Homemade Orange Rolls are a twist on sweet rolls filled and glazed with a tasty orange zest infused frosting! These yeast rolls are guaranteed to please!

One way to treat your family is with a comforting breakfast treat. There’s nothing as enticing as the aroma of yeast bread coming from the oven, especially when it’s made from scratch. Let me walk you through the procedure to make these Orange Sweet Rolls.

Orange Roll on a round white plate with two orange slices and a red handled fork

Why You Should Make Orange Rolls

A freshly baked batch of orange rolls and some hot coffee is the perfect offering for a new neighbor, friends with a new baby, or just a delicious treat for your own family. The hubby has been begging me to make these orange rolls for months now. These reminded him of Maxson Manor’s rolls he and his family used to enjoy.

  • They’re a delicious change of pace from cinnamon rolls.
  • The dough is sweet and tender, and there’s just enough orange flavor to make you swoon.
  • This orange rolls recipe makes TWO pans of breakfast rolls, one for you and one to share.  Or bake them all up in a 9 x 13 if feeding a hungry family.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Orange Roll?

Made like cinnamon rolls, orange rolls are filled with a sweet orange filling instead of cinnamon and sugar.

Does Orange Juice Kill Yeast?

The low pH of orange juice shouldn’t kill yeast, but even if it did, the orange juice is in the filling and frosting, not the dough.

How Do You Store Frosted Yeast Rolls?

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. After that, move them to the refrigerator for up to 3 more days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.

Sweet Rolls after rising in a 9 x 13 ceramic dish

Tips for Making Yeast Sweet Rolls

Working with yeast can be daunting if you don’t have a few basic tips. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll love both the process and results.

  • Note that yeast is a living organism and can be killed if not treated properly.
  • PRO-Tip: This is why you should not add liquid any hotter than 120º if you want your bread to rise!
  • Check the expiration date of your yeast on the packet. Using old yeast could be a disaster!
  • Kneading is a very important part of the bread making process, too, as it helps activate the gluten in the flour, which gives bread its structure.
  • Done by hand or with a bread hook in a stand mixer, the dough will become smooth and springy. Don’t be tempted to add more flour unless absolutely necessary as too much flour can negatively effect the texture of your bread.
  • When rolling up your yeast rolls, don’t roll them too tight. This will cause the middle sections to pop up higher than the rest of the rolls. They’ll still be tasty but not as attractive.
  • Let your dough rise in a warm, moist environment. 
  • PRO-Tip: Do not force your dough to rise by putting it in a hot location. Somewhere around 80 degrees (and up to 90) is perfect. The ideal humidity is 75%. 
  • My new oven has a “proof” setting which sets the oven at 85 degrees.
Orange Rolls on a white serving plate

Tip of the Day:

PRO-Tip: Use unflavored dental floss to cut these orange rolls into slices. Lightly score roll at 1 1/2-inch intervals.  Slip a 12-inch strand of floss under the roll and bring ends up and over the roll of dough and cross over one of the marks. Pull ends sharply to cut through the dough. It’s a slick way to cut the dough into slices without the top to bottom pressure that comes from using a knife.

Orange Sweet Rolls in a baking dish with one roll in front on a small plate with a red handled fork

More Yeast Bread You’ll Love: 

This recipe for orange rolls was first shared in November 2012. The photos and text were updated in 2020.

Orange Roll on a round white plate with two orange slices and a red handled fork

Homemade Orange Rolls

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield 12 rolls

These orange rolls are adapted from Betty Crocker’s Baking Classics (this recipe dates back to the 1920's when Betty Crocker established a test kitchen)

Ingredients

Sweet Dough:

  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105-115º)
  • 1/2 cup scalded milk, cooled to lukewarm (should be no hotter than 115º)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cups flour (may add up to a 1/2 cup if needed)

Filling and Frosting:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange peel
  • 4 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Heavy cream, to thin frosting, if needed

Instructions

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, sugar, butter, salt, egg and 2 cups flour. Using a stand mixer and paddle attachment, mix until smooth. Switch attachment to the dough hook and add about 1 1/2 cups more flour. Knead for about 5 minutes, adding up to a 1/2 cup more flour if dough is sticky.
  2. Place dough in a greased bowl, then it flip over. Cover and let rise in a warm place till doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Make filling while the dough rises.
  3. To make the filling, beat all ingredients till creamy. Set aside.
  4. Punch down dough. Remove the dough and roll into an 18 x 12-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread with half the orange filling.
  5. Roll up the dough beginning at the wider side. Pinch to seal the seam. Using dental floss (or knife) cut the roll into 1 1/2-inch slices (12 rolls).
  6. Place into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Cover and let rise till doubled, about 40 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 375º.
  8. Bake till golden, about 20-25 minutes. Frost with remaining filling while warm.

Notes

Total time does not include the two proofing times.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 395Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 282mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 1gSugar: 35gProtein: 5g

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