The Best Glazed Orange Sweet Rolls

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The BEST Glazed Orange Rolls — These homemade orange rolls are filled with a buttery orange filling and are topped with a simple orange glaze. They can be prepped the night before, if needed. 

Glazed Orange Rolls in baking dish

Glazed Orange Sweet Rolls

These orange rolls are so soft, moist, tender, wonderfully sweet, and just irresistibly good. They’re one of the best things that has ever come out of my kitchen. 

For the filling, I used store-bought orange marmalade, but if you have homemade, even better. I love the tiny bits of orange rind that are almost imperceptible in the finished rolls, but there’s just enough to add subtle texture.

The glaze is an orange juice-based confectioners’ sugar glaze, with orange zest stirred in for an extra pop of orange flavor. 

Glazed Orange Roll on white plate

The glaze is poured on as soon as the rolls come out of the oven. It soaks into the nooks and crannies and adds more moisture and softness to the already moist, soft orange cinnamon rolls.

Some glaze will drip through onto the bottom of the baking pan, so make sure to spoon it up and don’t waste of drop of that liquid gold.

Try them and you’ll be a believer, too. I promise. People here may have fought over who got the last one.

pan of Glazed Orange Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients in Orange Rolls

There are three components to this recipe for orange glazed cinnamon rolls: the dough, the orange filling, and the orange glaze.

To make the orange cinnamon roll dough, you’ll need: 

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Instant or dry yeast
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Buttermilk
  • Eggs

For the orange filling, you’ll need: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • Orange marmelade 
  • Light brown sugar

And for the orange glaze, you’ll need: 

  • Orange juice
  • Vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Salt 
  • Milk or cream
  • Orange zest 

Glaze Tip

I’ve also made the glaze using lemon juice when I was testing the recipe and if you’re a lemon fan, it’s a fun twist.

pouring glaze over pan of orange rolls

How to Make Orange Rolls

Making orange cinnamon rolls with orange icing is fairly simple, but as with any sweet roll recipe there’s quite a bit of prep work involved in rolling out and shaping the dough.

Here’s an overview of how the orange glazed sweet rolls are prepared:

  1. You first need to make the yeast dough. Once the dough comes together, let it rise for roughly 2 hours in a greased bowl, or until it’s doubled in size. 
  2. Once the dough has doubled in size, roll it out into a large rectangle.
  3. Spread the butter evenly over the dough, followed by the orange marmalade and a sprinkle of brown sugar.
  4. Gently roll up the orange roll dough and slice it into 20 even pieces. 
  5. Place the orange rolls into your prepared baking pan and let them rise for another hour, or until doubled in size.
  6. Once risen, bake the orange cinnamon rolls until they’re golden on top. 
  7. As soon as the orange rolls come out of the oven, whisk together the orange glaze and evenly drizzle it over the rolls. These beauties are best enjoyed immediately!
pan of Glazed Orange Rolls

FAQs

Can the buttermilk be substituted?

The dough is buttermilk-based, and although I’ve made non-buttermilk sweet rolls before, for the softest, lightest, and most tender rolls, I swear by buttermilk. Between the eggs, butter, and buttermilk, the dough rises beautifully and it’s my new favorite dough base.

Can I Prep orange sweet Rolls the Night Before? 

Yes, there’s an option to make the orange cinnamon rolls as overnight rolls. Start the dough at night, roll and shape it, and don’t let the dough rise.

Then refrigerate the coiled rolls until you’re ready to bake the next morning. Before baking, let the rolls rise at room temperature until they have nearly doubled in size, about 1 hour.

This way you don’t have to get up at 5am to have these ready with your first cup of coffee! 

Can I Freeze Orange Rolls? 

Yes, these sweet rolls can be made and baked to completion, and then frozen for up to 6 months. When you’re ready to eat the frozen rolls, set them on your counter to thaw and glaze them immediately prior to serving.

If you want to make these orange rolls in bulk in advance, I recommend baking these from start to finish and then freezing, rather than trying to freeze unbaked dough.

Glazed Orange cinnamon Roll on white plate

Tips for Making Orange Rolls From Scratch

Ingredients: Because this is more of a special occasion breakfast, I recommend buying the exact ingredients I call for in the recipe and not making any substitutions. Real buttermilk makes a big difference in these orange rolls, as does real butter and sugar. 

Slicing cinnamon rolls: When slicing the orange cinnamon rolls, I highly suggest using dental floss instead of a knife to do the job. Floss doesn’t compress the rolls like a knife does, and it makes the process go more smoothly. 

Storage: And if you have leftover orange rolls, you’ll want to keep them on your counter. If you store these in the fridge, they’ll dry out quickly. 

The BEST Glazed Orange Rolls — These homemade orange rolls are filled with a buttery orange filling and are topped with a simple orange glaze. They can be prepped the night before, if needed. 

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4.45 from 60 votes

The Best Glazed Orange Rolls

By Averie Sunshine
These homemade orange rolls are filled with a buttery orange filling and are topped with a simple orange glaze. They can be prepped the night before, if needed. 
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Rise Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 20 rolls
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Ingredients  

Dough

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast, one 1/4-ounce packet, I use Red Star Platinum
  • pinch salt, to taste
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked

Filling

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3/4 of 1 stick, very soft – let it sit out while dough rises
  • about 1 cup orange marmalade
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed

Orange Glaze

  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, orange extract may be substituted
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste (helps balance the sweetness)
  • about 3 tablespoons milk or cream, or as needed for consistency
  • 3 teaspoons orange zest, divided

Instructions 

  • Make the Dough
  • To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or use a large mixing bowl and wooden spoon and your hands), add 3 cups flour, sugar, yeast, salt; set aside.
  • In 2-cup glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl, and the butter and heat to melt, about 1 minute on high power.
  • Add buttermilk to melted butter and warm to temperature, about 45 seconds on high power in the microwave. (Based on the type of yeast used, milk temperatures will vary. Red Star Platinum yeast calls for warmer temperatures than most, 120 to 130F; other brands and yeast call for much lower temperatures, about 95 to 105F. Heat the mixture according to manufacturer’s recommendations on the packaging. Taking the temperature with a digital thermometer is highly recommended, but if you’re not, make sure the milk is warm, not hot. Err on the cooler rather than hotter side so you don’t kill the yeast.) If the milk separates or gets a little funny looking after being warmed, whisk it to smooth it out.
  • Add butter-buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
  • In a small bowl, crack and lightly whisk the eggs, and then add eggs to mixing bowl.
  • Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to knead dough for about 5 to 7 minutes (about 7 to 10 minutes by hand using a wooden spoon and then switching to your hands). 3 cups of flour and 5 minutes is perfect for me, but if after 5 minutes your dough is very sloppy, wet, and won’t come together, add up to 1/4 cup flour, or as needed until it does come together. However, the more flour added, the denser and heavier the rolls will be; wetter dough is preferred to overly dry. If dough is dry or crumbly, drizzle in buttermilk until it comes together.
  • Remove dough from the mixing bowl, spray a large bowl with cooking spray, place the dough in the bowl, and flip it over once so it’s lightly oiled on both top and bottom.
  • Cover bowl with plasticwrap and place it in a warm, draft-free place to rise for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or doubled in size. I keep my bowl inside a powered-off oven that I preheated for 1 minute to 400F, then it’s powered off. Do not, repeat do not, keep the oven on. The pre-heated, warm oven creates a nice 85F-ish environment, ideal for yeast. If your rising spot is cold, rising will likely take longer than 2 1/2 hours.
  • While dough rises, line a 9×13-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  • Roll Out the Dough & Fill
  • After dough has doubled in size, punch it down. Turn dough out onto a Silpat or floured countertop.
  • With a rolling pin, roll it out to about 26-by-13-inches. Use the 13-inch side of the 9-x13 pan to eyeball it, no need use a ruler.
  • Using a knife, evenly spread butter over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch bare margin.
  • Add about 3/4 cup marmalade, more as needed, and smooth it with a knife. It should be a thin-ish layer; too much and you risk it leaking, but not enough and the rolls aren’t orangey enough; use your judgment. The butter and marmalade get smeared together, which is okay.
  • Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar over the top, and lightly pat it down with your fingertips to help it adhere.
  • Slice the Dough
  • Starting with a long edge (the 26-inch side), roll the dough into a tightly wound log, with the seam side down.
  • Using a knife, make small hash marks so there will be 20 evenly sized rolls (about 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide; or make bigger rolls and yield 12 to 16). Hash marks create less guesswork once you start slicing and things get messier and harder to eyeball where to slice; the hash marks are nice place-markers.
  • Use plain, unwaxed dental floss to slice the rolls. I highly recommend slicing the rolls with floss, not knives. Floss does not squish or compact the log like knives do.
  • Arrange the rolls in the prepared pan, 5 rows of 4 rolls across. Cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until the rolls have nearly doubled in size, about 1 hour. (See note below)*
  • Bake the Orange Rolls
  • Bake at 375F for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and cooked through (ovens, dough, and climates vary and so will baking duration, but 1 to 2 minutes matters in this recipe). Watch rolls like a hawk and don’t overbake or they won’t taste nearly as good.
  • Make the Orange Glaze
  • In a medium bowl, add the orange juice, vanilla, confectioners’ sugar, optional salt, and whisk to combine; mixture will be thick.
  • Drizzle in the milk as needed until mixture can be whisked smooth and is to desired consistency.
  • Whisk in 2 teaspoons zest; set aside remainder.
  • Evenly pour glaze over rolls.
  • Evenly sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon zest.
  • Serve immediately. Rolls are best warm and fresh, but will keep airtight at room temp for up to 4 days; reheat in micro for about 5 seconds to re-soften or as desired. I am comfortable keeping glazed rolls at room temp and do not recommend storing them in the fridge because they will dry out.

Notes

*To make the orange rolls the night before: Don’t let rolls rise after they’ve been sliced and placed in covered pan. Place pan in refrigerator for up to 16 hours. Before baking, let the rolls rise at room temperature until they have nearly doubled in size, about 1 hour. Then move onto the section labeled "Bake the Orange Rolls."
To freeze these rolls: Rolls can be made and baked to completion, and then frozen for up to 6 months; unthaw and glaze immediately prior to serving. I recommend baking them from start to finish and then freezing, rather than trying to freeze unbaked dough, if you want to make in bulk in advance.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 319kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 93mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 28g

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

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4.45 from 60 votes (49 ratings without comment)

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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Comments

  1. Hi! So I just made these. But while I was making these, I licked the spoon I used to spread the marmalade (of course I was done spreading :-) ). And the marmalade tasted quite bitter. I was somewhat shocked. I expected it to be sweet. But i was hopeful that the icing and brown sugar (which I actually added more in fear of the bitterness being overpowering) would sweeten the rolls enough to combat the bitterness. But after baking, everything about the rolls are perfect but they have a bitter aftertaste. Did I buy a bad jar of orange marmalade? I honestly do not think these are how they are suppose to taste based upon your description and everyone’s wonderful reviews. Any thoughts?

    1. There are some orange marmalades that are bitter, yes I have encountered those. I am sorry you got a bitter one! While marmalade in general isn’t sweet like typical jams, it’s definitely not supposed to be bitter either and you’re right, bitter marmalade would make the rolls taste off. The only thing I could say is that if you remake them, buy a couple different kinds of marmalade (cheap is fine – they tend to be sweeter to me) and test before using. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  2. I will be making this again. It is a very good recipe. I think people that are having issues with it too wet may need to let it sit longer than just one hour. I left mine at room temp 2-3 hours till it doubled. I am anxious now to make regular cinnamon rolls with it.

  3. I have made these rolls several times alrady and we love them!
    Today I made them with a twist and turned them to raspberry lime rolls, also a very good combination <3

    1. Raspberry and lime sounds like a great twist!

      I’m glad you’ve made them many times and love them!

  4. I am making these right now, but have a question? How soon after you turn the oven off, do you put the bowl in for raising? You cannot put cling wrap in a hot oven or it will melt onto the dough. Thank you.

    1. The oven shouldn’t be hot. It should be warmer than room temp is in the winter. Think 85F summer day no a/c in the kitchen, definitely not over 105F or it is too hot. Plastic won’t melt at that temp.

    2. I believe the oven is only set at 400 degrees for 1 minute then turned off – not nearly long enough to get hot enough to melt the plastic (probably takes 7-10 min. to get oven all the way up to actual 400 degrees, depending on if elect or gas).

  5. I am planning to make these for a group meeting I have this week, and was wondering if you had a recommendation for when to add the icing… would you recommend pouring it on after I reach my destination?  Or before I leave home?  Do you think it would even matter?  I can’t wait to try these – I love orange sweet rolls!!

    1. I really don’t think it’s going to matter that much provided you aren’t in the car for hours and hours. And even if you were…who cares :) They’re homemade rolls and they will be fabulous and loved by all. Enjoy!

  6. I tried the Orange Marmalade rolls- followed the recipe almost exactly. These have to be the softest, chewiest and and all in all the best Sweet rolls I have ever made. I have baked caramel apple rolls and cinnamon rolls in the past, but these were simply amazing. The buttermilk was an amazing idea. Definitely going to be following you more and perhaps kissing my waistline goodbye. :P Truly delightful recipe. :) 

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Glad they’re the best rolls you’ve ever made and keep me posted what else you make!

  7. Hi Averie,

    I just want to say that I am literally in shock that I was able to make these Sweet Orange rolls so easily, and they are literally the softest, sweetest most wonderful pastry/roll I have ever had, I cannot believe it! Thank you SOOOO much! I cannot wait to do the cinnamon version. I made my own buttermilk using 1/3 greek yoghurt and 2/3 milk and it worked a treat. Also your tip about putting on the oven for 1 min then turning off as a warm rising area is a great idea and they rose really well. I feel really buoyed up and excited about baking more. I feel blessed that I stumbled across y0ur web-site just from a Google search. Thanks again, you have added a spring in my baking step! I had an idea a while back for starting a little pop-up’occasional’  breakfast menu bakery and these have really given me the confidence to maybe have a proper go at it. I know i sound like I am going crazy over-the-top but I really am so delighted with these, thanks, you have a real gift, thanks for sharing it!

    Niamh

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you and that you feel excited to bake more! Glad my tips and tricks worked out great for you and that you’re super delighted! Love comments like these :)

    1. Probably yes but the rolls may not be quite as soft and tender and you may need slightly less bread flour than if using AP flour.

    1. Any suggestions for baking these at higher altitudes? 7k feet. Trying to figure out if I’ll need to change anything. ::)

      1. I really don’t have experience speaking at altitude but I know the king Arthur flour website has a nice tutorial about what to do or change for out to baking for different types of baked goods.

    1. I’ve never tried but it will probably be fine. Or you can just omit but I prefer to line so that cleanup is a snap.

  8. I have been wanting to make these rolls since I saw them posted this summer. I also wanted to start a new tradition with my little kids this year for Christmas and start making homemade rolls for Christmas morning. I decided on these rolls for my first time at making them homemade. Wow, they were delicious and beautiful. My son is a picky eater and I try everything to get him to eat a variety of foods. He loved these and ate the last one!! Thank you for sharing!!

  9. I am new to your site and just made these for the first time and they were divine! I plan on making again for my family on Christmas. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    1. Thrilled to hear these will be on your Christmas day menu! That’s wonderful and thanks for trying the recipe and if you try others, please LMK!

  10. I’m not massively keen on the taste of orange, would lemon work? If so – what could I substitute the orange glaze ingredients with to make it as yummy looking as your orange one?
    Lots of love from England x