Orange Rolls

Baking, shopping, and running are my 3 “therapies” if you will… If I’m in a funky mood, mad at the world, worried, having a fat day, etc…I’m going to be doing ONE of these 3 things, if not all three.  The day before Christmas Eve my phone decided not to work anymore.  I was furious.  It was my first Christmas away from home and all I could think was, “I’m not going to get ONE ‘Merry Christmas’ phone call or text message from anyone NOW!!!”  LOTS of tears were shed.  It was really a dramatic scene.  Especially when the phone company told me I was going to have to pay MORE than what I paid for the phone the first time in order to get a new phone shipped to me.  So, in the midst of my anger, I started reminiscing on old family traditions that my mama always makes.

My mama has made Orange Rolls for as long as I can remember… They are seriously one of my favorite holiday treats!  Growing up these were always one of those pastries we made around the holidays…WHY only around the holidays, I don’t know?!  Actually, if she had made them more often, we would’ve had to spend MANY hours in a gym…anything doughy and from a can isn’t the healthiest of foods.  You feel me?  But back then we didn’t care.  So, I’m still enamored with my new Paleo cookbook, Every Last Crumb… There’s a recipe for Cinnamon Rolls in the book that I HAD TO MAKE.  Instead of copying her recipe 100%, I decided to use her dough recipe, then create a new, healthier version of our family’s favorite Orange Rolls… They turned out SO GOOD and it makes me so happy to know that I’m not eating dough from a can.  🙂

Note:  This is a lengthy process…BUT…Totally worth it!

Yields: 9 Rolls



  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp spoon of instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp oil or melted butter, plus more for the work surface
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 tbsp double-acting, aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp Spectrum vegetable shortening
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp melted salted butter, for brushing the rolls

Cinnamon Filling:

  • 2 tbsp melted salted butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, optional
  • 1 cup raisins, optional

Orange Glaze (I could eat this stuff by itself with my finger, or be a lady and use a spoon!)

  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar OR organic, nonGMO powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1-2 tbsp orange zest


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees to warm it up as a “hot box” for the rolls to proof.  Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.  Drizzle the oil or melted butter into the pan and spread it evenly across the parchment with a paper towel.  Set aside.
  2. In a small microwavable bowl, heat the applesauce in the microwave for 10-20 seconds just until it’s lukewarm (but not hot).  The yeast needs this warm temperature to activate!  Stir in the yeast.  Set aside and let it proof.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, mix the coconut flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, guar gum, and salt until blended.
  4. Add the sugar and shortening mix until the shortening is evenly incorporated into the flour mixture
  5. Add the eggs and the yeast mixture, which should have started to bubble up a little.  Mix on high speed for roughly 1-2 minutes, until a dough comes together.  The dough will thicken as as it’s mixed.
  6. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter-top and lightly oil it.
  7. Place the dough on the parchment paper.  Oil your hands (I used butter) and shape the dough into a rectangle that is roughly 14×10 inches and about 1/2 inch thick.
  8. Onto the dough, spread the filling ingredients: Start with the melted butter and then sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon, raisins, and pecans (if using them).
  9. Turn the parchment paper so that the long side of the dough is facing you.  Starting at the bottom, using the parchment paper as a guide, roll the dough into a cylinder, with the seam on the bottom.
  10. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough crosswise into 9 rolls.  Place them in the prepared pan.
  11. Drizzle the tablespoon of melted butter on top of the cinnamon rolls  and cover the pan with a towel.
  12. It’s time to proof the rolls!  Turn off the oven and slide the covered pan into the warm oven to proof for a total of 30 minutes.  Leave the door cracked open for the first 15 minutes, and then close the door for the last 15 minutes.
  13. After 30 minutes of proofing, take the rolls out of the oven and remove the towel.  Brush the tops of the rolls with 1 tablespoon of water.  Cover with foil and place on top of the stove.
  14. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  When the oven is fully preheated, bake the rolls for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown, leaving the foil on the whole time.  You can peek under the foil toward the end to check the color.  If the rolls are starting to look a bit brown around the edges, they’re done.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan.
  15. While the rolls are cooling, make the glaze: Place the coconut palm sugar in a coffee grinder or spice grinder and grind until you have a powder.  OR… if you’re lazy like ME…Just buy the organic, nonGMO powdered sugar from Whole Foods and call it a day! Place the sugar, zest, and juice in a small bowl and stir until well combined.
  16. Once the rolls have cooled, drizzle the glaze over the top and EAT!  IF for some odd reasons you have leftovers, they can be stored at room temperature or freeze them for another day!
  17. I hope you love these little rolls of yummy goodness as much as I do!



photo 3-10

photo 3-10


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