Mamma's Orange Refrigerator Rolls

By • April 23, 2010 • 14 Comments


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Author Notes: My great-grandmother, known to everyone in the family as Mamma, lived a long, healthy life in Alabama and passed away in her sleep at 90-something when I was just finishing college. She had an open door policy to anyone who wanted to come 'sit for a spell', and was known for hosting lots of family holidays and reunions at her home. I fell in love with these soft little orange rolls with orange glaze she would serve with her brunches. They just melted in my mouth. At some point along the way, my mom got the recipe and passed it onto me. The dough is made the night before and refrigerated overnight. After rolling it the next day, the orange filling is spread on it, rolled up and then sliced into small rolls. Warning: these are incredibly addictive! - ChezSuzanneTheWimpyVegetarian

Food52 Review: My family and I absolutely loved these orange rolls! They were very easy to make, with only about 5 minutes of active time the first night, and maybe 10 minutes to get them rolled, filled and cut the next morning. I made a half recipe and got about 15 small (normal-sized) rolls, but I was working with some old yeast, so that may have been the culprit. They baked up beautifully, in the time specified. We ate them fresh from the oven, but the few that were left were still soft and delicious at room temperature a few hours later. I can highly recommend this recipe, and it will become my new go-to sweet roll recipe. - MaryMaryCulinaryA&M

Serves 36 rolls

Refrigerator Rolls

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/4 cup shortening (I recommend butter flavored shortening for the best flavor)
  • 3 ounces sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 packages dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (about 105 F, but don't go warmer than 115 F)
  • 1 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  1. Boil 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan. Set off the stove and add the butter and shortening and stir until melted. Add the sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm.
  2. In a large bowl, put in the 1/2 cup of warm water and sprinkle the yeast over it. Stir to dissolve. Add the butter / sugar mixture and eggs to the dissolved yeast. Add 3 cups flour or enough to make a thick dough and mix thoroughly. Cover and put in the refrigerator overnite.
  3. About 2 - 2 1/2 hours before serving the rolls, turn the dough out onto a floured workspace, divide in half and roll each portion into a 12" X 8" rectangle.
  4. Spread the orange filling (recipe below) on the dough, dividing the filling between the 2 rectangles. Roll up each rectangle like a jelly roll and slice into 18 equal slices.
  5. Place the rolls in cupcake paper in muffin pans (which helps to hold the glaze when served) or use 3 greased 8" or 9" square baking pans. Let rolls rise for 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  7. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls and serve.
  8. Note: Reserve a few for yourself in case they get completely eaten up by everyone before you sit down.

Orange Filling and Glaze

  • 6-8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 4 tablespoons orange juice
  1. Stir together the softened butter, granulated sugar and orange rind. Spread on the rolled out dough rectangles.
  2. Mix together the confectioners sugar and orange juice. Drizzle over warm rolls fresh from the oven.

Comments (14) Questions (0)

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about 3 years ago Lynnmariecook

I have made twice and they are fabulous! Don't hesitate to try these. I used all butter, as I do not buy shortening. The second time I made them, I prepared all the way to cutting and putting in the pan and THEN refrigerated them over night. next morning, let come to room temp and rise (about one hour total) and then bake. Worked very well both ways!

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about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much Lynnmariecook! I really appreciate the feedback. And the reminder of this recipe. We have family visiting us this week, and these will be the perfect thing to make tomorrow for Friday morning breakfast! I'm really glad you like my Mamma's recipe so much!

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over 3 years ago MaryMaryCulinary

I'm so glad I got to test these--they were super easy, and absolutely delicious! This will be my go-to morning sweet roll recipe from now on.
:)

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over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I'm so glad you like them! This is a big favorite among all of Mamma's great-grandchildren, and now we have the 4th generation making them! Happy Holidays!

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over 3 years ago Lizthechef

HOW DID I MISS THIS? Are you the baby here? I promise you that I, the scared-of-yeast baker, will be making these over the December holidays in honor of your Mamma. Thumbs up...You know how this kind of family recipe delights me.

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over 3 years ago Lizthechef

ps We finally had our big navel orange tree pruned last spring and it is loaded with fruit. Oh, I love this recipe already !

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over 3 years ago Lizthechef

And I will post a photo, unless you have one in the works...

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over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks so much Liz. Yes, this was taken on my first birthday. The photo was gifted to me on my birthday last year by a cousin who had found it when she was going through a lot of old pictures. So embarassing, but I cried when I saw the picture. Another cousin emailed me this week that she's planning to make these rolls for the holidays this year for her husband and kids, so this recipe is still floating around the family, which is so beautiful. Mamma's mind was perfectly clear until the day she died and she loved to talk about life when she was a young girl in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Amazing. And now I REALLY feel old....:-) I do not have a picture in the works, and would love one. How nice to be able to make them with oranges from your own tree!!! So jealous!! Maybe I'll make these for the holidays again. It's been years since I've made them now. Such sweet memories. Thanks so much for your comments :-)

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almost 4 years ago flip

Yum. I want some now!

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almost 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

So do I!! Thanks.

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almost 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Just wondering about the butter . . . 1 stick is usually a half cup, isn't it? Recipe looks sooo good. I make sticky (cinnamon) buns with a similar dough; the boys pounce on them, just like testkitchenette's grandfather. ;o)

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almost 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

OOOOPS! Yes you're right. I halved the recipe for the dough and forgot to change that little note. I'll go do it right now thanks to your legal eyes!

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almost 4 years ago testkitchenette

My grandmother (from Ohio) made yeast rolls very similar to these. What wonderful memories reading your recipe brings me! They were my grandfather's favorites...he couldn't even wait for them to cool down before prying one out of the hot pan.

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almost 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Thanks testkitchenette! I completely relate to your grandfather's habit regarding these!