(Easier) Orange Cinnamon Sweet Rolls w/ Orange Glaze

I made cinnamon rolls twice… almost a year ago. I made Pioneer Woman’s recipe which makes approximately 7,382 even though I think I cut the recipe in half. Truth be told, I froze some of them and just finished them off last week. Are you really supposed to eat something frozen for a year? I took a risk and did it…once. I didn’t die or get any food borne illnesses, but I’m done tempting food fate.

If you’ve ever made cinnamon rolls from scratch, you know they’re pretty complicated. I’m still a bit of a dufus when baking with yeast, so that’s a part of it. However there are many steps and it takes SO LONG. I wanted to make cinnamon rolls again, but wasn’t committed to the long process. I saw these cinnamon rolls that don’t use yeast AND only take about an hour! I was sold! I needed to try them out.

But… I can’t leave well enough alone. Growing up, my parents use to always buy Orange Sweet Rolls. They were my favorite and so I knew I needed to use the cinnamon roll dough and make orange filling and glaze.

I mismashed two recipes together and I was happy with the result. Mind you, these are still cinnamon rolls so you’re going to get your hands dirty and your kitchen floury. However, it will be a much easier and quicker process than other recipes. Zesting an orange always takes me FOREVER… but these were still went from concept to baking in the oven in only an hour. And it was a cold icy Saturday morning, so I was moseying along pretty leisurely:)

This made for a pretty great Saturday morning breakfast.

Although let’s zoom out for how breakfast usually looks.

A little more cluttered and less pretty. Oh well, at least we have pretty rolls:)

Orange Cinnamon Sweet Rolls w/ Orange Glaze

Cinnamon Roll Dough from Bakingdom; Originally adapted from Baking Illustrated/ Filling adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe; Originally from My Kitchen Cafe

Ingredients for Orange Filling:

  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted, melted butter
  • 1 c. sugar (Feel free to do 1/2 c. white, 1/2 c. brown sugar… although the brown sugar caramelizes a bit on the outside, so beware)
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 T.  freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Grated orange rind/zest from two large oranges (Probably around 2-3 T. – keep 1/2 t. for glaze)

Ingredients for the Dough:

  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 1/4 c. buttermilk (or 5 T. cultured buttermilk powder, plus 1 1/4 c. water)
  • 4 T. unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter or spray pam in a 9 inch round cake pan. Set aside.
  2. Use a microplane zester to zest your oranges. Pop them in the microwave for 15-30 seconds. Then cut in half and squeeze until all the juices come out. (Putting them in the microwave helps the juices flow more freely). Set aside. Take out 1/2 t. of zest and set it aside for the glaze.
  3. Make filling: Melt butter in a medium sized bowl. Whisk in sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, orange juice and orange zest. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. (If you are using the fabulous buttermilk powder, add this in here.) Whisk briefly to aerate.
  5. Add in buttermilk (or water if using the powder) and 2 T. melted butter. Stir with a wooden spoon. Mixture will be thick and sticky.
  6. Set out parchment paper. If you’re terrible at dimensions like me, it’s a good idea to use a permanent marker and mark out a 12 inch by 8 inch rectangle on the underside of the paper. Flour heavily.
  7. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and lightly knead a couple times with heavily floured hands. My dough was VERY sticky – I probably added 3/4 c. of flour just to be able to roll it out (and shockingly it still tasted fine!)
  8. The dough will be very soft and still a bit sticky, but should be smoother and have less lumps.
  9. Use your hands and gently form the dough into a 12 inch by 9 inch rectangle. Don’t make it too thin.
  10. Spread the filling over the rectangle, keeping 1/2 an inch or so of a border.
  11. Next, begin rolling very gently. You want to roll the 12 inch (longer) side from the bottom up. It might stick to your work space. Thats okay! Use a spatula to loosen it a bit or just use your finger to smooth over the tears.
  12. The recipe said to turn the roll seam side down, but mine was VERY delicate, so I just left it the way it was:)
  13. Use a serrated knife or unflavored dental floss and cut the dough into 8 pieces. They may be 2-3 inches thick… that’s great! Place each roll in your cake pan. Don’t worry if it looks a mess… they’re homemade and rustic! And we really just want them to taste good:)
  14. Pour remaining 2 T. of melted butter on top. Pop in the 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Orange Glaze

from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe; Originally from My Kitchen Cafe


  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 3 T. freshly squeezed orange juice from about 1 orange
  • 1/2 t. grated orange rind/zest reserved from the filling above


  1. After the cinnamon rolls are done cooking, begin making the glaze.
  2. Whisk together powdered sugar, orange juice and orange zest. It will be fairly thick. Add more orange juice/ milk to thin it or powdered sugar to make it more thick.
  3. Pour over rolls and serve warm!!

*Rolls will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3-4 days. Warm them in the microwave before enjoying*


About jackielopina

Follower of Jesus, Pastor's Wife, Cookie Baker.
This entry was posted in Baking, Domesticity and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to (Easier) Orange Cinnamon Sweet Rolls w/ Orange Glaze

  1. Orange rolls were one of my very favorite breakfasts when I was growing up. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday night and I’d love it if you’d come by and link your cinnamon rolls up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2012/01/sweets-for-saturday-54.html

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