Grapefruit Glaze Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Being a Valley girl and growing up down south I grew up eating lots of fresh citrus…it was just so abundant (those beautiful citrus orchards everywhere), plus I ♥ grapefruits, oranges, lemons & limes!!!  Now if there’s anything that I can incorporate citrus into while cooking or baking (in moderation), I’m game! Then the other day I had cinnamon rolls on the brain and when I walked in the kitchen and there sat this beautiful, large grapefruit…well…this is what I came up with. Grapefruit Glaze Pecan Cinnamon Rolls!

grapefruit glaze pecan cinnamon rolls-pin

Grapefruit Glaze Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Most of my life, I always – always had headaches and migraines.  Several years later while being a stay at home momma, I was fed up, especially since it affected my day to day activities as a young mom.  I decided to go to my doctor and tell him of my headache history.  His advice… keep a record of everything you put in your mouth. So for about 3 weeks, I did.  One common factor…oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes.

More like citric acid.  I soon realized that anything that I indulged in that contained any amount of citric acid, was a factor in an onset for a headache or migraine.  I had to lay off of anything citrus-y.  Sad day 🙁  Sprites and limes were the worst.  I haven’t had a Sprite in over 25 years.

So I adjusted my diet after knowing which things really were the worst triggers and the last 2 years I have slowly started to introduce some things back into my life in moderation.  I was especially happy when I was able to have a 1/2 of a grapefruit again after many-many years and just deal with a minor headache.  HAPPY DANCE!

Now if there's anything that I can incorporate citrus into while cooking or baking (in moderation), I'm game! Then the other day I had cinnamon rolls on the brain and when I walked in the kitchen and there sat this beautiful, large grapefruit...well...this is what I came up with. Grapefruit Glaze Pecan Cinnamon Rolls-freezer
HOLY MOLY goodness!!!  These were amazing(.)  I can’t take all the credit as I used the Pioneer Woman cinnamon roll recipe, adjusted it and then made my own glaze.  You must try.

Grapefruit Glaze Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Besides your house will smell amazing, the taste magnificent and it will outweigh the “several hour” dough rising process.  (This will be about a 3-4 hour job but you can split it if you want to let it rise in fridge overnight.)

Grapefruit Glaze Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

2 c milk
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c sugar
1 packages active dry yeast
4 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t (heaping) baking powder
1/2 t (scant) baking soda
1/2 T salt
1 1/2 stick of butter
1 c sugar
1/8 c cinnamon
1 c pecan pieces

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. “Scald” the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point).

Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in the yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 3 1/2 cups of flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add the other cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).
When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/4 to 1/2 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle some of the sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.  Now you can sprinkle a handful of pecans.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.  Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan.

Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.
Grapefruit Glaze Pecan Cinnamon Rolls-ready
(At this point you can cover them and put them in the freezer. When you’re ready to make them, just pull them out and stick them on the counter for a few hours until they thaw and rise, which happened quicker than I though.)
Grapefruit Glaze Pecan Cinnamon Rolls-freezer
Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 375 until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.


  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 3-4 T. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 t. grapefruit zest

Slowly stir in the juice into the powdered sugar in a small bowl.  With whisk, gently stir to a pour-able consistency and then add the zest.
Grapefruit Glaze Pecan Cinnamon Rolls-goodness
When rolls are still warm (not hot) pour the glaze on top and sprinkle with additional pecans.
Grapefruit Glaze Pecan Cinnamon Rolls-grapefruit-glazed
This recipe makes about 25 rolls. I baked one pan to devour and I froze two others.  Since we will be going to see our kids next week, I’ll just take them with us for a quick breakfast one morning and they can keep the other for later.  This are the best cinnamon rolls ever!

Happy weekend y’all~

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