These delicious rolls are large, soft yeast rolls with a cinnamon orange filling and orange drizzle icing. Perfect for breakfast, a holiday brunch, or just an afternoon snack.
My sophomore year of college I lived in a small on-campus apartment with three other girls. It was our first apartment, and therefore had our first kitchen. We were eager to cook as much as possible. There was one morning each week when one of my roommates and I were in class that my other two roommates would make Pillsbury Orange Rolls for breakfast.
I did not know that my other two roommates had this tradition until one morning I came back from class early, and found them eating the orange rolls. They kindly offered me a roll which I ate, and loved. I then decided that there needed to be a second weekly orange roll morning when I was around.
I think about those Pillsbury Orange Rolls frequently. And I’ve thought a number of times about trying to recreate my own homemade version. For the past year or so, I’ve had ‘make orange rolls’ on my weekend to do list a number of times. This past Easter weekend, it finally came to fruition.
On Easter, my church does a pot-luck brunch, and I decided that I would make homemade Orange Cinnamon Rolls to take to the brunch and share. Due to Easter morning children situations, we weren’t able to make it to church, so we had these rolls around the house. No one was sad – we ate them all in just a few days.
Orange Cinnamon Rolls
These Orange Cinnamon Rolls are made from yeast dough. But don’t be scared, they aren’t difficult to make! Here are a few tips to help ensure success with this recipe:
- This recipe calls for Active Dry Yeast. Do NOT use Instant Yeast.
- Your milk should be 100-110 degrees for activating the yeast. I use a kitchen thermometer for ensuring the milk is in within the correct temperature range.
- Yeast bread rises best in a warm, draft free area. When letting yeast dough rise, I turn my oven on to the lowest temperature, which is 170 degrees F. Once the oven reaches temp, I turn it off. Then, I place my dough in a heat safe bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and place it in the (turned off) oven.
- If you have someone in your family who doesn’t like orange, you can simply leave out the orange zest on one half of the filling and substitute heavy cream for orange juice in the icing.
Orange Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 cup milk
- 2 1/4 ounce packets Active Dry Yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tbsp orange zest zest from about 1 orange
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat milk in a small sauce pan over medium heat until milk reaches 100-110 degrees If it gets hotter than this, let it cool to 110 degrees. Once milk is heated, stir together with sugar and yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- While yeast is sitting, stir together salt and flour in the base of a stand mixer. Then, add 4 tbsp of melted butter and stir well.
- Once yeast mixture has sat for 10 minutes, pour into the stand mixer, and using the dough attachment, mix for about 20 seconds. Finally, add egg and beat until a soft ball of dough forms.
- Spray a glass bowl with cooking spray. Remove dough from mixer and form into a ball. Place in bowl and roll dough around so that all sides are coated with cooking spray. Cover bowl and let rise in a draft free area until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. To do this, I turn my oven to 170 degrees, and once it reaches that temp, I turn the oven off. Then, I cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the off oven. It rises a bit quicker this way.
- After dough has risen, punch down and kneed about 5 times.
- Cover a working surface with flour and roll dough out on surface to a rectangle that is ~14″ x 18″. If the dough is too sticky to roll, sprinkle a small amount of flour over the top.
- Brush the top of the rolled dough with the 4 tbsp of the melted butter.
- In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange zest. Spread evenly over the dough, all the way to the two shorter sides of the rectangle, and all the way to one of the longer rectangle sides. For the final side, leave about an inch at the edge where you don’t spread the mixture.
- Starting at the bottom of the long side where the filling reaches the edge, roll tightly upward. You will finish with the non-filled inch pressed to the outside of the roll. Cut the roll into 12 even slices (each slice with be just about 1″ in thickness).
- Spray the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Place dough evenly on bottom of dish. Cover and let rise in a draft free area, or using the oven trick above, until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. If you want to make these rolls ahead, instead of letting the rolls rise at this point, cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and place dish in the refrigerator. Once ready to bake, remove dish from refrigerator and let sit in a warm, draft free area until rolls are doubled in size. This will take about 2 hours.
- When rolls are ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, uncovered, until tops are golden brown, about 27-30 minutes.
- In a small bowl stir together all of the icing ingredients. Drizzle over warm rolls before serving.
Disclaimer: All nutritional information provided on this website is an estimate only and is not guaranteed.
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