Orange Sweet Rolls

I use Google Calendar to organize my life. I have a calendar for my day to day life. I have a calendar for the work events I have to be at. I have a meal plan calendar. I have calendars from the executives that I work with at work. I have a blog post calendar. And more. So seriously I have about 7 calendars that I have created for myself. And then I have 5 calendars that are shared with me. That’s a lot of calendars. Of course there is over lap, my work calendar often contains the same events as the executive’s calendars, or the campus planning calendar that I am in charge of.

I love having my life organized. I probably check my calendars 20 times or more through out the day, even though 9 times out of 10 I don’t have anything to add, or nothing has changed. I keep lots of to do lists too.  A work assignment to do list. A how to save money list. A recipes to make list. My new favorite list of course is my “cooking bucket list” where you can see 100 things that I REALLY want to make.


So, I’ve got my “menu” calendar, which basically contains the recipes I want to make right away, so I’ve added them to the schedule. Almost two months ago I added “orange rolls” to my menu. I planned on making them on a Saturday, maybe in the morning, but a Saturday just meant I would have more time.

Well, flash forward 6 weeks as I continually moved the “event” forward on my calendar a week at time. We bought a box of oranges from Costco on Saturday and I finally made Orange Sweet Rolls yesterday afternoon!


And let me tell you, even after all the anticipation of making them, they did not disappoint one bit. I started with my favorite basic cinnamon roll dough, and took some ideas from Sally (my newest favorite blog!) and my aunt Sabrina and came up with these.


Orange Sweet Rolls
For the Dough:
  • 2½ tsp yeast
  • ½ cup milk, warm
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • zest from 1 orange
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
For the Filling:
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • zest from ½ orange
  • ⅓ cup butter
For the Frosting:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • zest from ½ orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Dissolve yeast in a large bowl with warm milk. Mix together and then allow to rest for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add sugar, butter, and eggs to yeast mixture and cream together.
  3. Combine flour, salt and orange zest in a medium sized bowl.
  4. While stirring the mixture, slowly add some of the flour mixture, then juice, then more flour scraping the sides as necessary.
  5. Once the dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl on its own, knead for 5 minutes.
  6. Briefly remove dough from bowl and spray bowl. Return dough and cover bowl with a towel. Allow to rest until dough has doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  7. Lightly flour your counter top and roll out the dough until it is about 14x24 and ¼ inch thick.
  8. In a small bowl combine cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar and orange zest.
  9. Melt butter in the microwave and coat the top of the dough with the butter.
  10. Sprinkle the orange sugar mixture over the surface of the dough, covering evenly.
  11. Carefully roll the dough on top of itself. Roll from the long top edge to the long bottom edge.
  12. Cut roll into 1 inch slices using a knife or a piece of thread.
  13. Place rolls in greased baking sheet.
  14. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  15. Allow rolls to raise slightly while oven preheats.
  16. Place rolls in oven and bake for about 12 minutes.
  17. Allow rolls to cool slightly before frosting.
  18. Combine frosting ingredients in medium sized bowl, add more powdered sugar or more orange juice until frosting reaches desired consistency.
  19. Apply frosting generously to the top of your rolls.





Not in the mood for this sweet orange flavor today? Try our simple Cinnamon Roll Recipe today instead. Its the same sweet dough, with a pure brown sugar cinnamon center topped with your choice of cream cheese or vanilla frosting.

Cinnamon Rolls012


  1. Can these be made the night before and then baked in the morning?

  2. Hi there, Im confused, the dough ingredients call for zest of one orange and orange juice but in the directions I don’t see where it is added. I followed the directions and now they are dry :( When/where was I supposed to add the orange?

    1. I’m so sorry Shana, I didnt realize I forgot to add that. I updated the recipe accordingly to add the juice and orange zest to the dough. I don’t know if it matters exactly what step it is added, but I added it while I added the flour to the mixture.

  3. I loved lemon sweet rolls, so now I really, really want to try orange! These are so pretty!

    1. Thank you! I haven’t tried lemon sweet rolls yet, but that sounds delicious!

  4. bakerbynature · · Reply

    Whoa! These look like little pillows of heaven… I’m in!

  5. Wow Aimee, that frosting is glorious.

    I’m a self confessed list addict. Though for some reason, I only have a paltry 2 calendars. It is probably just as well. I recently started compiling my lists and now try and keep them in a single notebook instead of on a million fluttery bits of paper littering the highways of my life. It’s much less stressful when I know I haven’t lost a list somewhere.

    1. Thank you! I need to be better at keeping my lists organized. I end up writing them on post it notes at work and hate when they get lost!

      1. Get a notebook. It will save you :)

  6. Vanessa Barker · · Reply

    Those look divine. My husband loves orange rolls but I’ve never made any. Thanks so much for the recipe.

    1. These are so easy! You need to whip them up for your husband, make it a special occasion :)

  7. Wow these look so perfect :) As Sally said, fluffy, soft and gooey — those are what I look for in a sweet roll. Thank you for this! I have been meaning to do a recipe bucket list. I think I only have about 3 things on it so far. I need to work on it again :) I love you site, thank you for the great recipe.

    1. Thank you! My husband, who is not always a fan of orange rolls loves these, that’s how delicious they are ;) But you should come up with a list! It was really fun for me to think of things I really wanted to make. I got a lot more suggestions, but knew it would be too hard for me to make anything too strange. Let me know if you write a list!

  8. They look beyond fantastic!! So fluffy, soft, and gooey with orange glaze. And your cinnamon rolls also look wonderful too! I wish I had a sweet roll for breakfast right now…

    1. Thanks Sally! I wish I had a fresh sweet roll (of the cinnamon, orange, or raspberry variety) every morning!

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