Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Orange Rolls

Have you ever heard of The Pioneer Woman and her incredible website? I'm a leetle obsessed with her, and particularly with her cooking section. She published a cookbook a couple of years ago and one of the crowning recipes that made it into her breakfast section was her cinnamon rolls. Aside from the 840 comments (Yes, that's eight hundred and forty) she's received on this recipe on her website, her cookbook was also a #1 New York Times bestseller for weeks. I feel ashamed to admit that I've been following her website almost every day for the past several years, and only now made these cinnamon rolls. After trying them I could smack myself!! 2 years without making these?! Merideth... Honestly. These. Are. Amazing. They turn out so soft and a little gooey on the inside which is a must for any type of sweet roll. I adapted the frosting to make them into orange rolls, but her original frosting with maple extract also sounds amazing. And if you're worried about using yeast and the anxiety it always causes, stop right now! I am definitely not very experienced with yeast but these turned out perfect. They rose when I told them to and turned out so big and perfectly plump! The Pioneer Woman's recipe makes around 6-8 pans of rolls so I adapted it to make only one. Yes, these are made from scratch and do take a little extra time and attention, but plan them out for a special party or for a lazy Sunday afternoon - you won't be sorry!


  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1/2 package active dry yeast

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 (heaping) tsp. baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda

  • 1/4 Tbsp. salt

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (1/2 cube)

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • Cinnamon for sprinkling

  • Zest from one orange

Orange Frosting:

  • 1/4 bag powdered sugar

  • 1/8 cup milk

  • 3 Tbsp. melted butter

  • Juice from one orange (about 1/4 cup)

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1/2 cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it - overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle brown sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon and the orange zest.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pan.
Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don't skimp on the frosting.


  1. I think this recipe contains a typo. If cutting the original recipe in half it should have 2 c milk to 4 c of flour. A 2:2 ratio will be way too soupy to turn into rolls!

  2. Rachel - thank you for the catch! You're absolutely right, it is supposed to be 1 cup of milk and 2 cups of flour. Thanks again!