Raspberry orange sweet rolls



A (new) series on OLC where I'll occasionally follow a cookbook-style format for blog posts. What you get: the recipe, some notes, and a photo (or two) of the finished product.

Notes: If you don't have coconut oil on hand, feel free to replace it with any neutral flavored oil (though coconut is my favorite for baked goods). If you keep your home cool, a couple of readers have suggested proofing the dough inside an oven with the oven light turned on. I've not tried it so I'm not sure how it works with this recipe, but I do know that it takes yeasted dough a lot longer to rise in the warmer months because we keep our place so cool. If you want to make these rolls in loaf form, follow the instructions in this post (if you want to bake it right away, just give it one rise and pop it in the oven). These rolls are messy and rolling them is a pain in the ass but the alternative is to use less filling.. and less filling = less jammy rolls and we are aiming for jammy rolls, guys. Speaking of jammy rolls, here's a shot of the fluffy innards.

More roll goodness: coconut oil cinnamon rolls, overnight pumpkin spice cinnamon roll loaf, and small batch cinnamon rolls.


1/4 cup (50g) warm water, 105-110˚F
2 1/4 teaspoons (7g) active dry yeast
1/4 cup (50g) refined coconut oil
1/3 cup (70g) cane sugar
1 cup (210g) unsweetened almondmilk
3 1/4 cups (455g) all-purpose unbleached flour (plus a little more if needed)
1 teaspoon (6g) fine sea salt
Zest of one orange

4-5 oz frozen raspberries
1/4 cup (55g)
cane sugar
1 tablespoon (10g) potato starch

1 cup (100g) powdered cane sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
3-4 teaspoons (12-16g) fresh-squeezed orange juice

Add the water to a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top; gently whisk to combine then add a pinch of sugar and set aside until foamy (15-20 minutes) (if it never gets foamy you either killed your yeast or your yeast is bad; start over). In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the oil then whisk in the sugar and almondmilk. Cook for 1-2 minutes, just until the mixture is warm, then remove from heat and set aside to cool. If you have a thermometer, stick that on the side of the pan so you can gauge when the temperature has dropped below 110˚F (if it's any warmer, you run the risk of killing the yeast) (dead yeast = flat cinnamon rolls).

In a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, mix the flour, salt, and orange zest, just until combined. Create a well in the center and pour in the foamy yeast and cooled almondmilk mixture, and mix on medium-low until the liquid is evenly incorporated. If the dough is sticking to the side of the bowl, add flour in 1 teaspoon increments, just until it starts pulling away. Once the dough is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl, increase the speed to medium and set a timer for 5 minutes; let the mixer do it's thing. When the dough has finished mixing, transfer it to a lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover with a towel, and store in the warmest part of your house for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until doubled (if there isn’t a warm place in your house, heat the oven to 350˚F and set the bowl on a trivet on top of your range) (I do NOT recommend using a proofing drawer to speed things up; slow and steady wins the race).

While the dough is rising, prepare the raspberry filling. Add the frozen raspberries to a small saucepan set over medium-low heat; cook until the raspberries release their juice and start to break down (4-8 minutes). Once reduced, whisk the cane sugar and potato starch in a small bowl then whisk it the mixture into the raspberries. Continue cooking mixture just until it starts to thicken to a jam-like consistency, then off heat and set aside to cool.

Line a 9x12" baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Line a flat surface with parchment paper then sprinkle with flour. When the dough has doubled, gently punch it down then remove from bowl and knead between your hands for 1-2 minutes, just until you've worked out the air bubbles. Once kneaded, place the dough on the prepared surface and let it rest for 15-20 minutes (if you don't let it rest, it will be hella difficult to roll). When it's ready to go, roll the dough out into a 14×20 rectangle then cover with raspberry filling. Starting at the long end, tightly roll the dough into a log, slice into 12 even segments, and place them in the prepared pan. When you cut the dough, some of the filling is going to squeeze out the other side which is 100% ok - just put that side facing down. Cover pan with plastic then a towel (if you don't use plastic first you'll likely stain your towel) and let the rolls rise (in a warm place, remember!) for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Brush the tops of the sweet rolls with almondmilk (if desired) then bake at  350˚F for 26-30 minutes, or until the tops turn slightly golden. Remove rolls (along with the paper) from pan and set on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling, prepare the icing by stirring together the powdered sugar, vanilla bean powder, and orange juice. Drizzle over warm sweet rolls and serve. Sweet rolls can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.

Yield: 12 sweet rolls


Blackberry lime sweet rolls - Replace the raspberries with blackberries and the orange with a lime. Or skip the citrus and just go heavy on the vanilla.
Blueberry lemon sweet rolls - Replace the raspberries with blueberries and the orange with a lemon. 
PB&J sweet rolls  - Use strawberries in place of the raspberries then finish the rolls with peanut butter glaze (to make the glaze, replace the orange juice with 2 tablespoons of melted peanut butter and thin to desired consistency with almondmilk).