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Easy Orange Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing (A Bread Machine Recipe)

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Preview: Try these Easy Orange Rolls–a simple sweet roll seasoned with orange peel and a hint of cardamom, then frosted with orange icing. Currants are optional.

Are you looking for a sweet yeast roll that’s not a cinnamon roll? This bread machine recipe produces light, fluffy, and sweet yeast rolls with a distinct orange flavor. The cream cheese icing makes these a special treat. We like to add raisins or currants, but that’s optional.

The recipe is written for a bread machine, but don’t feel left out if you don’t have one.  See the directions in the recipe notes for using a stand mixer or mixing by hand.

Easy Orange Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing--ready to sere

These rolls are a ray of sunshine–perfect for Easter breakfast or a summer brunch.  They’re much easier to make than cinnamon rolls–no filling to fiddle with, no rolling out the dough or slicing the rolls. If you are looking for a cinnamon-roll shape, don’t miss these orange sweet rolls with an orange filling inspired by the orange rolls at an Alabama steak house.

What do these easy orange rolls taste like?

They are light, fluffy, and sweet with a distinct orange flavor. A touch of cardamom gives a subtle but wonderful taste when combined with the orange flavors. If you’ve ever eaten Swedish Cardamom Bread, you will recognize the spice. Bread like this is why I have to eat a jar of salad every day for lunch.


Ingredients and substitutions:

a picture of all the ingredients needed for this recipe
  • MILK: You can use any dairy milk regardless of fat content. However, the higher the fat, the richer your rolls will be. You can substitute water if you don’t eat dairy. I haven’t tried non-dairy milk like almond milk, but I’m guessing it would work, also.
  • ORANGE JUICE CONCENTRATE: OJ concentrate intensifies the orange flavor much more than straight orange juice. Be sure to let it come to room temperature before adding it to the mix. Notice there is no sugar added to this recipe. You will get enough sugar in the concentrate.
  • EGG: All of my bread recipes are written for large eggs. If you go smaller or larger, adjust your liquid accordingly.
  • CARDAMOM: This spice is optional but it gives these rolls a subtle but wonderful flavor that plays well with the orange. Go ahead and buy a bottle. You can also use it in this Swedish Cardamom Bread and Sweet Bread Machine Banana Bread
  • GRATED ORANGE PEEL: Orange peel adds both flavor and color to your rolls.
  • BUTTER: Add room temperature butter cut into small pieces. Softened butter works better than melted butter.
  • SALT: The recipe is written for table salt or sea salt. If you want to use Kosher salt, add more. If you are going for lower salt intake, you can experiment with reducing the salt by half. Don’t cut it out completely as the yeast won’t work properly without it.
  • FLOUR: All-purpose flour is fine for this recipe, either bleached or unbleached. You can also use bread flour but you may need to adjust the liquid upward. Remember to check your dough while it’s kneading to see if the dough needs more flour or liquid.
  • YEAST: All of my bread recipes use instant or bread machine yeast. This yeast is designed to dissolve quickly. You can use active dry yeast instead. Dissolving it first is optional. It can be slow on the uptake but will catch up eventually.
  • CURRANTS OR RAISINS: Dried fruit is optional.
  • CREAM CHEESE: Leave out the cream cheese if you prefer. The icing won’t be quite as rich without it.

Closeup shot of rolls with raisins.

FAQ for Easy Orange Rolls

How do you shape the dough into nice round balls?

Pick up the dough in one hand and use the other hand to pull the dough from the bottom around to the top. Pinch to secure. Work your way around the whole piece until you have a nice round ball.

Watching the video below will give you a better idea. In the end, remember that if the balls are too perfect, people won’t recognize them as homemade. That’s no fun!

Can you mix up the dough the day before you want to bake them?

Yes. After the DOUGH cycle completes, shape the dough and place the balls into baking pans. Cover with a shower cap or plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator.

The next day, set the rolls on the counter to return to room temperature and almost double their original size. Bake as specified in the recipe.

Can I use other flour like whole wheat in these rolls?

Yes, you can. But anytime you add whole wheat flour or other whole-grain flours, you can expect the finished product to be denser and heavier. The rise time may also take longer.

Start low by adding no more than 1 tablespoon of whole wheat flour per cup of flour. Check the dough as it kneads to determine if you need to add more liquid.

What is the best way to store these rolls?

Store in a plastic bag. They will dry out quickly in a paper bag, under a towel, or stored in the refrigerator.

If making nice round dough balls has you stymied, be sure to check out the video.

How to make Easy Orange Rolls with a bread machine:

all ingredients for this bead in a bread machine.
Place all ingredients into the bread machine pan in the order given.
What the dough should look like when the kneading process is almost finished.
Dough should look like this towards the end of kneading. Adjust with more flour or liquid to make the dough stick to the sides of the pan, then pull away cleanly.
At the end of the DOUGH cycle, the dough should be doubled in size. If not, leave the dough in the machine until it doubles. Then remove the dough onto a floured surface.
folding raisins into the dough by hand
If using, work raisins or currants into the dough with your fingers. Doing it by hand allows you to add them to only part of the batch if you prefer.
portioning the dough
Divide the dough into 16 equal portions.
making balls out of dough pieces.
Form each portion into a ball by pulling the edges together and pinching.
dough balls in a pan.
Place 8 balls each into to two 8-inch pans. Cover and set aside to rise again.
yeast balls that have risen to almost double their original size.
Dough balls should rise until just short of double their original size.
easy orange rolls with cream cheese icing drizzled over them
Bake. Turn the rolls out of the pan in the first five minutes after removing them from the oven. Let cool on a cooling rack so the bottoms don’t get soggy. Drizzle with icing.

More posts you might enjoy:

Yield: 16 rolls

Easy Orange Rolls Recipe

Easy Orange Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing on a serving plate

Try these Easy Orange Yeast Rolls with directions for mixing and kneading in a bread machine. Bake in your oven.

Prep Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours

Ingredients

DOUGH

  • 3/4 cup milk (room temperature) (180 gr)
  • 2 tablespoons thawed orange juice concentrate (40 gr)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/4 cup butter (114 gr)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (7 gr)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • 3 cup all-purpose unbleached flour (360 gr)
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine yeast or instant yeast (6 gr)
  • 1 cup currants or raisins (optional) (140 gr)

GLAZE

  • 1 tablespoon orange juice (30 gr)
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar (180 gr)
  • 1 oz. cream cheese (28 gr)

Instructions

  1. Warm milk for 1 minute in the microwave. Add to the bread machine pan along with egg, orange peel, orange juice, butter, and salt.
  2. Add flour and yeast on top. Start bread machine using the DOUGH cycle. Check dough after 15 minutes and make sure it is the right consistency. It should be tacky enough to stick to the side but still pull away cleanly. Add additional water or flour if necessary, one tablespoon at a time.
  3. When the cycle completes, make rolls into 16 balls. (If you are adding raisins, you may work them into the dough at this point. I divide this dough in half and add 1/2 cup raisins to half of the dough.)
  4. Evenly space 8 dough balls into a greased 8 or 9-inch round cake pan. You will end up with two pans of rolls. For a tutorial on making rolls, check out my video.
  5. Cover loosely with a tea towel and let rise until almost double.
  6. Preheat oven to 375˚F (190˚C). Place rolls into the oven and bake until golden brown for approximately 15-18 minutes. Rolls should register 190˚F (88˚C) before removing them from the oven.
  7. Spoon Orange Glaze over rolls when barely warm or cool.

Orange Glaze

  1. Warm cream cheese for a few seconds in the microwave or let sit out until room temperature. Add juice and (sifted) powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Drizzle over rolls.

Notes

Alternate Mixing Instructions:

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. Using a dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3 and 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 and knead with your hands until dough becomes smooth and elastic, a process that 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: You can substitute active dry yeast. Dissolving it first is optional. It tends to rise slower in the beginning but will catch up eventually.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1 roll

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 144mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g

Did you make this recipe?

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Holly

Tuesday 11th of November 2014

Can I make these the day before and refrigerate them? How does that work?

Paula

Wednesday 12th of November 2014

Holly, You can refrigerate after rolling them out and putting the dough in the pan. You will need to allow extra time for them to rise the second time in the pan the next morning. Probably at least an hour extra. Or you can refrigerate the dough before rolling it out but after the dough cycle has completed. You may have to experiment a bit.

Heather A.

Tuesday 11th of March 2014

I can't wait to try these. What size pan do you use? If you said that, I missed it.

I have a cake pan, but it's nonstick and dark. Would that do, or will the rolls burn?

I was very glad to find all the bread machine recipes you have and look forward to working my way through them. Thanks!

Heather A.

Tuesday 11th of March 2014

Oh, I see now that you said in your video on dinner rolls that a dark pan is good! Still curious about the pan size, but I will give it a go with whatever seems okay.

Peg

Tuesday 3rd of December 2013

Oh and yes I iced them by your recipe.

Peg

Tuesday 3rd of December 2013

I made the orange rolls for a Thanksgiving breakfast treat, except I rolled them out & spread butter, Marmalade jam, & brown sugar on them. Rolled them up from the long end, pinched the dough together & cut them into individual rolls. The way you do the Cinnamon rolls. Yum, soooo good!! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!!

Martha Lee

Thursday 12th of August 2010

They look great. Check Goodwill or thrift stores for breadmakers, that's where I found the ones for my mom and me.

Paula

Thursday 12th of August 2010

What a great idea!! So many people don't realize the treasure they have in a bread machine so most sit unused. Thanks for stopping by.

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