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Make a Zacchaeus Tree Cinnamon Roll

Updated: Sep 13, 2019

Thisis a little something to bring for Coffee Hour on Zacchaeus Sunday. It’s a favorite and fun way to usher in the pre-lenten season!


To  prepare this  special  treat  for  your  family,  feel  free  to  use  your  favorite cinnamon roll recipe, or just use my mom’s!


1 packet dry yeast

1 cup warm milk

3 Tbsp melted butter, or oil

1 tsp. salt

1 egg

4-5 cups flour


1/2 cup softened butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1/2 cup of raisins or chopped nuts (optional)

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Warm the milk to about 100 degrees, add the yeast, sugar, and melted butter. Let stand 10 minutes to proof the yeast, then add the egg and salt, and mix well. Add three cups of the flour and mix well to form a workable dough, gradually adding the remaining cup as necessary until it is workable and not sticky. Knead about 10 minutes until smooth, then roll the dough in about a tablespoon of oil to keep it moisturized, then cover and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. At  the  end  of  that  time,  punch  down,  and  cut  the  dough  in  half,  setting  one  half  of  the  dough  aside. Roll  out  the  other  half  of  the  dough,  into  a  square  and  spread  it  with  softened  butter,  brown  sugar and  cinnamon  (maybe  raisins  too!),  and  then  roll  it  up,  and  place  it  onto  a  baking  sheet  which  has been  lined  with  parchment,

BUT here’s how we make it fun...before you cut it into slices, turn the pan and make the slices LENGTHWISE, cutting the roll into long strips, BUT only halfway down the "trunk" of the tree. Fan the strips out and twirl them just a bit to form the "branches" of the tree. You can cut the other side of the roll in the same fashion, but with shorter slices, to make the roots of the tree (as seen in the photo). Next, take the remaining dough and break it up into little golf-ball size pieces. Shape each piece into a leaf shape, dip it into beaten egg and then in green sugar or green sprinkles and place it as a leaf on your tree! You can use the last ball of dough to make a little face,'s Zacchaeus! Place him in the top of the tree, then use a toothpick to give him some eyes and a mouth. For the hat, tunic, and sleeves on our friend Zacchaeus pictured on the left, cut slices of some dried apricots; use a prune for his mustache, eyebrows and beard. Tiny raisins are his beady eyes. Bake this as you would usually, according to the recipe directions. What a great after-Liturgy treat for Zacchaeus Sunday!


Don’t forget to make a slit in the trunk of the tree to make a squirrel-hole! You can use a lot of different things to fill your cinnamon roll! My family likes to spread it with: ● Peanut butter and brown sugar ● Any flavor jam ● Brown sugar, nuts and raisins ● Marmalade and coconut

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