Orange Rolls from Scratch

Homemade orange rolls from scratch made with sweet dough, orange filling, and orange icing. They are packed with a punch of orange flavor in every bite of pillowy goodness. The subtle sweetness of the roll balances the citrus flavor. Make these orange rolls for Christmas, Thanksgiving morning, for a shower, or for fun.

But whatever you do. Make them.

orange rolls recipe from scratch with orange icing

Tips for Making Orange Rolls

  • Make the orange roll dough 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.
homemade orange rolls recipe
  • 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. If the rolls are too brown on top, the insides 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?
inside of a fluffy orange roll

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 roll recipe

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Orange Rolls from Scratch

homemade orange rolls on a crumpled pied of parchment with a jar of icing in the background

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  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 8 hours 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours 56 minutes
  • Yield: 12 rolls 1x
  • Category: Breakfast


Units Scale

Orange Roll Dough

  • 1/8 c warm water
  • 1/2 Tbs instant yeast
  • 1 large egg, cold
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 56 g (1/4 c) unsalted butter, melted
  • 90 ml (1/4 + 1/8 c) milk
  • Zest of half a large orange
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
  • 300 g (2 1/2 c) all-purpose flour

Orange Filling

  • 56 g (1/4 c) unsalted butter, melted
  • 100 g (1/2 c) sugar
  • Juice of half an orange
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange

Orange Icing

  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • Juice of 12 oranges
  • 240 g (2 c) powdered sugar


To Make the Orange Rolls

  1. Dissolve yeast in a small bowl with 1/8 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 1 cup of flour and mix until the dough is smooth. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time. Do not add more than 300 g (2 1/2 c) of flour, as this will dry the dough out. Cover dough with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.

Orange Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F/ 175 C.
  2. To make the orange filling, combine orange zest, juice, butter, and sugar. Butter each muffin cup in a muffin pan, then set aside. Roll dough into a 12 x12 rectangle. Spread the melted butter and orange mixture on the dough leaving ½-inch border around the sides.
  3. On a floured pastry cloth or pie mat, roll dough into a log. Cut the roll into 12 slices and place in prepare muffin pan. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise until double in size, about 60 to 90 minutes.
  4. Bake orange rolls for 10 -13 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from oven and flip the rolls onto a cookie sheet or parchment so the orange glaze settles into the rolls. 
  5. Cool for at least 20 minutes before icing.

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.
  2. Turn rolls right side up and drizzle with orange icing.
  3. These rolls are best eaten the first day but are still good the second day as well. 


This was adapted from Simply So Good.

homemade orange rolls (orange cinnamon rolls)


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