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Sticky and soft with a vibrant orange flavor, these orange rolls are the best you’ll find. Simple to make, these are the zesty sister to a cinnamon roll!

Cinnamon rolls are a popular favorite in our home! Try these fun variations like this Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake, Quick 45 Minute Cinnamon Rolls or this Delicious Cinnamon Roll Pancakes Recipe for more delicious ways of enjoying a sweet and savory breakfast.

12 orange rolls on a gold baking tray covered in orange icing

Orange Cinnamon Rolls

These sweet rolls are infused from top to toe in zesty fresh orange flavor and you’ll never want store-bought again.

  • The bread roll is soft and fluffy and the perfect vehicle for the orange flavor.
  • The orange sugar filling is just 3 ingredients, that gets scattered and spread evenly over the rolled out dough.
  • The orange icing is, again, just 3 simple ingredients, mixed together in a bowl, then poured all over the top of your rolls once baked.

Ingredients in Homemade Orange Rolls

You’ll need typical baking ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs and butter but there are a couple of ingredients to elaborate on.

  • Oranges: You’ll need 2 large oranges for this recipe. You’ll use all the zest and most of the juice. Make sure to give them a wash first.
  • Yeast: Instant or active dry yeast are what you’re after here.

Mixing together the dough for orange rolls in a glass bowl

How to Make Orange Sweet Rolls

Making orange rolls from scratch doesn’t require too much hands on time (even if you’re kneading by hand) but it does require planning ahead to allow for rising time.

The steps are all simple though and it’s always so therapeutic making bread from scratch.

  1. Make the dough: Melt together butter and some milk, then add orange juice and add it to the dry ingredients.
  2. Knead the dough: In a stand mixer, this only takes about 6-7 minutes or you can do this by hand. The dough is sticky but see my tips below.
  3. Rest: Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled in size.
  4. Make the filling: Combine the sugar and orange zest in a bowl, using your fingertips to press it together. This will release the oils from the zest, intensifying the flavor. Then add butter.
  5. Form the rolls: Roll the dough out, and scatter over the filling. Roll the dough up and cut 12 slices, then place them cut side up on a greased tray. Let them rise again.
  6. Bake the rolls: Bake for around 24 minutes or until nice and golden on top. Let them cool slightly before mixing the icing ingredients and pouring it over the top. Tips and variations

Rolling and filling dough for orange rolls, then placing the cut rolls on a baking tray

Can I Make Them Without a Stand Mixer?

You can knead this dough by hand. It will take a little elbow grease and about 10 minutes but it’s not difficult.

This is a sticky dough which is what keeps it nice and soft once they’re baked so try to resist the urge to add flour. I find the easiest way to knead it is to press down with one hand then use a bench scraper in the other hand to lift and fold it so you can press down again.

It’s ready when the dough is smooth and bounces back when you lightly press your finger into it.

An orange roll with a large chunk cut out showing the texture of the dough

Can I Make These Rolls Ahead?

You can make orange rolls ahead of time, part of the way. You can make the dough and leave that covered in the fridge overnight. The next day, let it come to room temperature (about 2 hours) before rolling it out and proceeding.

You can also make it ahead right up until the second rise. So, once you’ve placed the cut rolls into the baking tray, cover it with plastic wrap and let them sit in the fridge overnight. Let them come to room temperature (about 1 hour) before baking.

Homemade orange rolls are best eaten fresh but if you have any leftover, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Give them just a short 8-10 burst in the microwave to fluff up the bread again.

8 orange rolls on a gold baking tray with slices of orange in the background

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Orange Rolls

4.50 from 2 votes
By: Marie Roffey
Sticky and soft with a vibrant orange flavour, these orange rolls are the best you’ll find. Simple to make, these are the zesty sister to a cinnamon roll.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rising time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12 rolls


For The Rolls

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup cold milk
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 pound (3 ½ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
  • cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 1 large egg

For The Filling

  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

The Orange Icing

  • 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 6-8 teaspoons orange juice



  • In a small saucepan over low heat, melt together the butter and milk. Stir or swirl to melt without overheating. Add the orange juice and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or see notes), add the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and orange zest then give it a good mix around.
  • Pour in the warm milk mixture and egg, then give it a quick stir.
  • Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer and mix the dough for 6-7 minutes until smooth and elastic looking.
  • Brush a clean bowl with a little oil then place the dough into it. flip it over so that has a coating of oil all over. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.


  • Set aside 1 teaspoon of zest for the topping, then add the rest to the sugar. Press together with your fingers to release the oils until fully incorporated.
  • Add the melted butter and stir together.


  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced and grease a 9x13 inch baking tray with butter.
  • Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle, about 12x14 inches.
  • Evenly spread the filling over the dough leaving 1 inch on the longest side uncovered.
  • Roll up from the longest side nearest you towards the other, as tightly as you can into a long log, then cut into 12 even pieces with a sharp knife.
  • Place the rolls evenly spaced onto the baking tray cut side up. Let them rest and rise for another 30 minutes.


  • Bake for 22-24 minutes, turning the tray at the halfway mark, until golden.


  • Mix together the icing sugar, set aside zest and half the orange juice. Slowly add more juice until it gets to the desired consistency, then pour it over the rolls


  • You'll need 2 large oranges for this recipe
  • If you don't have a stand mixer, it will take around 10 minutes to knead by hand. It will be sticky but resist the urge to add flour. The easiest way to knead it is to press down with one hand then use a bench scraper in the other hand to lift and fold it so you can press down again.


Calories: 309kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 5gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 109mgPotassium: 87mgFiber: 1gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 243IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast, brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American
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About Marie Roffey

With an obsession for food and a passion for sharing it with everyone around her, Marie loves getting in the kitchen and creating desserts and comfort food from scratch. She loves going out for breakfast and coffee with her hubby and annoying her cats.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 4 stars
    I made this recipe for Christmas. They tasted great, but there wasn’t enough filling mixture to our tastes. Not sure quite what to do, as the filling wasn’t spreadable.

    Instead of making frosting, I melted a couple T of butter with a couple T of orange marmalade and glazed the tops of the rolls when they came out of the oven.