There's nothing better than freshly-baked sweet rolls and homemade Orange Rolls are especially delicious. The perfect combination of orange, fresh ginger, cinnamon and brown sugar. If you are looking for the best homemade cinnamon roll with orange icing, this is the recipe for you.
Orange is a perfect ingredient in both sweet and savory recipes. I think you'll also enjoy Orange-Spiced Sweet Potato Casserole and try Easy-Baked Orange Tofu for a plant-based main meal.
Ingredients to Have on Hand
- orange juice
- an orange and a lemon
- fresh ginger
Fresh ginger might seem like a surprising ingredient for Orange Rolls, but it adds a warm, slightly peppery taste with hints of citrus to the rolls. It's a game-changer!
Scroll to the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Why You'll Love Orange Rolls
Homemade Orange Rolls are made with both orange juice and orange zest in the dough, and the freshly made frosting has a bright and citrusy flavor that simply goes great with this homemade cinnamon roll.
The sweet and tangy icing on the cinnamon rolls creates an irresistible combination of sweet and citrusy flavors.
This recipe is incredibly versatile and similar to my Old Fashioned Chocolate Pound Cake, it has been baked an enjoyed for years. Truly a family-favorite recipe! You can enjoy them fresh from the oven, but there's also a freezer option, which gives you the flexibility to enjoy homemade cinnamon rolls with orange icing any time. Even on a busy holiday morning!
How to Make Orange Sweet Rolls
Step 1: After making the dough and having it doubled in size, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into an 18"x 8" rectangle. I highly recommend using a silicone pastry mat. It helps gauge the size of each roll.
Step 2: Spread melted butter on top, followed by the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg mixture.
Step 3: Starting with a long side of the dough, roll it up tightly.
Step 4: Slice the dough into 1" sections
Pro Tip: Use plain dental floss to slice the dough into rolls. It works better than even the sharpest knife. I keep a container of dental floss in one of my kitchen drawers just for this purpose.
Step 5: Place the sliced rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or in greased muffin cups and let them rise one more hour until doubled in size. Then bake.
What to Serve with Orange Rolls
I'm a big fan of the classic, beloved combination of cinnamon rolls with chili! Full disclosure, this is a somewhat nostalgic menu from my school lunch days growing up in Sunnyside, Washington.
But as it turns out, chili and cinnamon rolls are a combination enjoyed in many other regions of the country as well.
And when it's cinnamon rolls with orange icing somehow the combination of chili with cinnamon rolls seems even better. Serve your orange rolls with my classic, stovetop Idaho Chili Recipe or for a slightly different spin, enjoy the sweet rolls with Pinto Bean Chili. This is a family favorite flavor combination that can't be beat.
You absolutely can roll the dough on a cutting board or a kitchen counter dusted with flour. However, I've found that using a pastry mat is helpful because you can see the size of each section of dough as you slice it. I bought my pastry mat a few years ago, but this one looks very similar.
Yes, for sure. The fresh ginger adds a delightful, fresh flavor to these orange sweet rolls, but if you don't have it on hand or if your family isn't a fan of ginger, by all means, simply leave it out. The orange rolls will still turn out great.
How to Prep Orange Rolls for the Freezer
I've included an option for freezing the dough so you can enjoy fresh-from-the-oven orange rolls with breakfast any morning.
Here's how to prepare Orange Rolls for the freezer, so you can enjoy fresh baked sweet rolls any time.
Step 1: After rolling and slicing the dough, place the rolls in muffin cups and then in the freezer until frozen solid. Remove the rolls from the muffin cups and place the frozen rolls in a zip-top freezer bag. Date and freeze.
Pro Tip: Prepare the icing for the orange rolls according to the recipe, then place the icing in a freezer-safe, airtight container and freeze. Defrost the icing in the refrigerator overnight while the rolls defrost on the counter at room temperature until morning.
Step 2: On the night before you plan to enjoy freshly baked rolls in the morning, remove the frozen rolls from the freezer and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Step 3: The orange sweet rolls will defrost overnight on your kitchen counter. In the morning, bake as usual, then frost with icing and enjoy fresh sweet rolls with your morning coffee or tea.
Cinnamon rolls made from scratch have been a baking tradition for generations in my family. Hat tip to my Auntie Iva and Auntie Faye who both made the most delicious homemade rolls when I was growing up.
Orange Rolls is now my go-to recipe any time I want fresh sweet rolls. The icing for these rolls is what sets them apart.
Pro Tip: Be sure to use freshly squeezed orange juice in the icing for the Orange Rolls, it does make a big difference.
This recipe was inspired by a bread recipe I found in a little cookbook my Auntie Maureen sent me. I'm so tickled with how it turned out, I adapted it to make orange cinnamon rolls.
More Baking Recipes
If you are in a baking mood, but sure to try these recipes as well!
If you tried Homemade Orange Rolls or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below.