top of page

Orange Rolls

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

My kids had never tried an orange roll until I made these! Oh happy day when you can give them something they never thought they could have. Rolls like these or cinnamon rolls are labor intensive, and take time with rising, but they are not hard and are so worth it! Sweet orange sugary butter is nestled in the roll dough and then slathered with an orange cream cheese frosting. It's as good as it sounds, and I hope you'll give them a try!


Orange Rolls

Makes 12 rolls


1 cup milk, warmed between 90-110°F

2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill 1:1 flour OR:

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla


1/4 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons orange zest (from about 3 oranges)


3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1 tablespoon heavy cream

pinch of salt

2 teaspoons orange zest (from 1 orange)

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and the yeast to your heated milk and give it a quick stir. Set it aside to proof for 8-10 minutes. In a stand mixer add the white rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch (not flour), sorghum flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Turn the mixer on low and mix until all the dry ingredients are combined. Add the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar, yeast proof mixture, melted butter, egg, and vanilla and mix for 3 minutes on medium speed. Turn the mixer off, scrap down the sides of the bowl, and cover the dough with a light towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

Once your dough has risen, spray a spoon or spatula with oil and transfer the dough from the bowl to a piece of well-greased parchment paper. Using oiled hands, gently spread the dough into a 10X13 rectangle. The dough will be about 1/2-inch thick once spread. Try not to press on the dough too hard or you'll release the air pockets. Brush the top of the dough with 1/4 cup of melted butter, leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges clear. For filling, mix orange zest and sugar and sprinkle the mixture over the butter, still leaving 1/2-inch open around the edges. Using the edge of the parchment paper, slowly roll the dough towards you. Continue to tuck and roll the dough until you reach the bottom, and you have a dough log.

Using a knife sprayed with oil, slice the dough log in half, then quarters, and finally thirds until you have 12 even slices. Using your knife or your oiled spatula, transfer the orange roll slices to a greased 9X13" baking dish. Cover the pan with a light towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Once the orange rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the cinnamon rolls start to brown and the center is cooked through. Cool for a few minutes, then frost with orange cream cheese frosting.

To make frosting:

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together. Add the orange zest and heavy cream, then gradually add the powdered sugar. You can add a little more cream or powdered sugar to get the desired consistency.


Step-by-step tutorial:

Gather your ingredients. You will need a good 1:1 baking flour (I used Bob's Red Mill 1:1 flour) or you can create your own flour mix like the option above. You will also need baking powder, instant yeast, sugar, an egg, and vanilla.

To proof your yeast, first get 1 cup milk to warm between 90-110° F. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and yeast. Stir, then let sit for about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, add your flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Give the dry ingredients a quick mix, then add 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour in the proofed yeast mixture.

Mix until combined and smooth. The dough will be sticky and soft. Use a spatula to get it into a ball, then cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, you can make the filling. You will need 3 oranges, granulated sugar, and butter.

In a mixing bowl, combine the zest from the oranges (about 3 tablespoons) and the sugar.

You can almost smell this just looking at it. It smells AMAZING. I remember when I was young, this was one of the first recipes I learned in 4-H. We would put this on buttered toast!

Once the dough has risen, using a greased spatula, scoop the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper that has been well greased.

This dough is not like regular roll dough where you using a rolling pin. You need to carefully press the dough into a 10X13" rectangle using greased fingers. Try to not handle the dough too much. You want to keep that air you got in your rise.

Once the dough is spread out, use a pastry brush to spread the 1/4 cup melted butter up to 1/2-inch of edges. Sprinkle with the orange sugar until completely covered. Leave the top and bottom edges clear of filling so they can stick together.

Now comes the trickier part.....but you can do it! Using the parchment as your friend, start to roll the dough away from you, then peel back parchment and roll some more. You will likely need to let the dough slide back down on the parchment as you go, but if you've greased it well, it will do it easily. Keep repeating this, going slowly. Once you have the entire dough rolled up like a log, make sure the seam is on the bottom.

Carefully slice the dough into 12 equal pieces with a greased knife, then using a greased spatula, transfer each slice into a greased 9x13" baking dish.

They will not fill the baking dish just yet, but that is ok! Now you are going to let them rise once more. Cover with plastic wrap or a light towel and let rise for another 30 minutes or until they grow to fill the dish.

Bake the rolls in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and set in the middle.

They will make your house smell so good! You did it! Now you can enjoy the fruit of your labor.

But first you'll want to make this delicious orange cream cheese frosting! You will need one orange, 3 oz. cream cheese, 6 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon heavy cream, a pinch of salt, and 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together. Add the orange zest and heavy cream, then gradually add the powdered sugar. You can add a little more cream or powdered sugar to get the desired consistency.

Slather that deliciousness onto your orange rolls and enjoy! You deserve it, and so do your kiddos!

The orange flavor makes these rolls so delicious and unique!

These rolls are perfect for holidays, special occasions, or just because. Enjoy!

Recipe Source: Recipe created and adapted from recipes by Gluten Free Palate and Mel's Kitchen Cafe


Did you try this recipe?  I'd love to hear from you!  Please rate and leave a comment!

bottom of page