The BEST orange sweet rolls topped with a delicious orange buttercream frosting. Super soft, fluffy and full of fresh orange flavor. This recipe is perfect for breakfast or brunch!
While I love traditional cinnamon rolls, I have to say that these orange rolls may be my new front runner! The fresh orange juice and zest add the perfect flavor and the rich orange buttercream really takes them over the top. I seriously can’t get enough!
Orange sweet rolls have to be one of my favorite things about Christmas! My mom serves them every year for breakfast and we all go crazy over them. They are the perfect Christmas treat. Let’s not even get started on the orange buttercream frosting. I could eat that straight from the bowl!
It took me about 3 tries to get this recipe perfected and I finally nailed it. They are soft, fluffy and taste like they came straight from a bakery! The orange frosting is filled with amazing orange flavor and makes these sweet rolls PERFECT! I cannot wait to make them again and again. I served these bad boys up and they were gone within minutes!
How to make orange rolls
Proof yeast. Add warm water, yeast and sugar to a small bowl and let sit until bubbly.
Mix and knead. Whisk together butter, milk, sugar, egg and salt in large bowl, then add in yeast mixture and stir. Add 2 cups of flour and stir until smooth. Then add remaining flour (1/2 cup at a time). Knead for 5 minutes. Add more flour if dough is still too sticky.
Let rise. Once dough is soft, cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot. Allow to double in size.
Roll. Mix together filling ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. When dough has doubled, roll it out on a floured surface and form a 15×20″ rectangle. Then use your silicone brush to spread on the filling. Roll the dough up horizontally and then cut into 1 inch pieces with floss (slide floss under dough and then pull it up).
Rise again. Butter a large sheet pan and then place the rolls on the pan, about 1 inch apart. Let rolls sit for another hour or until rolls have doubled in size.
Bake. Bake at 350°F until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Once cooled, top with orange frosting.
Orange buttercream frosting
This orange buttercream is what dreams are made of. The orange extract adds the perfect amount of flavor and the orange zest makes these rolls PERFECT! You could also use a classic cinnamon roll frosting (with cream cheese) if you prefer. Both taste delicious, although the orange frosting is my favorite!
- ADD frosting ingredients to a medium-sized bowl.
- BEAT together until fluffy. To reach desired consistency, add more milk or powered sugar if needed.
- SPREAD frosting on top of cooled rolls with a spatula. The more frosting, the better! :)
Alternatively, you can make an orange glaze instead. Simply whisk together the following ingredients: 2 cups powdered sugar, juice from 1 orange and 1-2 Tablespoons milk.
- Yeast. I use a 1/4 ounce packet of active dry yeast. You could also just measure about 2 1/4 teaspoons from a jar. Make sure your yeast is fresh and hasn’t expired (or else it won’t get nice and foamy/bubbly like it should when it proofs).
- Dough consistency. Once the dough has reached a consistency that is too hard to stir, I knead it with my hands for about 5 minutes. You want the dough to be soft but not too sticky. Almost like playdough, but not quite as hard. Add a little flour at a time until you get the right consistency!
- Rising hack. If the dough isn’t rising, I like to turn my oven to 200°F and add a small pan of water on the oven rack. Once it preheats, then I turn it off and set my dough bowl in the oven to finish rising.
Make ahead + freezing
Making the night before: You can make these up to 12 hours in advance. Simply roll them out and place on a baking sheet. Let sit for 30 minutes to rise and then cover tightly with foil that has been sprayed with non stick spray. Refrigerate overnight. Then in the morning, remove from the fridge and let rise about 1-2 hours before baking. Then bake as directed.
Freezing: You can freeze the rolls after they have been baked and cooled. Simply place in a freezer container, then set out to thaw overnight. You can also freeze the rolled dough. Simply place the rolls on the baking sheet and then cover tightly with foil. Then freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, allow to thaw and rise for about 4 to 5 hours. I usually let them rise in the oven for the last hour. Once they have risen, bake according to directions.
More delicious baked goods:
Orange Sweet Rolls
For the Dough:
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup butter (melted)
- 3/4 cup warm milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg (whisked)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (more or less as needed)
For the Filling:
- 1/2 cup butter (softened)
- 1 cup sugar
- zest of 1 orange
- 1-2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
For the Frosting:
- 1/2 cup salted butter (softened)
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- zest from one orange
- 1-2 teaspoons orange extract (taste as you add; or can use orange juice)
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- In a small bowl, add warm water, yeast and sugar. Let sit for about 10 minutes until bubbly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together butter, milk, sugar, egg and salt. Add yeast mixture when ready and stir until combined. Add two cups of flour and stir until smooth. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time. Knead for 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, you can add a little more flour.
- Once dough is nice and soft, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot.
- Mix together filling ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Once your dough has doubled in size, punch it down and roll out on a floured surface. You want to form a rectangle approximately 15×20 inches. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Spread filling onto the dough with a brush and then roll the dough up horizontally. I did not use all of the filling.
- Cut the dough into 1 inch pieces with floss or a large knife. Place dough rolls onto a buttered baking dish, about 1 inch apart. Let rolls sit for another hour or until rolls have doubled in size.
- Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Beat together the frosting ingredients in a large bowl and then spread on top of the rolls. You can add more milk or powdered sugar to reach your desired consistency.
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Juice from 1 orange
- 1-2 Tablespoons milk, more as needed