Sweet Orange Rolls

May 11, 2017
3 Ratings
Photo by Posie Harwood
  • Makes 15 rolls
Author Notes

My mom used to make us these as a special occasion weekend breakfast when we were little. They have all the wow factor of a cinnamon roll, without the fuss of a yeasted dough. Basically a biscuit dough patted flat and rolled up, they're filled (and topped) with a very simple and quick orange sauce that, when cooked, gets deliciously jammy and marmalade-like. Read the full story on these rolls Posie (Harwood) Brien

What You'll Need
  • For the filling
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • For the dough
  • 2 cups (240 grams) flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup cold milk
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. As soon as it melts, whisk in the flour until smooth. Add the orange juice and orange zest and cook until the mixture thickens slightly (about 1-2 minutes). Remove from the heat, add the sugar, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool while you make the dough.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the cold butter until it's in small pea-sized lumps.
  3. Add the milk to the flour mixture and stir with a fork until the dough just begins to come together. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead it very gently—folding it over on itself as you go—until the dough is fairly smooth. (You should still see chunks of butter which is good!)
  4. Roll the dough out to a rectangle, roughly 15" x 10" and about 1/4" thick. Reserve 1/2 cup of the orange filling, and spread the remaining filling in an even layer over the dough. Leave a narrow strip of dough bare around all the edges.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Grease a muffin tin VERY WELL (the filling makes these rolls very likely to stick!). You can also bake them all nestled together in a 9" x 13" pan.
  6. Starting with a long edge, roll the dough up lengthwise into a long log. Pinch the seam closed very firmly so the filling doesn't escape. Using a serrated knife (or non-flavored dental floss!), slice the log into 12-15 equal pieces. Place each piece in the well of your greased muffin tin, or arrange them all together in a 9" x 13" pan. If you use a regular muffin tin, you might have extra slices, so just bake them in another tin or in a mini pie pan.
  7. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until the rolls are lightly golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven, run a knife around the edges to help prevent sticking, and let them cool a bit before serving. Drizzle with the extra reserved orange filling.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Gabrielle Smith
    Gabrielle Smith
  • Posie (Harwood) Brien
    Posie (Harwood) Brien
  • Mimi
  • zwieback

13 Reviews

Mimi May 18, 2017
Hi! These look so yummy! I have a question though. Do you think this would work with lemon zest and lemon juice instead of orange juice and zest? Maybe just add a bit more sugar?
zwieback May 16, 2017
Made these this morning, totally doable as a weekday treat for sleepy teenagers. Came together super easily and tasted great.

I used a ripe orange for the juice and it could have been a bit more tart, I'll add a little lemon juice next time. I might also bump up the butter in the dough a bit and try half cake flour. The texture following the recipe is a little closer to a scone than a cinnamon roll.
JohnNV51 May 15, 2017
I made these for mother's Day and were a big hit! I did have a problem printing the recipe....all of the 'underlining' confused my printer and turned all entries (including ingredients) into HTML lines of text. So I wrote ot out long hand. =)
Lisa May 15, 2017
Can you make these the night before & cook in AM? Or is it better to make just before baking?
Posie (. May 15, 2017
Hm I haven't tried that -- I'd be a little wary of the filling sitting and softening the dough so I'd really suggest making them just before baking.
Lisa May 15, 2017
Well, thanks for the input-they look delicious!
Lang May 15, 2017
Can you freeze these?
Posie (. May 15, 2017
Yes I think that would work well!
Sandra B. May 14, 2017
Hi Posie, I made this this morning for Mother's Day. Delicious and I'll be making this a lot. Question: if the dough is really sticky, does it need more flour, or is it b/c the butter and milk were not cold enough?
Posie (. May 14, 2017
Likely you just need to add a bit more flour -- but it could also be the temperature. It shouldn't matter too much but the colder the butter, the less likely it is to start melting into the dough. Try keeping your butter very cold and handling the dough lightly, and if it still feels too sticky, just flour your work surface more. I find it very helpful to think of shaping the dough as folding rather than kneading -- if you just keep folding it onto itself, it'll help to incorporate the extra flour more evenly.
Ann May 13, 2017
How much baking powder? Says 1 Tablespoon 1 teaspoon
Posie (. May 13, 2017
Sorrry about that! You'll need 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ofbaking powder.
Gabrielle S. May 13, 2017
This sounds like such a great recipe! I'm going to make it today with my daughters!