Christmas morning recipe alert: Overnight Lilikoi Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

It’s less than a week to Christmas, so of course I am thinking about FOOOOOD. I am obsessed with creating environments. I love making places pretty, love picking out just the right candle scents, love finding the perfect music to evoke the right feelings for the occasion, and, above all, love finding just the right food and drink to make the event something truly special.

I like to be lazy on Christmas day, to luxuriate in the books, blankets, peace, and family bonding of the holiday. Normally I make an old family coffeecake recipe a few days before (it freezes beautifully), but this year I’m going to make Overnight Lilikoi Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s perfect for a holiday where you want to focus on the people and the experiences, rather than the food prep, and is an excellent dish to nibble on throughout the day (just make sure to have some sliced veggies and protein for when your body says NO MORE to sugar!).

Lilikoi, or passion fruit, is one of my favorite flavors in the world. The jelly in these rolls makes them like orange rolls, but with a tropical tang. Seriously, these were to die for and I am so excited to make them again.

Let me know if you give the recipe a try. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas to those celebrating!

Overnight Lilikoi Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe adapted from Wood and Spoon

For the dough:
1 cup milk, lukewarm
1/4 cup water, lukewarm
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted but not too hot
1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
8 tablespoons Passion Fruit Jelly (Aunty Lilikoi makes the most delicious stuff! If you can’t find Passion Fruit Jelly, orange would be delicious, too.)

For the frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2+ tablespoons of orange juice
Zest of one orange

Make the dough:
Combine the milk and water in a large stand mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. Allow the yeast to dissolve and bloom, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter, egg, egg yolks, and brown sugar, and sugar until smooth. In a small bowl, combine flour and salt. Dump half of the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir until combined. Pour in the rest of the dry ingredients and use the dough hook attachment to knead until the dough is smooth and slightly tacky, about 7 minutes. (Because of our humid climate, I have to add more flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, to make sure the dough isn’t sticking to the sides of the bowl. But this amount of flour should work fine in drier climates.) Once the kneading is done, lightly spray a bowl with butter spray and place the dough inside. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 – 2 hours.

Once the dough has risen, dump it onto a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out into a large rectangle about 11”x21” in size. Pour out the melted butter and spread it over top. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the buttered dough. Whisk Passion Fruit Jelly in a bowl to make as smooth as possible. Drop by small clumps onto the dough and spread as evenly as you can (it won’t be perfect). Starting with one of the long ends, tightly roll the dough from end to end and pinch the edges together to seal. Cut the dough into 1-1/2” sections and lay them out 2” apart in a lightly greased baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, remove the rolls from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Keep the baking dish close to the oven while it preheats to help the rolls come to room temp. (I let the pan rest on the counter for about an hour — perfect for opening presents, or for making the coffee to wake everyone UP to open presents.) Bake for about 22-25 minutes or until the edges are barely golden and the internal temp is 190 degrees. Remove from the oven and prepare your frosting. (PS — Don’t be worried if the jelly has mostly slid to the bottom of the dish — it doesn’t affect the final result, and just means you will need to make sure to scoop up the bottom bits when you serve.)

Make the frosting:
Cream the cream cheese and butter in large bowl at medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest and beat to combine. Add extra o.j. if frosting needs to be thinned, and add powdered sugar if it needs to be thickened. Spread over rolls, and enjoy warm with a big cup of Christmas coffee.

Note: I bet these would also be DIVINE with guava butter + cinnamon instead of passion fruit jelly. I may have to make that for our New Year’s morning breakfast!

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