Orange Rolls

Orange rolls are one of life’s simple pleasures. If you have never had one, you’re in for a treat! These rolls look and act like cinnamon rolls but taste like fresh squeezed orange juice. It is hard to explain the way zesty orange flavor enhances this buttery sweet dough but it is truly an addicting combination.

Every time I am making sweet rolls half of my family wants cinnamon and the other half wants orange rolls. I always end up making a batch of each to satisfy everyone in the house. As much as I would like the ease of only making one batch, I understand the dilemma. Trying to pick between cinnamon and orange rolls is an impossible decision. It is like trying to decide between chocolate and vanilla. Both are incredible flavors, and each make different but equally delectable desserts. So, don’t pick a favorite…choose to love them both.



4- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 1/2 tsp. instant yeast (1 package)

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup sour cream

6 Tbsp. salted butter

1 tsp. vanilla

3 Tbsp. orange zest


1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup orange marmalade

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 cup warm heavy cream


1/2 cup room temperature butter

2 lb. cups confectioners sugar

1/2 cup frozen orange juice

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. sea salt


  1. Whisk the milk and sour cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes until mixture is hot. Remove bowl and add the butter and vanilla. Stir until the butter is melted. Allow to sit while preparing the dry ingredients.
  2. In stand mixer combine the dry ingredients for the dough, including the instant yeast packet.
  3. Now that the wet mixture has cooled to a warm to the touch temperature whisk in the eggs.
  4. With the hook attachment on the stand mixer slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
  5. Add orange zest.
  6. Run the stand mixer on medium speed until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined and mixture is pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
  7. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and kneed adding very little flour until dough is tacky but not sticky.
  8. Lightly oil or spray with nonstick spray a large kitchen bowl and place dough inside the bowl.
  9. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place the bowl in a warm area until the dough doubles in size,
  10. While the dough is rising. combine the ingredients for the filling in a small bowl and set aside.
  11. Place the butter in a small bowl and allow to soften to room temperature.
  12. When the dough has doubled in size, remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface.
  13. Roll the dough into a rectangle that is approximately 1/4″ thick.
  14. Spread evenly over the dough the room temperature butter. You can use a pastry brush, rubber spatula, or simply use your hands to apply an even coat. Leave about a one inch boarder on one side of the dough butter free. This will allow the dough to seal together when creating the cinnamon rolls.
  15. Spread the orange marmalade evenly over the dough.
  16. Combine the sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Sprinkle over marmalade.
  17. Starting at the buttered end of the dough roll dough toward the un-buttered end creating the orange spiral.
  18. Use a sharp knife or thread to cut inch and a half to two inch sections of dough.
  19. Place cut orange rolls on a greased cookie sheet or cake pan.
  20. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow the dough to once again double in size in a warm location.
  21. While the dough is rising place room temperature butter in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on medium until completely smooth.
  22. Add the confectioners sugar, salt, orange juice concentrate, and vanilla.
  23. Add heavy cream to desired consistency.
  24. When the orange rolls have doubled in size pour warm cream over the orange rolls and place in an oven preheated to 350°. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. 
  25. Remove the orange rolls from the oven and brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter.
  26. When the rolls are warm but not hot frost the rolls with the orange glaze. The warmth of the roll will allow the glaze to seep deep into the orange spirals of the roll. 


  • If using active yeast instead of instant yeast, place yeast in a small amount of warm water with a tablespoon of sugar. Allow yeast to activate before adding it to the wet mixture.
  • Space rolls far enough apart in the pan to allow them to double in size. I like them to be just touching after the second rise.
  • I like to double this batch. It does make a long rectangle to work with… but one batch is never enough for my hungry gang.
  • I like to make orange rolls ahead of time for special occasions like Christmas morning. Simply make the rolls and freeze them after the spirals are formed and placed on the pan but before they are allowed to rise for the second time. Then remove them from the freezer and allow them to thaw and rise overnight. bake them in the morning when they have doubled in size.

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