Resurrection Roll Recipe and Bible Story

I love finding creative ways to teach important truths to kids. And I love it even more if I can find a way to tie food into the “lesson”. You can imagine my excitement, then, when I first discovered Resurrection Rolls.

Basically, Resurrection Rolls are a treat that you make where each step of the cooking process represents part of the Easter story. It’s a wonderful way to tell kids the Easter story AND the rolls themselves are sublime. I’ve had people make the rolls for me before, but this was my first time doing the whole project with David. He was able to help out a bit and was pretty engaged the whole time (even if he did keep trying to swipe marshmallows from my stash). I’ll definitely be doing this again next year–a new tradition has been born!

What you’ll need:


  • 1 package of crescent rolls
  • 8 large marshmallows (plus extras to snack on while you’re waiting for the rolls to bake!)
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar plus 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheet
  • Bible (or use the “script” below)

How It’s Done:

IMG_1513Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is preheating, get out your Bible and open up to John 19 or find the Easter story in a children’s Bible (my favorite is the Jesus Storybook Bible). Below you’ll find the pictures and the “script” for how I told the story to David (he’s only 2 years old, so I kept it simple for him).


Say: “Even though Jesus was perfect and had never sinned–he had never ever done anything wrong– some people did not like him. They wanted to hurt Jesus because he said he was God. They made Jesus carry a cross and they killed him. This made God very sad, but it was all part of His great rescue plan. When Jesus died, his friends took his body off the cross.”


Do: Give your child a marshmallow
Say: “This marshmallow represents Jesus’ body. Jesus died for you and for me, because we have sinned and we need to be rescued from our sin.”


Say: “After Jesus died, his friends came and they put special oil and spices on Jesus’ body to get him ready for burial.”
Do: Roll the marshmallow in melted butter, then in cinnamon sugar

Say: “Next, Jesus’ friends wrapped his body in special cloths–almost like a mummy! Jesus had died, and they were getting his body ready to bury.”
Do: Roll the cinnamon-sugar marshmallow up in a crescent roll (it won’t look like a crescent roll). Press all of the seams firmly. Repeat for each of the crescent rolls. Place the rolls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.


Say: “Next, they laid Jesus’ body in a tomb. A tomb is like a big cave carved out of rock. Then big, strong soldiers rolled a heavy rock in front of the tomb so nobody could get in or out of the tomb. They even put a special seal over the entrance so they would know if anybody tried to move the rock that was in front of the entrance. Soldiers stood in front of the tomb to guard it day and night.”
Do: Put the rolls in the oven and set your timer for 10-12 minutes. Let the rolls bake until they are golden-brown. I even let David stand guard in front of our oven “tomb” with his toy sword.


Say: “Jesus was dead in the tomb for three days. Let’s count to three: one, two, three. How many days was he in the tomb? That’s right, three days.”
(We had some time to wait for the rolls, so I let David play while they were baking. I kept going back to him, though, and we’d repeat this whole conversation about how long Jesus was in the tomb.)


Do: When the rolls are done baking, take them out of the oven and let them cool (I let mine cool for about 20 minutes, and that was perfect). The marshmallow will probably have exploded out of your rolls, but that’s to be expected (that’s why we put down the parchment paper!). After the rolls have cooled…


Say: “Three days after Jesus had died, an angel of God appeared to one of Jesus’ friends. He told her that Jesus was alive! Jesus’ friends decided to look in the tomb where they had put Jesus’ body, but when they did, it was empty! Jesus had risen! And still today, Jesus is alive. Today he lives in heaven with God.”
Do: Cut open one of the rolls. The marshmallow has melted, so the “tomb” is now empty.


Do: Eat your yummy rolls!
Say: “These rolls are sweet, just like the love of God. God made you and he loves you very much. And some day, if you choose to love and follow God, you will be able to spend forever and ever in heaven with him and Jesus. The Bible tells us that Jesus is our Great Rescuer. The Bible tells us that the only way to Heaven is through loving and believing in Jesus. We celebrate Easter, because Jesus died and rose again so that we could have a way to Heaven.”

34 thoughts on “Resurrection Roll Recipe and Bible Story

  1. Linda B says:

    I heard about Resurrection Rolls on my local Christian radio station yesterday, and was so happy to find this site when I Googled to find the “recipe and story.” I posted your link
    on my Facebook page and am emailing your link to many people. Your site is great!


  2. Tyler says:

    Allison, I love the way you outlined this activity! I’m a children’s pastor at a church and am assembling resurrection roll kits with our team for all of our kids to take home. Do you mind if I copy parts of your script for our discussion guide?


    • Allison says:

      Absolutely, feel free to use whatever parts you find useful. I actually just did this activity again today with my son and we used plastic army men from the dollar store to guard the “tomb” (oven)–that might be a fun extra piece to add to your kits!


  3. Gaylene says:

    I did this for my 8 year old activity day girls. They loved it. We acted out the story whir the rolls were in the oven. How Mary was the first person to see and talk to Christ as the risen Lord. She must have been a pretty special person to have Christ appear to her first.
    I would either use 2 crescent rolls per lard marshmallow or maybe use mini-marshmellows. When I pulled them out of the oven, they were bursting with marshmallow. As they cooled, the marshmallow shrunk back down. They girls said it was his burial clothes that Peter and John saw folded up in the tomb. I thought that was pretty good idea. I told them that the sweet deliciousness was the atonement, and how we can all use the atonement in our lives. It is sweet and wonderful to have.


    • Allison says:

      Great ideas! We actually did this again this week and I used mini marshmallows instead of the large ones–I just cut each crescent roll in half length-wise and rolled up the mini marshmallow inside. There were no marshmallow explosions, but the hole in the “empty tomb” was pretty small so it was harder to convey that part of the story. Either way, the “atonement” tasted just as sweet 🙂


  4. heather says:

    thank you for this! I shared it on my face book page and plan to hand out your awesome instructions/script to the families that attend the mainly music program I’m involved with! this is fabulous! thank you!
    heather downing


  5. Nicki Greene says:

    Hello, I am the Early Childhood Director at my church and this year we are all looking for great activities to give our families to do at home. My family has personally done this activity for about 15 years but I really love the way you have the story and directions laid out. I was wondering if I could use it to basically copy (the instruction and pictures) and send home to my families?
    Thank you!


  6. Keith E Krueger says:

    My family has been doing this for years. While trying to figure out what to share with my kids ministry, I cam across your blog. This is the best write up I have seen. May I use some portions to share with the families in our church?


  7. Peg Masching says:

    We have been making “Empty Tomb Rolls” since my son’s preschool teacher shared the idea with his class over 30 years ago, and we love the ways you enhance the experience with the Bible script and pictures. We place our rolls into greased muffin tins and they tend to hold their shape and stay together a bit better than on the cookie sheet. Now we enjoy this tradition with our grandchildren!


  8. Tabitha Rice says:


    Thank you for sharing the recipe and Bible story script. I was wondering if I could receive permission to share your site and an image in our children’s ministry newsletter that our church sends out. I think our parents would love to do this with their families. Thank you!


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