Subtly sweet orange rolls are so easy to make with your bread machine. Foolproof sweet roll dough prepped in the bread maker and then baked in the oven for a perfect golden brown breakfast treat you can prep ahead or freeze for a holiday brunch.
As much as I love homemade cinnamon rolls, sometimes you want something a little different.
These homemade orange rolls have a zesty orange flavored dough and are filled with butter, sugar, and orange zest and topped with a sweet orange icing.
They are perfect for people who don't like cinnamon or for mixing things up for your holiday brunch.
The recipe is easy to make ahead and even freeze if you want to get on top of your holiday baking right now.
Why This is the Best Recipe
When I was working on The Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook, we tested countless versions of cinnamon roll dough.
The classic version of that recipe made it to the book and it is by far one of our family's favorites.
I used that amazing dough for the base of this fun variation and amped up all the zesty orange flavor we love.
Using a bread machine to make the easy sweet roll dough cuts your work in half and helps ensure that even beginner bakers will have success with this easy breakfast treat.
I love how easy it is to prepare these orange rolls with almost no notice! You likely have almost everything on hand in your pantry right now:
- All-Purpose Flour
- Orange Extract: To get a powerful orange flavor in the dough, you'll need orange extract. If you don't have it, you can substitute a tablespoon of fresh orange zest.
- Powdered Sugar
- Orange Juice: You can use bottled orange juice or juice a fresh orange.
Prepare the Dough
I think the easiest and fastest way to prep this dough is in a bread machine.
I always grab my Cuisinart bread maker when I want to make dough. I think it mixes the best out of the various bread machines we've tested.
When you use a bread machine to prep dough you plan to bake in the oven, you cut down on a lot of the work time that leads up to the rolling stage. It is a very hands-off process.
Just pop the ingredients into the bread machine and then you're free to do other things while your dough mixes and rises.
If you don't have a bread machine, you might be wondering if a bread maker is worth it. Spoiler alert: My answer is YES! but you can debate that for yourself with the pro's and con's in my list here.
And if you're excited about the idea of using a bread machine, you can read the best bread machine for beginners article here. We tested 5 major models and compared them for you.
Add the Wet Ingredients
Most bread machines require that you add the wet ingredients to the bread pan first.
Add the milk, vanilla extract, orange extract, and butter to the bread pan fitted with the paddle attachment.
To make sure it blends well, you'll want to cut the butter into chunks and scatter them in like this:
Add the Dry Ingredients
Add the dry ingredients directly on top of the wet ingredients.
The flour can be spooned right on top of the milk. Scatter the sugar and salt around the perimeter of the pan and then use a spoon to dig a shallow well for the yeast like this:
Place the bread pan inside your bread maker and select the DOUGH program.
Keep an eye on it as it does the initial mix in case you need to scrape down the sides of the pan to incorporate all the flour.
The Dough program should take about an hour and a half or so. When it is finished, transfer the dough to a baking mat and remove the paddle attachment.
Prepare the Rolls
Roll the dough out to a long rectangle, about 20 x 12-inches like this:
Prepare the filling by melting the butter in a bowl.
To give your orange rolls lots of orange flavor, I recommend adding either orange extract directly to the melted butter or by using dried orange peel or fresh orange zest for the filling.
Use a pastry brush to spread the melted butter evenly over the rolled dough.
Scatter the sugar evenly over the top.
Roll the dough into a log starting at the longest edge away from you and rolling towards you like this:
Cut the log of dough into 12 equal slices and place them cut side up in a buttered 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and set in a warm place.
The orange rolls need to do a second rise in the baking pan before you bake them. This will take about 20 - 30 minutes.
They should double in size and look like this:
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Remove the plastic wrap and bake the orange rolls for 20 - 25 minutes or until they are golden brown on top.
Let the rolls rest while you prepare the easy orange icing.
Orange Icing for Orange Rolls
This easy orange icing recipe is amazing on the orange rolls but would also be delicious drizzled over any breakfast treat you love!
Simply whisk together powdered sugar and orange juice with a fork until the proper consistency is reached. Check the recipe card below for more details.
This recipe has just enough to do a delicate drizzle of glaze over the warm orange rolls.
If you prefer a truly covered orange roll with lots of icing, you'll want to double the glaze recipe.
I just love how delicately sweet these breakfast rolls are.
Make Ahead Tips and Freezing Instructions
These orange rolls are perfect for prepping for a special holiday brunch or weekend breakfast.
Prepare the Day Before
Prepare the rolls right up to the point where they've been sliced and placed in the baking pan. Cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate them immediately, before they've had a chance to do the second rise.
In the morning, let the rolls rise for one hour before baking.
How to Freeze the Rolls
For fresh baked rolls, you'll want to freeze the unbaked rolls right after they've been placed in the baking pan but before the second rise.
Transfer them from the freezer to the fridge the night before you want to bake them to thaw.
Let them rise on the counter one hour before baking in the morning.
These delicious breakfast rolls are an amazing part of a special brunch or weekend breakfast.
I think an orange roll would be a lovely side dish for a slice of veggie-filled easy quiche.
And if you're looking for more easy bread machine breakfast breads, don't miss my cinnamon pull apart bread!