Gluten Free Resurrection Rolls – Easter Object Lesson

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For years, I yearned to make these gluten free Resurrection Rolls! Ever since I saw them made with Pillsbury crescent rolls, I knew there had to be a gluten-free alternative. With this simple recipe, gluten no longer needs to hold us back from this fun activity!

gluten free resurrection rolls manischewitz gluten free kosher marshmallows

Our Pork, Shellfish and Gluten Free Household

My husband and I make up quite the culinary challenge. Not only must I refrain from eating gluten, but artificial sugars also make me ill. My husband on the other hand becomes violently ill from eating pork and shellfish. He often jokes that regardless of his Christian faith, God still intended him to keep kosher.

Keeping kosher involves more than just avoiding pork and shellfish, though. It involves the ethical slaughter of animals, not eating meat and dairy together, and other culinary guidelines. During Passover, it also involves the restriction of eating items with leavening and frequently involves baked goods devoid of wheat.

Passover = Seasonal Gluten Free Foods

Because many Passover items are free of wheat, it becomes the best time of year to find new gluten free foods. Many seasonal items hit the shelves that are even certified gluten free, like these Manischewitz marshmallows. I originally bought them for my husband, as they contain no pork.

My plan was to save them for the summer for S’mores. However, I was in the mood for a fun baking project. I decided 2018 would be the year that I finally made gluten free Resurrection Rolls! What’s that you say? You’ve never heard of these Empty Tomb rolls? Well let me teach you about this tasty Easter object lesson!

gluten free resurrection rolls dough made with Cup4Cup flour

Gluten Free Substitute for Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

If you search for Resurrection Rolls on the internet, all the recipes have one thing in common. Pillsbury premade crescent rolls. Yeah, that’s not going to work for us. I knew that if I was going to make my own gluten free Resurrection Rolls, I needed to bravely attempt homemade crescent rolls for the first time. No time like the present, am I right?

So, I consulted our tried and true, old Betty Crocker cookbook. You know, the big red one that lies open flat and has full color pictures? Love that book. I found a recipe for crescent rolls, simply substituted Cup 4 Cup Multipurpose Flour (affiliate link), and set out to make my dough.

My Trick For Using Yeast & Proofing Dough

This dough contains yeast. Nothing makes me panic more than yeast. I’m slowly getting better at working with it, but I still worries me every time. Early attempts in my life yielded flat, short loaves of bread and lack luster pizza crusts.

The trick I learned was to stick the dough in a preheated, but TURNED OFF, oven. The oven’s warmth and draft free location is ideal for this. After leaving the dough for an hour, I was pleased to see it had risen. It had risen indeed! Next, roll out the gluten free crescent roll dough for these gluten free Resurrection Rolls!

*Need the oven space? My newest trick is to proof my dough by placing it in a bowl and setting it on top of a heating pad, set to medium temperature.

resurrection rolls crescent dough rolled out

Generously Flour Your Work Surface

Just like any dough, you want to make sure you generously flour your work surface. I originally rolled the dough for these gluten free Resurrection Rolls on a silicone pastry mat. I has different circle circumferences outlined for what you want to make.

However, it doesn’t take the greatest pictures, so I transferred it to simple parchment paper. Which again, I dusted with flour to prevent sticking. I found it easiest to cut into segments with a pizza cutter. While technically Betty Crocker stated this dough would make 16 gluten free crescent rolls, we need bigger pieces to work with because of the marshmallow we’re putting inside.

gluten free resurrection rolls, marshmallows dipped in butter and spices

How Dough, Marshmallows, Butter and Cinnamon Reveal the Death & Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So what turns these gluten free crescent rolls into gluten free Resurrection Rolls? This fun, edible treat becomes an object lesson for telling about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each piece represents a part of the Easter story.

The dough symbolizes the tomb where Jesus friends placed his body. The marshmallow represents the body of Jesus. (The reason we use a marshmallow will becomes obvious after baking!) The melted butter symbolizes the oil used to anoint Jesus’ body after his death. Finally, the cinnamon and sugar blend symbolizes the spices used in burial preparation during that time.

gluten free resurrection rolls with marshmallow placed on end, ready to roll

Important Note on Wrapping the Marshmallows

Just as they completely wrapped Jesus’ body for burial, so must the marshmallows for these gluten free Resurrection Rolls. Otherwise the melting and expanding marshmallows will pop out of every nook and cranny possible.

gluten free resurrection rolls marshmallow rolled inside

The Tomb is Empty!

So the magic of these gluten free Resurrection Rolls reveals itself when you cut open the roll. The marshmallow disintegrates during baking, leaving a hollow opening in the center. The tomb is empty! He has risen and defeated the power of death.

I am so excited to share this post with you. One, I conquered gluten free crescent rolls, allowing me to finally make these gluten free Resurrection Rolls. In addition, I am joyful to share the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection with you. And about a God who is “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love.”

Other Uses for This Dough

Tips for Recipe Success

  1. I have only been successful with this recipe using Cup 4 Cup flour. It has NOT worked well with Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Measure for Measure.
  2. The original recipe calls for shortening. I imagine that Earth Balance buttery sticks would work well in this recipe if you need to be dairy free. However, Cup 4 Cup contains milk powder, so you’d have to use a different gluten free flour. GF Jules flour contains no dairy, and could be a good replacement. (affiliate link)
  3. I have tried using an egg replacer in this recipe, and it has NOT worked. Try this vegan crescent roll recipe instead.
  4. If you need vegan marshmallows, Dandies (Amazon affiliate link) makes amazing ones, although they do contain soy.
  5. If you want to make rolls without the marshmallows, please see my crescent roll recipe.
  6. I have tried making the dough ahead of time, and chilling it to use the next morning. It works, but not as well.

Gluten Free Resurrection Roll Recipe

Gluten Free Resurrection Rolls


  • 1 pkg active yeast
  • 6 tbsp warm water 105-110 degrees
  • 4 tbsp sugar divided
  • 1 3/4 cup Cup 4 Cup flour
  • 1/4 c. butter softened, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the filling

  • 8 gluten-free marshmallows
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. (We are warming the oven to create an environment for proofing the dough. Turn the oven off once it reaches 200 degrees.
  • To begin, proof your yeast. I use a glass 2 cup measuring cup to do this. Dissolve one tbsp of sugar in the 6 tbsp of warm water. To that, add the active yeast, and stir. Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes. It should easily double in size, if not more. 
  • Meanwhile, in a stand mixer, combine the flour, remaining 3 tbsp sugar, and salt. Mix together. To that, add chunks of softened butter. Mix until all the butter is incorporated without large chunks. (If you don't have a stand mixer, you can do this in a large bowl, and use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour.)
  • Add egg and mix until incorporated. Finally, add yeast and mix together until a dough forms.
  • Transfer dough to large glass bowl to rise. Cover with saran wrap and place into warmed (but turned off!) oven to rise. Allow to rise 45 minutes.
  • After dough has risen, transfer dough to a well-floured flat surface. Roll dough into a 12" circle. Cut into 8 equal wedges.
  • To make the gluten free Resurrection Rolls, melt butter in a small dish. In a separate small dish, combine the sugar and cinnamon. 
  • Dip a marshmallow in the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place coated marshmallow at the edge of the crescent dough. Roll to the center of the wedge, tucking in the sides as you roll. Make sure that the entire marshmallow is covered. 
  • If desired, you can coat the outside of the roll in melted butter and cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • Bake the gluten free Resurrection rolls in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Lightly coat with remaining melted butter when the rolls emerge from the oven. Allow to cool completely before cutting rolls in half to show empty center. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

**I was not compensated in anyway by Cup4Cup or Manischewitz for this post. This page contains affiliate links**

Originally Published March 2018


  1. I had not heard of resurrection rolls before, and I was enchanted reading about what they do. Coolness!

    It is super-cool that you made crescent rolls from scratch!!! I’ve been working up the courage to try it someday, but I also have a yeast allergy, which adds to the challenge. I have some recipes and think I know what to do, so I need to just work up the courage and dive in!

    1. I have not, but the dough recipe is specifically for crescents rolls. I imagine they would turn fantastic. My husband had a bite of just the corner, and loved it. Again, this is a crescent roll dough, NOT a croissant dough.

  2. This is my first holiday, and favorite one, that I need to relearn to cook and bake for my daughter…14. She was recently diagnosed with wheat, gluten, egg white, dairy and corn allergies. Thank you for your posts and this fun recipe to try! Happy Easter.

      1. Thank you. Made them with Bob’s Red Mill GF flour, half egg replacer and the yolk and butter flavored coconut oil. They were pretty good, most of them got gobbled down. -They rolled ok. Next time I will make sure the coconut oil is colder and make sure to use some oil spray on them when they come out of the oven. Thank you!

        1. Dear Mary,
          Thank for this feedback! Did you use the BRM all purpose flour (red front) or the 1-to-1 flour (blue front)? Glad to know they were devoured! They may benefit for a smear of coconut oil on the dough prior to rolling if you’re not using marshmallows on the inside.
          And thanks so much for commenting. It means SO SO much! ❤

  3. Haven’t tried the rolls yet but so glad to find this recipe. I miss my bread do much ! ! Just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing your love of our. Blessed Savior Jesus. Not enough people do that these days. May God bless you and your family. Looking forward to using your site often.

  4. These are such a great addition for our family Easter traditions. I’m sure my daughter will be more than willing to help out with the marshmallows!

    1. Dear Laurie, yes you can. You don’t need to proof rapid rise yeast, so just toss it in with the flour. I’d still use warm (109°) water.

      1. Oh ok. So maybe regular beaters might work? I don’t have a stand mixer, only hand mixer or pastry blender so hopefully one of those will work. Anxious to make these for Sunday.

  5. These look delicious, but they’re not actually Passover-safe! The central dietary restriction of Passover is the prohibition of leavened foods (chametz) and eating unleavened bread (matzo) is a key part of Passover observance, symbolizing fleeing Egypt so quickly the bread didn’t have time to rise. So yeasted rolls aren’t allowed.

    Many of us will also refrain from all grains, so GF flours that have rice flour or cornstarch would be out. (Yehuda and Manischewitz gluten-free matzot, for example, both use potato and tapioca flours.)

    1. Thank you for reading my post. Please know that while I nention the marshmallows being available during Passover, I’m not saying these rolls are for Passover. They are to represent Easter, and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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