Camille Styles

Global Kitchen

Spiced Orange Date-Paste Cinnamon Rolls

December 14th, 2017

Can you believe we’re less than two weeks out from Christmas? Each year I feel like the holiday season passes by so quickly and that I barely get to scratch the surface on my list of holiday recipes to experiment with. We’re not one of those families that usually does the Christmas Eve cookies in our PJs or Christmas morning waffles and presents, but this year since I’ve been getting to spend some extra time at home during the holiday’s for my grandmother’s first festive season in America, I really want to go all out and share the best time of year with her. (Hey, she already loved all the Thanksgiving traditions so I gotta keep the momentum going!) I’m instating the classic Christmas morning cocoa and cinnamon rolls as a new tradition in the house so I had to get going on finding and creating the perfect roll recipe, which is how I ended up with this date-paste situation.

So here’s how we get to my disclaimer on this recipe: I hate dates. I think they are the worst fruit ever and the recent rise in date-based bars and snacks has driven me up a wall. I’ll spare you my full rant, but with that said, you know that if I, a self-proclaimed hater of dates, am sharing a recipe with them as the star, it must be an AMAZING treat. What really gets me with this recipe is that you wouldn’t guess that there are dates in these rolls – I would be shocked if someone tried these without knowing the recipe and guessed that 1) there was no refined sugar in the filling and 2) that dates were the substitute. I love finding healthier versions of my favorite recipes and when you can’t even tell that something has been lightened up, you know you’ve got a winner on your hands. So if you’re looking to step up your Christmas morning cinnamon roll game, keep scrolling for this superfood upgrade on a holiday classic!

Spiced Orange Date-Paste Cinnamon Rolls

Spiced Orange Date-Paste Cinnamon Rolls | This Brown Kitchen

Serves 15 rolls


for the dough

  • use your favorite Cinnamon Roll dough recipe! I used Sarah Kieffer’s recipe!

for the filling

  • 12 – 15 medjool dates, pitted
  • about 2 cups of simmering water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • pinch of salt
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 – 2 tbsp of orange juice

for the orange cream cheese frosting

  • 8oz of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • zest of 1/2 an orange


  1. Prep your favorite cinnamon roll dough and set aside!
  2. To make the date-paste, add about 2 cups of water to a stove top pot and bring up to a simmer. Add the pitted dates to a large bowl and pour over the hot water. Let the dates sit in the water for about 10 – 15 minutes until they are soft. Drain the water and set aside.
  3. In a food processor, add the softened dates, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, salt, and orange zest and juice. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust spices, if you like your mixture a little sweeter you can add a tablespoon of coconut sugar, but I think these come out sweet enough without.
  4. Roll out your dough into about a 12 x 16 inch rectangle and spread the date-paste into an even layer on the dough. Then starting with the long side, roll the dough into a tight log. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 – 2 inch thick rolls (depending on how big you like your cinnamon rolls).
  5. Place the rolls into a prepped pan and follow your dough instructions if the rolls need another rise and follow dough instructions for the baking directions.
  6. While the rolls are baking, prep the frosting. Add the cream cheese, powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, orange juice and zest into a bowl and using a hand mixer or whisk, mix until smooth. Taste and adjust sugar if needed.
  7. When the rolls are done baking, remove from oven and spread over about 1/2 cup of frosting on the warm roll. Set aside and let come to room temperature. When slightly cooler, spread over additional frosting. Enjoy!

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