Orange Rolls

One of our favorite morning treats! A sweet roll recipe made with an orange filling and an irresistible lemon glaze. Everyone loves these delicious Orange Rolls!

There are so many sweet roll variations aside from the classic cinnamon rolls. These orange rolls are one of our favorites! We also like to make maple bacon rolls, and even ones filled with nutella! Whether you eat them for breakfast or dessert, they are amazing.

Orange Sweet Rolls in a sheet pan

Orange Sweet Rolls

Remember that amazing Nutella Cinnamon Roll recipe I shared last week? Did you try it yet? I hope so, cuz I know you’ll love them. This week, I’m bringing you another delicious sweet roll recipe. This sweet breakfast recipe is for Orange Rolls!

My cousin, Alicia, has been making them for years and years and always makes them for Christmas Eve. We wanted to give them a go ourselves and we were not disappointed!

They were soft and sweet and sooo good!! The orange filling actually has grated orange peel, and it adds the perfect amount of zest! The glaze on top of the rolls is a lemon glaze, and let me tell you… It is PHENOMENAL!

It sounds like a lot of citrus, but these rolls are SO sweet and not at all tart. If you would like to try these Orange Sweet Rolls for your family get togethers (especially during holidays!), I highly recommend them. You just can’t beat sweet breakfast rolls. 😉

dough for homemade orange rolls in a metal bowl

Don’t let the long prep time or yeast scare you away from making these orange rolls! I can PROMISE you that using yeast in your bread dough isn’t as scary as it sounds, and the long prep time is only because the dough has to rise two different times.

But it is sooo worth the wait!!

Recipe tips and tricks:

Incorporate more orange flavor. If you would rather have a pure orange roll, you could substitute the lemon extract in the glaze for orange extract, or even orange juice (using the same measurement as written).

What if you don’t have grated orange peel? If orange zest is hard to come by, I would suggest using orange marmalade for the filling or just replacing the orange zest with orange extract.

Cutting the dough: Use string or floss to easily cut the dough into individual rolls. Place the string under the log of dough, cross the ends of the string and pull to cut nice even slices.

Do you cover the rolls while they’re rising a second time? Each time it is rising, let the dough rise while being covered in a warm, draft-free place. This can be accomplished with plastic wrap or a clean thin dish towel.

How to raise faster: The warmer the environment the faster the yeast will rise. One of my favorite ways to get my rolls to rise faster is to place them in a warm oven. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth. Turn OFF the oven . Place the bowl in the oven to rise. 

This next tip is one I saw online, I haven’t used it yet, but wanted to share the idea. Fill a mixing bowl with hot water and place a plate over the top of the bowl. Next, place the bowl of dough on top of the plate and cover the dough bowl with a tea towel. The heat from the hot water will warm the plate which will then warm the bowl of dough.

For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, butter, and extract in a small bowl. Add enough milk to achieve desired consistency, and spread on while rolls are warm.

Orange Rolls rising on a sheet pan

Overnight rolls

You can easily make these rolls and assemble them the night before. Follow the recipe up until the rolls need to rise for a second time. At this point you can refrigerate them until the morning.

Once you remove them in the morning, allow them to rise before baking them. This allows the yeast to still be effective and yields deliciously soft rolls.

Freezing the rolls before finishing the recipe doesn’t yield great results. By freezing the rolls you kill some of that yeast that was previously there, and ruin the gluten that was developed.

You would be better off baking them and freezing them after they were fully made. After they are baked and cooled, but before adding glaze, put rolls on a sheet pan and freeze until hardened, then transfer to a freezer bag or container. They will keep well in the freezer for a few months.

Close up of Orange Cinnamon Rolls

I’m really wishing I had one of these orange rolls right about now!

For more sweet breakfast rolls, check out:

Orange Rolls Recipe

4.85 from 20 votes
One of our favorite morning treats! A sweet roll recipe made with an orange filling and an irresistible lemon glaze. Everyone loves these delicious Orange Rolls!
Course Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 422 kcal
Author Lil' Luna



  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm milk 2%
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 3 1/2-3 3/4 cups all purpose flour


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 2 tbsp orange peel grated


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 5-6 tsp butter softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 4-5 tsp milk 2%


  • Dissolve dry yeast and warm water in a large bowl. Add milk, shortening, sugar, salt, egg and 3 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining flour, enough to form a soft dough.
  • On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for 6-8 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease all sides. Cover dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Should take about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine all filling ingredients; set aside until ready to use.
  • Punch dough down and roll into long rectangle. Spread your filling and roll up, starting with a long end. Cut into even pieces, about 12-14.
  • Place cut side down onto a greased 10x15 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375°. Always check during baking. Rolls should be light golden brown.
  • Combine the powdered sugar, butter, and extract in a small bowl. Add enough milk to achieve desired consistency; spread one while rolls are warm.

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Adapted from Taste of Home

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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  1. 5 stars
    We loved these orange rolls. They were soft, sweet and the orange filling was excellent! I switched out the shortening for vegetable oil, and used quick rise yeast which allows for a slightly different method, but the result was terrific. I’ll definitely make this one again. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    I followed the recipe exactly and they are really really good.
    I put mine in the frig overnight before the second rise so they were ready for breakfast.
    Give yourself plenty of time to let them go from cold to room temperature. I took them from frig., put them in a different pan that wasn’t so cold, and let them rise for about 90 minutes. It really takes that long to go from cold to warm.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this one time for my family and now it’s a family favorite! I always make them the night before and the only thing I change is letting them rise before I put them in the fridge and then warm a bit before going in the oven and they turn out perfect every time . I tried letting them rise overnight and then in the morning and they didn’t turn out as soft. Also they are pretty easy to make my 4 year old loves helping me roll the dough and then roll the rolls!!!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks so much for sharing your tips on refrigerating the dough! So helpful!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this for the past 4 years it’s better than any cinnamon rolls I’ve tried to date. Soft fluffy melt in your mouth.

    1. Thank you!! I’m so happy to hear that. I’m glad that this is a recipe you come back to time and time again too. Thanks for sharing!

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