Typically I make my mom’s amazing cinnamon roll recipe because they are out of this world (and I make crescent rolls with the same dough) but this time I made a few adjustments to make them orange. They still have the same great texture and creamy butter glaze on top but have the nice citrus addition.
I’m not a huge orange fan. In fact, as a kid I hardly ever ate oranges. It was more that I didn’t like the texture. All I wanted was the juice! I’ve come around to like orange and eat one every now and again so I gave orange rolls a shot and LOVE them!
Cinnamon rolls aren’t that difficult to make, it’s just that you have to be patient as they rise. Luckily, you can get half of it prepared the night before. Just mix the dough, let it rise and put it in the fridge. Right when you wake up in the morning, pull out the dough, roll it out, add the cinnamon and sugar and cut it. Let the rolls rise for 1-2 hours (depending on how warm your house is) and then bake them.
Honestly, it’s the perfect set up for Christmas morning. You roll them out before the kids come out of their rooms and then while they rise you open presents. If the presents didn’t already make Christmas the best day ever, these rolls will!
We’ll be eating these Christmas morning along with this Bacon Veggie Quiche. What will you be eating?
Orange Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 package dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
- ½ cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoons sugar (divided)
- ½ cup butter, melted but no hotter than 115 degrees F
- 3 beaten eggs
- Zest of 1 orange
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- Zest of ½ orange
- In a large bowl, mix the yeast with 1 tablespoon sugar and the water and let it begin to foam.
- Whisk in the orange juice, ½ cup melted butter (but no hotter than 115), ½ cup sugar, beaten eggs, and orange zest. Add 2 cups of flour and the salt and mix well. Switch to using a wooden spoon and add 2¼ cups flour stirring until completely mixed (dough will still be a little sticky). Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- Once mixed, cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let it rise until double in bulk (about 2 hours). Punch the dough down and proceed to the next step to roll it out or cover it and place it in the fridge to use later (good for up to 4 days in the fridge).
- Grease 1 large baking sheet (17inx10in) and set aside.
- Use the ¼ cup remaining flour to roll the dough out. Dust the work surface with flour. Place dough on the floured surface and dust the dough enough so dough doesn't stick to rolling pin. Roll into a rectangle about ⅓ inch thick (make sure you still have enough flour underneath as you are rolling it out).
- Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Roll the dough long end to long end. With the seam side down, cut the dough using a double piece of colored thread-- Place the thread under the dough, bring both ends to the top, cross, and pull to cut.
- Place on a greased cookie sheet (12 per sheet) and allow to rise for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with the rack in the middle of the oven. Bake one pan at a time for 10 minutes until lightly browned. (If you oven doesn't heat evenly you might want to gently rotate the pan halfway through.)
- Once the cinnamon rolls come out make the glaze and pour on top.
- Heat cream and butter together in the microwave until butter is almost melted (about 30-40 seconds).
- Add in the orange juice, vanilla, and sugar until smooth. Mix in the orange zest and then pour over the warm rolls.
I first shared this recipe on Spend with Pennies where I am a contributor.