I’ve got Orange Rolls for you today, fam! I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned here before that yeasted doughs are not really my thing. I really haven’t made very many of them and have always figured I just need some practice. One of my goals for 2022 is to finally do that. I would love to be super confident in this area! Mainly so I can make ridiculously delicious cinnamon rolls whenever I want.
This goes for Orange Rolls too. Because whoooo boy. These babies are good. I’m not even the biggest fan or orange-flavored things (something that’s changing as I get older), and these were magical. They taste magical and smell magical, especially while baking.
Disclaimer: I did know these would turn out because they’re actually adapted from the Giant Orange Roll recipe in my cookbook! And I tested that one quite a few times. The filling is a little different and a made some tweaks to the dough and glaze, but it’s essentially the same recipe just made into twelve rolls instead of one big one.
These rolls are so soft and delicious and not too sweet. There’s fresh orange juice and zest in the dough itself so it’s nice and citrusy. We’re using instant yeast here because, as mentioned previously, yeast is not something I deal with very often. But instant makes these rolls super easy.
One thing that needs mentioning is that this dough first rises in a bowl until it doubles in size. Then it rises again once you’ve got your rolls cut and arranged in the pan. The first rise always takes so much longer for me than recipes usually say (usually an hour). So if it’s been an hour and your dough hasn’t doubled in size, just give it some more time. I placed mine in the oven with the oven off and the light on, and it took about one hour and thirty to forty-five minutes.
This filling is, of course, super easy. But also super good. My cookbook version of this recipe mixes butter, orange preserves, and light brown sugar. Here we’re doing a more classic sweet roll filling that’s just some butter, sugar, and cardamom instead of cinnamon.
I don’t think of orange rolls as having a cinnamon filling, but while doing some research for this post, I came across quite a few recipes that do. Did I maybe just never realize this?? I don’t know. We’re using cardamom here because I love it paired with orange and citrus.
To me, sweet rolls need a cream cheese glaze, so that’s what goes on top of these beauties. The cookbook version is just a regular powdered sugar glaze, but the cream cheese takes these to a new level! It’s a must. This glaze has fresh orange juice and citrus in it as well, and it’s the perfect creamy dreamy accompaniment to the soft rolls and sweet filling.
I will admit, I think these Orange Rolls are best served right out of the oven, but obviously they’ll keep for a couple of days. They’re just at their best when they’re nice and fresh! I kept them stored in an airtight container at room temperature. I wouldn’t expect these to last very long anyway!
Orange Roll Dough:
- ½ cup warm milk between 100-110°F
- ⅓ cup fresh orange juice
- 2 ¼ tsp instant yeast
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup butter softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup butter very soft
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp ground cardamom or cinnamon, optional
Orange Cream Cheese Glaze:
- 4 oz cream cheese very soft
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- ½ tbsp orange zest
To make the orange rolls:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine warm milk, orange juice, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, egg, and orange zest. Add flour and turn mixer on low speed.
- Once the flour starts to incorporate into the dough, increase speed to medium. Mix until all ingredients are combined and dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be soft and tacky, but it shouldn’t stick to your hands. If the dough is too soft, add a spoonful of flour at a time until the dough reaches the desired consistency.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl. Cover with a towel or place inside the oven with the light on (and the oven off). Let the dough rise until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
To make the filling:
- Mix together the butter, sugar, and ground cardamom until smooth and all ingredients are incorporated.
- Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan with baking spray.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch by 18-inch rectangle. Trim off uneven edges if necessary. Spread filling over dough. Starting with a long edge, carefully roll up the dough.
- Using unflavored dental floss, trim off the very ends of the roll, about ½” to 1”. Cut the dough in half. Then cut the halves in half to create four pieces. Cut each fourth into thirds for a total of twelve rolls.
- Arrange the rolls in the prepared pan. Cover with a towel or return to the oven for the second rise, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on top.
- Remove from oven and let the rolls cool slightly while you prepare the glaze.
To make the glaze:
- In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest until smooth.
- Using a spoon or offset spatula, spread glaze over wam orange rolls. Serve and enjoy!
- Store rolls covered at room temperature.
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