Orange Rolls Recipe
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This Easy Homemade Orange Rolls recipe will quickly become a family favorite! These rolls are large and in charge (definitely a desirable trait when it comes to orange cinnamon rolls). If big buns didn’t sell you, then maybe this will: they’re loaded with lots of fresh orange zest and orange juice, they’re soft and fluffy, thick, and seeping in smooth orange frosting.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how quickly these orange rolls come together. Quickly as in, you’ll be eating one of these an hour after you start! Yep, 1 hour orange rolls, baby!
I have been making orange sweet rolls for years! It’s tradition in our house to have them Easter morning, it’s something we look forward to every year.
When I say, “Orange Sweet Rolls,” I mean ORANGE SWEET ROLLS! These sweet rolls have orange zest and orange juice in the filling AND the frosting!
What makes this orange rolls recipe better than others?
This recipe doesn’t take all day! Because this sweet roll dough has at least 2 tablespoons of yeast, the dough rises fairly quickly. You don’t need to sit around waiting for the dough to rise. Note: these rolls don’t taste “yeasty.” Just want to put those worries to rest! This is my favorite dough recipe, it’s really soft and tender. You’ll love it! Promise.
The orange filling is perfection. Perfect ratios of sugar, orange zest, and orange juice give these rolls the a solid *punch* of orange flavor.
I’ve made these rolls so many times! What you see here is the perfected recipe.
How to make Fast and Easy Orange Rolls
- Make the dough. Combine the water, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter, and yeast. Mix, then let this mixture sit for 10-15 minutes. The yeast should get really foamy and bubbly (similar to the image below). This is a good sign! The yeast is active. Add the remaining dough ingredients (salt, eggs, and flour) and mix for about 8-10 minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl, but still stick to the very base of the bowl. You may need to add more flour depending on your climate and elevation. Tip: for a heartier orange roll use a combination of all-purpose flour and bread flour (remember bread flour has a higher gluten strength and protein content) . I’ve made these rolls using only all purpose flour, and again using half bread flour and half all purpose and they turn out great either way.
- Let the dough rest. Once the dough has been made, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Prepare the orange filling. While the dough is resting combine the ingredients for the filling. The ingredients include: granulated sugar, orange zest, and orange juice.
- Roll out the dough. Spray a clean countertop with some cooking spray (I use Baker’s Joy –> my favorite!) and roll the dough into a 14″x18″ rectangle.
- Add filling. Using the back of a spoon, smear the softened butter over the top surface of the dough. Sprinkle the orange sugar filling evenly over the softened butter.
- Roll up. Starting on the longer side, roll the dough into a log. The end result should be an 18″ inch orange cinnamon roll log.
- Cut. Using floss, thread, or a serrated knife, cut into 12 rolls. Place the rolls on a parchment lined baking sheet, 3 rolls across and 4 rolls down.
- Let rise. Cover the orange rolls with plastic wrap and set them in a warm place to rise for 20 minutes. The rolls should be slightly puffy.
- Bake. Bake at 400°F for 20-24 minutes or until golden brown on top and cooked throughout.
- Make the frosting while the orange rolls are in the oven. Once they’ve finished baking, remove the rolls from the oven and frost the orange rolls while warm.
Tips for making the best Orange Cinnamon Rolls
The dough recipe uses buttermilk, now I realize buttermilk isn’t a common kitchen staple, but I recommend you purchase buttermilk for this recipe.
Use softened butter rather than melted butter for the filling. Have you ever noticed when you use melted butter, the butter tends to seep out all over the pan as soon as you place the spiraled sweet rolls on it? Using softened butter will prevent this from happening.
I always frost cinnamon rolls and orange rolls while they are warm. Doing this allows the frosting to seep into the nooks and crannies of the orange roll so that you have a generous amount of frosting in every bite!
If you love these Orange Rolls, try these recipes:
- Blood Orange Chia Pudding
- Cinnamon Rolls
- Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes
- Baked Oatmeal Cups
- English Pancakes
- Monkey Bread
- Flaky Brioche recipe
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- 1 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temp
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 5-6 cups all-purpose flour may need more depending on climate and elevation (see notes).
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange zest zest of about 1 large orange
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 4 tablespoons fresh orange juice may need more to thin out the frosting
- 1/4 teaspoon orange zest
- 3 1/2 - 4 cups powdered sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the water, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter, and yeast. Mix. Let sit for 15 minutes. Add salt, eggs, and flour. Mix for 8-10 minutes. After mixing, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the filling. In a small bowl add the sugar, orange zest, and orange juice. Stir to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a silicone baking mat or parchment paper on a baking sheet. Alternatively, you can spray the baking sheet with cooking spray. Spray your countertop with cooking spray ( I used Bakers Joy). Roll the dough into a 14"x18" rectangle. Using the back of a spoon, smear the softened butter over the top of the dough. Sprinkle the orange sugar filling evenly over the softened butter.
- Starting with the long side, roll the dough into a log so that then resulting cinnamon roll measures 18" in length. Cut into 12 large rolls. Place the rolls onto the prepared baking sheet. 3 rolls across, and 4 rolls down. Lightly cover the orange rolls and set them in a warm place to rise for 20 minutes.
- Bake for 20-24 minutes or until golden brown and cooked throughout.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand held mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, orange zest, and orange juice. Beat until smooth. If the frosting is too thick add orange juice a tablespoon at a time until it's a spreadable consistency.
- When the orange rolls are finished baking, remove from the oven, and let them sit for 3 minutes or so. Frost the rolls when warm.
- Best when served warm and eaten in the same day. However, you can store these in an airtight container for 2 days.
This post was first published March 23, 2018 and was updated January 16, 2020 with more photos and better instructions.