Swirly Sweet & Spicy Goodness

January 5, 2011

Happy New Year! It’s a few days late but had to still declare it. I can’t believe that it is 2011 already!? A new decade has arrived woot woot! Anyways, enough of that.

Today I wanted to share a fun recipe that I had the urge to make on New Year. I think I’ve mentioned before that I am not a huge fan of cinnamon. Sure I enjoy it occasionally but there are other spices and flavors I’d rather indulge in. (One of my favorite longtime and current go-to spice being ginger). For New Year’s Eve, I made a ginger butter cake from the Williams Sonoma Essentials of Baking cookbook. It had three types of ginger (crystallized, ground, and freshly grated). The batter tasted great, but the consistency seemed a little off. I let it slide due to my partiality to the star ingredient. I took a bite post midnight. I felt whelmed, maybe even a little under-so. The cake just wasn’t what I had imagined it to be. Now, I had a taste for ginger and it needed to be satiated appropriately.

So when Sunday rolled around I had a battle of the ginger round 2. A favorite recipe of mine is for cinnamon rolls. I just love them (cinnamon aside). I mean how can you not love sweet dough with a slathering of icing. I ended up tweaking my recipe and throwing in a few additions to combat the potential spicy pungency of the ginger. Overall, these were some pretty sweet rolls.


-I’ve always used soymilk in this recipe but you can use whole or skim if you are so lacto-inclined.

-Next time I might try adding some chopped up macadamia nuts to give it a more tropical flair.

-If you are not a fan of the pineapple, maybe try adding some peach preserves to the ginger and cut back on some of the sugar. Mmm peachy ginger. Oh or maybe even some crushed frozen raspberries. Or BOTH! Heyyoo!

-The dough is a great launching point for any sweet roll your heart desires!

So Swirly. These are the extras I froze as "place and bakes" for a future sweet ginger craving.

Sweet Pineapple-Ginger Swirls


  • 2 packages yeast  2 scant tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup soymilk (warmed)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 cups flour

Dough filling:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granular sugar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • A dash of nutmeg (fresh is best)
  • 1 can crushed pineapple (squeeze out all liquid from pineapple and set aside)


  • ¼ c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons pineapple juice

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar and set aside.

Melt the butter and combine with the milk. Using an electric mixer with a dough hook mix dissolved yeast and butter/milk mixture on low. Slowly add the sugar, then the egg. Add salt and 2 cups of flour on low, blend until smooth. Now slowly add 1/2 cup at a time, the rest of the flour.

Continue to work the dough with the mixer for a few more minutes until elastic-y or put dough onto floured counter top and knead until it doesn’t stick to your hands (I enjoy the zen of the latter method).

Place in a greased bowl. Cover with damp cloth and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it doubles in size. (I let it rise in a cooled oven where the air and temperature is consistent).

Buttered and sprinkled with sugars. Also, I rolled out on plastic wrap to make the rolling part easier (and use less flour).

Remove from bowl and place on a floured counter. Roll out in a 12 by 24-inch (approximately) rectangle, not too thin (okay you need a number ¼ inch thickness). In a bowl mix together sugars, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread melted butter over dough, sprinkle with sugar mixture evenly. Then sprinkle the crushed pineapple that has been purged of excess liquid.

Sprinkled with the squeezed crushed pineapple.

Slowly roll dough into a log. Using a very sharp knife, cut into thumb-width slices or 1-inch widths. Place in round cake pan, casserole dish or foil pan. Recover with damp cloth and let rise to desired height (20 min or so).

To make frosting, using a whisk cream the butter until smooth then keep adding powdered sugar alternately with the reserved pineapple juice. The resulting frosting will look very similar to the stuff that comes in the Orange Pillsbury Cinnamon rolls, (which I love by the way) only with a hint of pineapple-ness. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for 15 minutes, then watch for desired brown-ness. Remove from oven and let cool for a minute. Using a knife frost generously (or sparingly boo!) with pineapple frosting. Enjoy with some hot tea or coffee.

Yum! <(^_^)>

~Erik <(^_^)>


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