Orange Sweet Rolls From Your Bread Machine

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Preview: These Orange Sweet Rolls are incredibly addicting, especially for orange-lovers. The recipe includes directions for mixing and kneading in a bread machine, but you can do it by hand or use a stand mixer. See the recipe notes for details.

Orange Yeast Rolls in a pan

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A food magazine that printed a recipe for the famous orange rolls served at a steak house in Alabama inspired me. Of course, the first step was to figure out how to use my bread machine to mix and knead it. No problem.

(If you would like to know how to convert almost any regular bread recipe to use in your bread machine, see this post.)

Unfortunately, the rolls didn’t turn out at all like the famous ones.

Recipe inspiration:

My sister from Alabama has been talking about the famous orange rolls for years. She was often encouraging me to come up with a recipe to make them herself at home. Unfortunately, since I had never been to the restaurant that serves these rolls, I could only go by her description.

A few years ago, my sister transported the famous rolls to my house. As you can imagine, they didn’t fare so well after a 12-hour car trip. I was not impressed.

During my annual visit last year, she finally took me to the restaurant. Since it wasn’t dinner time, we asked for a half dozen rolls to go. Now I understood what she had tried to describe to me for so long.

The rolls were still hot when we got them and a bit doughy. They were extraordinarily orange in color and taste. The sweet stuff on top was a glaze, not an icing like you might put on traditional cinnamon rolls.

Fast forward.

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After converting the magazine recipe, I wasn’t happy with the final product because the orange flavor wasn’t nearly as prominent as the restaurant variety. I fixed that by using frozen orange juice concentrate instead of fresh orange juice and increasing the amount of orange peel used in the filling.

Rolling out the dough and cutting rolls
Rolling out the dough and cutting rolls

The final analysis:

These rolls are mighty tasty and so fabulous that I wanted to eat half the pan. Therefore, I’m declaring this experiment DONE!

These orange sweet rolls aren’t anything like the famous orange rolls from the restaurant, but they have earned a space in my bread machine roll collection.

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If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at Hope to see you again soon! Paula

Steakhouse Orange Yeast Rolls

Orange Sweet Rolls Recipe

Distinctly orange-flavored sweet yeast rolls you can mix and knead with your bread machine. Finish with a deliciously orange-flavored cream cheese frosting.
4 from 11 votes
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Mix and Rise Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 40 mins
Course Bread
Servings 20 rolls



  • ¼ cup milk (room temperature) - 75 gr
  • ½ cup frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed to room temperature) - 120 gr
  • 1 teaspoon table or sea salt - 6 gr
  • 1 egg plus 1 yolk - use large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened - 85 gr
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour - 360 gr
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast - 6 gr


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened - 28 gr
  • ½ cup granulated sugar - 100 gr
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest - from two medium oranges


  • ¼ cup heavy cream - 51 gr
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar - 50 gr
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate - 30 gr
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter - 28 gr
  • teaspoon pinch salt


  • Add ingredients to a bread machine pan in order given. Select the DOUGH cycle and press START.
  • Check the dough at least twice by lifting the lid to take a peek. Do this right after the machine starts to see if the paddles are correctly engaged and the dough is starting to form a ball.
    Recheck the consistency of the dough again 15 minutes into the DOUGH cycle.
    If your dough is too wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time. The dough should stick to the side, then pull away cleanly.
    Conversely, if the dough is too dry, add one tablespoon of liquid at a time until the dough looks just right. Find out more about this surprising secret to success with a bread machine here.
  • When the dough cycle finishes, check to make sure the dough has doubled in size. If not, allow dough to continue to rise in the pan until it is double the original volume. IMPORTANT NOTE: Because this is a highly enriched dough, it takes longer than usual to rise. Allow at least an extra hour for this.
  • Remove the dough from the bread machine pan onto a floured surface. Roll into a rectangle measuring approximately 12 x 17 inches.
  • Spread softened butter over rolled-out dough until dough is completely covered. Sprinkle sugar-orange zest mixture evenly over butter.
  • Begin rolling dough from the long side. Roll as tightly as you can. Cut long roll in quarters. Cut each quarter into 5 evenly-sized rolls.
  • Place inside buttered 9 x 13 inch pan, cover with a tea towel, and allow to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes before baking.
  • Preheat oven to 325˚F. Bake rolls for 25-30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190˚F.
  • Mix the glaze while the rolls bake. Combine all ingredients into a small saucepan and heat over medium temperature under mixture turns syrupy and coats the back of a spoon. Set aside to cool.
  • Pour glaze over hot rolls as soon as they come out of the oven.



Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:
  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer:  Add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on LOW to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Then, using a dough hook, turn the speed to 2 or 3. Continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand: Combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Kneading will likely take 10-20 minutes, depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate the dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: If you only have active dry yeast, use 1/4 teaspoon more than called for in the recipe. It no longer needs to be dissolved first, but you can if you prefer.


Nutrition Facts
Orange Sweet Rolls Recipe
Serving Size
Amount per Serving
Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Author: Paula Rhodes
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
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  1. Mai Bouchard says:

    Hi Paula, Happy Mother’s Day ! I really like the way you wrote the history of making your recipes. I found it very special and appreciate. Thank you for the new recipe ! Mai Bouchard

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Mai.

  2. Paula, you are an inspiration to bread makers everywhere! This new recipe looks wonderful. Would you please elaborate regarding the instructions on forming the rolls, and how many rolls will this recipe make? Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Nita,
      Hopefully, the instructions in the recipe are complete enough to guide you on forming the rolls. It’s basically just like cinnamon rolls. I get 20 rolls when I make them. But you can certainly make yours bigger or smaller if you want to. Feel free to write again if you hit a snag.

  3. Paula, these orange rolls look fabulous.
    I can almost smell the orange, from your description. Love the story of how these came about.

    1. Thanks Glenda. Appreciate ya.

  4. How much difference does it make whether the butter I use is salted or unsalted? Is that a “healthy” issue or it because of the interaction in the dough?

    1. No, salted vs unsalted is not a health issue. There’s pretty much nothing healthy about these rolls except maybe a little Vitamin C from the oranges. The reason I use unsalted butter, in general, is because it allows me to control the salt more precisely. If you are using salted butter, cut back on the amount of table salt. How much to cut back is kind of a guess since you don’t know exactly how much salt is in your salted butter.

  5. Hey Paula, thank you for the Orange Roll recipe. You have got my curiosity up as to where these rolls are originated since I am an Alabama girl. Can you email me as to their whereabouts? I’ve got an idea, but not sure. Thanks! Can’t wait to try these, they look delicious!

  6. Pls can I use fresh orange juice?

    1. Yes, you can use fresh orange juice. The flavor will be a milder orange. You might like it even better.

  7. What can I sub for the heavy cream?? Thanks.

    1. Hi Ju,
      You can use milk but they won’t be quite as rich.

  8. Please clarify whether the bread machine lid is open or closed. Instruction #1 says, ” Add ingredients to bread machine pan in order given. Leave lid open.” Instruction #2 says “Check the dough at least twice by lifting the lid to take a peek.” Thank you.

    1. Thanks so much for writing. I recently had to transfer all my recipes to a different kind of recipe card. A few things slipped by me. I have corrected the recipe. To be honest, I usually leave the lid of my bread machine open for the entire mixing and kneading process because I like to keep an eye on it if I’m in the kitchen. Once the kneading stops, I close the lid because the machine keeps the dough slightly warm. However, some of the new machines are now built to stop when you open the lid. So, I’ll have to figure out a different method to deal with that “improvement” whenever my current bread machines die.

      Good luck with your bread.