Homemade Orange Rolls
Sweet homemade orange rolls with fresh orange zest and topped with an orange cream cheese frosting.
I can’t stop baking. Every day I wake up and think, “what will I bake today?” It has been a fun part of being at home with my family. This morning we already whipped up some homemade strawberry jam and my kids think they are in home economics class every day.
I make some type of bread every single day. My daughter Sadie has been begging for orange rolls and couldn’t believe I have yet to share our recipe on Modern Honey. It is about time to share my favorite orange sweet rolls recipe.
Many of you have been reaching out asking how to have success making bread at home. I always say the same thing — it all starts with the yeast. My biggest advice is to ensure you are using fresh yeast and correct temperature liquid. If it is too hot, it may kill the yeast. If it isn’t warm enough, it won’t allow the yeast to fully activate. Yeast loves sugar so adding sugar or honey to the yeast mixture helps it to activate and begin to foam up.
How to make the Best Orange Rolls:
- Start with Fresh Yeast. Nothing will ruin your orange rolls faster than yeast that doesn’t work. To check whether or not your yeast is good, place it in a bowl with warm milk (about 110 degrees) and sugar. Yeast loves sugar and it helps to activate the yeast. How do you know if the yeast is working? It will begin to bubble and foam. That’s a good sign! If it doesn’t begin to foam, your yeast isn’t fresh enough or your milk may have been too hot or not hot enough. Yeast can be tricky so it is important to get this step right.
- Let it RAISE. One of the most important parts of making homemade orange sweet rolls is the rising process. Place the bowl in a warm place if at all possible, and let it rise to double the size. If you are in a hurry and want to make quicker sweet orange rolls, heat the oven to 200 degrees. Once it reaches 200 degrees, turn off the oven. Place the dough in an oven-proof bowl covered with a slightly damp towel or paper towel. Let it rise until double in size. This process works like a charm!
- Use FRESH Orange Zest and Juice. Use a zester to just remove the outer orange layer from the orange. Roll out the dough into a rectangle. Sprinkle with sugar and orange zest. Roll up and cut into rolls. Let rise again until double in size. Use freshly squeezed orange juice for the frosting.
- Bake until GOLDEN BROWN. The key here is to get the sweet rolls all the way cooked through without the tops becoming too brown. Keep an eye on the sweet rolls and if the tops are becoming too brown, cover with aluminum foil. This allows the rolls to become cooked throughout.
- Spread CREAM CHEESE Frosting over rolls. The cream cheese frosting is made with sweet cream butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
Sweet homemade orange rolls with fresh orange cream cheese frosting.
- 1 cup Warm Milk (heated in microwave until warm to touch, about 110 degrees)
- 1 Tablespoon Yeast
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 6 Tablespoons Butter (melted)
- 2 large Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 cups Flour
- 4 Tablespoons Butter (softened)
- 1/3 cup Sugar
- Orange Zest (from 2 oranges)
- 1/2 cup Butter (1 cube, softened)
- (1) 8-ounce pkg. Cream Cheese (softened)
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
- Orange Zest
Place milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for about 90 seconds or until the milk is warmed to about 110 degrees. Add yeast and sugar and stir. Let it begin to foam and bubble. This will show that the yeast is working. Let the yeast proof for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add remaining eggs, melted butter, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Once the yeast is activated, add the mixture to a bowl. Stir in flour. Watch for the dough to start coming off the sides of the bowl.
Place dough in a warm place to rise to double in size. (For an expedited option, preheat oven to 200 degrees. Once it is heated, turn off the oven. Place dough in an oven-safe bowl. Cover bowl with a moist towel. Put in oven to rise until double in size).
Once the dough has doubled in size, roll out on a floured surface into a large rectangle. Spread softened butter all over the dough. Sprinkle with the sugar. Cover with orange zest.
Tightly roll up dough and slice into rolls. Place on greased baking sheets and cover loosely with towel or saran wrap. Let rise for at least 1 hour or until double in size.
Bake at 375 degrees for 16-20 minutes. **Check to ensure the rolls don’t become too brown without the center being fully cooked through. If they are getting too brown, cover with aluminum foil for the last few minutes of baking.
Cream together butter and cream cheese for 4 minutes. Stir in powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest. Add more powdered sugar, if needed. Spread over slightly cooled orange sweet rolls.