Resurrection Rolls

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Resurrection rolls, or empty tomb rolls, are the perfect Easter weekend recipe to bake with kids. Help explain the true meaning behind Good Friday and Easter in a simple way that children can easily understand.

A bite has been taken out of the roll to show how it is an empty tomb/cave inside.

The story of Jesus' death and resurrection is at the heart of Christian faith but can also be one of the more difficult ones for young children to grasp.

Baking a batch of these simple Resurrection Rolls with your kids over the Easter weekend gives you the opportunity to explain this essential moment from Christ's life in a tangible way with your children at their level of understanding.

I wish I had known about this easy recipe and activity when my own girls were small, but when I shared the baked rolls with my teens they were still blown away by the empty rolls when they took that first bite.

I suppose the lesson is to never underestimate your teens. Perhaps they'd also enjoy baking these rolls with you this Easter!

Sharing the Easter Story with Kids

These simple Resurrection Rolls, or empty tomb rolls, are so easy to bake with kids.

As you work through the simple steps to assemble the rolls, you'll be able to focus on sharing the story of Jesus' Resurrection in your own words.

I've included a free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post that walks you through the steps for assembling the rolls and includes easy prompts for sharing the Easter story in your own words.

While the rolls bake, you can read the full Easter story from the bible and then you'll all be able to joyfully proclaim together:

"He is Not Here for He is Risen" as you bite into your sweet empty tomb rolls.

Ingredients

The ingredients to make Resurrection Rolls are on the counter.

This sweet and simple recipe only requires a few ingredients:

  • Marshmallows: It is important to use the large, normal sized marshmallows, not the minis. This is what will give the "tomb" roll its shape.
  • Crescent Roll Dough: I used canned crescent roll dough to keep it easy but you could use my bread machine crescent roll dough if you want to make them from scratch.
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon

Set Up the Assembly Station

Since the purpose of this recipe is to share the Easter story with your kids, you don't want to be fumbling around the kitchen looking for ingredients and tools.

Before you invite the kids into the kitchen, set up a simple assembly station with all the ingredients prepped and ready to go.

The dough, marshmallows, melted butter, and cinnamon sugar are resurrection rolls.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a Muffin Tin with cooking spray
  3. Place the marshmallows in a bowl
  4. Melt the butter
  5. Mix the cinnamon sugar
  6. Unroll the crescent dough

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How to Assemble the Rolls

Now it's time to invite the children to the kitchen and explain the activity.

Step 1: Tell the Kids that the Marshmallow Represents Jesus

"Just like Jesus, our large marshmallows are pure and perfect.

Unfortunately, there were those who hated Him. They nailed him to a cross and left him to die."

Step 2: Dip the Marshmallow in the Melted Butter and then into the Cinnamon Sugar

The marshmallows are being dipped in melted butter and then cinnamon sugar.

"Jesus' friends and family were so sad when he died. They took his body and gently covered him in oils and prepared him for his burial.

What they didn't know is that when he died, he also took all of our sins upon himself so we wouldn't be punished for the bad choices we make.

We're coating His body (the marshmallow) in oils and our sins are carried with him (the cinnamon sugar.)"

Step 3: Wrap the Marshmallow in Dough and Seal it Up Tight

NOTE: As you roll the marshmallow in the dough, be sure sure to tuck in the sides so it is wrapped all around. You don't want the marshmallow to leak out the ends as it bakes.

"Jesus' friends and family carried him to a tomb and buried him safely there with a large rock that protected the entrance. No one could go in or get out.

The crescent dough represents the tomb, let's be sure to seal it up tight.

If we want to help it look more like a rock, we could sprinkle some more cinnamon sugar over the top of the roll."

The crescent roll dough is wrapped around the cinnamon sugar marshmallow.

Step 4: Fill the Muffin Tin with Each Roll

"Once they finished burying him, Jesus' friends and family went home sad.

It was getting late and they already missed him. Let's fill our muffin tin with all the rolls."

Baking Instructions

Bake the Resurrection Rolls at 350°F for 10 - 14 minutes.

The tops should be golden brown like this:

The rolls have been baked in a muffin tin and are a golden brown.

Enjoy the Rolls Together

Once the rolls have cooled slightly, gently transfer them to a platter and bring them to the table.

A platter of baked rolls is ready to be served.

Finish the Easter story by saying:

"Three days after Jesus died, his friends and family went back to his tomb.

They discovered an incredible thing: the tomb was empty!!

Jesus had risen from the dead and is watching over us from heaven."

Have everyone at the table take a bite into a roll and be amazed that the "tomb is empty."

A bite has been taken out of the roll to show that it is empty inside.

Additional Reading

If you would like to share the direct passages from the bible that tell the Easter story, you'll have to reference a few different gospels to get the full picture.

The Book of Matthew, the Book of John, and the Book of Luke each share part of the story so you'll want to bookmark these passages for easy reading with your kids:

  1. Matthew 27:1 - 2: "When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus in order bring about his death. They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor."
  2. John 19:6: "When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, "Cruscify him! Crucify him!"
  3. Matthew 27:30 - 31: "They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him."
  4. Mark 15:33: "When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon."
  5. Luke 23:46: "Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." Having said this, he breathed his last."
  6. Matthew 27:57-59: "When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away."
  7. John 19:40 - 41: "They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid."
  8. Luke 24:1-6: "But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tobm, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body."
  9. Matthew 28:5-10: "But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, "He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him." This is my message for you."
    So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said "Greetings!" And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

More Easter Recipes

Planning your Easter menu? These empty tomb rolls would make a fantastic Easter breakfast but don't miss these other family favorite recipes:

📖 Recipe

A bite has been taken out of the roll to show how it is an empty tomb/cave inside.

Resurrection Rolls and Story Printable

5 from 1 vote
Print this Resurrection rolls recipe and use the conversation story prompts with each step to start a memorable Easter tradition. Sweet crescent rolls with a disappearing marshmallow wrapped inside represents the glory and mystery of Easter Sunday in a tangible way that kids can understand.
TOTAL TIME 25 minutes
PREP TIME 15 minutes
COOK TIME 10 minutes
YIELD 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (8 oz) can of refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 8 large marshmallows

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.

Set up the Resurrection Story Station:

  • In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar with a fork. Place the bowl of melted butter next to it. Add the marshmallows to another bowl. Unroll the crescent roll dough. Then proceed through the assembly while telling the story as you work.

Step 1: The Marshmallow Represents Jesus

  • Just like Jesus, our large marshmallows are pure and perfect. Unfortunately, there were those who hated Him. They nailed him to a cross and left him to die.

Step 2: Dip the Marshmallow in Butter and Cinnamon Sugar

  • Jesus' friends and family were so sad when he died. They took his body and gently covered him in oils and prepared him for his burial. What they didn't know is that when he died, he also took all of our sins upon himself so we wouldn't be punished for the bad choices we make. We're coating His body (the marshmallow) in oils and our sins are carried with him (the cinnamon sugar.)

Step 3: Wrap the Marshmallow in Crescent Dough and Seal it Up Tight

  • Jesus' friends and family carried him to a tomb and buried him safely there with a large rock that protected the entrance. No one could go in or get out. The crescent dough represents the tomb, let's be sure to seal it up tight. To help it look more like a rock, let's sprinkle some more cinnamon sugar over the top of the roll.

Step 4: Fill the Muffin Tin with Resurrection Rolls

  • Once they finished burying him, Jesus' friends and family went home sad. It was getting late and they already missed him. Let's fill our muffin tin with all the rolls.

Step 5: Bake the Resurrection Rolls for 10-14 minutes

  • Pull a baked roll from the pan.
    Three days after Jesus died, his friends and family went back to his tomb. The discovered an incredible thing: the tomb was empty. Jesus had risen from the dead and is watching over us from heaven.
    Break open the roll and be amazed that the "tomb is empty."

Recipe Notes

Bible Passages that Tell the Easter Story:

If you would like to share the direct passages from the bible while the Resurrection Rolls are baking, you can find the Easter story by reading the following verses in order:
  1. Matthew 27:1-2
  2. John 19:6
  3. Matthew 27:30-31
  4. Mark 15:33
  5. Luke 23:45
  6. Matthew 27:57-59
  7. John 19:40-41
  8. Luke 24:1-6
  9. Matthew 28:5-10
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A photo collage shows one roll with a bite out to show it is empty next to a platter of resurrection rolls.

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