Orange Sweet Rolls

Monday, April 2, 2012

Are you looking for something sweet for your Easter table?  Well look no further!  These babies are packed with sweet orange flavor!  Oh man, they are good.  

We were invited to a Palm Sunday Brunch by my sister (in-law)'s mom and husband yesterday.  We didn't want to come empty handed so we brought these rolls.  I made them on Saturday and let them rise in the refrigerator over night.  Popped them in the oven right before service, frosted them up and we were set.  It worked out quite perfectly and you could do the same for this Sunday...or really any day, they are that good.  

Musical Selection: Carolina by: Eric Church.  Did anyone else see him on the ACM's last night. Amazing.  
Okay, start with the dough.  I used the Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Roll dough (for step-by-step pictures/instructions to make the dough, click: here) since it was tried and true.  I made the dough the same day I rolled them up....I let them rise for about an hour and a half and they were good to go.  Also, for whatever reason (must have been the humidity in the air) I had to use an additional cup of flour to make the dough not sticky.  I felt like a real baker tweaking the recipe.  Believe me, I don't bake.

Once you have the dough, begin with the filling.  It couldn't be easier.  Take room temperature butter...
And zest two oranges into it.
Add some (a lot of) brown sugar...
And stir it up.  Filling done.
Flour your rolling surface
Check on the dough--this was perfect.
Roll it out. Mine was about 30x16 I think.
Spread on the filling.
Roll it up going back and fourth, just a little at a time trying to keep it as tight as you can.
Use a measuring cup to ensure the same sized rolls.  Cut them up.
Place them in a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Leave enough room for them to rise.
Place the left over rolls on a sprayed baking sheet and place in the freezer.  Once frozen, transfer them into a freezer bag and into the freezer they go.  When you are craving a sweet roll, take them out, place them in a prepared baking dish and let them unthaw/rise in the fridge over night or on the counter for a few hours.
I just covered the rolls we wanted to use and put them in the fridge over night. The next morning I took them out while the oven preheated (for about 30 minutes--a little longer than just preheating the oven) and popped them in for about 20 minutes or until the top was golden brown.
Meanwhile, work on the glaze.  Juice two oranges (the ones zested in the filling) into a bowl with a block of cream cheese.  I used 1/3 less fat and it was fantastic.
Zest half an orange into the bowl.  Whip it up, I used my hand mixer for this.
Add almond extract
And powdered sugar.  Mix it up again.
Here is the is kind of lumpy but that is okay.
Here is a roll I made as a sample.  I didn't want to bring crummy rolls to the brunch so we had a little taste the day before.
All glazed up.

Orange Sweet Rolls

For the Dough
½ cup warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3 ½ ounce package instant vanilla pudding (+ 2 cups milk) 
½ cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
6+ cups flour

1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups brown sugar
Zest of 2 oranges

8 ounces cream cheese (I used 1/3 the fat and it was great), at room temperature
Juice of two oranges
Zest of ½ an orange
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups confectioner’s sugar

In a small bowl combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Set aside. In large bowl, take pudding mix and prepare according to package directions. Add butter, eggs and salt. Mix well. Then add yeast mixture. Blend. Gradually add flour; knead until smooth (you can use a stand mixer for the kneading if you wish). Do not over flour the dough! It should be very soft but not sticky. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled. Then roll out on floured board to 34 X 21 inches in size (Mine was about 30x16 and it was just fine). 

Combine the butter, brown sugar and zest.  Spread this mixture evenly over the rolled dough.  Roll up very tightly. With knife put a notch every 1 1/2 inches. Cut with thread or serrated knife. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Cover and let rise until double again or place in the refrigerator over night.  Take out in the morning and let come to room temp/rise for about 30-45 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove when they start to turn golden (don’t overbake).

While the rolls are baking combine the softened cream cheese, orange juice and zest.  Mix with a hand mixer until combined.  Add the almond extract and zest.  Mix again until combined.

Frost warm rolls with glaze. 

Makes about 24 very large rolls.

**If you don’t want to make all of the rolls at once, you can place the rolls on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Place the baking sheet into the freezer.  Once the rolls are frozen solid, transfer into a freezer proof zip top bag.  When you are ready to enjoy your rolls, take them out, place them in a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray and leave on the counter, covered with a dish towel until unthawed and risen.  Probably about 2 hours or so.  If you wish, you can also just put them in a baking dish in the refrigerator over night to rise.  In the morning, take the rolls out of the refrigerator and let come to room temp and rise for about 30-45 minutes.**

Dough recipe directly from: here 

Filling & Glaze by: Mrs. Schwartz 


  1. Oh man, those look so good!! YUM!!!

  2. Eric Church was incredible last night. I love that song! These rolls look great.

    1. I do too! Kind of sad it is on the radio--I'm afraid it is going to be played to death!

  3. Just found your blog via Pioneer Woman and this is a great recipe with which to start! I have a feeling I'll be seeing you often, especially when I quit traveling so much! Will send your URL to my daughter in Qatar.

    PS I'm an Eric Church fan too.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Please do send your email the URL! I hope to see you again soon!

  4. Oh, wow, those look delicious. What a great Sunday breakfast. Happy Easter!


Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs