Coconut Orange Sweet Rolls

by jenna on February 27, 2013

How is already the last week of February?! Seriously. Can someone please tell me how that happened? And I’m, um, now getting married in less than three months?! Oh my, indeed. Y’all, the past couple months have literally flown by and I know the next few months will do the same. Which is why I present to you a scrumptious recipe for Easter brunch a whole month early.

These gloriously soft and doughy sweet rolls contain no butter!!! Now, hear me when I say that I do happen to enjoy butter, myself, but lately I’ve been on a bit of a coconut oil kick. I’ve been having a lot of fun in the kitchen experimenting with baking with coconut oil, and I think these sweet rolls are my biggest success yet.

The sweet roll dough itself is scented with orange and just a bit of coconut. The dough is rolled up with a brown sugar, cinnamon and flaked coconut filling then baked and drizzled with juicy orange icing.

It’s enough to transport you to the Islands no matter how much snow is currently in your front yard!

Like I said, they’d make for a lovely Easter brunch, alongside some thick Greek yogurt with honey and a big bowl of sliced fresh fruit.

Enjoy, sweet friends!!

Coconut Orange Sweet Rolls

makes about 15 rolls

Print this Recipe!


1 (1/4th oz) packet dry active yeast

1/4 cup warm water (about 100 degrees F)

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup sugar

zest of 1 large orange

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp coconut oil

3 cups all purpose flour

1 egg

for filling —

1/2 cup brown sugar + 1 tbsp cinnamon

1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 tbsp coconut oil

for drizzle —

1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

1/2 cup powdered sugar


Heat the milk in a small saucepot over medium heat until tiny bubbles appear all around the sides (do not let actually simmer though). Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, coconut oil, salt and orange zest. Mix until well combined — the oil should melt and the sugar should dissolve easily. Set aside to cool.

While your milk mixture is cooling, combine the yeast and warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer {or not – you can totally do this by hand!}. Let stand for five minutes, until creamy and frothy. Then, add the flour. With the mixer going, slowly pour in the slightly cooled milk {milk should still be warm but not hot}. Add the egg. Either switch to the dough hook attachment, stay with the paddle OR knead by hand. If using a KitchenAid, mix on high speed for four minutes. If kneading by hand, mix for about seven minutes – until dough is very smooth and elastic.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a dishcloth or plastic wrap, and set in a warm spot to rise until doubled in bulk —- this will take about 90 minutes.

After your dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8 x 13″ casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Roll out the dough to 1/4″ thick. Using your fingers, slather on the coconut oil, then sprinkle on the brown sugar cinnamon blend. Finally, scatter the coconut over top.

Roll up dough to a log shape. Cut 1/2″ slices and lay slices in your prepared pan. Cover with dishcloth again and set to rise for 45 more minutes.

Bake rolls for 25 minutes until golden brown. Let cool while you  make the glaze.

To make the glaze, just mix together the orange juice and powdered sugar. Scoop into a small plastic baggie, snip off the end and drizzle over warm buns. Enjoy!


2 1/2 hours

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

notyet100 February 27, 2013 at 4:15 am

Ummm delicio


Anne February 27, 2013 at 4:28 am

As soon as I saw this title, it brought me back to sleep overs at my neighbors! My mom always only had “healthy” foods, but at their house we always got to eat orange rolls, they will always have a special place in my sugar loving heart!

Silly question, when I make bread, I’ve never beaten the yeast and water, I usually just let it sit. Is beating the mixture specific to this recipe or should I always be doing that?


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat February 27, 2013 at 4:32 am

Oh my, indeed! That first photo is the first thing that popped up in my Google reader this morning and I wish I had more time before going to work so that I could make a batch! I agree with you, February has flown by! I’m not going to lie though, I can’t wait for it to get warm outside again. We got about 1 1/2 feet of snow last night!


Angela @ Happy Fit Mama February 27, 2013 at 4:42 am

Yum! It’s funny that I don’t really enjoy the taste of coconut but I do enjoy it in baked goods. This will be made before Easter for sure!


Averie @ Averie Cooks February 27, 2013 at 4:47 am

Jenna, they’re gorgeous! I have been on a coconut oil baking kick, hugely! lately! Cookies, cakes, and have wanted to make bread with it and you sold me. I made cinnamon rolls last week and when I was rolling them, I was so tempted to put in some coconut oil but refrained. Now, I need to. Your pics are lovely and I bet the flavor of the orange + coconut oil is just wonderful. Pinning!


De @ Cooking for the Other Half February 27, 2013 at 4:49 am

Ooooooohhhhhhhmyyyygggooosssh. Those look amazing. Orange + coconut = heaven.


Dana February 27, 2013 at 4:53 am

These are beautiful!! Yum!


Molly @ RDexposed February 27, 2013 at 4:59 am

Coconut and cinnamon rolls. That’s a tough one to imagine. Interesting to bring it to light!


Sara @ fitcupcaker February 27, 2013 at 5:03 am

These look so good and no butter, thats amazing. I love using coconut oil too, plus cinnamon rolls with coconut=winner!


Claire L February 27, 2013 at 5:21 am

Oh man, those looks good! Coconut and orange is such a great combination. I bet you could mix some coconut milk into the icing to make it even more coconutty!


Blair @ The Seasoned Mom February 27, 2013 at 5:31 am

Yum! I have never tried coconut oil, but you’re about to make me a convert…


Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats February 27, 2013 at 6:16 am

After the surprise 8 inches of snow we got yesterday afternoon, yep, these are looking very necessary right now! I’ve had a big jar of coconut oil in my pantry for ages too, that I haven’t really known what to do with. These would be perfect to use some of it up!


Lindsay February 27, 2013 at 6:23 am

You have just combined my two favorite things! Coconut and orange rolls! Looks like I’ll be gaining some weight here! Those look amazing!


Jordan February 27, 2013 at 7:07 am

Oh me oh my, these sound amazing!!


Abby @ The Frosted Vegan February 27, 2013 at 7:11 am

Could you make me any hungrier?! Gosh these look amazing!


ashley - baker by nature February 27, 2013 at 7:27 am

Whoa! My face totally wants in on these.


carolyn February 27, 2013 at 7:38 am

Im not sure if im sold on the cinnamon with coconut and orange, but i trust your judgement haha–ill just have to try them!


Anna |Apron Hearts| February 27, 2013 at 7:51 am

That orange and coconut blend in these rolls -wonderful! I love cooking and baking with coconut oil..not only smells heavenly but also is very beneficial for health.


Heather February 27, 2013 at 7:54 am

I have a ton of leftover coconut from a baking adventure, so I might just have to make these for our ski trip this weekend.

Enjoy the last few months of wedding planning. Everything starts falling into place and it’s such a sweet time <3


allie@sweetpotatobites February 27, 2013 at 7:58 am

I love cooking with coconut oil and these look divine! Definitely the perfect spring treat.


Emily@2:DESIGN:CENTS February 27, 2013 at 8:15 am

Yum those look amazing!


Sarah @ Yogi in Action February 27, 2013 at 8:24 am

I have all of these ingredients at my house! It must be a sign that I am meant to make these. Who am I to argue with fate?

Looks absolutely amazing! I can’t wait till Saturday to bake these up


Billy Ruddy February 27, 2013 at 8:35 am

There’s too much snow all around me! These look appetizing and would certainly satisfy my morning dessert fix. Most importantly, they make me miss summer. I’ll have to indulge soon.


Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe February 27, 2013 at 9:00 am

Love the coconut/orange twist! And no butter? I must try these!


Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog February 27, 2013 at 9:31 am

Oh my, indeed! These sound fabulous. I’m going on vacation in Florida next week and want to make these as a breakfast treat while we are there. Couldn’t taste better than made with a Florida orange, right?


joelle (on a pink typewriter) February 27, 2013 at 9:36 am

Mmm love cinnammon rolls!


Sarah @ making thyme for health February 27, 2013 at 9:46 am

Coconut oil is awesome! I used some to bake the other day and started rubbing on my hands because it smells so good! I love it. These sound amazing…I want one, now!


Emily @ Life on Food February 27, 2013 at 10:09 am

I kind of feel like February didn’t really happen. These look delicious. I love how using coconut oil adds just a hint of coconut flavor.


M.C. @ThousandStoryKitchen February 27, 2013 at 11:17 am

Man, your recipes have been spot on lately! I can’t stop making your stuff!! I love anything made with coconut oil- have you tried brownies yet?
These will be a really good easter brunch addition. Time is definitely flying- it will be here before we know it!


Emily February 27, 2013 at 11:20 am

Um, I think all of my comments on your blog start with, “Wow!”, “OMG”, or “Yum!”. Seriously, girl, you make some darn fine looking food.

Do you have any recommendations for pre-made dough? I prefer not to make dough from scratch, but I really want to try these out. You had me at “coconut” …


Caroline L. February 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm

You read my mind this morning – I’ve been craving something like this for a few days now! Mmm… I can practically taste the little hint of citrus!


Sammy J February 27, 2013 at 1:55 pm

These look delicious! I gotta try these out and share them on the blog I write for! (Of course crediting you). :)
Even your pictures look amazing…I am literally drooling. I love me some citrus spice.


Morgan February 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Love these! I was trying to figure out what to bake my coworker that just had surgery and then it hit me- his love of butter can be substituted for coconut oil! Thank you for the inspiration.


Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite February 27, 2013 at 4:47 pm

hooooooooly! I need these. All up and in my face…like now! I should make these for my family over easter weekend!


Jane @ Not Plain So Jane February 27, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Yum!! These look delicious! I have fond memories of making orange cinnamon rolls from the can with my Dad on weekends :) These are a major upgrade!


Marina February 27, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Oh gosh, these look amazing – I’m drooling! Perfect for Easter. I’m going to try these out!!


Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl February 27, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Ohh…you have done it again! Another awesome and super tempting recipe :).


Kiran @ February 28, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I can’t fathom February is ending!! Time flies!

And I need this rolls in my life. Love the combo of orange and coconut here :)


Gina February 28, 2013 at 6:46 pm

These look awesome! I have started baking with coconut oil a lot. My husband follows Paleo and a lot of their recipes use this oil. My favorite recipe I’ve tried so far is these sweet potato brownies: The sweet potato gives it a buttery taste and the coconut oil and flour really give them some crazy flavor!


lindsay March 4, 2013 at 4:40 am

coconut, orange, and cinnamon…. yup…. COMBO love!


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