So many bright, happy flavors in one recipe that I can barely contain my excitement! Coconut, cinnamon, fresh orange…my mouth is watering from just writing this blog post. I already knew that cinnamon rolls were one of my favorite foods to make and this recipe has even more concretely confirmed my conviction. To the person who created the first cinnamon roll – I salute you.
I’ve lived in Southern California for 5½ years now, and there are certain things I significantly dislike about it here. Like the smog, deathly hot summers, and all the bugs. But I must say, there are a lot of positives that somewhat balance out the cons. One of those positives…FRESH CITRUS FRUIT. I spent the first 21 years of my life in Oregon where citrus just magically appears in the grocery stores. But in California, there are oranges and lemons on trees in peoples’ backyards! It’s glorious.
Having fresh-from-the-tree citrus makes a world of difference for flavor in baking and cooking, which is why this recipe calls for fresh squeezed orange juice for the icing (store-bought oranges will do just fine if you don’t live in California!
Confession: I almost cried when I tasted the orange icing for the cinnamon rolls. No shame. It was THAT good.
That’s pretty much all I have to say about these cinnamon rolls. I feel like the photos have enough to say on their own…
Enough narrative, let’s get to the recipe!
P.S. If you do try this or any So Much Yum recipe, I’d love to know about it! Leave a comment, tag @somuchyumblog.melissa on Instagram, or find So Much Yum on Facebook!
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 packet active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 3 cups (408 g) whole wheat pastry flour
- 1½ Tablespoons coconut butter (or coconut oil), melted and cooled
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 - 1½ Tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest of 1 medium orange (1 - 2 Tablespoons)
- In a bowl, microwave the almond milk in 30-second increments until hot, but not boiling. Let cool to 110° F, or about the temperature of bath water. You don’t want it too hot or it will kill the yeast.
- Pour the milk into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle on the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the total ¼ cup sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
- Once the yeast mixture is foamy, stir in the rest of the sugar, salt, coconut extract and coconut oil.
- Add the flour ½ cup at a time, stirring continuously (I use a large wooden spoon to stir). Once the dough is too thick to stir, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until all flour is incorporated and a ball forms, about 4 minutes.
- Wipe out your mixing bowl, coat with non-stick cooking spray, and return the dough ball to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place for 1½ - 2 hours, or until doubled in size. I usually set mine inside a non-heated oven.
- On a lightly flour surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle. Make sure the dough is uniformly thick. Spread on melted coconut butter (or coconut oil) and sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon.
- Starting with one of the long sides, tightly roll up the dough; position with the seam side down. Using a sharp, serrated knife, cut into 9 even pieces. In a parchment-lined (or well-coated with non-stick spray) 9-inch square dish, arrange the pieces cut side up, leaving a little space around each for additional rising. Loosely cover with aluminum foil and allow to rise again for at least 30 minutes while the oven preheats to 375° F.
- Leave the rolls loosely covered with the foil and bake at 375° F for 25 - 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before icing and serving.
- For the icing, stir together all the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle on rolls as desired before serving.