Grapefruit Sweet Rolls

In the past couple of months I’ve made dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls. The roll recipe was my mother’s and the cinnamon was one that we wrote together. I love them both, but I was very curious to know how making cinnamon rolls with the dinner roll recipe would turn out. I didn’t want to make cinnamon rolls again, so I used grapefruit instead.


They were very soft and delicious, and I loved the grapefruit flavor, but they didn’t make the best sweet rolls. I think in the end, you really need have a combination of bread flour and all-purpose flour to give the rolls structure and a sturdiness to handle the filling and icing. Although it was a somewhat failed experiment, my son and I gobbled up the rolls with a side of our favorite bacon.

 Grapefruit-Sweet-Rolls-1  Grapefruit-Sweet-Rolls-2

Grapefruit Sweet Rolls

For the rolls

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water ((110°F))
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ruby red grapefruit zest
  • ½ cup milk (, scalded (heated to 180°F))
  • ½ cup ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg

For the filling

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ruby red grapefruit zest
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (, room temperature)

For the icing

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (, room temperature)
  • ¼ cup ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1 tsp . vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Make the rolls

  1. Combine yeast and warm water in a small bowl and let sit until the yeast has become frothy. Combine milk, grapefruit juice, sugar, butter, zest and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Using a dough hook, add 1 ½ cup of flour to milk mixture, and combine on medium speed until well combined. Add yeast and egg, beating well. Slowly add remaining flour forming a soft dough and beat well. Dough will be tacky. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double (about 1 ½ hours).
  3. While the dough is rising, make the filling. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon and zest. Set aside. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll about to 9 by 13 inch rectangle with the longer side facing you. Spread the 4 tablespoons of butter on top of the rectangle leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Carefully roll the dough, starting with the longest side facing you and pinch the edges to seal. Cut the roll into 1-inch slices and place sliced side down into the baking pan. Cover and let rise for an hour. Preheat the oven to 375°. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Make the icing

  1. Whisk together the powdered sugar, butter, juice, zest, vanilla, and salt. Spread onto rolls when they come out of the oven.

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