Monday, June 4, 2012

Orange Sweet Rolls

Delicious Citrus!

Orange Sweet Rolls

*Makes 12-14 rolls/twists
¾ cup buttermilk, warm (I pour the buttermilk in a glass liquid measuring cup and microwave for 1 minute on 50% power)
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs
4 ¼ cups (21 ¼ ounces) flour
¼ cup (1 ¾ ounces) sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
1 ¼ teaspoons salt

Orange Filling:
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Grated orange rind/zest from two large oranges (reserving 1/2 teaspoon grated rind for the glaze below)

Orange Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice from about 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind/zest reserved from the filling above

For the dough, whisk the warmed buttermilk and butter together in a large liquid measuring cup. Combine 4 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook (or you can use a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon or electric handheld mixer). With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and eggs and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Increase the mixer to medium speed and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (knead for 15-18 minutes by hand). 

If after 5 minutes of kneading, the dough is still overly sticky, add 1/4 cup flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but has a slight tacky feel when pressed between your fingertips.

Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl and cover the top tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, around 2 to 2 ½ hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

For the filling, combine all the filling ingredients (reserving 1/2 teaspoon orange zest for the glaze) in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.

When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter (I use my trusty roul’pat for this step) and press it into about a 16 by 12-inch rectangle (if you have doubled the recipe, split the dough in half and roll out one half at a time). Gently brush the filling mixture over the rectangle, using an offset spatula or rubber spatula.

Lift the longest edge closest to you and begin rolling the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed and roll the log so it is seam side down. Using a serrated knife, slice the log into 12 evenly sized rolls, more or less. You can slice them thinner or thicker as you like.

For a traditional cinnamon-roll-look, arrange the rolls cut side down on a lined or lightly greased baking pan. If you want to try the twist method (see the pictures below), one at a time grab each sliced roll and holding on to either end simultaneously pull and twist the roll into a figure eight and place it on the prepared pan.

Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Bake the rolls at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden on top and cooked through. While the rolls are baking, mix together the glaze ingredients. Drizzle the glaze over the warm rolls.


  1. These look just like the cinnamon rolls that my husband's grandma makes, and he swears they are the best cinnamon rolls in the whole world. They really are very good, I miss being able to eat them now that I am gluten free. Your recipe looks delicious, especially with the orange flavor!

  2. Check out the Healthier Pineapple Cake. It can be made gluten free and is delicious!

  3. Thanks for the delicious recipe. I have been looking for one not made with shortening. Love your blog.

    blessings, jill

    1. I'm glad to have you! This recipe is also included in the new cookbook, Mary's Real Food Cookbook. I try to keep most of my recipes simple and healthy. I posted an announcement at Back to the Basics yesterday. 10% of all book sales will be donated to Feeding America and Feeding South Florida.

  4. Replies
    1. Jodi, They are delicious. Unfortunately, I have been banned from making baked goods for a few weeks until my husband fits in his pants again. During the cookbook process there was A LOT of baking so now I'm taking a break.

  5. Great recipe! These look so good. I bet they taste even better.

    1. They are delicious! The orange flavor is a nice twist on a regular cinnamon roll!

  6. Mary,
    These look wonderful! Thanks for linking up to Super Sweet Sunday.

  7. They look super yummy...I always loved when my mom would make orange sweet rolls as a kid! Pure comfort food tied to great memories :~)

  8. Wow, there's not much else I'd love to have on a weekend morning-enjoy:@)

  9. Orange rolls are one of my weaknesses and these look yummy!

  10. Orange rolls are my daughter's favorite. I can't wait to try this recipe.


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