These blood orange sweet rolls are made with coconut sugar and enhanced with the citrusy flavor of blood oranges. Can also use regular oranges instead. Vegan friendly with a refined sugar free option included. Recipe and photos updated February 2020.
Growing up, my mom would make me orange sweet rolls for breakfast every once in a while. It was a treat I always looked forward to. I would unravel each roll, eat the outer edge first and work my way to the center, which was my favorite part. Each time, I would save the soft, doughy middle section for my last bite, which I savored as I did my “happy dance.”
I literally had a happy dance I did, unintentionally, whenever I ate my favorite foods. I would teeter my head from side to side and swinging my feet as they dangled from the kitchen chair to some unknown beat (I seem to have always marched to the beat of a different drummer 😉 ) Since I was little, any foods consisting of bread have always been my weakness, which I partly blame my mom for, since she apparently couldn’t get enough doughy bread while pregnant with me.
This strange bread addiction has also passed to my children, who both have the same obsession for bread as I do. They don’t seem to have inherited a love for any of their father’s favorite foods…but his silly sense of humor, now that’s a different story!
I’ve been working on a recipe to recreate those yummy rolls that I grew up enjoying and used blood oranges, since they’re in season right now, but you can definitely use regular oranges if you can’t find these particular oranges in your area. Blood oranges look like a lot like regular oranges on the outside, but when opened, often have a beautiful red to reddish-purple color flesh. They are sweet with a slight tart flavor, like berries, and usually less acidic than regular oranges.
Since these blood orange sweet rolls themselves use unrefined sugar, I experimented with a couple of different glazes that didn’t rely on powdered sugar. At first I used cream cheese as the base, and although tasty, I felt like the slight tang competed too much with the citrus flavor, which was what I wanted to shine.
Since I’ve had success creating a creamy texture with cashews, like in my Raspberry No-Bake Bars, I tried them in lieu of the cream cheese. I like cashews because when blended the have the creamiest texture and a very mild flavor, which is perfect for incorporating any flavor you’d like.
I’m also including a traditional buttercream, if you want a more classic taste!
Soft, fluffy blood orange sweet rolls with a hint of citrus and a creamy frosting make these rolls hard to beat, especially since they’re made with healthier ingredients! I promise you, your friends and family won’t even notice! Enjoy!Print