Like last year, I decided to make a batch of Overnight Lilikoi Rolls to kick off our Christmas morning on a very sweet, Hawaiian note. In the middle of putting everything together, I realized I wanted to make some changes. Luckily, those changes turned out to be very good ones, so in the interest of full transparency and to best benefit your taste buds and belly, here is an updated version of last year’s recipe.

Summary of my changes: I put the orange zest in the dough rather than the frosting; I added ginger to the filling for a little extra spice; I used homemade lilikoi butter for the filling instead of store-bought lilikoi jelly; I used more cream cheese in the frosting; and I used a little less orange juice in the frosting to keep it nice and thiccccc. We loved the update, and I hope you will, too. I think it would be a great way to wake up to Valentine’s Day or Arbor Day or any given Tuesday.

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

For the dough:
1 cup whole 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
Zest from 1 orange
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more if your dough is not coming together)
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:
1/4 cup homemade lilikoi butter (I’ve made this recipe so many times and it’s perfection)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger

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

Two days before: make lilikoi butter (again, recipe here) and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Make the dough (the evening before):
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, sugar and orange zest 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. Whisk together lilikoi butter and melted butter until mixed, then spread evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. 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 25 minutes or until the edges are barely golden and the internal temp is 190 degrees. Remove from the oven and prepare your frosting.

Make the frosting:
Cream the cream cheese and butter in large bowl at medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and orange juice and beat to combine. Add extra orange juice, a very little bit at a time, 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.

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