Orange Sweet Rolls

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This time of the year I always find myself craving fresh citrus. Maybe the long dark days of an Upstate New York winter, make the bright cheery citrus fruits especially appealing. Or maybe I just have Orange on the brain (Go ‘Cuse!!). Either way, Orange Sweet Rolls are a perfect breakfast during winter.

Orange Sweet Rolls- Home in the Finger Lakes

Orange sweet rolls are like cinnamon roll’s fun and sassy cousin. This fruity spin-off of the cinnamon roll will fill your whole kitchen with the sweet smell of oranges as it bakes, which will definitely ward off any mid-winter blahs.   The pop of flavor from the orange zest is a perfect compliment to the  sweet buttery filling in these orange sweet rolls, I think it may be impossible to eat these sweet rolls and not smile.

I will be the first one to admit I have a small carbohydrate addiction. I love bread, and rolls. I tried the South beach diet once and thought I was dying, it may of been the longest morning ever, I had a bagel and felt better and chalked the South Beach diet up to things I will not be doing again.  I don’t just like eating breads and rolls, I really like playing with yeast doughs.  I love the kneading and shaping, it is a great way to work out any frustration.

Orange Sweet Rolls

Orange Sweet Rolls

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Light and fluffy yeast rolls infused with orange zest, with a sweet orange butter filling, and drizzled with bright citrus glaze. These orange sweet rolls are perfect for breakfast and spring brunch.


  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 to 3 1/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened

Orange Filling

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest

Orange Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind/zest reserved from the filling above


For the Dough:

  1. Whisk the warmed milk, orange juice, butter and sugar together in a large liquid measuring cup, and set aside.
  2. Combine 3 cups of flour, yeast and salt together in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on low speed, add the milk mixture and egg. Mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.
  3. Increase the mixer to medium speed and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (knead for 15-18 minutes by hand).
  4. The dough should be smooth and supple. If after 5 minutes of kneading, the dough is still overly sticky, add 1/4 cup flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but has a slight tacky feel when pressed between your fingertips.
  5. Turn the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until puffy, 1 to 2 hours.

For the Filling

  1. Combine all the filling ingredients (reserving 1/2 teaspoon orange zest for the glaze) in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Shaping the Sweet Rolls

    1. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan, and set aside.
    2. Transfer the dough to a clean and lightly floured work surface. Pat the dough to flatten and then roll the dough into an 16 x 12 -inch rectangle.
    3. Spread the prepared filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch bare edge along one long side .
    4. Starting with a long edge, roll the dough into a long log (don't roll too tightly, or the centers of the rolls will pop up during baking). Make sure to finish up at the edge that isn't brushed with milk or butter. Brush that edge with water and pull it up over the log, pinching to seal. Roll the log so it's seam-side-down on your work surface.
    5. Use a serrated knife to gently cut 12 equally sized rolls; you may also loop dental floss around the log at each interval and pull, which gives you a nice, clean cut. Transfer the rolls to the prepared 9x13 inch cake pan, leaving about 1-inch between each roll.
    6. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap, and set them aside to rise until doubled, the amount of time this takes will depend on the warmth of your kitchen, about 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.
    7. Baking the Sweet Rolls
    8. Bake the rolls in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, reversing the pan midway throughbaking. They should be just slightly golden brown. Remove the sweet rolls from the oven, and allow them to cool slightly, as you prepare the glaze..
    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 617Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 274mgCarbohydrates: 114gFiber: 3gSugar: 35gProtein: 12g

    Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates. Please see my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.

    This recipe is a compilation of Carl’s Cinnamon Rolls found at King Arthur Flour and Orange Sweet Rolls found at Mel’s Kitchen

    Orange Sweet Rolls

    Some items used in the photos were generously provided by the Brick House Antique Center  in Palmyra New York!

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