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Homemade Orange Sweet Rolls

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Orange is one of those flavors that I always associate with Christmas. There is that orange in to toe of that Christmas stocking and those orange sticks that are coated in chocolate. The other form it comes for me is in some homemade orange sweet rolls. They are the prefect thing to enjoy on Christmas morning.

This dough includes the 3 essential ingredients that I feel make the best dough. There is milk, butter, and egg. These 3 ingredients make a tender, flavorful dough. Then of course you have yeast, flour, salt and sugar. To really bring that orange flavor in this sweet roll, there is zest and juice also included in the dough.

Homemade Orange Sweet Rolls | realmomkitchen.com

Once this dough is made, you need to get it an hour to rise.

However, if you preheat your oven on to 170 degrees and then turn it off. You can place the dough in the oven and let it rise. This will usually cut your rise time down to half the time. This dough will be ready to roll out in about 30 minutes.

Now you will roll your dough out to a 10 x 24 inch rectangle. Once this is rolled out, you are going to spread the soft butter over the dough. Then even more orange flavor comes in. You are going to mix some sugar with more orange zest and sprinkle that over the butter. Then you will sprinkle some flour over that. The flour is going to help that filling to stay inside the rolls.

Once the filling is on the dough, you just roll that dough up and cut it into 12 slices.

I like to use unflavored dental floss to do this, but thread or a good knife will also work. You are going to place those slices on a sheet pan sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Then it’s time to let the homemade orange sweet rolls raise. This will take about an hour for this. You can do the oven trick to get them to raise faster.

At this point it’s time to bake ’em. You cook them at the usual 350 degrees for about 25 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes and then it’s time for the frosting. This frosting is made with butter, cream cheese, orange juice concentrate, orange zest, vanilla, and powdered sugar. This creamy frosting just drives home that orange flavor even more. You will know that these sweet rolls are orange sweet rolls!

Homemade Orange Sweet Rolls | realmomkitchen.com

Homemade Orange Sweet Rolls

Real Mom Kitchen

4 from 1 vote
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  • 1 cup warm milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 4 cups flour plus extra for rolling out


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 4-5 Tbsp flour


  • 4 oz cream cheese softened
  • ¼ butter softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


  • For the dough - In a small bowl, add the warm milk, sugar, and active dry yeast and let sit 5 minutes or until foamy.
  • In a stand mixer add the salt, butter, egg, orange zest, orange juice, and 4 cups of flour. Add in the yeast mixture and mix with dough hook on low speed for 5-8 minutes until smooth and elastic (if mixing by hand, mix with a wooden spoon until you can’t mix anymore, then knead by hand 8-10 minutes).
  • Add up to another ½  cup of flour to make dough consistency only slightly sticky. Dough should pull away from sides of bowl. Oil a large bowl, place dough inside and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature for one hour until doubled in size or place in an oven that has been preheated to 170 degrees and then turned off.
  • For the filling - in a medium bowl combine sugar and orange zest. Set aside.
  • On a floured work surface, roll dough into a 10 by 24 inch rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough. Sprinkle and spread sugar mixture evenly over butter. Then sprinkle the 4-5 Tablespoons of flour evenly over filling. Carefully roll dough lengthwise into a long roll.
  • Use a piece unflavored dental floss and slide the string underneath the roll. Pick up both ends of the string, cross them, and pull tight to cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Place rolls cut side down into an oiled 9x13 inch pan or large baking sheet, being careful not to crowd the rolls so they have room to rise.
  • Cover with a thin towel and allow to rise for 45 minutes to one hour until almost doubled in size or place in an oven that has been preheated 170. If allowing rolls to raise in the oven, remove once raised. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until light golden brown on top.  Allow to cool 15-20 minute before icing.
  • For the icing - In a medium bowl add the cream cheese and butter. Mix with a mixer until most of the lumps are gone. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and orange juice concentrate until smooth. Add another more orange juice concentrate if you prefer a thinner glaze. Generously spoon icing over rolls to coat evenly. Serve warm for maximum deliciousness. Makes 12 rolls.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recipe adapted from Eat Dessert Snack.

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