Quick Orange Rolls Recipe

I love cinnamon rolls. I don’t love waiting hours to make them from scratch. I love orange rolls too, and my husband even more so. I usually grocery shop alone (for far too many reasons to mention) but when hubby does tag along, he always throws those cans of cinnamon and orange rolls into the cart.

Homemade cinnamon rolls are so much better, but man! Some recipes call for a 2 hour rise, some for 3-4 hours, and one that I saw was even an 8 hour rest in the fridge and THEN another couple of hours on the counter. Sheesh, I don’t want them that bad. :-p

I’ve seen a few different “quick” orange rolls around on different blogs, but some of them still required one hour rises. So I did a search and I found this recipe on the Red Star yeast website. I’ve adapted the recipe a bit from theirs, so my adapted version is below.

The verdict? Fabulous! The fresh squeezed orange flavor in these soooo outweighs the imitation canned stuff. A lovely flavor and they were gone pretty quickly. They are definitely different than the canned, one of my boys took one bite and changed his mind, but hubby, youngest son and me? We scarfed them down without hesitation. ;)

I think I will make them again, only this time I might experiment with chilling the dough to make it easier to work with. I realize that can upset the yeast and make it moody, so I’ll let you know what happens.

This recipe includes a combination filling and frosting which was delicious. I’m sure you could make half the recipe to make the filling, and make a simple glaze with powdered sugar and orange juice for the top. Hope you give them a try, let me know if you do  :)

Quick Orange Rolls
adapted from RedStar

[printable recipe]

2 1/4 teaspoons SAF instant yeast (or any quick rise)
1/2 cup warm water (110-115 F)
1 egg, room temperature
1 3/4 cups bread flour
zest of one orange
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Filling and Frosting
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (plus up to 1/4 cup more to adjust frosting*)
zest of one orange
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

In mixer bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water and let stand 3 to 5 minutes; stir. Add the egg, 1/2 of the flour, and butter. Rub the orange zest, sugar and salt together with your fingers until fragrant, then add to the bowl. Beat all ingredients on medium until smooth.

Add the remaining flour gradually until combined. Dough should clean sides of bowl. Knead on lightly floured board until smooth. Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 15 minutes.

While dough is rising, grease 9-inch round pan or deep dish pie plate.  Blend the filling and frosting ingredients and beat until creamy.

Dust a sheet of parchment paper with flour. Place dough on dusted parchment and Roll dough into a 7″ x 14″ rectangle. Spread with 1/2 of the filling, coming to within 1/2″ of the sides. Roll up jelly roll style, using the parchment to help you roll it up, dough will be sticky. (You can see this method of rolling on my Cranberry Orange Spiral Cookies post.) Pinch the edges of dough to seal.

Slice roll into 10-12 pieces and place them in the greased pan. Cover with a towel and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. While dough is rising, preheat oven to 400 F.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

*While the rolls are baking, you can adjust the frosting if you like. It was a bit too buttercream-ish for me, so I added about 1/4 cup or so more powdered sugar and about a tablespoon of milk and whisked vigorously until it was smooth. This step is optional, the frosting can be used as is if you like.

Remove rolls from the oven and drizzle frosting over the top and spread to distribute evenly. Serve!


  1. Amanda says

    Thanks ladies :) Michelle, they are actually just orange rolls, but I bet adding cinnamon to the filling would be delicious!

  2. HoneyB says

    Yummm. I've been thinking about cinnamon rolls again. I made them a few weeks ago for my kids – so they left our house! I use my bread machine to mix and rise the dough – works like a charm for me and I love the cleanliness of it!

  3. Amanda says

    Thanks MaryBeth, i was surprised by how much it tasted like fresh oranges, not that fake orange flavor you get from the can rolls. Yum!

  4. Mags says

    I love the quickness factor of this recipe. My current favorite is like the one you mentioned that has to rest overnight in the fridge. Too much planning!

  5. Nutmeg Nanny says

    Oh wow these look amazing! I can't wait to try these. My boyfriend and I always have rolls on Christmas Eve morning. These orange rolls will be a twist on the classic cinnamon ones :)

  6. angela@spinachtiger says

    Once a year (Christmas Day) I indulge in those canned orange rolls. I love them. But, maybe I should try these. You just reminded me that I have my orange rolls to look forward to. Or, I might make crepes suzette. Did that last Christmas Day.

  7. Amanda says

    Thanks everyone, these are the fastest I've found. Now I'm hoping I can chill the dough successfully. Maybe if I allow it to rise first before rolling it. hmm, not sure how that would work out :-/

  8. Katrina says

    My MIL makes orange rolls for T-day every year, her recipes rests in the fridge all night. But it's the kind of dough laden with melted shortening.
    These look great.
    BTW, I have a really good cinnamon roll recipe called 30 minute rolls–if you ever want a "quick" one.

  9. Clueless_Cook says

    Amanda these look perfect for our Christmas Brunch. I would like to try them first to see that I have the same success as you. My granny used to shape her rolls and then freeze them. She would then allow them to rise before baking. Didn't seem to kill the yeast, but hey then again… I'm clueless. Love your blog.

  10. biz319 says

    My step-son LOVES cinnamon rolls, and this year I am making a copykat recipe for Cinnabons – with the 8 hour rise!

    I may adapt your recipe! :D Happy Monday Amanda!

  11. Tia says

    ooh i've been looking for an orange roll recipe. like you, i love cinnamon buns/rolls so orange is a nice change and i am so definitely going to make these. thanks!

  12. Sandie (Inn Cuisine) says

    A hint of citrus is always welcome in the morning and when paired with breakfast rolls, it doubles the fun!

  13. Anonymous says

    Amanda please make these in your bread machine and let us know if we can do the same……..I don't like to experiment but if I know it works I will make them for sure.

  14. Amanda says

    Rats! my bread machine died :( BUT if and when I get a new one I will certainly post about it – sorry about that :( i saw one at the thrift store, will have to see if it's still there ;)

  15. Andrea says

    Hi Amanda I just found your blog today and I am loving it. I really want to make these rolls, I think its a great way to start working with dough with out being too intimidated. I have one question being the novice baker that I am. What is bread flour, and if I can't find it in my food market, what can I substitute? I look forward to all of your posts and recipes.
    I LOVE your pictures :)

  16. Amanda says

    Hi Andrea! Thanks for the compliments, so glad you like my blog! :)

    Bread flour is a high protein flour made especially for use in yeast breads. You CAN substitute all purpose flour, however it's best to use bread flour. You can also substitute all purpose and add in a tablespoon of wheat gluten. Bread flour is available at any grocery store, Wal Mart, wherever you shop for groceries, and is priced pretty close to AP flour. Hope that helps!

  17. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme says

    I love those canned orange rolls but I know that these from scratch would be so much better! The glaze sounds really fabulous. Thanks for sharing this Amanda.


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