Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Homemade Orange Sweet Rolls

Copycat Pillsbury Orange Sweet Rolls. Gooey, fluffy, and dripping with orange glaze.

Fluffy, gooey cinnamon rolls with sweet orange glaze. Copycat Pillsbury recipe! These are amazing.

I planned for the first recipe of 2013 to be a healthier item… sorry, but I changed my mind.

Today’s rolls are a sequel to my Raspberry Swirl Sweet Rolls. The two dough recipes are completely different, but they are both fruity little spin-offs of your standard cinnamon bun. I am so in love with both fluffy, doughy, yeasty sweet roll recipes. And I know you will be too. Do not fear yeast!

Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls with sweet orange glaze. | Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Have you ever had a Pillsbury Orange Sweet Roll before? You know, the kind that come in a can?  I gladly admit that I LOVE those little things. My mom always made them for us on busy weekend mornings. The smell alone got me out of bed – light citrus paired with the nostalgic fragrance of gooey cinnamon buns.

Needless to say, down the stairs I ran with a grumbling tummy.

Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls with sweet orange glaze. | Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Today I bring you a homemade version of the zingy little breakfast rolls. The rolls are surprisingly SO easy to make. I know a lot of my readers have 2013 resolutions to begin playing around with yeast and this is a wonderful recipe to conquer that fear.

They’re puffy.

Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls with sweet orange glaze. | Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

They’re zingy.

Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls with sweet orange glaze. | Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

They’re dripping with sweet orange glaze!

Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls with sweet orange glaze. | Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Copycat Pillsbury Orange Sweet Rolls. Gooey, fluffy, and dipping with orange glaze!

I baked these in the evening for breakfast the next day. They definitely taste better fresh, but I didn’t hear anyone complaining. They can also be made ahead of time – either as overnight rolls (see recipe notes) or you can freeze the baked rolls. Just warm up and drizzle with the orange glaze when you’re ready to serve them.

You will love how doughy, soft, and fluffy these are! Each bite is tender – like the fluffiest bakery roll you’ve ever tasted. You will NEVER turn to the store-bought version again. There is simply nothing like a fresh sweet roll made from scratch.

Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls with sweet orange glaze. | Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

With one taste of the warm and sticky rolls fresh from the oven, I truly wondered why I waited so long to make these! I like to unravel the doughy cinnamon layers as I eat them. 🙂

New spin-off recipes from today’s sweet rolls are already swirling through my head. Make a batch of these for breakfast or brunch and invite your friends and family over. Or not. There really doesn’t need to be any occasion to make these!

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make! 

Homemade Orange Sweet Rolls

A homemade copycat recipe for Pillsbury Orange Sweet Rolls. Topped with a sweet orange glaze and filled with cinnamon sugar.

Yield: 15 rolls

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • fresh orange zest from 1 medium orange
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 - 3 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)

Filling

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar (or more for a thicker glaze)
  • 3 Tablespoons orange juice
  • fresh orange zest from 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Make The Dough: Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water for about 1 minute. No need to use a thermometer for the water's temperature, but to be precise: about 105-115F degrees. Stir the yeast/water around. Then add orange zest, orange juice, sugar, salt, egg, butter, and 1.5 cups of flour. Beat everything together on low with a handheld mixer, scraping down the sides as needed. (A mixer is definitely needed to break up all the butter and beat everything to the proper consistency.) With a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough easy to handle - about 1.5 - 2 more cups. You are looking for a dough that is not sticky and will spring back when poked with a finger.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for about 5-6 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1.5 hours.
  3. Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving room on the sides. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling in, roll into a 10x15 inch rectangle. I used a ruler for accuracy. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick, even at the corners.
  4. For The Filling: in a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon. Spread the dough rectangle with softened butter and sprinkle generously with all of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Tightly roll up the dough and cut into 16 even rolls (1 inch in width each) with a very sharp knife. Arrange them in the prepared baking pan, cut sides up.
  5. Cover the rolls and let them rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes - 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375F degrees. Cover the rolls with aluminum foil and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until they are lightly golden in color. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes.
  7. Make The Glaze: In a small bowl, mix together all of the glaze ingredients and drizzle over rolls before serving. Add more orange juice to thin out, if needed.
  8. Make ahead tip: Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up before enjoying. You can also freeze the unbaked rolls and here's how: let the rolls rise through step 5. Then, bake the rolls for only about 10 minutes at 375°F (191°C). Cool completely, then cover tightly and freeze. Take the rolls out of the freezer and put into the refrigerator a few hours before serving. Then, finish baking them. To make this recipe using an overnight method: prepare through step 4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and let rise, about 1 hour.

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I like to call this sweet roll per… wait for it… fection. 😉

Fluffy, gooey cinnamon rolls with sweet orange glaze. Copycat Pillsbury recipe! These are amazing.

 

I know you’ll enjoy these related recipes as well.

Raspberry Swirl Sweet Rolls

Raspberry Swirl Sweet Rolls-11

 

Easy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

My BEST ever Cinnamon Rolls - totally from scratch, great beginnger recipe!

177 comments

  1. Hi Sally, I tried these rolls two days ago and they didn’t rise! I wasn’t sure if it was the yeast problem or something else I did, or the weather :D. Are active dry yeast the same as instant ones?

    I tried your cinnamon rolls recipe before, and they were very successful! So I was disappointed this didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to. But the orange glaze was fantastic. 🙂

    • Hey Laura! It definitely sounds like your yeast was dead. That’s the reason for my sweet rolls not rising. Instant yeast is a little stronger than active dry. I generally find it easier to work with. Active dry yeast works just as well as instant yeast, but it sounds like yours may have been dead.

  2. Hey sally! Do you think it would be weird if i make the glaze into a chocolate orange glaze? Or chocolate glaze? It sorta comes up to my mind

  3. Hey Sally!! Thank you for this fantastic recipe!!!! I used this recipe to make a giant cinnamon roll cake (also referred to your other recipe) for my mom’s birthday. She absolutely LOVES oranges and this is such a great recipe!

    But guess what – I made it even more orangey – I added orange extract in the dough, orange zest in the filling, and even made my own candied orange peels to include in the filling. The result? A super gooey orangey cinnamony giant bread roll cake ….. It is heaven combined with the orange glaze. Thank you thank you thank you!

  4. Sally, how much Active Dry yeast will I need for this recipe?

  5. Sally! Thank the heavens for this recipe, I have too many ponkans on hand at home. Do you using the ponkans will work too, in place of the orange?

  6. I made these for my husband over the weekend and they were so good! I recently started my own food blog. I shared this recipe with my few followers. I’d love for you to check it out.

  7. Just a small tip I learned: when cutting the rolls before baking, use unflavored dental floss or thread for a clean cut. Dough will also rise better

  8. I made these last night and everything went perfectly until I cooked them. By the time they middle ones were light brown, the bottoms were dark brown. Taste (other than bottoms was superb). We solved by very carefully cutting the bottoms off while they were still all together. However my question is, what should I have done differently?

    • Are you baking them in a dark metal pan or glass? I prefer to use glass when I bake cinnamon rolls. I find dark metal burns my cinnamon rolls. You can also try slightly reducing the oven temperature. Try 350 degrees for around 28 minutes.

  9. I made your Blueberries n’ Cream cupcakes for my friend’s daughter’s first birthday party, and they were a hit! So, I knew that I could count on your for delicious recipes:) I made these sweet rolls over the weekend for my co-worker’s last day at the job. She was so happy and thankful, and along with the rest of the team, these rolls were gobbled up…even by my co-worker who is allergic to citrus. Yikes! Goes to show that these rolls are darn tasty. I’ve made cinnamon rolls and sticky buns (not sure what the difference is…), and sometimes the dough was so heavy that I worried that my mixer was just going to give up on me. I like the lightness of this recipe as well as the size of the sweet rolls that result. Not too big, not to small, but just right. Awesome flavor and texture. Will make again and again!

  10. These were so tasty! I had to convert them to vegan but it did not change the taste at all I’m sure. I wrote the conversion substitutes on my main website, hope you don’t mind. (There is a link to the original recipe here.) Again, thank you for the delicious idea and recipe – delish!

  11. I read the recipes and have a few questions. I’ve been looking for an airy dough to make breakfast sweet rolls that have the well in the center with fruit. Can this dough be used for that? I don’t want to do raspberry, can I use cherry pie filling to make this recipe? I don’s have any unsalted butter, can I use regular butter.

  12. I made these for our Easter brunch last Sunday and they were amazing, so light and fluffy and the orange with the cinnamon is perfect! They were eaten up so fast I only got 1/2 of one so I am going to have to make them again this week! I shared this on my blog today. Thanks for the recipe.

  13. emergency help! I made the dough through step two and was planning on making these tomorrow morning- I don’t have time tonight to roll them out, put on the filling, and let them rise for another hour before refrigerating! What can I do??

  14. If I make these and pour over the orange glaze now, how long will they keep in an airtight container? I’m thinking of these with fresh fruit for the kids lunches.

  15. Thank you so much for this! My family’s Christmas morning tradition since I was a child and I just can’t do the pop up cans anymore. Thank you for making it special again.

  16. Hoping someone, somewhere made this with gluten free?  Anyone?  Anyone?

    • I was wondering the same thing. I bet you can use Betty Crocker’s all-purpose gluten-free flour blend. You might have to add Xanthan Gum. I feel like there are a lot more gluten-free  flour purpose blends out there. You might have to experiment with different flours. Maybe just half the recipe, to not waste product when you’re testing out products. I plan on making this but not till Christmas! 

  17. Due to issues with strength in my hands, I am unable to do kneading by hand…can I use my kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook for all of the kneading involved?  The recipe looks amazing and I have a bunch of oranges crying to be used 🙂

  18. Hi! My husband’s family loves the commercial version of these, and since I am hosting Christmas this year, I’m in charge of making sure they get made. However, I cannot bring myself to pop a can for something as special as Christmas morning – just not my style. My big problem is that we will have a brand new baby during the holidays, so baking isn’t going to happen. I want to make these, freeze them in disposable baking pans, and that way they will be ready for Christmas morning. My questions are: do I bake the rolls fully before freezing? Or is it more of a par-bake. And can the icing be made ahead and frozen? If not, how far ahead do you think it can be made fresh? Hopefully I’m not repeating any questions asked by other users. Thank you so much!!! 

    • Hi Eleanor! I just added some more make-ahead and freezing instructions to the recipe. I’ve been meaning to do so. See the make ahead tip.

  19. I made these for the first time yesterday. I didn’t really follow the recipe for the glaze… I just kinda winged it myself. Turned out good. And for the filling, I used 2 Tbsp. of butter instead of 1 Tbsp. Turned out good… a little hard to spread, but it worked. All in all, this recipe is VERY good and it’s definitely a keeper. My kids LOVE them. I’m making another batch today to freeze so they can have them for breakfasts. Thanks for an awesome recipe! 🙂

  20. How much orange zest do you use for the dough and glaze?

  21. Hi, I am excited to make these! All seems pretty straight forward, but as this is my first time using active yeast, I am curious about the “warm place” where it is supposed to sit. My apartment is very “room temp.” Should I turn on the oven and set the bowl on the stove above? Or perhaps inside the oven at a lower temperature? Thanks!

  22. I now have made the Easy Cinnamon Rolls (a few times already) and just made the Orange Sweet Rolls for Thanksgiving…Out of this world delicious! Your recipe for both are well written and easy to follow…and the orange zest in the Sweet Rolls and orange zest in the Glaze….Fabulous! I added some Cream cheese to the glaze to make it abit more creamy. Next week I will make the Raspberry Sweet Rolls…wish me luck! Thank you for the great recipes Sally!

  23. Hi Sally!  I want to make these for my husband Christmas morning but will need to make the dough the night before.  Your additional notes aren’t showing up for me so I can’t see what I need to do to make this successful!  What are the overnight instructions please?  Thank you!

  24. Agree 100%!! Glaze took the whole juice of an orange to thin it out. I used 4 tablespoons of soft butter, 1/2 cup of light brown sugar with the 2 tsp. of cinnamon.

    • Hi Allison! I’ve been meaning to update the recipe with my recent changes… I prefer to use 1/4 cup of butter in the filling. Thanks.

  25. made these yesterday.  Fun to make and taste wonderful.  Tastes just like the canned kind!!  I’m gonna try other kinds!!  I will probably add more orange next time- such as a small bit of orange oil to intensify the orange

  26. Hi, we are just 2 of us at home.. So, 15 rolls would be a lot to handle 🙂 can I halve the recipe and make just 6 or 7 rolls?

    Thanks a lot.

  27. Great recipe. I’ve use this for years as it was published in a Betty Crocker cook book back in the 70’s. I use a fresh large orange and find that it generally gives enough fresh OJ and zest. I split my sugar with half white and half brown.
    Super easy!

  28. I’m totally making this and adding bacon! Awesome recipe, can’t wait to try these

  29. Hi Sally! I’m looking at making these using the overnight instructions, but I need a little clarification first. When you say follow the instructions through step 4, does that include letting them rise in a warm place for 30 minute to an hour (so the initial rise, the rise as rolls, rising in the refrigerator overnight, then a 4th rise in the morning)? Or do you skip that 2nd ride, resulting in only 3 rises? Thanks! I really don’t want to screw these up, because they look delicious!

    • Kaleen, I just added those recently and I just dropped that rising part down to step 5. So, do not let the cut rolls rise then place in the refrigerator. Cut the rolls, place into the pan and then into the refrigerator. Sorry about that!

      • Thanks! They were delicious! I was so happy to be able to start the process last night so I had less to do this morning. Everyone loved them.

  30. Hello! I’ve made these several times and they truly are fabulous!!! However, sometimes they don’t rise as well as others, or they’ll rise but then fall. I’ve tried to figure out what’s happening but can’t quite piece it together (my yeast is good). Could you share some specifics on the rising and baking? Such as:

    Do you cover with plastic wrap, foil or a towel when rising? 
    The plastic wrap gives a really good rise by being air tight, but when I remove it to bake that seems to contribute to the falling

    • I typically cover with plastic wrap. It could be that you are letting the rolls rise too much, which could then cause them to deflate. That would be my guess!

      • Ok, , I was wondering that, but I’ve tried to make the switch from warm spot to oven sooner and feel like they didn’t rise that last little bit. 
        Do you rise in a warm oven or counter?
        What about the overnight ones not rising after being in fridge?

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