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Need a fresh new breakfast for Christmas morning Or Thanksgiving morning? Try these soft and fluffy Orange Rolls with Cranberries! Sweet and seasonal these rolls are sure to be a hit with your whole family!
Start with an easy homemade yeast dough as you make for homemade cinnamon rolls but instead of making plain old cinnamon rolls you take them to the next level. Elevate your rolls by filling them with orange zest and orange-infused cranberries and baking them to perfection. Then once they’re cooled you ice them with a sweet orange glaze. Orange rolls done right!
One of the best things about cranberry orange rolls is their unique flavor. The combination of the sweetened citrus orange flavor and tart cranberries creates a delicious and festive flavor that everyone will love. The cranberries add a nice burst of flavor and a touch of holiday cheer to the rolls, making them a perfect addition to any holiday breakfast spread.
Make these overnight rolls
To make these rolls for an early morning holiday breakfast simply make them up until they are rolled, cut, and in the pan. Then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day remove them from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature and finish rising. Then bake and ice as directed up fresh cranberry and orange sweet rolls for the whole family!
What you need:
- All-purpose flour
- active dry yeast
- White sugar
- whole milk
- cranberries (can use fresh cranberries or frozen cranberries)
- orange juice
- fresh orange zest
- powdered sugar
- melted butter
- stand mixer with paddle attachment and dough hook attachment Or you can knead by hand directions below
- plastic wrap
- wooden spoon
- large bowl or mixing bowl for a stand mixer
- 9×13 baking pan
Do I need a mixer to make yeast dough?
Absolutely not. They make it EASIER but they are by no means a necessary tool. In fact, until modern times things like this were just done by hand. Stir up the dough in a large mixing bowl and then follow the directions below to knead this sweet roll recipe OR any yeast dough you want to make.
To Hand Knead Yeast Dough
Once you’ve mixed the milk and eggs into the dry ingredients stir in the bowl until the dough comes together in a ball. Then drop on a clean and lightly floured surface. Press the dough out in front of you using one or both hands, then grab it, fold it back over itself, and press out again. If it’s sticky you can add a little more flour to the counter, don’t add a lot of flour or you’ll have dry dense rolls.
For best results keep kneading until the dough is soft and silky, about 6-8 minutes. That feels like a long time but once you get in a rhythm you’ll be surprised at how fast the kneading goes. You can check for gluten development but tearing off a small piece and seeing how it stretches out. If it stretches very thin without tearing it has developed enough gluten. If it tears then you need to keep kneading the dough for another couple of minutes.
To prove yeast dough
Yeast doughs need time after kneading to rest and double in size. If your gluten was developed properly by kneading it into a soft dough then the rising time in a warm place won’t be much longer that about an hour or so. Let the dough rise in a covered greased bowl in a warm place.
Do not overprove your dough, it should only just about double in size before your push the air out of it. Keep an eye on it while it’s rising. Beware the warm oven method of prooving dough, it has a way of being too warm and I often end up over proving dough in there.
To store Leftover Sweet Rolls
Store leftover rolls in an airtight container on the counter for a day. Then they should probably go in the fridge. You can reheat them if you like. They do well in the microwave or in the oven. Believe it or not, the air fryer is a nice way to reheat leftovers. Stored and reheated rolls will not be as tasty as they were fresh but they can still be enjoyed with a cup of coffee or hot tea.
Other great breakfast ideas for special mornings
Try these Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls for a warm and spicy fresh sweet roll that everyone loves! Make Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes for a quick and easy way to make delicious cinnamon rolls. We love these Apple Cinnamon Rolls, full of chopped apples, and spices and baked on a caramel pecan topping.
Orange Cranberry Rolls
Homemade Sweet Roll Ingredients:
- 4 cups flour
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest *optional*
- 1 ½ cups cranberries can use fresh or frozen
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ¼ cup orange juice or lemon juice
Orange Icing Ingredients:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon orange juice
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 Tablespoon butter melted
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the dry ingredients for the rolls together, and stir on low speed to combine
- Fit stand mixer with dough hook/spiral if not using a stand mixer follow kneading directions in the notes section of this recipe card
- Warm milk to about 110º degrees, and it add to flour mixture
- Add eggs to stand mixer, and the extra orange zest if using
- Turn the mixer to 2 and mix until combined
- Continue mixing to knead the dough for 7 minutes.
- The dough should come away from the sides of the bowl as it kneads, but still be tacky. If the dough is overly sticky, add a small amount of flour to reach the desired consistency
- When dough is done kneading, it will be smooth and very sttretchy if its not stretchy and it tears, knead it longer if it's ready then remove the bowl from the mixer and remove the dough hook
- oil a clean bowl, shape the kneaded dough into a ball, place it in the oiled bowl, turn to coat, then cover, and let rise until doubled in size in a warm, draft-free place. This should take 45-90 minutes depending on your kitchen temperature
- While dough is rising, combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest, and orange juice in a saucepan
- Bring to a simmer, and simmer until cranberries split
- Blend with an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender/food processor and blend carefully to avoid burns, Cranberry sauce should be about the thickness of gravy but will thicken as it cools
- Let sauce cool while dough rises
- generously grease an 9×13 inch baking pan, set aside
- When dough has risen, press the air out of it
- then place on a clean counter and roll out into an 8-9×15 inch rectangle
- Spread cranberry jam over dough to within ½ an inch of the edges
- Roll up dough the dough from the long side, not too tight, not too loose
- Cut into 9-12 slices, making 9-12 rolls, you can adjust how many rolls you make and what size pan to use, if you make bigger rolls, use a smaller pan
- if you want to bake them the next day stop here and follow the directions in the notes section
- Arrange in the greased baking pan, and allow to rise for 30-45 minutes
- Preheat oven to 350º
- bake rolls for 25 minutes, or until golden brown
- Remove from oven and let cool
- While rolls cool, Combine icing ingredients and spread over baked rolls
- ice the rolls while they're in the pan