Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls

Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls are a pillowy breakfast roll filled with cranberry sauce and orange zest and topped with a sweetened cream cheese glaze. 

I sure love me a good sweet roll for breakfast, slathered in a sweetened cream cheese glaze. The flavor really isn’t even all that important to me, I just want to eat one! As a kid, I used to eat the refrigerated kind quite a bit. But now that I’ve learned how easy they are to make, I make them quite often. The best thing about a sweet roll, or a cinnamon roll, is that you can make them super simple or jazz them up with different flavors and fillings.

WHAT IS A SWEET ROLL?

A sweet roll is a pretty generic term, used to refer to a roll or bun shaped dough, leavened with yeast and filled with spices, nuts or fruits. They typically are topped with an icing or glaze.

WHAT TYPES OF SWEET ROLLS CAN YOU MAKE?

Pretty much anything. A sweet roll can be filled with nuts, like pecans, almonds or walnuts. Or it can be filled with fruit, either fresh or dried.

IS IT HARD TO MAKE SWEET ROLLS?

Many people are hesitant to make a recipe that includes yeast, but sweet rolls are easy to make. As long as your yeast is fresh and not expired and your water or milk is not too hot, you shouldn’t have any problems. I use a digital thermometer to make sure that my water/milk is not hotter than 110F. Sugar helps the yeast rise, so I mix that into my water/milk before sprinkling the yeast on top. Sat and inhibit the proofing of yeast, so don’t add that in until after the yeast has proofed.

WHAT IS PROOFING YEAST?

Proofing yeast is when you hydrate dry yeast by mixing it into water or milk. When you add sugar, the “yeast” feeds on it and bubbles up.

CRANBERRY ORANGE SWEET ROLL INGREDIENTS

  • For the Dough: dry active yeast, warmed milk, sugar, all-purpose flour, orange juice, orange zest, salt, unsalted butter, egg
  • For the Filling: cranberry sauce, orange zest, cinnamon, sugar
  • For the Icing: unsalted butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, orange juice

CRANBERRY ORANGE SWEET ROLL DIRECTIONS

  • For the Dough: proof the yeast in warmed milk mixed with sugar. Once bubbly, add it to a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Add in remaining dough ingredients and mix on medium speed for 5-8 minutes, until the dough is soft and pliable. Transfer to a bowl coated in oil, toss dough to coat, cover and allow to rise for 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size. Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough into a 12×18 inch rectangle.
  • For the Filling: Combine cinnamon, sugar and orange zest and spread all over the dough. Spread a thin layer of the cranberry sauce on top. Roll the dough lengthwise and cut into 12 evenly sized pieces. Place into a 9×13 or larger baking dish, cover and allow to rise again for 1 hour.
  • For the Sweet Rolls: bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool.
  • For the Icing: beat ingredients together until a thick icing has formed. Spread over mostly cooled sweet rolls.

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Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls

Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls are a pillowy breakfast roll filled with cranberry sauce and orange zest and topped with a sweetened cream cheese glaze. 

  • Author: NicholeL
  • Prep Time: 20 mins + 2 hours rising
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 mins
  • Yield: 12 rolls 1x
  • Category: Breakfast, Brunch
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
Scale

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed to 110 F
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 packet dry active yeast
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce

For the Icing:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 oz butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp orange juice

Instructions

For the Dough:

  1. Dissolve the sugar into the warmed milk and then sprinkle the yeast on top. Let proof for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the orange juice, egg, butter, salt, orange zest and flour into the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Once the yeast has proofed, add it to the bowl.
  3. Mix on medium speed for 5-8 minutes, until a soft and pliable dough has formed.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, turn it over to coat. Cover it and allow it to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12×18 rectangle.

For the Filling:

  1. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and orange zest together in a bowl. Spread over all of the dough, from edge to edge. Spread the cranberry sauce over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border from the ends of the dough.

To Assemble and Bake:

  1. Roll up the dough lengthwise and cut into 12 evenly sized rolls. Place into a 9×13 or larger baking dish. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake cinnamon rolls for 25 minutes or until they’re lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool.

For the Icing:

  1. Combine cream cheese and butter together in a bowl and beat until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated. Add in the orange juice and mix until combined.
  2. Spread over the slightly cooled sweet rolls.

Notes

If you spread the icing over the sweet rolls before they have cooled, it will melt and sink into the rolls.

**My rolls were so large I baked 8 in a 9×13 baking dish and the remaining 4 in an 8×8 baking dish.

Keywords: cranberry orange sweet rolls, sweet rolls,

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2 Comments

  1. Now that’s what I’m talking about. Perfect addition to a Holiday Brunch.

  2. Pillowy breakfast roll…that wording just makes me want to take a few of these to bed and hide under the covers. Who cares about crumbs???

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