Homemade Orange Rolls Recipe | The Recipe Critic


Sticky and soft with a vibrant orange flavor, these orange rolls are the best you’ll find. Simple to make, these are the zesty sister to a cinnamon roll!

Cinnamon rolls are a popular favorite in our home! Try these fun variations like this Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake, Quick 45 Minute Cinnamon Rolls or this Delicious Cinnamon Roll Pancakes Recipe for more delicious ways of enjoying a sweet and savory breakfast.

12 orange rolls on a gold baking tray covered in orange icing

Orange Cinnamon Rolls

These sweet rolls are infused from top to toe in zesty fresh orange flavor and you’ll never want store-bought again.

  • The bread roll is soft and fluffy and the perfect vehicle for the orange flavor.
  • The orange sugar filling is just 3 ingredients, that gets scattered and spread evenly over the rolled out dough.
  • The orange icing is, again, just 3 simple ingredients, mixed together in a bowl, then poured all over the top of your rolls once baked.

Ingredients in Homemade Orange Rolls

You’ll need typical baking ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs and butter but there are a couple of ingredients to elaborate on.

  • Oranges: You’ll need 2 large oranges for this recipe. You’ll use all the zest and most of the juice. Make sure to give them a wash first.
  • Yeast: Instant or active dry yeast are what you’re after here.

Mixing together the dough for orange rolls in a glass bowl

How to Make Orange Sweet Rolls

Making orange rolls from scratch doesn’t require too much hands on time (even if you’re kneading by hand) but it does require planning ahead to allow for rising time.

The steps are all simple though and it’s always so therapeutic making bread from scratch.

  1. Make the dough: Melt together butter and some milk, then add orange juice and add it to the dry ingredients.
  2. Knead the dough: In a stand mixer, this only takes about 6-7 minutes or you can do this by hand. The dough is sticky but see my tips below.
  3. Rest: Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled in size.
  4. Make the filling: Combine the sugar and orange zest in a bowl, using your fingertips to press it together. This will release the oils from the zest, intensifying the flavor. Then add butter.
  5. Form the rolls: Roll the dough out, and scatter over the filling. Roll the dough up and cut 12 slices, then place them cut side up on a greased tray. Let them rise again.
  6. Bake the rolls: Bake for around 24 minutes or until nice and golden on top. Let them cool slightly before mixing the icing ingredients and pouring it over the top. Tips and variations

Rolling and filling dough for orange rolls, then placing the cut rolls on a baking tray

Can I Make Them Without a Stand Mixer?

You can knead this dough by hand. It will take a little elbow grease and about 10 minutes but it’s not difficult.

This is a sticky dough which is what keeps it nice and soft once they’re baked so try to resist the urge to add flour. I find the easiest way to knead it is to press down with one hand then use a bench scraper in the other hand to lift and fold it so you can press down again.

It’s ready when the dough is smooth and bounces back when you lightly press your finger into it.

An orange roll with a large chunk cut out showing the texture of the dough

Can I Make These Rolls Ahead?

You can make orange rolls ahead of time, part of the way. You can make the dough and leave that covered in the fridge overnight. The next day, let it come to room temperature (about 2 hours) before rolling it out and proceeding.

You can also make it ahead right up until the second rise. So, once you’ve placed the cut rolls into the baking tray, cover it with plastic wrap and let them sit in the fridge overnight. Let them come to room temperature (about 1 hour) before baking.

Homemade orange rolls are best eaten fresh but if you have any leftover, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Give them just a short 8-10 burst in the microwave to fluff up the bread again.

8 orange rolls on a gold baking tray with slices of orange in the background

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