Back in September of 2017 we shared our famous cinnamon roll recipe, which quickly jumped to be one of our top recipes. I’ve LOVED seeing the pictures you’ve shared and the encouragement you’ve given after you’ve made and served these rolls to your friends and family. You don’t know how much it means to us when you make and enjoy our recipes! Thank you!
After seeing those cinnamon rolls, many of you asked for an orange roll recipe. I’ll be honest. I had never actually eaten an orange cinnamon roll, but I knew since I had about 20 people request them within 48 hours that it was a recipe I needed to research and share with you guys. I also knew that by using our sweet roll dough recipe that I had the perfect beginning!
About this Orange Roll Recipe:
Flavor: I almost love this cinnamon roll recipe more than the original version. The sweet orange glaze and marmalade jelly filling help keep the flavor light and tangy, rather than heavy. You have to like orange to love these rolls!
Texture: Just as with any of our other rolls, these are soft and tender. The heavy cream and glaze help keep them gooey!
Method: I form 12 orange rolls and bake them in a glass 9×13″ baking dish. You can make 15 rolls and bake them in a 10×15″ pan if you’d like.
These rolls are a favorite breakfast at Christmas, but they are excellent for Easter brunch as well.
Are these better than Pillsbury orange rolls?
100% yes. Homemade orange rolls with fresh orange glaze will always beat storebought cinnamon rolls. It’s worth the effort.
How this Recipe Differs from our Original Cinnamon Rolls
I used the same recipe I used for our homemade cinnamon rolls for orange sweet rolls base, except that I added the zest of one orange to the dough while I was mixing it up. I wanted orange infused into the dough as well as the filling and the glaze. The zest of 1 orange does that perfectly.
In researching the “Orange Roll”, I needed to find out what made the orange roll…well, orange. I wanted to try orange marmalade jelly as the filling. But was I supposed to add cinnamon to that? Any extra sugar? After several recipe tests, I found that a simple filling of orange marmalade, a sprinkling of cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg was all that I needed to make an orange roll taste delicious. You can leave out the cinnamon & nutmeg if you’d like, but the orange/cinnamon flavor makes these sweet rolls taste like Christmas!
Rather than a heavy cream cheese frosting, I chose a simple powdered sugar glaze made with freshly squeezed orange juice and zest. I added in just a touch of heavy cream to make the glaze smooth and rich.
How to Mix Orange Roll Dough
There are 3 different methods to make yeast dough:
Use a stand mixer. This keeps the process fairly quick and “hands off”. The stand mixer with the dough hook kneads the dough nicely.
Knead by hand. You can also knead the dough by hand, just be careful not to add too much flour. The sweet roll dough should be tacky to the touch and not feel dry.
Use a bread machine. If you have a bread machine, you can use the dough setting to whip up the dough, then move on to rolling the dough. This is by far the easiest and my method of choice! This is the bread machine I use.
Just as with our cinnamon rolls, we used our special ingredient to keep these rolls soft and gooey. After the rolls have risen the second time, pour warmed heavy cream over the rolls and then bake. That cream soaks into the rolls, leaving them soft, rich and so, so good!
Orange Glaze for Cinnamon Rolls
While the rolls are cooling, you can quickly whip up the orange glaze. It’s a simple mixture of powdered sugar, orange zest, orange juice and heavy cream. I personally love the addition of heavy cream because it tones down the sweetness just a bit and makes it taste like a creamsicle.
Store the rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 48 hours. Then refrigerate or freeze any leftovers.
4.70 from 66 votes
Looking for a new sweet roll to try? Try this Orange Rolls recipe that is infused with orange flavor in the dough, filling and the sweet glaze on top. These super soft rolls are THE BEST!
2 1/2teaspoonsinstant dry yeast*(I like Red Star Platinum)
2large eggs(at room temperature)
1/2cupsalted butter**(Melted, but make sure it isn't over 110º Fahrenheit. Just softened is fine.)
zest of 1 orange
4 1/2cupsall-purpose flour(divided)
For the Filling:
1/2cuporange marmalade jelly
1/2cupheavy cream***(for pouring over the risen rolls)
For the Orange Glaze:
zest and juice of 1-2 oranges
Pour the warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast overtop.
Add the eggs, butter and sugar. Mix until combined.
Add in salt and 4 cups (save the other ½ cup and add only if you need it) of flour and mix using the beater blade just until the ingredients are barely combined. Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes so the flour has time to soak up the liquids.
Scrape the dough off the beater blade and remove it. Attach the dough hook.
Beat the dough on medium speed, adding in up to ½ cup more flour if needed to form a dough. Knead for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth. **The dough should be tacky and will still be sticking to the sides of the bowl. That's ok! Don't be tempted to add more flour at this point. We generally add about 4 ½ cups, but start with 4 cups.
Spray a large bowl with cooking spray.
Use a rubber spatula to remove the dough from the mixer bowl and place it in the greased large bowl.
Cover the bowl with a towel or wax paper.
Set the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until double. I like to turn on the oven to the lowest setting for 1-2 minutes. Then turn off the oven and place the dough to rise in there. It normally takes about 30 minutes for the dough to rise. Do not allow the dough to rise too much or your rolls will be airy.
Sprinkle a pastry mat generously with flour. Turn out the dough onto the pastry mat and sprinkle the top of the dough with additional flour.
Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough to about a 24×12" rectangle.
Use a rubber spatula to smooth the marmalade jelly over the whole dough rectangle. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Starting on the long end, roll the dough up tightly jelly roll style.
Cut into 12 slices and place in a greased 9×13 baking pan.*
Cover the pan and allow the rolls to rise for 15 minutes while the oven is preheating.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Warm the heavy cream until the chill is off. Don’t make it hot…you just don’t want it cold. It should be warm to the touch.
Once the rolls have risen, pour the heavy cream over the top of the rolls, allowing it to soak down in and around the rolls.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden brown and the center rolls are cooked through. Check the rolls at 20 minutes. If they are getting too brown, place a piece of foil over the rolls and continue to bake.
While the rolls are cooling, prepare the orange glaze
In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, zest and juice of 1 orange and heavy cream. Whisk until smooth. Add the juice from the second orange if needed to make the glaze thinner.
Drizzle the glaze over the rolls.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
*Different yeast calls for slightly different proofing methods. We follow Red Star Platinum’s temperature guidelines. Please check your yeast packet to see what temperature the milk should be at.
**A note about the butter, we have used ½ cup of butter instead of ⅓ cup many times. We feel it keeps the rolls softer. Give it a try!
***If you don’t have cream, use half and half, coffee creamer, evaporated milk, whole milk or coconut cream. Any of these will work. Even 2% milk will work, but we prefer a higher fat milk.
****For smaller rolls, cut the dough into 15 slices and use a 10×15″ baking pan. The larger pan will also allow the rolls to rise more evenly.
Overnight Instructions We often make the orange rolls and get them to the point of the second rise (when they are rolled out, cut up and put in the pan). Cover and refrigerate until morning.
The morning you want to bake them, pull them out of the refrigerator. They may have doubled in size in the fridge overnight. If they have, let them sit for 30 minutes to get the chill off, then bake.
If they did not rise in the fridge overnight, allow them to rise at room temperature. Plan about at least an hour for this. Then pour on the cream and let them bake.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.The calories shown are based on the recipe making 12 orange rolls, with 1 serving being 1 roll. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**