These fluffy, cinnamon swirled Orange Sweet Rolls taste even better than their from-the-can counterparts!
Orange Rolls just might be the Mr.’s all time favorite breakfast. He grew up on Pillsbury’s can of fluffy cinnamon rolls topped with a thick, sweet orange glaze. So on Valentine’s Day and his birthday I don’t get up super early to whip up a new epic breakfast recipe. Instead, I stumble downstairs in my PJs, pop the can open, and wait 15 minutes for the smell of cinnamon and oranges to fill the house and the look of adoring love to cross my husband’s face. That man loves his orange sweet rolls.
But this year I wanted to do something a little more special. It’s not that I mind opening up a can every now and then. But taking my time with a more involved baking project is something I really enjoy. I guess you could say it’s my love language. Kneading dough by hand? Love. Patiently waiting for the dough to rise? Love. Rolling out dough and slathering it in cinnamon and butter? Lots and lots of love.
On a side note, if you ever receive yeasted cinnamon rolls from me, take note. I really, really love you.
So this year I wanted to recreate the Mr.’s favorite, but do it from scratch. Luckily, the hard work of coming up with the recipe was already done for me thanks to Sally of Sally’s Baking Addiction . I just made a few changes to her recipe to yield these fluffy, buttery, orange-scented cinnamon rolls.
Since the recipe does involve several different steps, I decided to break it down for you in pictures. I really hope you give these a try! There’s nothing that says “I Love You” quite like from scratch orange sweet rolls.
It all starts with yeast and water. Sorry no picture included. You’ve totally got this part! Warm water + Yeast = Frothy bubbles! Always look for the bubbles!
In the yeast mixture goes sugar, fresh squeezed orange juice, salt, egg, and butter. Beat it up (either in your stand mixer or with an electric mixer) until it’s nice and smooth!
Then comes the flour. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to add the flour a cup at a time. You’re looking for a dough that pulls away from the edges of the bowl and is tacky but not sticky. When you press on it with your fingertip it should bounce back and not stick like crazy to your finger.
Then comes the kneading. Spread some flour onto a clean countertop and turn your dough out onto it. Flour your hands and knead the dough, folding it and pressing into it with your palms. Give it a good 5 minutes, adding flour if the dough starts to stick to your hands. Put some love into it! It’ll smooth out and become a nice round ball.
Put that lovely little loaf in an oiled bowl and set it in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. It’ll take about an hour and a half. In the meantime, make the filling—it’s just melted butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. And while you’re at it, why not whisk together some powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest for that luscious citrus glaze?
After the dough has risen, turn it out onto another lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to press it into a rectangle approximately 15 inches long and 9 inches wide. If the dough keeps springing back, let it rest for 10 minutes before trying again. Spread the dough rectangle with the cinnamon filling then roll it up into a long tube.
Slice the dough into 16 even rolls and place them in 2 large greased pie plates. Allow them to rise another hour or so, then preheat the oven and bake. Or leave them at room temperature overnight and bake in the morning–they’ll be HUGE, but they’ll bake up beautifully!
You know what all that hard work and love gets ya?
Totally worth it.
Orange Sweet Rolls
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3 - 3.5 cups all-purpose flour
For the filling
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 4 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
For the glaze
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons orange juice
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the dough:
- Combine the yeast and warm water (it should be around 110 degrees in a mixing bowl). Allow to dissolve for a minute or two or until a light foam begins to form on top. Add to this the orange zest, juice, sugar, salt, egg, and butter. Beat together on low speed with an electric mixer or handheld beaters until everything is smooth and well combined.
- Slowly add the flour to the mixture, a cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula after each addition. At 3 cups, check to see how sticky your dough is. The dough should feel tacky, but it shouldn't cling to your finger. If needed, add more flour until the dough is just barely tacky and springs back when touched.
- Generously flour a clean surface and turn your dough out onto the flour. Knead with your hands (I always flour my hands) for 5-6 minutes. The dough will start to smooth out. Form the dough into a ball, place in a greased bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, or about 1½ hours.
For the filling:
- In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
For the glaze:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract. If you'd like the mixture to be a bit thinner, add a little milk or water until you've reached the desired consistency. I like it to be thick but pourable.
- Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 15 inches long and 9 inches wide. If the dough is tough to roll out and continues to spring back. Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rest for 10 minutes before trying again.
- Slather the butter cinnamon mixture evenly over the rectangle. Begin to roll the dough tightly starting on the long end. Slice into 16 even circles.
- Grease two 9 inch deep dish pie plates or one 9 x 13 inch pan. Place the rolls in the prepared plate, cut side up. Cover the pans loosely with saran wrap and set aside to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes to 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover the pans with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes or until puffed. I like to remove to the foil for the last five minutes so the rolls get a little color. Allow the rolls to cool for 15 minutes. Spread the glaze evenly over the rolls. You may have a little extra, depending on how much glaze you like. We LOVE the glaze so we use a lot, but feel free to adjust to your taste. Serve warm.
Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction