Orange Cinnamon Rolls

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These soft and fluffy Orange Cinnamon Rolls are a real breakfast treat! Loaded with fresh orange flavor and subtly spiced with cinnamon then topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting.

Overhead view of orange cinnamon rolls topped with cream cheese frosting and a couple orange slices for garnish.

If you are looking for something extra special to give to guests, family, or friends these orange cinnamon rolls are just the thing. Orange flavored rolls (from real oranges) that are subtly spiced with cinnamon and topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting that melts down into the rolls. What more could one want???

These would make a wonderful Christmas morning breakfast or maybe try this Berry Baked Oatmeal. It’s a family favorite and I make it all year long. Also, these Gingerbread Pancakes are fun for Christmas morning, or for more savory try this Biscuits and Gravy Casserole.

Reasons You Will Want To Make These Orange Cinnamon Rolls

  • Make ahead friendly and freezer friendly
  • Rich dough that bakes into soft pillowy rolls
  • The flavor of these rolls is incredible
  • Recipe uses easy to find ingredients
  • Easy enough that anyone can make them
Ingredients: flour, sugars, oranges, eggs, salt, yeast, milk, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, cream cheese, confectioners sugar.

How To Make Orange Rolls

STEP 1: Mix the yeast and sugar with warm milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes and it should look foamy (picture 2). This is how you know your yeast is alive and active. If it doesn’t foam up don’t use it.

Five pictures showing how to mix the dough.

STEP 2: Add soft butter, half of the flour, salt, eggs, orange zest, and juice to the yeast mixture and mix by hand until combined (picture 3). Add the remaining flour and mix until the dough starts to get stiff then transfer to your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on speed 1 or 2 for 5 minutes to knead the dough (picture 4). Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size. (picture 5)

STEP 3: Remove the dough and roll it into a large rectangle (picture 1 below). Spread with soft butter, cinnamon, sugar, and orange zest (pictures 2 and 4 below). Roll and cut (pictures 5 and 6 below). Place in a baking pan, cover, and let rise in a warm place until double in size. (pictures 7 and 8 below)

Six pictures showing how to fill and roll the orange cinnamon rolls.

STEP 4: Bake for 25-27 minutes. Cool while making frosting then frost while still warm for gooey cinnamon rolls.

Three pictures showing the rising and baking of the rolls.

Make Ahead, Storage, and Freezing Instructions

MAKE AHEAD: Prepare rolls through step 3 in the recipe then cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Bake as directed.

STORAGE: Store covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

FREEZING: Tightly cover baked and cooled rolls with heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and frost before serving. Another option is to bake the rolls for 10 minutes then remove and cool completely, cover, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then finish baking for 15-20 minutes.

A roll on a white plate with a bite taken out. Small piece of orange on top for garnish.

Tips And Suggestions

  • If your rolls are browning too quickly loosely tent them with foil.
  • When rising dough, cover it with plastic wrap instead of a kitchen towel. It will keep the dough from drying out and kitchen towels can sometimes stick to the dough creating a problem when trying to take it off.
  • Check the expiration date on your yeast and proof the yeast first before continuing with the recipe.
  • Instead of a cream cheese frosting use orange marmalade to “frost” the rolls while still warm.
  • For more flavor add some orange zest to the cream cheese frosting.

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Orange Cinnamon Rolls
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
25 mins
4 hrs
Total Time
5 hrs 25 mins

These soft and fluffy Orange Cinnamon Rolls are a real breakfast treat! Loaded with fresh orange flavor and subtly spiced with cinnamon then topped with a creamy cream cheese frosting.

Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: orange sweet rolls
Servings: 12 rolls
Calories: 732 kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • ¼ cup (55g) granulated sugar
  • 1 package (.25oz) or 2¼ tsp active dry or instant yeast
  • 4-4½ cup (620g) all purpose flour or bread flour
  • 4 tablespoons soft butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • ½ cup (113g) very soft butter
  • 1 cup (195g) packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup (110g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 4 oz (113g) soft cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoon orange juice
  • cup (180g) confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the warm milk (100°F), sugar, and yeast. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be foamy. If it isn't your yeast isn't active and can't be used.

  2. Add ½ of the flour, butter, eggs, salt, zest, and orange juice. Mix by hand just until combined. Add the remaining flour and mix until it becomes stiff. Place on stand mixer fitted with dough hook and knead on speed 1 or 2 for 5 minutes. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size.

  3. Punch dough down and remove from the bowl. Roll into a 12×18 inch rectangle. Spread with soft butter. In a small bowl combine the sugars, cinnamon, clove, and zest. Sprinkle over the butter. Roll the dough to form an 18 inch log. Cut into 12 equal rolls. Place in a lightly greased 9×13 baking pan.

  4. Cover and allow to rise until double in size. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool while making the frosting. Combine the cream cheese, confectioners sugar, orange juice, and vanilla until smooth. Spread over warm rolls.

Recipe Notes
  1. Read the post for storage, freezing, and overnight instructions.
Nutrition Facts
Orange Cinnamon Rolls
Amount Per Serving (1 roll)
Calories 732 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Trans Fat 0.5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 73mg24%
Sodium 346mg15%
Potassium 188mg5%
Carbohydrates 134g45%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 65g72%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 566IU11%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 74mg7%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.

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