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Best Homemade Orange Rolls are sticky, lush, and doughy. They’re easy to make , fluffy and frosted in a delicious orange cream cheese glaze.

Orange Roll being held up by a metal spatula above a pan full of orange rolls.


Homemade orange sweet rolls are so tasty. A traditional cinnamon roll shakes hands with tangy citrus in this easy to make recipe. The dough is made with added orange juice, the filling uses orange zest, and the frosting is made with orange juice and extract, so the whole roll is infused with lovely, tangy orange flavor. These rolls turn out doughy, soft and fluffy—bursting with flavor and covered in a delicious orange glaze to die for. These will quickly become a favorite and will ruin you for store bought rolls.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • What if I don’t have a stand mixer? You can knead the dough by hand! Start out by stirring with a spoon until you can’t do it anymore. Then knead by hand. Just keep on kneading until all the flour is incorporated and/or the dough is soft to the touch and only slightly sticky. It’s a bit of a workout, but it’s worth it!
  • How soft should the butter be? The butter should be room temperature and smoosh easily to the touch. If you soften the butter in a microwave, be sure to work in small increments of time so you don’t get any melted pools of butter.
  • What temperature should the milk be? The milk should be warm to the touch (between 100 and 110 degrees). You can use 1% up to whole milk. I’ll never recommend using skim milk for anything.
  • Can the salt be reduce for a low sodium diet? Reducing the salt will not affect the rising. The only thing it will impact is flavor. You can also swap out the salted butter for unsalted to reduce the sodium content even more.
  • Are orange rolls vegetarian? Yes, these rolls are vegetarian but they aren’t vegan.
  • Can I make these in advance? Yes. These orange rolls can easily be made ahead. For best results, choose one of the following two methods:
    • OVERNIGHT INSTRUCTIONS: After you’ve rolled and cut your cinnamon rolls and placed them into your lightly greased baking pan, cover with plastic wrap and place in your refrigerator. The next day, remove them from the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature (about 45 minutes to an hour depending on the temperature of your house) before baking.
    • FREEZER INSTRUCTIONS: Roll and cut your cinnamon rolls and place several inches apart on a baking sheet to freeze rolls individually. Once frozen, transfer to a resealable plastic freezer bag. When ready to bake, place in a lightly greased baking dish and allow to come to room temperature before baking.
Orange filling for orange rolls

Gluten Free Orange Roll Instructions

This recipe can be made gluten free by using a gluten free flour blend that is meant to be a directed substitute for all-purpose flour. “Cup for Cup” is an example of flour blend that will work. Results may vary based upon the blend you choose to use.

PRO TIP: The amount of flour you use when making bread doughs can vary so it is best to go by how the dough feels. The dough should be slightly sticky, but still very soft and pliable. It should just barely not be sticking to the bowl. If you add too much flour and the dough stiffens, your rolls will also get a little stiff. You can feel a soft roll just by touching the dough. Start with less flour, as you can always add more as necessary.

If you love sticky breakfast rolls, you will love these other recipes too:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Bird's eye view of Orange Rolls in a glass pan.

Orange Roll being held up by a metal spatula above a pan full of orange rolls.
Best Homemade Orange Rolls are sticky, lush, and doughy. They’re easy to make, fluffy and frosted in a delicious orange cream cheese glaze.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Ingredients

Dough

  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 to 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling

  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest

Orange Glaze

  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup salted butter softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract optional
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice
Instructions
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm milk, orange juice, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and eggs. Add in flour. Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on to a low speed.
  • Once the flour starts to incorporate into the dough, increase the speed to medium. Add more flour as necessary so that the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough mixture should be soft and tacky, but not stick to your hands. Add more or less flour until the dough reaches the desired consistency.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
  • Lightly grease a 9x13 pan. On a clean surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch by 18-inch rectangle.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and orange zest. Spread in an even layer on top of the dough, leaving 1/2 inch on the top edge. Roll up tightly lengthwise so you have one long roll. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the dough into 12 even slices.
  • Place the slices into a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Cover and let rise 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls for about 20-25 minutes, until just kissed with brown on top.
  • While the orange rolls are baking, make the cream cheese glaze by using a hand mixer to whip together cream cheese and butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Whip in powdered sugar and orange extract. Add enough orange juice to achieve a soft, easily spreadable consistency.
  • Frost the rolls while still warm. Serve immediately or cool and store. Stays good for 4 to 5 days.
Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 1roll | Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 363mg | Potassium: 90mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 635IU | Vitamin C: 7.3mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1.6mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Orange Rolls
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Mike Compston
May 23, 2020 6:37 pm

5 stars
These are light and fluffy filled with flavor. I added chopped walnuts and two Tbs of Conintreau liqueur to the filling.

Lesley
November 22, 2020 3:16 pm

Hi All – I’m wondering if adding cinnamon to the filling would work out well. Thoughts? I hate to mess with a good thing, but I’m making them for my dad, and he loves orange and ALSO love cinnamon. Thought this could work…

December 19, 2020 9:33 am
Reply to  Lesley

I made these with 2 tsp of cinnamon added to the filling. We grew up on Pillsbury Orange Danish rolls as a treat on weekends and they had the same cinnamon filling as the Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. I LOVE it with cinnamon!

Veronica
June 25, 2020 2:49 pm

5 stars
As soon as I saw this recipe posted online, I knew I’d have to try it! I love anything Citrus!!! I already make my own Cinnamon Rolls, so this was an easy switch for me. These were so delicious! Absolutely the best recipe, hands down! These will be a staple for many potlucks to come (once this Covid 19 pandemic is over)

Amy W.
May 8, 2020 10:13 am

5 stars
These turned out nice and fluffy even though I had to use the full 3 1/4 cups of flour and the dough was still too sticky- possibly because I live in the deep South and the humidity is ridiculously high. I was too scared to add more flour than that and they still turned out fine. *I’m not a wonderful baker so it goes to show how good this recipe is.* I will return for more recipes by the stay at home chef.

Elizabeth H
August 18, 2020 6:33 am
Reply to  Amy W.

Hi Amy! I live in the deep South too, and I had the same problem! I just added a little sprinkling of flour (like a pinch) and it worked out perfectly!

Dana
April 14, 2020 1:34 pm

5 stars
Great recipe and easy to follow – these were a hit!

Mary Langston
April 22, 2020 1:27 pm

Great recipe. These were a home fun.

Christine Zook
April 14, 2020 10:39 am

5 stars
These were amazing! I have also made the cinnamon rolls which are equally spectacular. They were a little doughy, so next time, I will cut thinner rolls, which should be just fine.

Vicki L. Knight
December 17, 2020 4:53 pm

5 stars
I have been making orange rolls for more than 30 years. When I happened on this recipe I decided to try it. I love having the orange juice in the dough. It is absolutely the best. I have some finicky eaters in the family and we all agree.

Amy Ross
November 17, 2020 2:57 pm

5 stars
Delicious.. Ready for tomorrow’s breakfast 😋😋

Sequimsquirrel
June 17, 2020 3:40 pm

Completely true story – BEST orange rolls EVER. I’m a pretty good baker, my husband gives me “the handshake” frequently. I say this because I modify recipes all the time – I followed this recipe exactly as written and it is perfect. I want to let some of the commenters know a few things: you can add salt to the yeast, it doesn’t kill it, it just slows it down, which is a good thing, keeping it from over-proofing. The orange juice is best if it comes from the orange you used to get the orange zest, so it won’t… Read more »

Angelyn B.
May 17, 2020 1:29 pm

5 stars
I made these this morning and they turned out great. Thank you for sharing!

Aya
December 2, 2020 12:03 am

5 stars
I made this for a family member’s birthday. Everyone loved it! Thank you for this recipe!

November 26, 2020 12:28 pm

great recipe!! I made it for thanksgiving and everyone loved it!!

Jessica
October 31, 2020 10:57 am

5 stars
Loved! I made them yesterday and refrigerated to bake this morning. Worked perfectly and these are so delicious! They are very rich though, so will plan to make for Christmas or a day you can laze around a bit afterwards. Definitely need a savory side (I made bacon) to help balance, but worth every delicious calorie!

Barb
December 9, 2020 9:48 am
Reply to  Jessica

Did you refrigerate before rolling and cutting or did everything but bake? Did you let it set out a bit?

Ariane
October 25, 2020 7:52 pm

5 stars
One word…Mmmmm! I just finished making these Orange Rolls. BEST recipe EVER! OMG! Thank you so much. So glad I tried this recipe.

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