Coconut Orange Rolls

Miniature Orange Coconut Rolls

Give students a hands-on experience shaping dough while making a treat to be shared! Bite-sized rolls, baked in miniature muffin pans with fresh orange flavor in roll, filling and glaze. Ideal for breakfast, brunch or snack time!

The following lesson is for a class of 20 students, with 4 student bakers at each of 5 workstations. Be sure to review our “Teacher’s Notes” at the end of the lesson where you will find valuable tips to aid you in instructing students about bread making techniques, ingredients, and the essential Food Guide Pyramid.

The Ingredients You Will Need

  • 5 packages Active Dry Yeast
  • 4 pounds bread flour
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 5 oranges
  • 1 pound butter or margarine
  • 1 quart milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 pound coconut flakes
  • 12 ounces light corn syrup
  • salt
  • water

The equipment you will need:

  • Oven
  • Cooktop
  • Small saucepan
  • Hand mixer
  • Thermometer, preferably 1 per kitchen group*
  • Mixing bowl
  • Rubber spatula
  • Small knife
  • Cutting board
  • Juicer
  • Clear liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoon set
  • Dry measuring cup set
  • Zester/grater
  • Miniature muffin pans (2) or 8-or 9-inch cake pans (2)
  • Oven mitts or hot-pot holders
  • Wooden spoon
  • Pastry brush
  • Cooling rack
  • Plastic wrap
  • Cooking spray
  • Rolling pin, optional

*Yeast thermometers are available for $1 through Lesaffre Yeast Corporation, P.O. Box 737, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0737.

Step Two

Miniature Orange Coconut Rolls
(makes 24 loaves)
Oven 375°F

1 package (2+1/4 teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
2+1/4 to 2+3/4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Grated orange rind
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup Butter or stick margarine
1 Egg

To prepare DOUGH:

Measure DOUGH ingredients. In large mixer bowl, combine 1 cup flour, yeast, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon grated orange rind and salt; mix well. Heat milk, water and 1/4 cup butter until very warm (120°-130° F; butter does not need to melt). Add to flour mixture. Blend at low speed until moistened; add egg and beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on floured surface 3 to 5 minutes. Cover and let rise until dough tests ripe. *

While letting dough rise, prepare filling (see Step 3).

To check if dough has risen sufficiently, gently stick two fingers into the risen dough up to the second knuckle and take them out. If the indentation remains, the dough is “ripe” and ready for punch down. If not, cover and let rise longer.

Step Three

1/4 cup Sugar
2 tsp Grated orange rind
2 TBSP Butter or stick margarine, melted
1/2 cup Grated coconut

To prepare FILLING:

Measure FILLING ingredients. Set coconut and butter aside. Grate orange. Combine sugar and 2 teaspoons orange rind for filling. One teaspoon grated rind is used in the dough; two teaspoons is used in the filling.

Step Four

Shaping and Baking Rolls

Divide “ripe” dough in half. On lightly floured surface, roll or pat each half to a 12- x 6-inch rectangle. On each portion, spread 1 tablespoon melted butter over dough. Sprinkle with half of prepared FILLING and 1/4 cup coconut. Starting with longer side, roll up tightly. Pinch long edge to seal. Cut into 12 slices and place in greased miniature muffin pan cups. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until indentation remains when touched. Bake at 375°F for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pans; cool on rack 5 to 10 minutes.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush rolls with GLAZE (see Step 5).

Variation: Bake rolls in two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans, placing 12 rolls in each pan.
Cover; let rise in warm place about 15 minutes.

Step Five

1/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Orange juice
2 TBSP Light corn syrup

To prepare GLAZE:

Measure GLAZE ingredients. Combine ingredients in a small saucepan, heat to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush rolls with GLAZE.

If shaping rolls the next day, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Reheat glaze to warm before using.

Teacher’s Notes


1. Students divide into kitchen groups, sub-divide into two project teams. One team prepares filling and glaze, the other, dough.

Teacher’s Note: Filling/Glaze Team grates the orange. Dough Team uses a portion of grated rind in the dough.

2. Students gather and measure all ingredients for their project.

3. Students make dough, filling and glaze.

4. Students shape and refrigerate dough, filling and glaze.

Teacher’s Note: To chill evenly, flatten kneaded dough into a one-inch thick disk, place in a plastic bag and refrigerate. When yeast dough is refrigerated, the action of the yeast slows; but it does not completely stop. While chilling, dough needs punching down in a few hours; when completely cooled, yeast dough rises very slowly. Refrigeration time acts as the first rise.

5. Students wash dishes and clean workstations.


Teacher’s Note: Remove dough, filling and glaze from refrigerator, allowing enough time to warm to room temperature, approximately 4 hours.

1. Teacher demonstrates how to roll out dough, spread filling, shape and cut rolls.

2. Students return to workstations and divide their dough into two parts. Two bakers work on each portion, with each team making one dozen miniature rolls.

3. Students bake rolls.

4. Students wash dishes and clean workstations while rolls are baking.

5. While enjoying rolls, discuss with students where Miniature Orange Coconut Rolls fit into the Food Guide Pyramid.

Teacher’s Note: Miniature Orange Coconut Rolls are in two categories of the Food Guide Pyramid: Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta category with 6 to 11 servings recommended each day and Fats, Oils, and Sweets category with “use sparingly” recommendation.

Bread Making Ingredients

Yeast: A single-celled living microorganism used in bread making. As yeast ferments carbohydrates, carbon dioxide gas bubbles form within dough causing it to expand and “rise.”

Flour: Finely ground grain. In kneading, wheat’s gluten protein becomes elastic and enables dough to stretch; for this reason it is the grain of choice in bread.

Liquid: Binds ingredients together to make dough workable and provides a moist environment for yeast to grow and multiply. Water or milk is used used most frequently.

Sugar: In moderate amounts, sugar (white and brown, honey and molasses) increases yeast fermentation, adds flavor and aids in crust browning.

Salt: Controls fermentation, strengthens dough structure and accents flavor of other ingredients.

Fat: Imparts richness, tenderness, contributes flavor and gives bread a fine grain. Fat lubricates gluten strands, allowing dough to stretch easier. Liquid fats as vegetable oils and solid fats as shortening, butter or margarine are used.