Made with an easy cream cheese pastry dough and stuffed with filling of choice, these Sweet or Savory Crescent Rolls not only taste amazing but are easy to make! Whether you are serving your family or holiday guests, these crescents are crowd-pleasing favorites.
From savory meatball stuffed crescents to sweet apple pie crescent rolls, I love making new fillings for crescent rolls. These sweet or savory crescent rolls, though, can be made both ways making them the most versatile crescent roll idea yet!
While I love both homemade crescent rolls with yeast and sourdough crescent rolls, this recipe uses a cream cheese pastry dough to form the crescent rolls. The result is a tender flaky, buttery dough perfect for filling and rolling into crescent rolls.
With a choice of savory or sweet filling, the crescents are easily customizable to whatever you have on hand which was a sweet jam, walnut and brown sugar desert filling for the Italian and myself while my daughters filled theirs with savory broccoli and mozzarella.
Whether you serve these as an easy appetizer or dessert, these sweet and savory crescents do not disappoint!
What Type Of Crescent Rolls Are Best To Use?
While you could use homemade yeast crescent rolls or even store purchased crescent rolls, I prefer using a cream cheese pastry dough for this unique sweet and savory crescent roll recipe!
This pastry dough is foolproof to make and comes together quickly with simple ingredients! It’s a reliable dough that is flaky, buttery and very tasty. It may remind you a bit of pie crust dough or hand pie dough and can be used for not only this recipe with crescent rolls but also for many other mini appetizers, quiches or tarts!
- All-purpose flour: Provides structure to the crescent roll dough.
- Cold butter: Cold butter that is cubed is best for flaky pastry results.
- Cream cheese: Full fat cream cheese that is also cold and cubed.
- Egg wash: For brushing the dough before baking, one large egg or milk is needed.
- Jam: Any flavor that you like including strawberry, cherry, blueberry, blackberry or your choice.
- Brown sugar: Adds sweet taste to the dessert crescent rolls.
- Walnuts: For added texture and crunch.
- Cinnamon: Adds a warm flavor to the dessert.
- Cocoa powder: Unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder adds a unique flavor that tastes amazing with the other sweet filling ingredients!
- Mozzarella cheese: Freshly grated firm mozzarella from a block. Swiss cheese or Gruyere cheese are also great options.
- Broccoli: Fresh broccoli that has been chopped into very small pieces to ensure that it cooks through.
- Salt and olive oil: To enhance the taste.
How To Make Sweet Or Savory Crescent Rolls
Make Pastry Dough
To make the cream cheese pastry dough, in a large bowl add the flour and cold butter then mix together with a pastry blender, fork or clean hands to form coarse crumbs. Add the cream cheese and again combine until crumbly.
Move the dough to a flat surface and knead together a few times to form a soft smooth dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes to an hour.
For the sweet crescent rolls filling, in a small bowl add the brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon and cocoa then stir to combine. Do not add the jam.
For the savory crescent rolls filling, in a small bowl add the chopped broccoli, pinch of salt and the olive oil then stir to combine. Do not add the shredded cheese.
Assemble Sweet and Savory Crescent Rolls
Remove the dough from the fridge and separate it into two parts, place one part at a time between parchment paper and roll out into a circle.
For the sweet filling, spread the circle with a thin layer of jam, sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture and then pat down firmly. Cut the circle into 8 wedges, then roll each wedges starting with the large edge to the point.
For the savory crescents, cut the circle into wedges first and then one wedge at a time, add reserved shredded cheese, broccoli mixture, and a bit more cheese. Roll to form a crescent shape.
Place the sweet and savory crescents on prepared parchment lined baking sheets then brush lightly with a beaten egg for a glossy sheen.
Bake until golden brown. Serve warm.
To roll the dough out easier, I recommend placing the dough on top of a piece of parchment paper, and then place another piece of parchment on top of the dough. Use your rolling pin on top of the second piece of parchment and roll it out. This prevents your rolling pin from sticking to the dough.
The best part of these sweet and savory crescent rolls are there are endless combinations you could use to fill them!
Savory crescent rolls could be filled with any cheese, meat or vegetable combination of choice! Some delicious options could include cooked bacon and cheddar cheese, diced ham and Swiss cheese, spinach and ricotta or use the filling from these mushroom puff pastry appetizers.
- Don’t overwork the dough: For a flaky pastry, don’t overwork the dough. This is mainly an issue if you use a food processor to combine the dough. Remember when adding the flour to use only short pulses until the mixture comes together.
- Chill and rest dough: For a tender crescent roll, the cream cheese dough needs to be chilled for at least 30 minutes up to an hour. This allows the gluten to relax, making it easier to roll and also it helps prevent it from shrinking while baking!
- Sticky dough: If your house is warm or the dough is getting sticky, you can chill it for 10-15 minutes after each step to firm it up.
- Don’t overfill your crescent rolls: Too much filling will lead to a messy eating experience as well as your rolls may not stay together while baking.
Store leftover sweet crescent rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a few days. Savory crescent rolls can be stored covered in the refrigerator for a few days as well. To reheat, place in the oven at 325°F until warmed through.
Baked sweet and savory crescent rolls can also be frozen! Flash freeze on a parchment lined baking sheet then store for one month in a freezer safe bag. Reheat from frozen for about 15 minutes at 325°F or until thawed and warmed through.
You can also freeze unbaked pastries! Assemble up to the point of adding egg wash and baking. Flash freeze and then place in a freezer safe storage container. Bake from frozen at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
While you can flour your work surface, the top of the pastry dough and your rolling pin, you might risk adding too much flour to the dough. I find the best way is to sandwich the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll it out that way.
Yes! You can make it up to 3 days ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. With any storage over an hour, you may need to let the dough rest on the countertop so that it rolls easier.
Yes. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and freeze in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
More Appetizer Recipes To Try
- Stuffed Potato Pockets
- Prosciutto Asparagus Bundles
- Tomato and Cheese Puff Pastry
- Roasted Breaded Broccoli
- Cheese Crisps
Whether you make these Crescent Rolls Sweet or Savory I hope you enjoy them! Enjoy.
Sweet or Savory Crescent Rolls
FOR THE PASTRY
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup cold butter (cubed or shredded)
- 4 ounces cream cheese
FOR THE SWEET FILLING
- ½ cup jam (strawberry, cherry, blueberry, blackberry or your choice) more if needed
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- ½ tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ tablespoon unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder
FOR THE SAVORY FILLING
- ½ cup shredded firm mozzarella cheese (or swiss, gruyere or firm mozzarella)
- ¾ cup broccoli chopped in very small pieces
- 1-2 pinches salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large egg beaten or 2 tablespoons of milk
- In a large bowl add the flour and the butter mix together with a pastry blender, fork or clean hands to form coarse crumbs. Add the cream cheese and again combine until crumbly. Move the dough to a flat surface and knead together a few times to form a soft smooth dough (do not over knead).* Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes to an hour.
- While dough is in the refrigerate start to prepare your filling.
FOR THE SWEET FILLING
- In a small bowl add the brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon and cocoa stir to combine.
FOR THE SAVORY FILLING
- In a small bowl add the chopped broccoli, pinch of salt and the olive oil, stir to combine. Keep the shredded mozzarella separate.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the fridge, separate dough into two parts, place one part at a time between parchment paper and roll out into a circle about 10 inches (25cm) (or as close to a circle as you can get), for the sweet filling, spread the circle with a thin layer of jam, sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture, pat down firmly. Cut the circle into 8 wedges.
- For the savory crescents, I cut the circle into wedges first and then one wedge at a time I added some shredded cheese, broccoli, and a bit more cheese, roll each wedge (sweet and savory) starting with the large edge to the point.
- Place the crescents on the baking sheets, brush lightly with a beaten egg or milk. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. Enjoy!
*You could also use a food processor to bring the dough together, do not over process.
Updated from November 13, 2014.