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Orange Sweet Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting


Who doesn't love fresh baked cinnamon rolls, warm from the oven, with gooey cream cheese frosting? I became obsessed with making this recipe when I saw it on a food blog. I adapted the recipe with a couple of my favorite ingredients from King Arthur Flour (ordered online)-- Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor, and Boyajian Orange Oil (pure and not artificial). You don't require these two ingredients, but they add a bakery flavor and more orange punch. Sweet roll dough adapted from the food blog, "Mel's Kitchen Cafe".

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  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, warm
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 1/4 cups (21 1/4-ounces) flour (King Arthur Bread flour recommended)
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4-ounces) sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Lorann Buttery Sweet Dough Emulsion (optional, ordered online)
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Grated orange rind/zest from two large oranges (reserving 1/2 teaspoon grated rind for the glaze below)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure orange oil (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Reserved orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure orange oil (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind/zest reserved from the filling above


Servings 16
Preparation time 90mins
Cooking time 180mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Note: I warm the buttermilk in the microwave, on low power in 15 second bursts. You want it to be warm, but not boiling hot (about 100°F)


Whisk the warmed buttermilk and butter together in a large liquid measuring cup.

Combine 4 cups of flour*, sugar, yeast and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook (or you can use a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon or electric handheld mixer).

*I only use King Arthur Flour unbleached flour. I use the bread flour, because it has more gluten.

With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and eggs and Buttery Sweet Dough Emulsion* (if using)and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.

Increase the mixer to medium speed and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (knead for 15 to18 minutes by hand).

If after 5 minutes of kneading, the dough is still overly sticky, add 1/4 cup flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but has a slight tacky feel when pressed between your fingertips.

Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl and cover the top tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, around 2 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Tip: I turn my oven to WARM for 2 minutes. then turn it off. This creates a warm environment and speeds up the process of the proofing of the dough by half!


For the filling, combine all the filling ingredients (reserving 1/2 teaspoon orange zest for the frosting) in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
Note: I found that if the filling is too soft, the butter leaks out a lot, while baking. It's not a bad thing, but next time I will slightly chill the filling and keep it just soft enough to spread with ease.

Shape the dough:

When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and press it (I use a rolling pin) into about a 16 by 12-inch rectangle (if you have doubled the recipe, split the dough in half and roll out one half at a time).

Gently brush the filling mixture over the rectangle, using an offset spatula or rubber spatula.

Lift the longest edge closest to you and begin rolling the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed and roll the log so it is seam side down.
Using a serrated knife**, slice the log into 12 evenly sized rolls,more or less. You can slice them thinner or thicker as you like.

I find that using dental floss is a fool-proof way to slice the rolls. Obviously, you want to use fresh and unscented floss!

I use a 9-inch cake pan, prepared with nonstick spray and with parchment paper on the bottom. Place each slice, cut side down, with one slice right in the center and the rest all around.

Note: I made 2-inch thick slices, and the rolls rose up super high! Next time, I'll slice them 1-inch thick.

Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Note: Using my WARM method in the oven, these rose super high in less than 30 minutes.

Bake the rolls at 350°F for 22 to 25 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden on top and cooked through.

Remove rolls to a cooling rack and place waxed paper underneath.

Frost immediately.


In a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the orange zest, orange juice and, if using, the orange oil.

Add confectioner's sugar in 1/2 cup increments until the frosting is smooth and spreadable.

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