Orange Sweet Rolls

Herein lies my recent, much-loved version of the almighty orange sweet roll, using this divine sweet roll base and a deliciously orange, sweet and buttery filling, taken from a I posted in the past.

I’ve included my how-to-twist-the-rolls below the recipe. You can definitely make them in the classic cinnamon roll spiral shape, but I swear, they taste better twisted. Or maybe that’s just me that’s twisted. Who knows. Either way, these rolls are seriously delectable. From the tender, soft dough to the dreamy light and citrus-infused filling – I adore them. Don’t hate me, but I’d take one of these any day over a traditional cinnamon roll. I’d prefer one of each, of course, but if I had to choose, it would be orange rolls all the way, baby.

Orange Sweet Rolls

One Year Ago: Steak Hoagies with Mushrooms, Onions and Peppers
Two Years Ago: Meatballs with Cream Sauce

Orange Sweet Rolls

Yield: Makes 12-14 rolls/twists

Orange Sweet Rolls

Note: as with all yeast doughs, I never use the flour amount called for in the recipe as a hard fast rule (unless a weight measure is given and then I pull out my kitchen scale). Because humidity, temperature, altitude and a multitude of other factors can impact how much flour you need in your yeast doughs, I always judge when to quit adding flour by the texture and look and feel of the dough rather than how much flour I’ve added compared to the recipe. This tutorial on yeast may help identify how a perfectly floured dough should be.

Ingredients

    Dough:
  • ¾ cup buttermilk, warm (I pour the buttermilk in a glass liquid measuring cup and microwave for 1 minute on 50% power)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 ¼ cups (21 ¼ ounces) flour
  • ¼ cup (1 ¾ ounces) sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • Orange Filling:
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Grated orange rind/zest from two large oranges (reserving 1/2 teaspoon grated rind for the glaze below)
  • Orange Glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice from about 1 orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind/zest reserved from the filling above

Directions

  1. For the dough, whisk the warmed buttermilk and butter together in a large liquid measuring cup. Combine 4 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook (or you can use a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon or electric handheld mixer). With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and eggs and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. 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). 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. (See this tutorial for a visual.)
  2. Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl and cover the top tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, around 2 to 2 ½ hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
  3. For the filling, combine all the filling ingredients (reserving 1/2 teaspoon orange zest for the glaze) in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  4. When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter (I use my trusty roul’pat for this step) and press it into about a 16 by 12-inch rectangle (if you have doubled the recipe, split the dough in half and roll out one half at a time). Gently brush the filling mixture over the rectangle, using an offset spatula or rubber spatula.
  5. Lift the longest edge closest to you and begin rolling the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed and roll the log so it is seam side down. Using a serrated knife, slice the log into 12 evenly sized rolls,more or less. You can slice them thinner or thicker as you like. For a traditional cinnamon-roll-look, arrange the rolls cut side down on a lined or lightly greased baking pan. If you want to try the twist method (see the pictures below), one at a time grab each sliced roll and holding on to either end simultaneously pull and twist the roll into a figure eight and place it on the prepared pan. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  6. Bake the rolls at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden on top and cooked through. While the rolls are baking, mix together the glaze ingredients. Drizzle the glaze over the warm rolls.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/orange-sweet-rolls/

The butter/zest mixture just waiting to be applied to the orange roll dough.

Here the dough is rolled out into a large rectangle.

Spread the orange/butter mixture over the dough.

Roll up tightly and pinch the seam to seal.

Cut the log into rolls.

Grasping each side, gently stretch the roll…

…and twist it before placing on the baking sheet.

Place the rolls about an inch to two inches apart. Bake and devour!


Recipe Source:
My Kitchen Cafe

84 Responses to Orange Sweet Rolls

  1. Those orange rolls from the can were ones my mom made on holidays and remind me so much of my childhood. I would LOVE to try making them homemade!

  2. Kim in MD says:

    I have never had orange rolls (I know- the shame)! This recipe will remedy that probably, though! They look amazing, and I love your step-by-step tutorial, Mel!

  3. Okay, practically speaking, how well do these keep overnight? I want to make them for a Sunday School breakfast on Sunday morning, but I just saw the dough needs 2 hours to rise. Wondering if I can make them Saturday night?

    • Mel says:

      Megan – you are actually on to something here because if you made these Saturday night, they would probably rise quite well in the fridge overnight (plus that method helps develop an extra depth of flavor). I would check on them about 3 hours before you want to bake them (unless that means getting up at like, 3 a.m.) and see how well they have risen in the fridge. If they haven’t puffed very much, take them out about 1-2 hours before baking. If they look like they don’t need any extra rising time before baking, take them out about 30 minutes before baking to take the chill off. I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  4. Melanie_S says:

    These look sooooooooooooooo good :) I’m not sure I’ve ever really given Orange Sweet Rolls a chance…but this recipe might convince me to try them! I love how you twist them. Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Dana says:

    yummy! I’m going to try these soon! Have you ever used dental floss to cut your cinnamon rolls or orange rolls? That is my favorite way to slice homemade cinnamon rolls. Simply slide a piece of dental floss under your “log”, criss cross your dental floss on top of log until it slices through the dough. Continue until all the dough is cut. It is a mess free, easy way to get a clean cut from sticky, delicate sweet roll dough in my opinion. I always keep a container of flavor free waxed dental floss in my kitchen drawer.

    • Mel says:

      Dana – I used to use dental floss but ran out or stopped keeping it where it stayed sanitary (i.e. kids not sucking on it) so I use the serrated knife technique now. Either one works beautifully and the dental floss definitely helps with the tender dough!

  6. OH MY!!! These look amazing! I am a fan of orange sweet rolls too, though I don’t know if I could choose a favorite between them and cinnamon rolls! Whichever I am in the mood for at the time I guess! mmmm

  7. briarrose says:

    Looks wonderful. I can’t remember the last time I had an orange roll…which must mean it’s been too long. ;)

  8. Haylee Prete says:

    I’m so with you on the orange rolls vs cinnamon rolls. I LOVE orange rolls! This is the next recipe I try…

  9. Megan H. says:

    oh my. these look heavenly! Well I am making theses asap….

    (and I miss the search bar! bring it back!…please :) )

    • Mel says:

      Megan – thanks for bringing it to my attention that my search bar was missing! It went wacky last week when my site was down and I forgot to put it back. It should be up and running now!

  10. jill says:

    Hi Mel, I love your blog. There are so many recipes of yours that I want to try. I bought the ATK Family Baking book after seeing your last cinnamon roll post, and have been wanting to make these orange rolls ever since I saw the first post. Thanks for the step by step – I wasn’t quite sure how you twisted them. Now I just have to wait until I have some help eating them……

  11. Veronica says:

    I love cinnamon rolls but like you, I like orange rolls even more! These look great and I like the twisting technique.

  12. Shawn says:

    These rolls look heavenly!! I am going to have to try these out!

    I also wanted to let you know how much I love your blog! I nominated it for a “One Lovely Blog Award!” You can check it out at:

    http://iwashyoudry.blogspot.com/2010/10/i-got-award.html

    Keep the good stuff coming!
    Shawn

  13. ingrid says:

    I’m going to be dreaming about these until I find three or four hours to make ‘em. Darn work! :)
    ~ingrid

  14. Michelle says:

    Melanie,
    You know I will be making these in no time. Is this the Roll’Pat you use: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/silicone-nonstick-pastry-mat/?lineid=2&cm_src=E:BKWPSTPIN? I’ve had my eye on one for sometime.

    Thanks.

  15. Michelle says:

    Oh yeah, and I would be totally interested in how the dough turns out rising overnight if you (or a kind reader) give it a whirl.

  16. Julie says:

    Oh my, these look SO delicious! Now I’m starving :)

  17. Chana says:

    my mouth is WATERING! these look so good.

  18. Cindy says:

    These are so good! I have made a similar recipe and added white chocolate chips with the orange butter. So Good!

  19. grace says:

    groovy twist! i, of course, would never and could never prefer something over my favorite cinnamon rolls, but i’m definitely interested in the neat shape!

  20. My family adores orange rolls! This will make for a wonderful weekend treat – thanks!

  21. Kat says:

    These look amazing! I can’t wait to try them. I do have one question, I don’t have instant yeast. How would I adjust the recipe to use active dry yeast?

    • Mel says:

      Kat – if you are going to use active dry yeast, I would add it to the warmed buttermilk with one tablespoon of the sugar (taken out of the 1/4 cup called for in the recipe). Mix them all together and let it proof for about 5-10 minutes until the yeast is bubbly. Then mix in the melted butter and proceed with the recipe (adding these wet ingredients to the dry). Let me know if you have other questions!

  22. Cute trick, makes them look very fancy like a pastry shop. I want to make now so I can try looking impressive. Orange rolls stand out as a great Christmas breakfast.

  23. Alisa says:

    These look like the perfect treats for Saint Lucia Day! They are smaller so I can hand more of them out to family/friends.
    I was wondering if your dough is freezable? If I were to make a bunch of the dough, let it rise and shape it – and then immediately freeze it before the final rise – do you think that would work? I am guess I would take them out of the freezer about 5 hours before baking them? Any tips? Thanks so much – I love your site!

    • Mel says:

      Alisa – yes, this dough freezes well. I would do exactly as you say, except increase the time out of the freezer to about 8-9 hours. Make the dough, let it rise, shape the rolls, place them on the pan and cover them with lightly greased saran wrap and foil. Place them immediately in the freezer. Take them out about 8-9 hours before you want to bake them. Let them thaw and rise at room temp. Remove the foil and saran wrap before baking!

  24. AngelaMarie says:

    I made these last weekend! I used my own favorite sweet roll recipe & it still turned out very good. My only problem had nothing to do with the recipe, but the temperature of the oven I used. It was too hot & the filling that surrounded the rolls made the rolls stick to the pan badly. If I knew they would do that, I would have removed them immeadiately from the pan THEN glazed them. The recipe is very very good though, I love it! thanks for sharing. the other (orange sweet roll) recipes i found had cinnamon in it, which i thought was odd with orange flavor.

  25. Nicole C says:

    these are delicious! i have never made rolls of any sort from scratch so these were my first try and they turned out great. i have made them twice now. the orange flavor is just awesome!
    a few comments….the first time i made them i put them on a cookie sheet w/o an edge and the filling was melting out and off the pan so i moved them to a 9×13 and an 8×8 (as they are so large, needed 2 pans). still turned out great! the next time i just had them raise and bake in these 2 pans to good results. i also refrigerated these overnight after cutting like you suggested (thanks for this idea!) they did not rise much in the fridge, but taking them out for an hour and a half doubled them in size!
    again, delicious, and definately a recipe i will keep!

  26. Julie says:

    What size roul pat do you use?

  27. Reyna says:

    I made these for Christmas morning, having assembled them the day before and then put them in the freezer. I took them out of the freezer before we went to bed, and they were ready to pop in the oven when we woke up in the morning. They were everything you could ever possibly want in an orange roll. Perfect in every way. This is a new Christmas tradition. LOVE THEM!

    • Mel says:

      Reyna – I feel a little special to be part of your Christmas tradition now. Well, not that I’m a part of it…but the rolls are so you know what I mean. Glad you loved them!

  28. Auntie Patch says:

    I made these for Christmas morning brunch and after my sister-in-law ate 2 she took 4 with her “for later”! Ha! Needless to say, they were a big hit! Thanks!

  29. Hannah says:

    I made these this morning. They were good.
    They are very light and refreshing.
    I added soft cream cheese to the glaze to make it a bit more rich.

  30. I’ve got a book full of sweet roll ideas, and i was thinking orange ones would be good to try… i’m gonna have to try this one.

    I would love it if you’d include these at my linky party here:
    http://sweet-rolls-that-rock.blogspot.com/2011/03/sweet-rolls-o-rama-linky-party.html

    so that everyone can see these sweet rolls :) please join.

  31. Brenda says:

    The look fabulous! I never even heard of orange sweet rolls before. I can’t wait to try these for my family on Good Friday. Do you think that I could also do the same twisty-thing with regular cinnamon rolls, too? Thanks Mel!

  32. hanna says:

    Ich habe nachgemacht. Einfach lecker. Bis Heute alle sind gegessen!

  33. Kayla says:

    I was wondering I just got a wheat grinder and none of my breads have been rising. What do I need to do?

    • Mel says:

      Kayla – well, there could be a lot of reasons for dough not rising. It shouldn’t be related to your new wheat grinder, per se, but usually yeast doughs don’t rise well if a) the yeast hasn’t been activated correctly (water too hot, yeast expired, etc.) b) the dough is overfloured – too much flour in a dough recipe can inhibit the dough from rising – I always use the feel of the dough as a guideline versus the amount of flour called for in a recipe and c) there may be other factors but without being right there in your kitchen with you, it’s hard to say what else may be causing it. I would check your yeast to make sure it isn’t expired, make sure it is activated correctly (bubbling and foaming if using active dry yeast) and keep an eye on not overflouring your dough. Hope that helps a little. Good luck!

  34. Tara Huish says:

    What did I do wrong with the filling??? It was bursting out all over the place! First I tried the twisted way and it was a big bubbly mess oozing all out of the rolls. Then I did them in individual muffin tins and they spilled out all over my oven. Has no one one else had that problem? They were still delicious, but it sure did a number on my oven and smoked up my house. Is it really supposed to be 1 cup sugar in the filling, not a 1/2 cup? Most recipes I looked at had a 1/2. Thought I would ask.

    I love all your recipes though, and if I can just figure out how to tame the filling, I’ll be making these again:)

    • Mel says:

      Hi Tara – the recipe is correct with the sugar amount although if you were having such problems with spilling perhaps you might try decreasing the amount of filling altogether. I’m not sure what went wrong but I’m sorry for the big mess!

  35. Jennifer says:

    My husband brought 20 of these to his early morning seminary class last week. He brings treats every Friday. We were looking for something besides donuts. I made cinnamon rolls the week before. The kids loved them and they were all gobbled up. The rest were eaten up at home too. I love cinnamon rolls but there is something quite addicting about the orange ones! I liked the dough, it was quite easy to work with. Thanks for sharing.

  36. Jacki Comber says:

    Hi , this is my come to site ALWAYS, i make your cinnamon rolls all the time and am in the middle of make the orange one !!! am doing a bit of a twist though as I made orange and ginger marmalde yesterday so am adding this instead of just the rind…my mouth is watering already. Thanks for all the brilliant recipes from your biggest fan down under !!

  37. Bri says:

    Made these this morning. A-MAZING! Happy mothers day to me! My husband is no fun to cook sweets for. He just doesn’t get excited about treats at all. Right before leaving for church I noticed 3 were gone…3! My husband said he LOVES them! Thanks for the wonderful dessert!

  38. I have a question….I noticed in one of your pictures that you use a serrated knife to cut your dough into rolls. I used to do the same, but ever since getting my beloved Roul Pat, I’m too afraid to use a knife. Can I ask what your method is??? I don’t want to cut the fiberglass surface!

  39. Krista Quintrell says:

    The dough is rising right now!! Can’t wait to bake them off!!

  40. Karisa says:

    I was in a huge mood to bake last night so I made these. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed. But that’s probably because I have an orange roll recipe that I’ve been making for over 20 years, and it’s the bomb-diggity! But I decided I must at least try one other recipe before I declare my grandma’s the best. hehe
    I thought the dough was pretty nice-easy to work with-soft when baked, but not quite “melt in your mouth”. My biggest issue is with the filling. I probably only used 1/3rd of it at first, because there was just way too much of it. Once I got it rolled up and started cutting, the filling just oozed everywhere and made a HUGE mess. So I started scraping it off the rolls and ended up with probably 3/4ths of my filling left over.
    The glaze was a nice touch, as mine don’t call for a glaze. I kept my opinion to myself and let my boys and hubby give me the final word. The hubby said they were good, but not a “keeper” because he likes my grandma’s better. And my nine year old son that BEGS all year for these (as I only make them for T-day and Christmas), only ate one. Usually he’s standing over the cooked ones, bracing himself against the counter, says, “I just can’t help myself…I must have another” and ends up eating 6 before I can stop him!! ROFL
    Here’s a link to my recipe. My sister-in-law cut back on the rind and subsituted some orange juice (but I think the additional liquid makes the filling runny) and she also uses butter instead of shortening. But I just can’t mess with perfection-so I do it as posted.

    • Mel says:

      Karisa – sounds like everyone is allowed to have a personal favorite. I’ve had really bad luck baking orange rolls in muffin tins even though that is a more traditional approach. They get overbrowned way too easily and aren’t as soft as I like. Thanks for sharing your link and checking in on this recipe!

  41. Katy says:

    My mouth is watering for these! LOVE the idea of twisting them. I think that would make them much better :)

  42. The last time I nmade sweet dinner rolls they were awesome but did have trouble rolling out the dough. I ounched down the dough an dlet it rest but it wouldn’t relax when i wanted to shape the crescents. They were as light a a feather but it was a fight to shape them. How long should let it rest befor eyou shape them.Any ideas would be much appreciated.Thanks.Carole

  43. CjR says:

    I love orange rolls and found that if you use the peel from those sweet little clementines, the orange peel flavor is more intense. TIP: During peak season, I save the peels and remove the bitter pith (white) from the peel, scraping it with the side of a spoon. Put them inyo a ziploc bag and freeze them. When I get a bag full, I grate the frozen peels on the smallest size grater on my food processor. I return the grated peel to the same bag and put it back in the freezer, then I’m always ready to make orange rolls when the urge hits!!

  44. Annie says:

    So a lot of your recipes call for instant yeast, but I can never find it anywhere. Where do you buy it?

  45. Mel says:

    Annie – I buy it in bulk at Sam’s Club (the Fleischmann’s brand) but I also grab the SAF brand when I can find it (usually online somewhere). Instant yeast is widely available…but sometimes it is called rapid-rise yeast and is in smaller packets. Hope that helps.

  46. […] Roll Dough from Bakingdom; Originally adapted from Baking Illustrated/ Filling adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe; Originally from My Kitchen […]

  47. I´ve been making these rolls for months now, and, naturally, they´re delicious. We don´t use much orange for pastries here (I´m from Buenos Aires) so they were a sweet surprise. I also used this dough to make Russian bread, that is nothing more than the rolled and filled (with orange almond cream) dough but cut in half along the middle, twisted and baked in a loaf pan. It´s incredible, really worth trying. Makes enough for 2 9×5 inches loaves. Thanks, again!, for a great recipe.

  48. DJAK says:

    I’m now on my second time making these and they’re heavenly! The texture of the dough/roll is PERFECT (even here at the 8700 ft that we’re at – with minor adjustments for the altitude). The filling, YUM! I am just in love with these, and so are our kids! :) Thanks for posting!

  49. […] From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. […]

  50. Kathryn says:

    I think I’ve saved about half your recipes on my ziplist account. I definitely end up drawn to the breads and sweets over and over again! Thank you for taking the time to post, take pictures and answer questions about your recipes. It’s a wonderful resource to have for dinners and desserts, and bread, and salads and, well you get the point.

  51. Sarah says:

    Hi Mel, thanks for posting such a great recipe. I made this today and it came out great, I will be trying this again but with less sugar it’s a bit to sweet for me but still a great recipe. Thanks again from Barbados! :)

  52. Alex says:

    Can these be made the night before & baked off in the morning?

  53. Constanza says:

    Hi, I have lost this page one month ago, suddenly I found it last nigth. I love this recipe. I will tell you when I will do it.
    Hugs.

  54. Amelia says:

    I screwed up… alot

  55. Tora says:

    Made these and took them on a trip! Turned out fluffy, moist, pillowy and delicious! Seems there was a little too much filling for me (melted out all over the place), but they were so outrageous I seem to have forgotten that. Anyway – will CERTAINLY make again.

  56. […] Orange Sweet Rolls by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  57. Lacee says:

    Made these yesterday and they’re already gone! :) I, too, noticed that the filling “runneth over”. It looked like the rolls were sitting in a buttery/orangey/sugary goop a quarter inch deep. But once I removed the rolls from the pan, it wasn’t bad, and the filling had only filled up the spaces between the rolls and corners of the pan. The bread baked perfectly and my family adored them. Will certainly make again.
    p.s. and I have to agree with your twisty method tasting better than regular rolls. Don’t know how it works, but it tastes better. :)

  58. Melanie says:

    How many tbsp.’s would the zest amount to?

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

  60. Wendy says:

    Hi Mel,
    I’ve just recently “found” you and have tried several recipes already with great success. Thanks for getting me out of my rut and trying something different. Your pics are a big part of the attraction for me – great job! I’m wondering if the orange rolls could be done “monkey” bread style (by melting filling and rolling balls in the mix before placing in bundt pan?) I serve at functions and like to have a couple of options.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Wendy – I think the idea to make the orange rolls as monkey bread is actually brilliant! If it were me, I might not use all the sugar mixture…but then again, maybe I would. Clearly it needs some experimentation! Let me know if you try it.

  61. Iza says:

    Hi Mel,

    I just made your sweet rolls and they came out wonderful! What a great recipe for yeast dough! I can’t wait to check out your entire blog. I have a feeling I’ll be baking a lot! :)

  62. Cate says:

    I’ve been looking at this recipe for awhile and finally made them on the weekend. I made them up in the evening and put in the fridge overnight to bake in the morning. They came out perfectly ( with only a little bit of filling oozing out). I’m pleased to find that using australian measuring cups didn’t effect the outcome although apparently there is a difference in volume.

  63. Foodiewife says:

    I have been obsessing about making these for weeks. Today was the day. I placed them in a 9″ parchment lined cake pan, and they baked up really tall! I made an Orange Cream Cheese frosting, that melted temptingly as soon as I took these out of the oven. Holy Cow! These were super tender, these were super good. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It’s a keeper.

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