by making these Homemade Resurrection Rolls from scratch! They really look like empty tombs and taste delicious!

Step 3: Sealing the Tomb

Next we explain that the rolls {dough} represent the tomb. The kids put the marshmallow on the dough and then roll it up very tight. NOTE:  You want to make sure there are no cracks or holes in your rolls, otherwise the marshmallow will ooze out. So I let the kids have some fun rolling and then double check to be sure they’re good to go! 😉

We use this opportunity to teach them that the tomb was heavily guarded and secure {Matthew 27:62-66}. The Romans put an enormous rock in front of the entrance to the tomb and assigned armed guards to keep watch outside. We emphasize how it would be impossible for a mere man to get in or out of the tomb.

Celebrate the true meaning of Easter by making these Homemade Resurrection Rolls from scratch! They really look like empty tombs and taste delicious!

Step 4: Bake! 

We put the Homemade Resurrection Rolls in the oven and explain that Jesus was in the tomb for 3 days {Matthew 12:40}. I turn on the lights in the oven and let the kids watch them bake.

While the rolls are baking we explain that God loved us so much that He sent His one and only son, Jesus, to come to earth and enter into our messy sinful lives. But He didn’t sin, He lived perfectly {John 3:16}.  We tell them that Jesus trades places with us. He was innocent and didn’t deserve any punishment, but He took our punishment of death. We explain that we are guilty and should be the ones who are “in the oven,” but Jesus took our place.

It’s fun to use a real life example with the kids here….If Bethany took a toy from Naomi and was supposed to get a time out, but Gabe said he would go to time out instead of her. Gabe took Bethany’s punishment, even though he did nothing wrong…in the same way that Jesus didn’t do anything wrong but took our punishment!

Celebrate the true meaning of Easter by making these Homemade Resurrection Rolls from scratch! They really look like empty tombs and taste delicious!

Step 6: He is risen! {Eat}

When we remove the rolls from the oven we discuss the resurrection! {Matthew 28:1-20}! The kids open the Homemade Resurrection Rolls to see that the marshmallow is GONE….just like Jesus’s body was no longer in the tomb when the women came to see him on Sunday. We discuss the importance of the resurrection in our lives and that salvation comes by grace alone through faith alone {Ephesians 2:8-9}!

Then we explain that this whole story is called The Gospel, or “good news” and ask them to explain to us how Jesus’s death and resurrection is good news for them!

Celebrate the true meaning of Easter by making these Homemade Resurrection Rolls from scratch! They really look like empty tombs and taste delicious!

Making these Homemade Resurrection Rolls is really a fun and delicious way to celebrate the true meaning of Easter with your family! We do this little activity after we’ve already spent two weeks in homeschool learning about Easter. One of my favorite tools to teach the kids are these Resurrection Eggs! For whatever reason they adore them and ask me to tell the Easter story using the eggs multiple times every day!

On Easter we hide larger versions of the items found in the resurrection eggs around the house and have the kids find them. Then we ask them to put the items in order and they take turns explaining the significance of each item to Easter!

Homemade Resurrection Rolls: Substitutions 

Now on to the actual recipe! These rolls are a special treat. I recommend making them exactly as written, and the only potential substitution I can suggest {and have tried} is substituting 1/2 of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour!

Celebrate the true meaning of Easter by making these Homemade Resurrection Rolls from scratch! They really look like empty tombs and taste delicious!

Homemade Resurrection Rolls

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 8 resurrection rolls

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Add milk, 1 TBS sugar and yeast to the pan of your standing mixer fitted with the dough hook and stir to combine. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes or until frothy/foamy.
  2. Add butter, 3 TBS sugar, egg, and vanilla and mix on low speed to combine.
  3. Add salt, cinnamon and flour and mix on medium-high speed until a slightly tacky but firm ball forms.
  4. Remove dough from the mixer and knead with your hands until smooth.
  5. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.
  7. While dough is rising, combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  8. Once the dough has doubled in size, roll dough out into a 14” round circle about ¼” thick.
  9. Cut the dough into 8 equal-sized triangles.
  10. Take one marshmallow and dip it into the melted butter until all sides are completely coated.
  11. Remove from the butter and place the marshmallow into the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Roll the marshmallow until completely coated in cinnamon sugar.
  12. Place the coated marshmallow in the center of one of your triangles of dough.
  13. Fold the dough around the marshmallow and roll it in your hands until it is completely sealed. You do not want to leave any cracks at all or the marshmallow will ooze out.
  14. Once completely sealed, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  15. Repeat with the remaining 7 marshmallows.
  16. Cover rolls with a tea towel and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  17. Once oven is preheated, bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.
  18. Let cool on a wire rack and then peek inside!
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Celebrate the true meaning of Easter by making these Homemade Resurrection Rolls from scratch! They really look like empty tombs and taste delicious!

How do you celebrate Easter? What are your favorite traditions? 

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