I love these orange rolls, just as much as I adore homemade cinnamon rolls. I don’t love waiting hours to make them from scratch, though. So this quick orange rolls recipe is ideal for those who don’t want to wait for the long rise but prefer homemade over the canned Pillsbury orange rolls.
My kids used to ask for “orange cinnamon rolls” when they were little. They knew their favorite sweet rolls looked just like cinnamon rolls but tasted like orange instead. These homemade orange rolls are decadent and delicious and positively wonderful.
How to Make Orange Rolls
Now that my kids are adults, a couple of them have asked how to make orange rolls. They want the sweet roll recipe that they remember from their childhood! These orange sweet rolls are easy to make and great for Sunday mornings or double it if you have company for the holidays. Your guests will thank you!
Ingredients you will need to make these orange rolls:
- Bread flour
- Quick rise yeast
- Powdered sugar
- Cream cheese
Helpful kitchen tools:
- Stand mixer or handheld mixer
- 9×9 inch square baking pan
- Parchment paper
- Citrus zester
- Measuring cups
- Rubber spatula
- Icing spatula
Tips for making orange rolls
I have several tips to share with you when making these orange rolls. Please read through these before making the recipe.
This recipe calls for rapid rise yeast.
You can use regular yeast, but the rise may take a little longer. Your dough should double in size.
Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature.
Take a stick of butter out then slice it into the appropriate measurements and let it sit on the counter for about 20-30 minutes. Crack an egg into a dish about 30 minutes before making the recipe. Cream cheese should also be brought to room temperature so you don’t end up with lumps in your frosting.
Zest and juice the oranges
While you’re waiting for everything to come to room temperature, zest the oranges, but keep the zest of each orange separate as you’ll need them in different steps (dough, filling, frosting). After the oranges have been zested you can cut them in half and juice them.
Additional flour might be needed
When you get to step 2 of making the orange rolls dough, you may need to add more flour to the mixing bowl if the dough is still sticking to the sides. Do this gradually, a couple tablespoons at a time so you don’t add too much and dry it out. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl when it’s ready.
Cutting the rolls
Once you’ve rolled up the dough and are ready to cut, the easiest way to get equally sized rolls is to measure the roll and divide by 9. You can’t really refrigerate the dough or you’ll slow down the yeast and there’s one more rise to go. So use a sharp knife to make your cuts.
Because the dough is kind of soft, you may need to take each individual roll and re-roll them as you place them in the baking dish.
Place the rolls into the dish with equal distance between each one.
The dough is going to rise again and they will expand. After the rise, the rolls may or may not be touching each other, however, they will expand during the baking process.
Let the rolls cool for five minutes after they come out of the oven.
If you place the frosting onto the piping hot rolls, it will melt too much and slide off the rolls. I just use a measuring cup to pour the frosting on.
I promise you’re going to love this orange roll recipe. These sweet rolls are perfect for breakfast, and really great if you have company in for the holidays. They smell amazing while they are baking and don’t take near as long as some breakfast yeast rolls do.
If you are on Instagram, you may have seen me making these rolls recently on my Instagram story! Just for fun, I’ve added it here…
We love rolls around here
Yes these orange rolls have been at the top of our list for a really long time (originally posted on this blog on December 13, 2009!) – but we have a love for rolls, both savory and sweet…
- If you prefer a thinner frosting, these lemon sweet rolls are positively delicious. You can also substitute the cream cheese frosting from this orange roll recipe if you prefer.
- Ooey, gooey cinnamon rolls are right at the top of our favorites list, I know you’ll love them too!
- On the savory side of things, these bretzel rolls were inspired by the pretzel rolls I love from a favorite steakhouse.
- If you’re a fan of cheesy recipes, these gooey garlic cheese rolls are AH-mazing.
- Pull apart dinner rolls grace every single holiday table at my house. My whole family loves them and they are delicious!
- Finally, my parmesan garlic rolls are not only fun to look at, they are wonderful with a piping hot bowl of soup or stew!
- 2 1/4 teaspoons SAF instant yeast or any quick rise
- 1/2 cup warm water 110-115 F
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups bread flour you may need more
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- zest of one orange
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- zest of HALF an orange
- 1 tbsp fresh orange juice about one orange
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- zest of one orange
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice about one orange
Gathering your ingredients
Since this recipe is broken into sections, I just wanted to point out that you will need a total of three oranges.
Making the Rolls
In mixer bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water and let stand 3 to 5 minutes; stir. Add the egg, 1/2 of the flour, and the butter. Rub the orange zest, sugar and salt together with your fingers until fragrant, then add to the bowl. Beat all ingredients on medium until smooth.
Add the remaining flour gradually until combined. Dough should clean sides of bowl. If it doesn't, add 1/4 cup more flour. You may need to add another, just add a little at a time until the dough comes away from the bowl. Knead on lightly floured board until smooth. Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
While dough is rising, grease 9x9-inch baking pan.
Blend the filling ingredients and set aside. Combine the frosting ingredients and beat until creamy. Set aside.
Dust a sheet of parchment paper with flour. Place dough on dusted parchment and roll out dough into a 7" x 14" rectangle. Spread with the filling, coming to within 1/2" of the sides. Roll up jelly-roll style, using the parchment to help you roll it up, the dough may be a little sticky. Pinch the edges of dough to seal.
Mark and cut dough into 9 equal parts. You may need to reroll the cut pieces as you place them into the pan and cover with a towel. Let rise in warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes. While dough is rising, preheat oven to 375 F.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove rolls from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Spread with frosting. You may have some frosting left over.
Instead of a knife, you can use dental floss to tie-off and cut the rolls. To "Tie-Off" dough, take a piece of strong thread, or dental floss, about 16 inches long, slip under roll of dough and cross on top to cut slices smoothly and quickly.