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

Ingredients

Dough

  • 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

Filling

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

Glaze

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Adapted from Taste of Home

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About Kristyn

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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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    Made these for the first, definitely not the last, time yesterday. Oh my gosh! They were very, very delicious, and turned out perfectly! Thanks so much for the recipe!

    1. I actually use canola oil instead of butter/shortening. I find that it makes them incredibly soft and light and they stay softer longer.

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious!!!! Will be added to my baking rotation. Highly recommended! (Only slight modification was 1/4 tsp orange extract and 1/4 tsp lemon extract in the glaze for even more orangey flavor. )

  3. These are my favorite orange rolls!! They are sooo soft and the flavor is perfect! I want to make these for breakfast for guests that we have coming and I was wondering if I could freeze them in the pan before baking and take them out earlier in the morning to defrost, rise, and then bake. Have you ever tried this? Would it still work?

    1. I personally haven’t tried, so I wish I knew for sure that they’d turn out. I’m guessing that would work? I’m sorry that I’m not sure. Let me know if you try it. Thanks 🙂

    2. I tried doing freezing the rolls (after cut, placed on pan, before second rising) twice this holiday. Unfortunately, neither time was that successful. One batch rose higher than the other, but the outcome was not nearly as good when made fresh. Both times I put them in a warmed oven to rise for 45 minutes before baking. Though they did rise, they never filled out the pan like they normally would.

      My own Question:
      Have you or anyone substituted the butter (assuming unsalted) for salted butter in the glaze and/or filling with better taste results?

      1. Thanks for letting me know how it turned out after freezing! I still have never tried that because I was too nervous it wouldn’t turn out right, so thank you!
        I always use salted butter in the glaze and filling. They turn out delicious!

      2. Just so you know if you cover with plastic wrap when youtake out of Freezer and set where not to warm just room temp it works. Thanksgood luck

  4. 4 stars
    Made these last night, put them in the fridge overnight and let them rise this morning for an hour or so. They were soft and wonderful! The only thing I recommend is cutting down on the sugar. One cup of sugar is a crazy amount for filling! I used a 1/4 cup and they turned out sweet and delicious. I also squeezed orange juice into the glaze instead of milk and extract. Tasted fantastic.

  5. This Orange Rolls are so yummy, Just made for my family, and it is not so hard to make it.
    I do recommend and you will like it.
    Libni

  6. I’ve made these several times. My husband and grandkids love them(as I do too)!! I make lots of bread so I doubled the bath and the first batch was terrific and the second batch didn’t raise as much. Any idea why??

    1. That’s a good question?? If everything was the same..it should have. I am glad you all like them! I wish I knew..I’m sorry!

    2. 5 stars
      I’ve been making these rolls for about 3 years and trying other recipes to compare. These ones are always the favourite! They are incredibly soft and they freeze excellent after baking (I make two smaller dishes one for eating fresh the other for lunches). The modification I make is the filling using 1/2 cup of sugar and melding the orange zest with it as long as possible (to maximize flavour) and adding cinnamon. It’s unreal.

  7. 3 stars
    I would have given it a 5 but the butter sugar filling drained into the bottom of the pan and made the rolls glue to the pan…

    1. I am not 100% familiar with all things that contain gluten, but there isn’t wheat, though I am not sure about the yeast.

  8. 5 stars
    These Orange Rolls are an absolute favorite of mine. They are good any time of year! I like to make them as a special breakfast for family on the weekends.

  9. 5 stars
    I love orange rolls but have never made them myself. This is an easy and delicious recipe and one to make over and over again.

  10. 5 stars
    IF your looking for something Other than a cinnamon roll…this is your recipe to trY. Sweet and full of orange flavor.

  11. 5 stars
    This was my first time making orange rolls. They turned out great and were so delicious! I did the alternative of using orange juice instead of lemon extract but other than that followed the recipe exactly. Thank you!

  12. I’M so excited to try thEse for mother’s day. For the glaZe, is it 1 And 1/2 teaspoons or is there an extra 1 and it is only 1/2 teaspoon for the lemon juice?

    1. It is 1 1/2 tsps. Sorry, about that. I added a space in there to make it easier to see 🙂 Hope you like them!

  13. 5 stars
    amazing recipe, I used lemon juice instead of extract and added a little extra and it turned out great. I would note however that if you cut the rolls too thick the filling comes out of the bottom when you cook them.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.
    Delicious.

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. Yes, you can use your bread machine. I have been doing this for many years and I have made all sorts of things by using my machine. I have even used the machine to make pie crusts. All of this makes it easier and less work. Be sure to read the
    instructions if you haven’t. Always start with putting the wet ingredients in first, then flour, then the sugar and yeast, etc.
    you should always use bread flour not all purpose. The flour mills have changed how they mill it and bread flour has more gluten to make it rise .

  19. These look delicious and I can’t wait to try them! Just a quick question – we’re not big fans of the texture of orange/lemon zest, so if I wanted to use a little orange extract instead, would you recommend adding it to the dough or the filling? Thank you so much!

    1. I would just swap out the orange zest for the orange extract. So it would be swapped in the filling. Hope you enjoy the rolls!