Orange Sweet Rolls

Lately things have been a little slow around here. We’ve been busy with holiday shopping, parties, date nights, sight seeing and chasing a silly little 15 month old around all day. Needless to say, I’ve been opting for naps over baking/blogging. Have no fear, I’ve still got some delicious recipes in store for you all, so stay tuned! Anyway, the other day I promised myself I’d get in the kitchen and make these orange sweet rolls. They’re a favorite and I’ve made them a few times without sharing, so I thought I’d change that! These rolls are packed full of orange juice & zest and are bursting with amazing flavor!

Orange Sweet Rolls

The recipe is pretty standard, with the exception of adding freshly squeezed orange juice and zest into the dough. It’s a little trick I learned to help infuse these rolls with maximum flavor. I also kept my standard cinnamon roll filling but added lots of grated zest to it. Such a great idea- it makes these rolls burst with citrusy goodness! Then of course there’s the glaze, it’s also got zest in it. I mean how could I not put some orange in it?! Call me crazy, but the more the merrier, right? With a husband from Florida (whose family is in citrus) and myself being from California, it just makes sense!

Orange Sweet Rolls

So are you ready to get started? I know I am! In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 2¾ c. flour and salt. Then in a small microwave safe bowl (or glass measuring cup), combine the sugar, butter, orange juice and orange zest. Heat in the microwave until the mixture is warm (about 1 minute on HIGH in my microwave). Then heat the milk in a small bowl until warm or 110 degrees (about 20 seconds on HIGH in my microwave). Make sure it’s not too hot (so it doesn’t kill the yeast) or too cold (or the yeast won’t bloom). Add the yeast and proof for 3-5 minutes, it may take a bit longer. With mixing speed on low, add the liquids, then the egg, mix until a soft and sticky dough forms.

If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook and set on the lowest mixing setting for 5 minutes or until the dough becomes elastic (you may need to add a little bit of flour, but do not exceed 1/4 c.) or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 3-4 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Turn oven OFF and place dough in, allow to rise until doubled in size (usually about 1 hour). Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it measures a 16×9 inch rectangle. Prepare the filling by combining all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl except for the butter and zest. Spread the butter over the top of the rolled dough, then cover with the filling and sprinkle with zest. If you want to get fancy like I did you can even add some cranberries to them. Just puree them for a few seconds in a food processor (or chop them finely) and spread them over the brown sugar. Tightly roll the dough and cut into 12 portions. I like to use dental floss for this… I also cut it in half, then fourths etc. that way my pieces are all uniform in size.

Orange Sweet Rolls

Place the rolls into a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish or a half sheet pan (you can also use parchment paper underneath to prevent sticking or a baking mat) and gently press a piece of aluminum foil or a clean towel over top. Turn your oven on to 200 degrees, then turn OFF your oven and place the covered rolls inside to rise. My rolls took 45 minutes to double in size, but they could take up to 1 hour. Remove the rolls from the oven and turn ON your oven to 350 degrees. Once heated, bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes or until the centers are lightly golden brown in color. To prevent over-browning you may need to cover the rolls with foil half way through baking.

Orange Sweet Rolls

Remove the rolls from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before frosting. While rolls are cooling, prepare the frosting by combining all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and beating by hand (with a whisk) or with a hand mixer until it’s nice and smooth. Pour over the tops of the rolls, spread until the glaze forms a thin layer. Let cool for a few more minutes and then enjoy!

Orange Sweet Rolls

These rolls are so soft and fluffy, you help but fall in love with their citrusy flavor! Happy baking!

Orange Sweet Rolls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These soft and fluffy orange sweet rolls are bursting with orange flavor! They're downright delicious!
Author:
Yield: 12 rolls
Ingredients
  • 2¾ c. - 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • ½ c. freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2 medium oranges)
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • ¼ c. whole milk
  • 1 package yeast (or 2¼ tsp.)
  • 1 egg

  • Filling:
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ c. (½ stick) butter, room temperature
  • Zest of 1 orange

  • Glaze:
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1-2 tbsp. milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • Zest of ½ orange
Directions
  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 2¾ c. flour and salt.
  2. In a small microwave safe bowl (or glass measuring cup), combine the sugar, butter, orange juice and orange zest. Heat in the microwave until the mixture is warm (about 1 minute on HIGH in my microwave). Then heat the milk in a small bowl until warm or 110 degrees (about 20 seconds on HIGH in my microwave). Add the yeast and proof for 3-5 minutes. With mixing speed on low, add the liquids, then the egg, mix until a soft and sticky dough forms.
  3. If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook and set on the lowest mixing setting for 5 minutes or until the dough becomes elastic (you may need to add a little bit of flour, but do not exceed ¼ c.) or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 3-4 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Turn oven OFF and place dough in, allow to rise until doubled in size (usually about 1 hour).
  4. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it measures a 16x9 inch rectangle. Prepare the filling by combining all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl except for the butter and zest. Spread the butter over the top of the rolled dough, then cover with the filling and sprinkle with zest. Tightly roll the dough and cut into 12 portions. I like to use dental floss for this... I also cut it in half, then fourths etc. That way my pieces are all uniform in size.
  5. Place the rolls into a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish or a half sheet pan (you can also use parchment paper underneath to prevent sticking or a baking mat) and gently press a piece of aluminum foil or a clean towel over top. Turn your oven on to 200 degrees, then turn OFF your oven and place the covered rolls inside to rise. My rolls took 45 minutes to double in size, but they could take up to 1 hour.
  6. Remove the rolls from the oven and turn ON your oven to 350 degrees. Once heated, bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes or until the centers are lightly golden brown in color. To prevent over-browning you may need to cover the rolls with foil half way through baking.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before frosting. While rolls are cooling, prepare the frosting by combining all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and beating by hand or with a hand mixer until smooth. Spread over the tops of the rolls and garnish with additional zest, if desired.
Notes
-Fresh or frozen cranberries can easily be added to the filling. I'd suggest chopping them finely or processing them in a food processor. Just spread them over top along with the orange zest.


Recipe source: Life Made Simple