Dreamy Decadent Orange Rolls

"This uses a "sponge-method" sweet yeast dough and it rises three times: once in a near-liquid batter with about half the flour, once in a ball after kneading, and once in the final pan. A warm room will help tremendously with rising. The three hours includes rising and baking time. Juice of blood orange gives the frosting a unique color."
photo by Ashley Cuoco photo by Ashley Cuoco
photo by Ashley Cuoco
photo by Ashley Cuoco photo by Ashley Cuoco
photo by Tinkerbell photo by Tinkerbell
photo by Tinkerbell photo by Tinkerbell
photo by Tinkerbell photo by Tinkerbell
Ready In:
30 rolls in two 9x13 pans, approx




  • Rolls:

  • Mix lukewarm water, yeast, and honey, stir to dissolve, and set aside.
  • Heat milk over medium heat until almost boiling. Remove from heat and stir in the shortening to melt it. Allow to stand 5-10 minutes to cool to lukewarm.
  • In a large bowl, mix milk (with shortening), salt, and 3 cups flour, then add yeast mixture. Beat thoroughly. Tent with a damp cloth and let rise 20 minutes in a warm place. It will be thick liquid at this stage, like pancake batter.
  • Beat the eggs slightly. Add eggs, granulated sugar, 4 cups more flour, and 1 T. orange zest; mix thoroughly, then coat with flour and turn onto a floured board. Knead, sprinkling just enough flour to keep it from sticking, until dough ball can be handled without sticking to hands. Ball and return to bowl. Tent again and let rise another half-hour.
  • Turn onto the board again, knead a little more, and divide in half. Flour surfaces and roll out each half, one at a time, to about 12x18 inches. Spread each with half the melted butter. Sprinkle half the brown sugar over the surface followed by pecans. (You can also add raisins, walnuts, and/or hazelnuts, and vary the amount of brown sugar.) Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Starting from the long edge, roll up the sheet of dough with the sugar, cinnamon and nuts inside. Work the roll into a long uniform shape. With a sharp buttered knife, slice the roll into fifteen equal sections. Arrange them, spiral up, in five rows of three, in a greased 9x13 pan. (A little space between them is OK.).
  • Tent and let rise until they fill the pan, about half an hour or somewhat more.
  • Heat oven to 400°F.
  • Bake in center of oven 22 minutes or until desired golden brown on top.
  • Frosting:

  • While rolls are baking, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add orange juice directly to pan.
  • Start adding powdered sugar about a cup at a time, beating with the mixer until sugar is all mixed inches.
  • Remove from heat. Add orange zest and mix well. Quickly spread on rolls as soon as they are out of the oven.

Questions & Replies

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  1. CrazyLadyMe
    Didn't make the frosting, but these were still awesome!
  2. LilPinkieJ
    Oh these are very good. Nice and gooey frosting with a sweet orangey flavor. I wish I could find blood oranges because that would really have made the color and flavor that much better. I love the use of honey. I think I'd add a few golden raisins or cranberries next time. Made and reviewed for Please Review My Recipe tag - Thanks! :)
  3. Iceland
    I made these for a tagging game. I love cinnemon rolls and these were great. I did not use the frosting as we had them for breakfast. I enjoyed them also the following day and dipped them in my latte. Great!
  4. Sydney Mike
    Have made cinnamon rolls so many times in the past that I knew what I was in for with this recipe, & I STILL enjoy doing the work, 'cause they're worth it!! These rolls are no exception ~ They're GREAT! One thing I did differently though was to make half a batch of the frosting, since I wanted to frost only half of the rolls! They are GREAT either way, without frosting for those who don't want them too sweet, & with frosting for those of us who have that SPECIAL tooth to sweeten!! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! Oh, yes ~ Need I say ~ I added a handful of raisins this first time around! [Made & reviewed for one of my adoptees in this Spring's Pick-A-Chef]
  5. sharflan
    Since there are just the two of us, I halved this recipe. I found the instrunctions rather lengthy and drawn out so i used my bread maker instead! It worked like a charm.... since I ONLY use quick (or rapid) rise yeast, I only needed to let it rise after making the rolls - really cuts the time in half! We found the rolls to be light and flavorful. Next time, I'll probably add more filling. As for the topping, we both found it a bit to sweet. I think adding more butter or perhaps some cream cheese would help cut the sweetness. Yes I'll definitely make these again! Thank you for this delicious treat! Sharligan



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