Orange Sweet Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

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If you are a long time reader, you know that I have a warm spot in my heart for Sunday dinners. They are something that I sometimes plan all week for and that we all really look forward too.  But what I don't write that much about is our Sunday breakfast menu.  I like to start the day off with a big meal to fill our bellies and then spend the rest of the day playing, doing chores, and being lazy (yeah right) until 5 o'clock "apps" time rolls around.  

We enjoy the usual suspects like pancakes, waffles, and french toast.  But one of our favorites is soft scrambled eggs with chives, fresh fruit, and some kind of sweet baked good, like coffee cake, muffins, or in this case...orange sweet rolls with cream cheese icing.  If you are a fan of big, buttery cinnamon rolls slathered with cream cheese icing and love the flavor of orange marmalade, then..."say hello to my little friend."  In fact, my husband actually prefers these over cinnamon rolls.

These are simply an enriched white bread dough that I enrich even further buy adding an egg and some potato flour to keep the dough soft and tender.  The filling is just orange marmalade with a bit of ground ginger.  Some orange marmalades can be on the bitter side, so I mix in a little light brown sugar to counteract that (and it adds to the gooey, sticky goodness-- nothing wrong with that).

You can certainly make these the morning of, but who really wants to wake up three hours before breakfast is served?? I can think of better things to do than drink coffee while watching the chemical reaction of yeast.  And that would be sleeping in for this gal!  So to make sure I get a full night's worth of beauty sleep☺, I make the rolls the night before and let them "cold rise" in the refrigerator overnight.  While the oven is preheating the next morning, I take the rolls out and let them come to room temperature.  Meanwhile, I can get all the other components for breakfast ready.

Once baked, I bring them warm to the table and let everyone frost their own roll. The recipe makes eight rolls and there are five of us, so I save the remaining three for a quick weekday breakfast and keep the frosting in the refrigerator.  (Note-- keep the frosting in the back of the refrigerator where you are less likely to see it.  This stuff is dangerous!)

Printable Recipe

Orange Sweet Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing
makes 8 rolls

For the Rolls
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk
1/4 cup potato flour
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
6 Tablespoons (3-ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup warm water (about 120º F)

For the Filling
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon packed light brown sugar

For the Icing
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 Tablespoons (2-ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Rolls
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, dry non-fat milk, potato flour, yeast, sugar, salt, egg, zest, butter and water.  Mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and just sticking to the bottom of the bowl, about 5-7 minutes.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball.  Spray the inside of the mixing bowl with non-stick spray and place the dough inside the bowl.  Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free space until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

For the Filling
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Roll the dough into a 12-inch x 20-inch rectangle.  In a small bowl, whisk together the marmalade, ginger, and brown sugar.  Spread the filling evenly over the dough leaving a 1-inch border on one long side.  Starting with the opposite long side, roll the dough into a tight cylinder.  Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces.  Place the rolls onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Cover the rolls with a sheet of plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free space until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  (Rolls can be made the night before and refrigerated.)

Preheat the oven to 350º F.  (If the rolls have been refrigerated, allow them to set out at room temperature for at least 1/2 hour and up to 1 hour.  Bake until the rolls are lightly brown, about 35 minutes.  Allow the rolls to cool on the baking sheet for 15-20 minutes

For the Icing
Meanwhile, in a large bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  On low speed, gradually add the confectioners' sugar until combined.  Stir in the vanilla. Spread the cream cheese icing over the warm rolls.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Taste of the South: Annual Cast-Iron Issue, 2013


  1. Wonderful preparation.. Yummy!!

  2. I love these rolls!! So yummy looking.

  3. Nicole - These look beautiful! I'm thinking a version with raspberry preserves would be good too!
    When you do the "cold rise" the night before, do you let them sit at room temperature at all 1st or do you just put the pan straight into the fridge? Also, do you prefer active dry yeast to instant?
    I learn so much from you - thank you for sharing your talent :)

    1. Thank you, Carolyn! I do not let the rolls rise at all. I just cut them, place them on the baking sheet, wrap them in plastic wrap, and place them in the refrigerator.

  4. OK, thanks! One more question... if you get a minute :)
    I've noticed that most of your bread recipes call for active dry yeast. Do you prefer that over instant dry yeast?

    1. Yes, I buy active dry yeast in bulk. You can use instant dry yeast, but the rising time will be slightly less.

    2. I usually buy IDY in bulk, but accidentally bought a big pack of ADY... dough seems to rise super fast in my kitchen (wild yeast in the air?) so it actually may work in my favor to slow down my rise times. I'm going to give it a go.
      Thanks for your replies - much appreciated :)


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