Orange Rolls from Scratch

These orange rolls from scratch are packed with a punch of orange flavor in every bite of pillowy goodness. The citrus flavor is balanced by the subtle sweetness of the roll dough. Make these orange rolls for Christmas, Thanksgiving morning, for a shower, or make them just because it’s a good day for an orange roll.

orange rolls

Tips for Making Orange Rolls

  • Make the dough anywhere between 8-24 hours ahead. This dough is fuss free and easy to make. Because the dough rests in the refrigerator, it rises very slowly. The dough needs to rise for at least 8 hours in the fridge if you are using the overnight method so that it has enough time to raise properly.
  • Don’t skip the zest or the orange juice in any part of this recipe. It might seem like a lot of orange, but that is what makes this recipe so wonderful. There is a true infusion of orange flavor from top to bottom, and it is so yummy!
  • Coat the inside and top of each muffin tin with cold or room temperature butter. When the rolls bake, they will billow over the edges of the cupcake slots, and the butter helps the rolls to release easily after baking.
  • Pick oranges that are vibrant in color. The deeper the color, the better the flavor! I recommend organic oranges for the zest so you can avoid ingesting pesticides. While pesticides won’t penetrate into the flesh of an orange, they will absorb into the outer orange layer used for zest. 
  • When baking these orange rolls from scratch, don’t let them brown too much. It they are too brown on top, the insides of the rolls will be dry and overcooked. Instead, opt for a light golden brown. Start the baking time at 9 minutes, and continue to add one or two minutes until the rolls are done.
  • When the rolls are done baking, flip them out of the pan so the rolls remain upside down. The orange glaze will work its way from the bottom of each roll to the top, spreading the ooey gooey goodness through every layer. Sounds delicious, right?
orange rolls recipe

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Orange Rolls from Scratch

stand mixer or bread mixer is a must for the dough. Use the dough hook so the ingredients are mixed together to form the right texture.

A good non-stick cupcake pan– preferably not dark coated. Don’t panic if all you have is a dark coated pan- it will still work but may cause your rolls to brown faster. I use this Calphalon nonstick cupcake pan, and it works perfectly every time!

A fine zester– if you don’t have a zester on hand, you can also use a fork to scrap zest off of the oranges. Honestly, it is worth the small investment for a fine zest zester because it produces consistent results every time. Oh, and it makes zesting go super fast- so don’t waste your time with a fork if you don’t have to!

pastry cloth or pie mat is also essential for rolling out the dough. I recommend this pastry cloth because it is easy to use, easy to clean, and inexpensive. That makes this cloth a winner in my book!  

orange rolls

Orange Rolls from Scratch

  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 8 hours 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours 56 minutes
  • Yield: 24 rolls 1x
  • Category: Breakfast


Units Scale


  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbs yeast
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice of half an orange
  • 1 orange, zested

Orange Glaze

  • 1 orange, zested
  • Juice of 12 oranges
  • 4 cups powdered sugar



  1. Dissolve yeast in a small bowl with 1/4 cup warm water. Cover with a dry towel and set aside for 5 minutes. In a large stand mixer, mix together eggs, sugar, orange zest, and salt with paddle attachment. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the milk. Slowly pour into egg mixture while mixer is on low or medium low speed.
  3. Add yeast mixture and 2 cups flour and mix until the dough is smooth. Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time. Do not add more than 5 cups of flour, as this will dry the dough out. Cover dough with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.

Orange Filling

  1. To make the orange filling, combine orange zest, juice, butter, and sugar. Butter 2 muffin pans, then set aside. Roll dough into a 24×12 rectangle. Spread the melted butter and orange mixture on the dough leaving ½-inch border around the sides.
  2. On a floured pastry cloth or pie mat, roll dough into a long so that it’s still 24 inches long (roll the legnth of the 12 inch side). Cut roll into 24 slices and place in prepare muffin pans. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise until double in size, usually about 60 to 90 minutes.
  3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 -13 minutes or until golden brown. Immediate remove from oven and flip rolls out onto a cookie sheet or parchment so the orange glaze settles into the rolls.

Orange Glaze

  1. To make the orange icing, whisk zest, orange juice, and powdered sugar until smooth. The consistency should be thin enough that it will spread out slowly over the rolls with a little help. Turn rolls right side up after cooling for 20 minutes and spread on icing. These rolls are best eaten the same day.


This recipe has been adapted from Simply So Good.

Keywords: orange rolls, sweet rolls, orange rolls from scratch

orange rolls