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This recipe is brought to you in partnership with Red Star Yeast.

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 Platinum Yeast from Red Star. It makes working with yeast (even for the first time) super simple and approachable. You know I’m a huge fan of Red Star Yeast and use this yeast exclusively in my kitchen. Always have, always will. Fangirl for life. ♥ ♥

If you need a refresher on working with yeast, review my Baking with Yeast Guide before getting started.

Now 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: 1012 rolls 1x
  • 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

Scale
  • 2 and 3/4 cups (344g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package Platinum Yeast from Red Star (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.

Keywords: easy orange sweet rolls

In partnership with Red Star Yeast.

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Can you use orange juice instead of juice from an orange for the icing? I’m making your big cinnamon rolls but my husband requested orange icing.

    1. Hi Heather! Whole wheat flour will result in a much more dense, possibly dry texture. You could try replacing just a portion (1/3 – 1/2) of the flour with whole wheat to see how that goes. Happy baking!

      1. That swap should be fine, Betty!

  2. Sally, in most other recipes, the yeast is mixed with water and sometimes sugar before joining the other ingredients. Is it added to a dry mixture in this recipe?

    1. Hi Bakey, Instant yeast is typically added right to the dry ingredients. Most modern active-dry yeasts are already active, so we can get away with that here using active-dry as well. This recipe has been working for us for years following this exact method but feel free to make changes based on your preferences!

  3. Hi Sally! This is one of my all time favorite recipes!! I make it all the time for get together a with friends and family and they are always a huge hit! I was thinking about making them for Mothers Day brunch, but my BF mom is gluten free. Do you have any suggestions for making these gluten free?

    1. Hi Drew, we haven’t tested a gluten free version of these sweet rolls, but let us know if you try anything! Here are all of our gluten free recipes if you’re interested.

  4. I made these today and WOW! They were super easy to make and I had to preemptively freeze some so I don’t eat the whole dang pan tonight! Delicious!

  5. Hi Sally & Team…
    OMGOSH
    OMGOSH
    OMGosh!!!!

    These are insanely easy to bake (thanks to very complete guidance!!), insanely delicious!!!!!
    I followed everything to a “T” down to the same yeast Sally is a fan of & using fresh squeezed oranges from the zested orange…

    All I can say is “Thank you@ a million x over!!!!
    With all the craziness in our world right now Sally (&Team), this site, its recipes, and the inspiration it has provided- it’s kept me grounded along w/my fiancé & church.

    Thank you so much!!!
    Anyone reading this,all I can say is “YES BAKE these-you won’t regret it!).

    Thank you Sally!

    1. Love to read this, Lisa! Thank you so much for making and trusting our recipes 🙂

  6. These were absolutely the bomb. I have had my share of failures when it comes to used based goods, so I don’t try them as often as I should because I definitely would get better. With that said, I decided to tackle a recipe because my son loves orange rolls so much. We are fans of the Pillsberry orange sweet rolls in a can. I saw this recipe and the other recipe for the copycat. It was already 10 PM, so the easy orange rolls won out. I am here to tell you that they are absolutely delicious. So very easy. I don’t make a lot of Yeast based breads, this was easier than a quick bread. I only made a couple of changes and I will note them here. In all fairness, I usually don’t make any changes when I first tackle a recipe, because I know that it’s been tested by the author. I will never give a bad review if I have had to make changes and a recipe doesn’t work out. I made several changes because that is what I had to work with at 10 PM at night . First I swapped out coconut milk for regular milk because we don’t drink regular milk and I didn’t have any on hand. I had a little bit of whipping cream, so I subbed 1/4 c of the milk, the other half cup was the unsweetened coconut milk. As Sally noted to make the overnight version, I made it through step for and then place them in the refrigerator. In the morning, I turned my oven on for a couple of minutes at 200°, then shut it off, place the rolls inside the oven And cracked the door open just ever so slightly and let them double in size which took about 40 minutes. Because I was in a hurry and didn’t want to wait to heat my oven up, I used my ninja foodie to bake them out, covering them at 15 minutes with foil as Sally suggested, baked another 10 minutes. The glaze, I did add 2 teaspoons of orange zest to really drive home the orange flavor and I am glad I did that. Next time I will make a little bit more of the glaze. It doesn’t quite need double so do what you will with that information. I did not have a 9 inch cake pan mine was 8 1/2 inches, or I had a 10 inch springform pan. They looked to spread apart in the 10 inch, so I went with the 8 1/2 inch, next time I will use the 10 inch springform pan.

    These are so good and I rushed through many of the steps trying to get them done, but honestly they were so simple, the next time it won’t take but 20 minutes to get them ready. I will say to be cautious when hitting the butter and milk in the microwave, I got the mixture a little too hot and had to let it sit in the freezer just a little bit to get it down to a temperature that wouldn’t kill the yeast.

    Make these and your family will think you are amazing. Thank you Sally four all your hard work so that I can go from TRACI to Martha.

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