Orange Sweet Rolls Recipe – How to Make it in 16 Simple Steps

A plate of orange sweet rolls.

Basic cinnamon rolls are a special treat for the whole family. This recipe for Orange Sweet Rolls features the zest of oranges in these breakfast rolls . We also include instructions to prepare the dough the night before so that you can pop them in the oven the next morning.

One of the world’s most popular fruits, oranges are packed with nutritional benefits. Additionally, the tangy sweetness of oranges adds zest and excitement to your table. When you consider that oranges come into season during what is the dead of winter for most of the United States, it’s little wonder that oranges are popular fruit choices for winter consumption.

A plate of orange sweet rolls.

Orange Sweet Rolls Recipe

April Freeman
This recipe for Orange Sweet Rolls is a delicious treat that features the bold, tangy sweetness of oranges. You can make it for your family or you can take it to a brunch party at work.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Rising Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Rolls


  • Microwave-Safe Dish
  • Large bowl
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Stand Mixer
  • 9-Inch Baking Pan
  • Rolling Pin
  • Small Dish
  • Sharp knife


Ingredients for Dough:

  • 1 package Dry Yeast
  • 1/2 cup Warm Water
  • Grated Zest of One Orange
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 pc Egg
  • 2 tbsp Softened Butter
  • 4 cups All-Purpose Flour

Ingredients for Orange Roll Filling:

  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Softened Butter

Ingredients for Icing:

  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Orange Juice
  • Zest of One Orange
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


  • Begin by melting the butter in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave it for about 10 to 15 seconds and set it aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the dough. Do not add hot butter to the dough or it will kill the yeast.
  • In a large bowl, add the package of dried yeast to the ½ cup warm water. Wait for about five minutes for the yeast to develop. It should be bubbly and foamy.
  • Add the orange zest, juice, sugar, and salt and stir just a bit. Then crack the egg into a cup or bowl and beat it lightly with a fork. Add the egg to the mixture and stir again.
  • Pour in the melted butter and 1 ½ cup cups of flour. Use a wooden spoon to combine this mixture. 
  • Add the remaining flour ½ cup at a time to make a dough. You want a dough that just starts to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and begins to ball up in the bowl.
  • Using a dough hook on your stand mixer, knead the dough for about five minutes or until the dough is stretchy and glossy and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. If you have to add a bit more flour, do it a spoonful at a time so your dough does not turn out too heavy.
  • If you do not have a mixer with a dough hook, you can knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface until it is stretchy and shiny. Put the dough ball in a lightly greased bowl, turning the dough ball around so that all sides are greased. Cover the dough with a clean dish towel and allow it to rise for about 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 by the 13-inch baking pan.
  • Lightly flour a countertop or breadboard and punch down the dough in the bowl. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface, pressing it down into a circle. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough ball into a 10 by 12-inch rectangle.
  • In a small dish, mix the filling mixture by stirring together the cinnamon and sugar. Spread the softened butter on the dough rectangle, making sure that you get butter all the way to the edges. Use a spoon to sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon mixture all over the buttered dough.  Again, make sure that you spread the sugar and cinnamon all the way to the edges.
  • Roll the dough from the long edge and slice into 12 slices with a very sharp knife, placing each one in the pan as you cut them. You may want to use a gentle sawing motion to avoid squashing the rolls as you cut them one inch apart.
  • Spread a clean tea towel over the top of the pan and allow the orange rolls to rise for 30 to 60 minutes in a warm place.
    The rolls are placed on a baking pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Bake the orange rolls in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, until they are a light golden brown.
  • As the rolls bake, you can create the icing. Mix together all of the icing ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Allow the rolls to cool for about 20 minutes before drizzling with icing.
    A freshly baked piece of orange sweet roll with icing.


To create the rolls overnight:
Follow the recipe right up to the final rise. After you have sliced the rolls and placed them in the pan, cover the pan with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place the pan in the refrigerator. The rolls will rise overnight in the refrigerator.
When you get up in the morning, remove the plastic wrap from the pan and allow the rolls to rise a bit at room temperature for about half an hour. Preheat the oven and bake as directed in the original recipe, continuing on with the baking, cooling, and icing parts of the instructions.
Keyword Orange Sweet Rolls, Recipe, Snack
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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