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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.

The top view of orange rolls on parchment paper surrounded by orange slices.

Orange Roll Recipe

These sweet rolls are infused from top to toe in zesty fresh orange flavor and you’ll never want store-bought again. These rolls are soft and fluffy and I love the added ingredient of heavy cream over the dough. It makes them moist and delicious!

I don’t know if I like orange rolls or regular cinnamon rolls better. Or, you can try out these strawberry cinnamon rolls and serve them all! But I especially love including orange rolls to my holiday breakfast lineup. Try serving these at Christmas Brunch with an easy Overnight Breakfast Casserole!

Ingredients in Homemade Orange Rolls

You most likely already have a lot of these ingredients ready to go in your pantry! Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for all of the exact measurements.

6 picture sin a collage showing how to make orange rolls.

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.

Dough

  1. Mix: In a small bowl, mix together the orange zest and sugar. This will release the oils in the zest and create an orange-flavored sugar to flavor the buns.
  2. Whisk: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, orange sugar, salt, and yeast together. Set aside.
  3. Combine: In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, milk, and butter together and heat in the microwave until the butter is melted, about 30-45 seconds. This may look curdled, but it’s okay if it does.
  4. Mix wet and dry ingredients together: Use the dough hook attachment on low to stir the liquid into the dry ingredients. Add the egg and then knead on low speed for 5-6 minutes until the dough is no longer sticky. Form the orange roll dough into a ball and return to the bowl. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Prep oven and pan: Turn on the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×9 pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Filling

  1. Make orange flavor: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and orange zest for the filling to make more orange sugar.
  2. Dust counter with flour: Once the dough has rested, dust a clean surface lightly with flour and roll out the dough into a 15×9 inch rectangle.
  3. Add butter: Spread the softened butter over the dough and dust evenly with the orange-sugar mixture. Roll the dough up tightly and cut into 9 even pieces.
  4. Cover: Place the rolls into the prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  5. Let rise: Turn off the warmed oven and place the pan of rolls inside. Let them rise for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes have passed then remove the foil or plastic and drizzle the ¼ cup of cream evenly over the top of the buns.
  6. Bake: Return the buns to the oven and turn the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops of the orange rolls are golden brown.

Orange icing

  1. Combine: In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to combine the butter, powdered sugar, milk, orange zest, and orange juice until smooth. If you would like the icing to be more runny, add milk or orange juice until the consistency is how you would like it.
  2. Drizzle: Drizzle over the slightly cooled buns before serving.

Can I Make Them Without a Stand Mixer?

Yes! It may take a little longer, but you can knead the orange roll dough by hand.

  • Don’t add more flour: 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.
  • Use a Bench Scraper: 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.
  • When is the dough done? It’s ready when the dough is smooth and bounces back when you lightly press your finger into it.
Glaze being drizzled on orange rolls.

How to Make Orange Rolls Ahead of Time

These orange rolls can be prepared beforehand! Then you just pop them in the oven and enjoy them fresh and warm every time.

  • After the Second Rise: 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.

How to Store Leftovers

Homemade orange rolls are best eaten fresh, but if you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can warm them up in the microwave or eat them cold!

A close up of an orange roll on a plate with a fork.

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Orange icing

Dough

  • In a small bowl, mix together the orange zest and sugar. This will release the oils in the zest and create an orange-flavored sugar to flavor the buns.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, orange sugar, salt, and yeast together. Set aside.

  • In a small bowl combine the orange juice, milk, and butter together and heat in the microwave until the butter is melted, about 30-45 seconds. This may look curdled, but it’s okay if it does.

  • Use the dough hook attachment on low to stir the liquid into the dry ingredients. Add the egg and knead on low speed for 5-6 minutes, until the dough is no longer sticky. Form the dough into a ball and return to the bowl. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

  • Turn on the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×9 pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Filling

  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar and orange zest for the filling to make more orange sugar.

  • Once the dough has rested, dust a clean surface lightly with flour and roll out the dough into a 15×9 inch rectangle.

  • Spread the softened butter over the dough and dust evenly with the orange-sugar mixture. Roll the dough up tightly and cut into 9 even pieces.

  • Place the rolls into the prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

  • Turn off the warmed oven and place the pan of rolls inside. Let them rise for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes have passed, remove the foil or plastic and drizzle the ¼ cup of cream evenly over the top of the buns.

  • Return the buns to the oven and turn the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops of the buns are golden brown.

Orange icing

  • In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to combine the butter, powdered sugar, milk, orange zest, and orange juice until smooth. If you would like the icing more runny, add milk or orange juice until the consistency is how you would like it.

  • Drizzle over the slightly cooled buns before serving.

Originally posted on December 18, 2020
Updated on December 11, 2023

  • You’ll need 2 large oranges for this recipe
  • If you don’t have a stand mixer, it will take around 10 minutes to knead by hand. It will be sticky but resist the urge to add flour. 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.

Calories: 309kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 5gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 109mgPotassium: 87mgFiber: 1gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 243IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.