Taking the classic cinnamon rolls and infused it with one of my favorite Southeast Asian ingredients, Pandan (screwpine leaves). Love how fragrant this Pandan cinnamon raisin rolls are!
I can’t tell you how many times we walked by Cinnabons at the mall and my daughter would beg me to get one of their rolls. My daughter was never really a cake person when she was a toddler. But things change I supposed. Things change ever since she has obsession with the color pink. She wants everything pink and for her 5th birthday she requested a pink cake. I think that’s when she started to enjoy eating desserts like cake (though preferrably in pink!)
The daughter said “Mama, can we make our own cinnamon rolls one day?” And that question lead to this Pandan Cinnamon Raisin Rolls!! I love cinnamon rolls, but I’ve never thought about making my own. I love pandan leaves even more though. The aroma is amazing! seriously amazing!
Fresh pandan leaves extract are mild in flavor and it doesn’t give a strong hue of green, especially in baking. But you don’t want to mess with artificial pandan extract. I have 3 bottles at home and I hate every single bottle of it. None of them tasted good! they tasted so artificial. So, I will take fresh pandan extract any day! It gives that mild aroma but yet it’s enough to make me happy!
The dough for the cinnamon rolls is adapted from King Arthur Flour’s Cinna-Buns Recipe. I added potato starch and milk powder as suggested by one of the reviewers. They turn out really soft and we love it. I added pandan, raisins and also used pandan icing instead of regular cream cheese frosting.
Pandan Cinnamon Raisin Rolls
- 30 pandan leaves thawed if frozen and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup water add more as needed
- 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
- 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup pandan juice
- 1/3 cup solid coconut oil use softened butter if you prefer
- 4 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 1/4 cup milk powder
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/3 cup solid coconut oil or softened butter
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 cups raisins
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp pandan juice
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
Extracting pandan juice (can be prepared few days before):
Place the pandan leaves in food processor and pour in the water. Blend until smooth. Add a bit more water if it has trouble going. Pour the juice over a mesh strainer and use the back of the spoon to squeeze out more juice. You can use cheese cloth to squeeze out more juice too. Discard the solid and store in a jar in the refrigerator until ready to use
Preparing the dough:
Sprinkle in the yeast in the luke warm milk and let it sit for 10 minutes and it will get foamy. Place the rest of the ingredients for dough in a bowl of stand mixer with dough hook attachment. Mix together and knead all of the dough ingredients until the dough come together into a smooth dough
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to grease all sides, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for 60 minutes, or until it's nearly doubled in bulk. In winter time, I need to place this in the oven that I preheat to 100 F and then turn off and open the door ajar so it won't be too hot and let the dough rise in there
Once the dough has risen, gently punch the dough down to deflate it, transfer it to a lightly greased large parchment paper (not wax paper). Roll the dough into a 16" x 21" rectangle
Spread the dough with the 1/3 cup butter. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and sprinkle it evenly over the dough
Starting with a short end, roll the dough into a log and cut it into 12 slices.
Place the rolls in a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan, or in my case, I use 12" cast iron pan. Cover the pan and let the buns rise until they're nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 F
Uncover the buns, and bake them until they're golden brown, about 15 minutes. While the buns are baking, prepare the icing.
In a medium size bowl, add in powdered sugar, pandan juice, and then pour in the heavy cream and stir until the mixture is smooth and runny. Set aside
Assembling & Serving:
Remove the rolls from the oven. Pour the icing over the warm pandan cinnamon rolls. Serve them warm and diet starts tomorrow
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How I wish I have some for breakfast tomorrow! Perhaps I need to make more soon!