Cranberry Orange Rolls

Cranberry Orange Rolls

A cranberry orange filling all wrapped up in a soft, fluffy, buttery dough, and lathered with a zesty orange glaze. It’s the perfect holiday (okay, anytime!) roll. 

Taking a twist on my favorite fluffy roll recipe and introducing these cranberry orange rolls – easy to make, and even easier to go back for seconds.

Sweet Roll FAQ's

Can I make this overnight?

Yes! Just like my cinnamon roll recipe, these make great overnight rolls! To do so, make and form the dough as directed, but before you let them rise, cover them with a plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick spray, and let them rest in the fridge overnight. The next morning, preheat your oven while the rolls begin to come back to room temperature, then bake as directed.

I’m new to using yeast – any tips?

Yes! Check out my working with yeast guide for some insights and tips!

Can I cut out the first rise if I’m short on time?

Yes! I love to make the dough, let it rise, form the rolls, and then let it rise again before putting in oven – so two rises. I’ve found it makes for a lighter, fluffier roll. However, I’ve cut out the first rise before, and they’ve still been a hit, so do that if you need to and your family will still devour them. 

Can I make this into a mini cinnamon roll?

Yes! Mini buns are perfect for brunches and showers, or little kids. I do so by forming my rectangle to be a longer log and shorter width. This will make your twirl tighter and smaller by the time you roll it up. You’ll have one long skinnier log instead of a shorter fat one. Cut through the log in 1″ sections, and it’ll make the perfect mini cinnamon rolls

How else can I use this dough recipe?

This recipe is a modification of my dinner roll and and cinnamon roll recipe. One of my favorite ways to make this dough is to double the batch (or divide it into 2 if I’m not feeding a crowd) and make half as regular dinner rolls and half as sweet rolls. Perfect for a treat after dinner, or put the sweet rolls in the fridge to rest and rise overnight so you have fresh rolls in the morning. Simplifies dinner and breakfast (or dessert) by putting your efforts into one batch!

For more step by step pictures of how to roll and form sweet rolls, head over to that cinnamon roll recipe for some extra tips! 

Cranberry Orange Rolls

Lori Vaughn
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 2 hrs

Ingredients
  

Dough

  • 2 cups warm whole milk (at about 110 degrees F) any other milk will do; fattier the better
  • 1 1/2 TB yeast
  • ½ cup sugar or honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • About 6 cups all purpose flour*

Filling

  • 8 oz fresh or frozen cranberries, (about 2 ½ cups)
  • Heaping ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • cup orange juice
  • 2 TB butter

Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 TB melted butter
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 TB orange juice
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 TB milk

Instructions
 

Dough

  • Using a stand mixer* with a dough hook, combine the warm milk (not scalding hot, but warm to the touch), yeast, and sugar together. After a couple minutes, you should see the yeast starting to foam - that means its activating!
  • Add your first 3 cups of flour and mix together. Once it's mostly incorporated add the salt, softened butter and eggs. Continue to mix on low.
  • Slowly add the additional 3 cups of flour. In pouring your last cup, do so slowly, watching the dough. When you've added enough flour, the dough will be soft and just slightly sticky. It will also be pulling away from the bowl. Leave the mixer on for an additional 8-10 minutes to knead.
  • Take your dough hook out, and cover the bowl to let the dough rest and rise for about 30-40 minutes. (Or transfer dough to a greased bowl and cover if you prefer)

Filling

  • While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Combine all the filling ingredients, except the butter, in a sauce pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until the cranberries begin to cook down and the sauce begins to thicken.
  • Remove from the heat and add the butter, gently mixing until incorporated. Put in a blender or food processor and blend until it's smooth and even consistency.

Assembly

  • When the dough has about doubled, punch it down and place on a clean, floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into about a 14x18 inch rectangle, making sure the dough is smooth and even in the corners. Spread an even layer of the cranberry filling.
  • Tightly roll it up into a log. You can roll either direction. I like to roll from the short end to make a nice thick log. Rolling from the long end will create a slightly skinnier, longer log which will yield more rolls.
    Cut with knife or floss into 1-2 inch sections and place in a greased jelly roll pan or baking pan, leaving about 1-2 inches in between so the rolls have room to rise. You should get about 15-20 rolls depending on how thick you make them. You can also make these into mini rolls.

Rest & Bake

  • Overnight Instructions: Cover well with sprayed plastic wrap and let them rest in the fridge overnight. The next morning, preheat the oven to 350°F and let the rolls get back to room temperature and finishing rising (usually takes about 1 - 1 1/2 hours).
    Baking immediately: Keep the rolls in a draft free place and let them rise until they've grown and are beginning to touch the rolls beside them, usually about 15-20 minutes. While they're resting, preheat the oven to 350°F.
    Bake for 16-20 minutes. I like to cover them with foil about half way through so they don't brown as much on top. They're done when the tops and bottoms are starting to get lightly golden and it doesn't look doughy.

Glaze

  • While the rolls bake make the glaze. You can also make this glaze ahead of time and store in fridge until ready. Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk together until combined well. Lather over hot rolls. Enjoy!

Notes

*BY HAND? If you don't have a stand mixer, you can still do this by hand by placing the ingredients in a large bowl, and when the dough gets hard to work with because of how thick it is, put on a floured work surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes. 
*FLOUR: The amount of flour you put in depends on so many factors, including the brand of flour and the humidity for the day. I start by adding 5 cups and then add up to 1 cup more slowly, only adding what I need until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be soft and a little sticky, but not overly sticky or wet. 
**FILLING: Filling will last in the fridge for a few weeks if you would like to make this in advance! Just warm up slightly to make the spreading easier at time of assembly.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Courtney
Courtney
10 months ago

5 stars
The softest, best bakery style rolls I have had. I chose this recipe for a project and so happy I did. I loved how the cranberry and orange both came through with every bite. My family was gushing over them and already requesting more for the holidays. If you’re looking for that special recipe for a family get together, trust me it’s this one. I can wait to use the dough for dinner rolls and with other fillings.