Easy Orange Sweet Rolls

overhead image of orange sweet rolls with orange icing in a glass baking dish

Confession! Am I allowed to say that I like orange cinnamon rolls more than regular cinnamon rolls? It’s that added citrus flavor in the dough and filling BUT… most importantly… the sweeeeeeet orange icing. Makes my knees weak every time.

OH! And if you think cinnamon rolls smell divine as they bake, wait until you experience these easy orange sweet rolls baking. Your stomach will growl so loud you won’t hear the oven timer going off.

spreading orange icing onto orange sweet rolls

So yeah. Orange sweet rolls are king. And even if the only orange rolls you’ve ever had are the pillsbury kind that come in a can, that’s fine too. Because those things are redonkulous. Yes, I just said redonkulous!

But homemade is tastier. And I’m begging you to try these soon!

orange sweet rolls on a plate with a fork

I already have a recipe for homemade orange sweet rolls on my blog. Maybe some of you have tried them before? Today’s version is a little different, though you’re still experiencing that mesmerizing combination of cinnamon and sweet orange. The older dough recipe is a little more complicated, but perfect if you want to start the rolls the night before. Today’s dough recipe, producing orange sweet rolls that are just as soft and fluffy, is quicker. And easier, too!

1 Rise Cinnamon Roll Dough!!

What if I told you that you can whip up this dough quicker than your oven preheats? I’m being serious. There’s no endless mixing or several minutes of kneading. And the rise time is cut in half so you can have breakfast sooner. Because I know you’re hungry and craving cinnamon rolls. Aren’t we all?

This dough recipe is just like my easy cinnamon rolls. There’s only 1 rise with this easy cinnamon roll dough. All you do is make the dough by hand or in a mixer, knead it for only 1 minute, roll it out, fill it, roll it up, cut, and allow the cut rolls to rise for about an hour. Ok that sounds like a lot of work, but you can do it in a snap.

ingredients for orange sweet rolls in glass bowls

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

orange sweet roll dough in a glass bowl

( This dough feels like butter. And smells like an orange tree.)

Using a quality yeast and this carefully formulated dough will help you achieve maximum delicious cinnamon roll status. That’s a real term, you know. And by quality, I mean the one and only Red Star Yeast. Its Platinum line, preferably. It makes working with yeast (even for the first time) super simple and approachable. You know I’m a huge fan of RSY and use this yeast exclusively in my kitchen. Always have, always will. Fangirl for life. ♥ ♥

Roll out and fill:

dough rolled into a rectangle topped with orange sweet roll filling

To really amp up that orange flavor, I add orange zest to the filling. So the filling is this wonderful and buttery orange-scented cinnamon sugar mixture. Plus the dough has juice AND zest in it. And the glaze has juice! How much sweet orange is too much sweet orange?

The limit does not exist.

Cut the rolls. You’ll get about 10-12 rolls:

orange sweet rolls in a glass baking dish before rising

Let them rise.

Look how puffy! There’s no more room for these little rolls to expand. That’s when you know they’ll be extra fluffy.

orange sweet rolls in a glass baking dish after rising

Ice them when they’re warm so it melts into every crack and crevice. And go heavy on that icing. Do you even need an actual reason for extra orange icing in your life?

orange sweet rolls with orange icing in a glass baking dish with one roll removed

More Cinnamon Roll Varieties:

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overhead image of orange sweet rolls with orange icing in a glass baking dish

Easy Orange Sweet Rolls

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 28 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 rolls
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Fluffy, soft, and easy orange sweet rolls taste even better than cinnamon rolls, I promise. They only need 1 rise so breakfast is on the table quicker!


Ingredients

  • 2 and 3/4 cups (344g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package Red Star Platinum Superior Baking Yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) whole milk
  • 3 Tablespoons (40g) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 orange (use 2 Tablespoons juice and 1 Tablespoon zest)

Filling

  • 3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • remaining zest from the orange (1 Tablespoon)

Orange Icing

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • remaining juice from the orange (2-3 Tablespoons)

Instructions

  1. Make the dough: In a large bowl, toss the flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast together. Set aside.
  2. Heat the milk and butter together in the microwave until the butter is melted and the mixture is warm to touch (about 110°F). Stir in the 2 Tablespoons of orange juice, 1 Tablespoon orange zest, and the egg. Combine the butter mixture and the flour mixture and stir until it forms a soft dough. Poke it with your finger—it should bounce back. If not, stir in more flour 1 Tablespoon at a time.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 1 minute. Place in a lightly greased bowl (I used non-stick spray) and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. Fill the rolls: After 10 minutes, roll the dough out in a 14×8 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top. Mix together the cinnamon, sugar, and remaining orange zest. Sprinkle it all over the dough. Roll up the dough tightly. Cut into 10-12 even rolls and arrange in a lightly greased 9-inch round cake pan or pie dish.
  5. Loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free environment for 60-90 minutes.
  6. After the rolls have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake for 25-28 minutes until lightly browned. Cover the rolls with aluminum foil after 15 minutes to avoid over-browning on top.
  7. Make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and remaining orange juice together until smooth. Drizzle or spread over warm rolls.
  8. Cover leftover frosted or unfrosted rolls tightly and store for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: This dough can be made the night before through step 4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise in a warm environment, about 1 hour. Continue with step 6.
  2. Freezing Instructions: Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up before enjoying. You can also freeze the unbaked rolls and here’s how: bake the rolls in step 6 for only about 10 minutes at 375°F (191°C). Cool completely, then cover tightly and freeze. To serve, take the rolls out of the freezer and put into the refrigerator a few hours before serving. Then, finish baking them.
  3. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

In partnership with Red Star Yeast.

40 Comments

  1. I want to know how I can use this recipe and make pecan sticky rolls? Your recipe sounds very easy to make. A small batch is enough for the two of us. Thanks and I LOVE your website.

    1. I would use this topping— maybe reduce down slightly. Enjoy!

  2. Devin Spicer Buckler says:

    These look devine! Any suggestions for what to use instead of cinnamon? My husband LOVES oranges but HATES cinnamon. It’s probably the saddest thing ever when fall comes around. No cinnamon scented candles, no yummy cinnamon filled goodies. He even sometimes struggled with brown sugar or other things that remind him of cinnamon.

    1. You can leave out the cinnamon– maybe use brown sugar and a pinch of nutmeg/allspice/or cloves in the filling instead!

  3. I have followed your blog for the last 2 years, have made SO many of your recipes, and tell all my baking friends about you! Thank you for all of your recipes and posts. LOVED these orange sweet rolls!

  4. Do you think I can make these in the evening let them proof overnight in the fridge and bake them the next morning after they have come to room temp?

    1. Hi Sherry! See my make ahead tip for overnight instructions.

  5. Nancy McFadden says:

    Sally, I made this tonight and they are amazing. I thought I had everything I needed to make them but came up 1/4 cup of flour short and used almond flour. They didn’t rise too much after 60 minutes but after 9o minutes they rose some. I still was skeptical about messing up the dough with the heavier almond flour. I baked them at 370 in my convection oven for 18 minutes. They are amazing, even with the addition of almond flour. Thank you so much for all of your wonderful recipes. I always check with your blog before I bake. 

  6. I made these a few weeks ago, and these were amazing! So much better than the canned kind! I’m vegan, so I used a flax egg in place of the egg, used almond milk in place of regular milk, and used Earth Balance for the butter. To cut down on sugar, I replaced it with Stevia. I used your overnight method for these, and they were awesome! Even my non-vegan boyfriend loved them! Thank you for all the wonderful recipes!

  7. These are absolutely DELICIOUS! My husband loves the canned ones but he said this recipe far surpassed them in taste and texture. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

  8. Anna Poolos says:

    Can these be frozen?

    1. Yep! See recipe note.

  9. Can you double the recipe and freeze some for later breakfasts?

    1. I suggest making it twice instead of doubling it so there isn’t too much dough to work with at once. Then you can follow the freezing directions in the recipe notes.

  10. I just made these today, and my family loved them! I didn’t have any regular oranges, so I substituted blood oranges and they were amazing! And it made the icing such a nice pink color too.

  11. I have a question! I really want to make these for my boyfriend as a surprise when he wakes up. I go visit him on weekends. My thought was I would make the rolls on Friday, but then it’s an hour-drive from my house to his place… would I be alright to do the overnight version, cover the rolls – put them in a cold bag and transfer them to his fridge Friday night?

    The plan then would be to get up before him Saturday morning and bake them for a yummy breakfast surprise.

    1. Hi Ellie! Yes, you can prep the rolls ahead of time and keep them cold in the freezer bag (then the refrigerator) until ready to bake the next morning.

  12. These are seriously the BEST rolls EVER! The first time I made them, I was shocked at how quick it was to make them! My family devoured them and the smell…..oh, the smell! It’s so heavenly! I added orange zest to the icing, though (I learned a trick from some lemon shortbread triangles-rub the confectioner sugar with the zest and the oils from the peel come out & make it more pungent!). Yum, yum, yum! I’m making them for the 3rd (or is it 4th?) time tomorrow! Thanks for such an amazing recipe! <3

    1. I’m thrilled that these are such a hit with your family! And thanks for the tip – I will definitely have to try it!

  13. Sheila Calnan says:

    Hoping I’m not asking a question, you have already answered, but I’ve checked all the “cinnamon roll” recipes, and can’t find an answer. Maybe you have another recipe to suggest. I was asked to make cinnamon rolls for a Thanksgiving pot luck. I want to make an orange flavored roll, with some dried cranberries. The other question is, can I make these in “mini” form? Maybe slice as usual, cut in half, then pinch them together?
    Thanks in advance for all your help.

    1. I haven’t made mini rolls but you can certainly try it. When you roll the dough out into a rectangle try cutting it in half so that you have two longer and skinnier rectangles and make mini rolls that way. Let me know if you try it!

  14. I just made these! YUMMY!

  15. These were a delicious treat for New Year’s Day coffee!

  16. I just made these and they are delicious!! I followed the recipe exactly and the rolls came out perfectly. Thank you Sally for your consistently amazing baked treats!

  17. I just made these and they turned out fantastic. I modified slightly for my higher elevation. Yummy, thanks for the great recipes you offer. I use yours all the time because they are amazing. What a wonderful treat for my family during the shelter in place order in my state.

  18. Can you use bread flour in this? I’m low on AP flour.

    1. Sure can!

  19. I made these this morning and they were amazingly simple and turned out perfectly. I wouldn’t change a thing!

  20. I made these for Easter breakfast, and they were delicious! I used bread flour and prepped them the night before, with help from my 7 year old. It was my first time making cinnamon rolls, but this will be a new holiday tradition. Thanks for a great recipe!

  21. These turned out REALLY well. I used all the zest from one orange in the dough, and all the zest from a second orange in the filling to make it extra orangey. I added a little extra juice, too, but the dough didn’t turn out too sticky–it was just right & easy to knead and roll out. I used the overnight method with no problems. My room mate told me these were the best cinnamon rolls she’d ever had!! Thanks so much for a great recipe.

  22. Jorcelyn W. says:

    YOU ARE AMAZING!!! Thank you Sally for all these recipes and tips. I like having easier recipes to work with. I have started to bake again (now that we have time). I was given cake (active) yeast so had to do a conversion. This orange recipe is so easy I did it with my 10 year old and the cinnamon one with my 14 year old. They came out fluffy and light and we love the intense orange flavor. I wrote it out (does anyone even do that anymore?) for my recipe book and will make variations of this great recipe in the future.

  23. Fantastic recipe, Sally! Once again your recipe is a winner! So easy and the dough is a dream to work with. I did need two oranges to get all the zest I needed. Other than that – it was perfection.

  24. Thanks Sally for another awesome recipe! I made half the dough into rolls (as in the recipe) and half into swirl buns (folded filled dough like a book, slice into strips, then twisted and rolled each strip into a bun) Instead of the icing, I used orange syrup (orange zest, juice, water & sugar) to give the baked buns/rolls a glossy finish.

  25. Hello,

    I want to make these for christmas morning. Since I really don’t want to save the second rise for the morning (would take too long) I want to make the whole recipe ahead of time and just re heat. Do you think it would taste ok if I leave it not the counter overnight and reheat? What temp and how long would you reheat for? I will be waiting to put on icing until after the reheat. Thanks!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kelli, you can absolutely leave them at room temperature overnight — just be sure to cover them tightly so they don’t dry out. Reheat at the same temperature for a few minutes until they are warmed to your liking. Hope they are a hit on Christmas morning!

  26. Hi Sally, thanks for your wonderful recipe. I just made the cinnamon rolls and it was absolutely delicious! My first time making it from scratch and it was so successful! I can’t wait to try your other recipes God bless you!! Thanks a million!

  27. I made these for breakfast this morning since my husband loves all sweet rolls. I’m new to yeast baking and thanks to your email tutorial, I have now made many baked goods requiring yeast and they’ve all turned out beautifully! These were no exception… they are absolutely delicious!

  28. Just a question.
    can we use orange extract instead of orange juice in this recipe?

    1. Hi Bri, orange extract is a lot more potent than fresh orange juice. You can try adding 1 teaspoon to the dough. You may want to add 5 teaspoons (not Tablespoons) extra milk to the dough to make up for that loss of liquid. For the icing, use milk instead of the orange juice and add 1/4 teaspoon orange extract.

  29. Just made these for Easter breakfast. Total hit. Everyone loved them and there are none left. Really easy and makes nice soft rolls. Made everything up to the baking step, let them rise for 30 min, covered them and put them in the fridge Pulled them out of the fridge this morning and let warm up to room temperature for an hour while the oven preheated.

    Our other favorite pecan roll recipe takes over four hours – these are way easier and just as tasty. These will be our Weekend go-to sweet roll recipe from now on.

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