Paska is a sweet, citrus bread that I’ve always enjoyed during Easter. My Grandma used to bake large loaves in coffee tins, my Mom bakes buns, and I decided to to add my twist to this traditional bread. I decided to take the flavours of Paska and make it into rolls.
Paska (or Sunshine Bread as I called it while smelling the lemon & orange zest – YUM) is traditionally eaten during Easter. Some versions have just lemon zest, mine has lemon and orange. Sometimes they are topped with icing and sprinkles, other times it’s icing and coconut. There are many different variations, but the lemon and orange combined with the cream cheese is pure perfection, in my opinion.
The method for these rolls is the same as “The Best Gluten Free Cinnamon Buns (or Rolls If You Prefer)“. If you have any questions about these rolls, feel free to read through to 150+ comments on the Cinnamon Rolls. You can also watch a video of me making another cinnamon roll, and that will give you an idea of what the consistency of the dough should be, and how to work with it. To see pictures of how to cut the cinnamon rolls, you can view this post.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (see Note) OR 1 2/3 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup potato starch and 1/3 cup tapioca starch
- plus an additional 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1 Tbsp rapid rise yeast
- 3 Tbsp white sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/4 cup instant lemon (or vanilla) pudding mix (dry) OR dry milk powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- the zest of 1/2 a lemon and 1/2 a navel orange
- 4 Tbsp margarine
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp oil (I used Canola)
NOTE: 4 cups superfine brown rice flour, 1 1/3 cups potato starch (not flour), 2/3 cup tapioca starch. Combine all ingredients in a large zipper-top bag. Shake until well blended.
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) cream cheese, very soft
- 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, very soft
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- the zest of 1/2 a lemon and 1/2 an orange
NOTE: You may add 1/2 cup shredded coconut to the filling (optional).
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) softened cream cheese
- 4 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- juice of 1/2 a lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
- 1/2 tsp orange zest (optional)
- Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix all dry ingredients until combined. Set aside.
- Put 1/2 cup milk and margarine in a glass measuring cup and microwave just until the margarine has melted. Remove from microwave and stir. Add 3/4 cup milk, stir. Add other wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
- With the stand mixer running (using the paddle attachment), pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Scrap down the bowl if you have to.
- Allow to mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Take a piece of plastic wrap and lay it out on a slightly damp counter top, so it covers an area bigger than 8″ x 16″. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of sugar on the wrap. Lay ball of dough on top of that. Spray dough with baking spray. Gently lay another piece of plastic wrap over the top of the dough. Pat the dough down into a roughly squarish shape. Lift and reposition the top plastic wrap whenever you need to. Roll the dough out (with the plastic wrap on top) to a square approximately 8″ x 16″.
- Remove plastic wrap.
- Carefully spread 4 ounces of softened cream cheese over the dough. Mix 2 Tbsp softened butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and lemon and orange zest together. Sprinkle over the cream cheese. Spread filling mixture evenly across dough’s surface. Leave 1 1/2″ along one long end without any filling, this is where your rolls will be sealed.
- Starting along the long end, use the bottom sheet of plastic wrap to lift the edge of the dough and roll it up, forming a long cylinder. Start with the edge that has filling on it, that will be the center of your finished rolls.
- Using a long piece of dark thread (light colours can be lost in the dough), cut the long “log” into 8 pieces, about 1 1/2″ wide. You can do this by placing the thread underneath the roll, crossing it at the top, and pulling the threads so they cross each other, pulling it through the dough. This way, you won’t be squishing your dough down by cutting with a knife. Place rolls in prepared pan, with cut side up. I like to push the rolls down to about 1″ high.
- Allow the Paska rolls to rise in a warm, draft free place for about 30 minutes, or until nearly double in size.
- Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are a nice golden brown.
- Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before topping with the cream cheese frosting. To make the frosting, beat the softened cream cheese, butter, confections’ sugar and lemon juice until smooth.
- These are best served warm, however, I had great success with reheating them in the microwave for a few seconds when they were a day old as well.
Some tips for dairy free:
- REPLACE the instant lemon pudding powder with 1/4 cup almond flour (ground almond meal)
- REPLACE the milk with soy milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
- REPLACE all of the butter/margarine with vegan butter (for example, Earth Balance)
- REPLACE the cream cheese with vegan cream cheese
Other gluten-free Easter/Spring recipes: