These Blood Orange Sweet rolls are hard to beat when it comes to citrus desserts. Pillowy, sweet rolls, rolled in coconut sugar and butter, and topped with blood-orange buttercream frosting. We’re not sure that it gets any better than these! –LHTC
For the rolls:
- 3–4 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, just enough to form a soft dough plus a little more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon rapid rise or instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (2–3 oranges)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup warm almond milk or other milk of choice (approximately 110º F)
- 1/2 cup regular orange juice or blood orange juice (approximately 110º F)
- 1/3 cup avocado oil or other oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, cane sugar, or other sweetener of choice
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup (113g) softened butter (can use dairy-free)
- 3/4 cup (110g) coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1 heaping tablespoon (9g) cinnamon
For the frosting:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar, use more or less to taste
- 1–3 tablespoons blood orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
1. Combine milk/water, orange juice, and sweetener into a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl. Heat until mixture is heated to 110-115ºF. Be careful mixture is not too hot or you can kill the yeast. It should feel like warm bath water.
2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add 1.5 cup flour, instant yeast, orange zest, and salt. Mix gently to incorporate and then add in the milk/orange mixture. Mix until smooth, about 2-3 minutes (if using a stand mixer, change to the dough hook.) Slowly begin adding flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix until blended. The precise amount of flour needed will vary depending on the humidity in your kitchen. Continue to add flour just until it forms a soft dough, be careful not to add too much.
3. Place dough in a large, lightly greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 15–20 minutes.
4. Take the risen dough out of the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface (I also like to use a large piece of parchment or plastic wrap to keep it from sticking.) Roll dough into a 10×15-inch rectangle. Brush or rub softened butter all over the top of the dough. Mix together coconut sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the butter. Starting on the longest side, begin rolling dough the dough into a tightly wound log.
5. To cut the rolls, I prefer to use plain dental floss instead of a knife. It cuts them easily without squishing the rolls. To do this, cut a piece of floss about 12-16 inches long. Slide floss under the roll and bring the ends up and cross over each other to cut each slice cleanly. Place rolls, cut side up, in greased or parchment lined 9×13-inch pan. Cover and let rise for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
6. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Uncover pan and place into the preheated oven. Bake for 18-22 minutes, just until lightly golden. Do not over-bake.
7. For the frosting: Beat softened butter in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Add powdered sugar a little at a time, beating until smooth. Pour in a little orange juice, then continue to beat buttercream until fluffy. Alternate powdered sugar and orange juice, until buttercream is desired consistency. Add extra powdered sugar, if buttercream is too soft, or extra juice if it’s too thick. Mix in the vanilla and optional zest. Spread buttercream over warm rolls.