Orange Cinnamon Rolls is a fresh and bright take on your favorite classic. The orange cinnamon filling and the orange cream cheese sauce are irresistibly delicious!
My friends, if you haven’t had orange cinnamon rolls, then please, treat yourself and make a batch. This is downright heavenly and super soft. The orange flavor is so pleasant, so subtle but notably delicious!
And you don’t have to worry about them being so sweet. I put minimal sugar in the filling and in the icing. These are just so good and not overwhelmingly sweet. My promise.
Pointers and Tips
Making the Dough
- If you follow the ingredients and directions closely, you should have super soft bread with a delightful orange flavor.
- Note that there is an extra, reserved flour in the dough ingredients. You may or may not have to use it. If the dough gathers well in the center in the first 3-5 minutes of kneading you are good.
- However, if your dough is still too wet and won’t take form, sprinkle about half a tablespoon at a time to help in the kneading process. Do not add too much or you will end up with a dry, stiff dough. The dough you are looking for is still tacky, elastic, and smooth.
Handling and Rolling the Dough
- Lightly dust a bowl with flour and dust your hands too when transferring the kneaded dough into a bowl. The kneaded dough should still be tacky so a dusting of flour should help you handle it.
- Again, when rolling the dough, lightly dust the surface with a bit of flour to avoid sticking.
The Cream Cheese
- The cream cheese in the icing should be really soft before using it. I microwave it for 10 seconds or so to help soften it.
- You can double the icing recipe if you want the rolls to swim in it (love that!) My husband runs away from any icing so I tend to keep mine on the minimal side.
The Delicious Orange Flavor
Orange juice and orange zest are what give these Orange rolls their delightful flavor. The oil in the zest infuses the dough and the icing ever so lightly, but the aroma, and flavor are definitely notable.
The orange marmalade in the filling is optional. It gives the rolls a gooey element but if you don’t feel like it, the orange rolls are still very good without it.
Let’s Make Them!
Proof the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the milk, egg, sugar, melted butter, orange zest, and salt. Stir everything with a wooden spoon until the egg is dispersed and the ingredients are incorporated.
Add half of the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is combined. Add the remaining half and stir well.
Attach the dough hook to the mixer and knead the dough for 3-5 minutes, or until the dough starts to gather in the center of the bowl.
The dough is ready once it cleans the sides of the bowl, and it is smooth. If it’s still not gathering in the center after 5 minutes, sprinkle up to ¼ cup of flour as needed.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl. Allow it to rise for 1 ½ hours, covered with a clean towel
Gently deflate the risen dough. Roll it out to a ¼ inch thick rectangle and spread the softened butter all over. Sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon mixture, followed by the orange zest ( then the orange marmalade dollops, if you are using it).
Starting on the long edge of the rectangle, roll the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seams to seal. Slice the log into one-inch portions to make about 15-16 rolls.
Arrange them on a parchment-lined 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover the pan loosely and allow the buns to rise for 1 hour, or until soft and puffy.
Bake the orange cinnamon rolls at 350 F for 22-25 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned. Allow the buns to cool a bit then pour and slather the orange cream cheese icing.
Then, call everyone enjoy these while they are warm. This is one of the best days of your life 🙂 Enjoy!
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