By Tieghan Gerard for Half-Baked Harvest
Herby Everything Cheddar Swirl Buns. Is there anything better?! These rolls are easy, doughy, swirled with cheddar cheese, basil pesto, fresh herbs, and a little everything bagel spice too. Serve at your next family gathering as an easy brunch, appetizer, or even as a side dish. Everyone will love these fun (cheesy) and pretty swirl buns…perfect, springy and DELICIOUS!
There are three things I seem to be really into right now – fresh herbs, everything bagel spice, and recipes geared towards Easter entertaining. I’m sure you’ve all noticed my major obsession with herbs. Honestly, it’s been going on since about this time last year. I haven’t gotten even the least bit tired of creating new recipes with fresh herbs. They add so much flavor and color to even the simplest of recipes.
The everything bagel spice? Well, I seem to get hooked on this spice blend every time the spring and summer months roll around.
Anyway, these swirl buns have a funny story. I mean, kind of. Nothing that comes out of my mouth is ever very “funny”. I just don’t seem to have that funny bone in my body.
Here’s how these buns came to be. Every night I set aside a good chunk of time to go through ALL of my Instagram messages, look through the photos of recipes everyone’s made, and do my very best to respond to you all. It’s honestly one of my favorite things to do, I’m always so bummed if I have to miss a night.
One night a couple of weeks ago, someone had tagged me in their story, showing me a cheddar swirl roll they’d made, and informing me how much they loved my recipe. At first, I thought how good the rolls looked, and that I was so happy they had enjoyed the recipe! A few hours later though, my thoughts rolled back to that photo. I thought to myself, wait, what recipe was that? So I searched the site, and unfortunately confirmed my unease…I didn’t have a cheddar swirl bun recipe.
I have so many recipes here on HBH (2067 to be exact), sometimes I can forget that I’ve made something. However, I now know for sure that I have not made a cheddar swirl bun. My thought is that this very kind reader just got me confused with someone else. BUT, I am so thankful, because once I realized that I had zero cheddar swirls roll recipes, I knew I needed to make one.
And as soon as possible, because how perfect will these be as an Easter brunch bun or appetizer? Yum.
I like to use my favorite, super simple bread dough recipe as the base for the rolls. It’s literally just milk, flour, eggs, and butter. Simple, but it’s a great, extra soft and doughy base.
The filling is really what we need to talk about though, it’s so flavorful.
For one, there’s basil pesto. Yes, I might use basil pesto in one too many recipes but I find it really adds so much.
Two, there’s cheddar cheese. Now, I have not once met a person who does not love cheddar. It’s easily one of the more likable cheeses, and it pairs especially well with….
Everything bagel spice…oh how I love this flavor combo! It’s a mix of sesame seeds, onion, and herbs, and if you love the classic everything bagel, then you’ll love this spice.
Spread the pesto all over the base of the dough. Then add the cheese, everything spice, and a pinch of fresh thyme. Next step is to roll up the deliciousness, just as you would a cinnamon roll, then slice into buns, and let rise.
At this point, you can either keep the buns in the fridge overnight and bake them off in the morning. OR you can simply bake them right away. Either option is great.
As soon as the swirl buns come out of the oven, serve them! These are definitely a roll that’s best to eat warm. They’ll be soft cheesy, and smelling beyond good.
You must make these buns! Sorry, best line I can come up with at the moment. My brain is a little all over the place, but it’s still true! You need a cheesy, herby swirl bun in your life this spring. Maybe as a mid-week treat, or for Easter dinner, a Mother’s Day brunch – whatever.
Just make them and enjoy!
If you make these cheddar swirl buns, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 20 minutes
total time: 2 hours 10 minutes
servings: 12 rolls
calories: 143 kcal
1 cup warm whole milk
1 tablespoon honey
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 ½ – 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant dry yeast (see notes for no yeast option)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried thyme)
2 tablespoons everything bagel spice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup basil pesto, homemade or store-bought
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the milk, honey, eggs, butter, 3 ½ cups flour, yeast and salt. Using the dough hook, mix until the flour is completely incorporated, about 4-5 minutes. If the dough seems sticky, add the remaining ½ cup of flour.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. In a small bowl, combine the cheddar, thyme, everything bagel spice, and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment.
- Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Turn out the dough, punch it down, and roll it into a rectangle about 10 x 16 inches. Spread the pesto evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the cheddar mix evenly over the pesto, lightly pushing it into the pesto. Starting with the long edge closest to you, carefully roll the dough into a log, keeping it fairly tight as you go. When you reach the edge, pinch along the edge to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut into 12 rolls. Place the rolls in the prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 20-30 minutes. Alternately, you can let the rolls sit in the fridge overnight.
- 6. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling. Serve warm and enjoy.
No Yeast Option: If you do not have access to yeast or simply cannot use, you can omit the yeast and instead use 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon baking soda, added with the flour. You can skip the rising and instead just let the dough rest 30 minutes, then roll, rest again another 15-20 minutes, then bake. The rolls will be a little less fluffy, but will be great!