Nothing says, “I love you,” to my kids like warmed pieces of flakey bread, drizzled with sweetness on a cool fall morning. I’m talking about cinnamon rolls. The smell pulls them from their beds groggy eyed, as I whisper a quick prayer of thankfuls for cozy mornings like this.  Even though it’s still summer, I thought I would share this recipe, so you can tuck it into your recipe box. This recipe is a new one my kids love. It’s a part of our new Whole Foods, Clean Eating, vegan lifestyle and it’s perfect for creating big batches to freeze for those crazy mornings when you don’t have time to bake and send up prayerful thanks.  flour You will note ingredients like Agave Nector and Earth Balance Butter and Unbromated Flour (all of these ingredients can be found at your local grocery store). The goal of whole foods eating is to get as close to natural as possible, eliminating preservatives and dyes from the diet. For example, Earth Balance Butter is made of coconut oils doesn’t contain any hydrogenated or interesterified oils, preservatives or emulsifiers that can be found in most margarines and other butter alternatives.  Anyhow, try this recipe and tell me that you LOVE it. 🙂 

Orange Glazed Cinnamon Rolls
Serves 12
A zesty sweet twist for cinnomon rolls. Great for freezing!
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Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
35 min
For the dough
  1. Zest of one orange
  2. 1/4 Cup Orange Juice
  3. 1/4 Cup Agave Nector
  4. 1/2 Cup Water
  5. 1/2 Cup warm water
  6. 1 Tsp granulated sugar
  7. 2 1/2 Tsp Double Acting Yeast
  8. 3 3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour (If you prefer not to use whole wheat as it tends to be dense, consider mixing in 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour to unbleached all purpose flour).
For the Filling
  1. 4 Tablespoons Butter (Earth Balance)
  2. 2 Teaspoons Cinnomon
  3. 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
For the Glaze
  1. 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  2. 3 Tablespoons Orange Juice
  1. In a large cup, whisk together agave, water, orange juice and zest, set aside.
  2. In your mixing bowl, add warm water and yeast and sugar. Allow the yeast to sit until it foams. Then add all liquid ingredients. Begin adding flour and salt, mixing until a soft ball of dough forms. Turn out onto counter and knead up to 8 minutes.
  3. If ball is still too sticky, add more flour as needed.
  4. Roll into a ball and place in a greased bowl, allowing dough to rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size (Often, I will turn on the oven for about 5 minutes to warm my kitchen, opening the door).
  5. Once dough as risen, transfer onto counter and roll into a rectangle (16 X 12). Brush on melted butter, sprinkle on cinnomon and brown sugar. Leave filling 1 inch from edges.
  6. Begin rolling dough to form a spiral with the long edge (it will look like a jelly log). Try to make it as tight as possible and pinch the edges to form a seam.
  7. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut dough evenly into 12 pieces and transfer into a greased 9 by 13 baking dish (I use coconut oil or olive oil).
  8. Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and allow rolls to rise again for about 30 minutes until almost doubled. Once doubled in size, place in oven @ 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.
For the Glaze
  1. Whisk orange juice and sugar and drizzle over cinnomon rolls and serve. (If you have a healthier version, tell me about it!).
Refrigerating or Freezing Unbaked Cinnamon Rolls
  1. Follow directions up to the point where rolls are ready to be baked.
  2. At this point, the cinnamon rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight (I've actually made them two days in advance) or frozen for one (1) month. Before baking, allow rolls to thaw completely and rise in a warm place if frozen. I have found that I have to take the unbaked frozen cinnamon rolls out of the freezer 10 to 12 hours before planning to bake. I just put the frozen cinnamon rolls (container and rolls) on my counter (not in the refrigerator) overnight for 10 to 12 hours.
  3. If refrigerated, they can be either baked upon removing from the refrigerator or let come to a room temperature (I've done both ways). They do a slow rise overnight and it is not necessary to let them come to room temperature before baking. If you rolls are not rising enough after being refrigerated, your yeast may need to be tested. To overcome this, let them rise, while sitting on the counter, until you achieve the desired rising before baking.
Heather Riggleman

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