Orange Breakfast Rolls

Turn an easy overnight yeast dough into a breakfast feast with these soft, sweet rolls. Infused with orange and a hint of cinnamon, they’re glazed straight out of the oven for extra gooeyness.

Orange Breakfast Rolls in a Baking Pan and on Small Plates Next to Glasses of Orange Juice and a Bowl of Orange Slices

Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

Move over, cinnamon rolls. Every day is a holiday when you put this orange version of classic cinnamon rolls on your breakfast table. Make an easy no-knead sweet dough the night before so it’s ready to roll and bake in the morning. 

The next morning, spread the dough with orange-infused sugar and just a hint of cinnamon and roll it into a cylinder. Slice the rolls and set them in a rectangular pan to rise for about 45 minutes. Bake, and glaze while still warm. You’ll have to serve them immediately since even the most hardwired sleepyheads won’t stay in bed when the scent of warm rolls wafts through the house.

Orange Breakfast Rolls in a Baking Pan and on Small Plates Next to Glasses of Orange Juice and a Bowl of Orange Slices

Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

Overnight Dough Will Rock Your World

You shouldn’t have to wait all day for a breakfast roll, right? That’s the beauty of overnight dough. It doesn’t have to be kneaded, and it rises in the fridge overnight instead of on a warm countertop, so it’s ready to shape, fill, and bake in the morning. How does that work? 

The relatively wet and sticky dough uses time in the fridge to align the dough’s gluten molecules to create elasticity and strength, so no kneading. But wait, there’s more! An overnight rise gives the dough time to develop even more flavor and the buttery dough is much easier to handle when it is cold.

Tips for Making Orange Rolls

  • Rub finely grated orange zest into the sugar with your fingers. The oils in the orange zest permeate the sugar and bump up the orange essence.
  • If your eggs are cold, immerse them in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for 5 minutes to bring them to room temperature.
  • If your butter is cold, you’ll have to let it sit out for a while (45 minutes at least) to soften enough to add to the dough. To shorten the time, cut the butter into small cubes and spread them on a plate for about 15 minutes. Or use the same trick as for the eggs, above. Seal a stick of butter in a plastic baggie and submerge it in warm water for about 5 minutes.
  • To give the dough extra strength and structure, stretch and fold it several times after mixing.
  • Use a sheet of parchment to assist rolling the dough into a cylinder: Grasp the edges of the paper nearest you and roll away from your body. The parchment will help you roll the dough evenly.
Orange Breakfast Roll on a Plate, and in the Background, Another Plate with a Roll, Glasses of Orange Juice, and Bowl of Orange Slices

Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

More Cinnamon Roll Fun!

Orange Breakfast Rolls

Prep Time 60 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Rise Time 7 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 35 mins
Servings 12 servings
Yield 12 orange rolls

These are overnight rolls, so you will need to mix the dough on day 1, and shape and bake them the following morning. Rise time can range from 8 to 12 hours.


For the dough

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from 1 orange)

  • 2/3 cup whole milk

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 4 cups (480g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast or standard yeast softened in 2 tablespoons warm water

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (for the rising bowl)

  • Soft, unsalted butter (for the baking pan) 

For the filling

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest (from 2 oranges)

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Pinch salt

For the glaze

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice, or to taste

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, unsalted butter

  • Pinch salt


Make the Dough
  1. Mix the sugar and orange zest:

    In a small bowl, mix the sugar and orange zest. Work the zest into the sugar with your fingers to release the orange oil and permeate the sugar.

    Bowl of Sugar and Orange Zest, Next to a Zested Orange and a Microplane for Orange Breakfast Rolls Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  2. Warm the milk, then combine with eggs:

    In a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl, heat the milk for about 30 seconds to take the chill off. 

    Add the eggs to the measuring cup and beat with a fork until combined.

    Egg and Milk Mixture in a Measuring Cup for Breakfast Rolls Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  3. Add the infused sugar:

    Stir the infused sugar into the egg and milk mixture and set aside.

  4. Combine the dry ingredients: 

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed, mix the flour, dry yeast, and salt until combined.

    Simple Tip!

    Can you make the dough without a stand mixer? Yes! You’ll need some extra elbow grease, but you can mix the dough with a wooden spoon and some enthusiastic stirring to get the job done.

    Dry Ingredients in a Mixer Bowl

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients: 

    Add the egg, milk, and sugar mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until blended.

    Simple Tip!

    If you used yeast softened in water, add it with the liquid ingredients.

  6. Add the butter:

    With the mixer on low speed, add the butter pieces, one piece at a time, mixing after each addition until the dough absorbs the butter. It will be sticky. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and form the mixture into a ball.

    Butter Added to Orange Breakfast Rolls Dough in a Mixer Bowl

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    Orange Breakfast Rolls Dough in Mixer Bowl

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    Orange Breakfast Rolls Dough Scrapped Down the Sides of Mixer Bowl

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  7. Set the dough aside to rest:

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place. Set a timer for 20 minutes.

  8. Stretch and fold the dough, then let it rest:

    After 20 minutes, remove the plastic and slip your fingers underneath the dough on the edge of the bowl farthest away from you. Gently stretch the dough up and towards you and fold it over to the side closest to you. 

    Rotate the bowl by a few inches and repeat the stretch and fold 5 to 6 times, rotating the bowl each time and stretching and folding the dough all around the bowl. Cover and let rest for another 20 minutes.

    Orange Breakfast Rolls Dough Folded in the Mixer Bowl

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  9. Knead again, then let rest overnight: 

    Repeat, stretching and folding the dough 5 to 6 times and rotating the bowl each time.

    Scrape dough out of mixer bowl into an oiled bowl. Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

    Orange Breakfast Rolls Resting in a Bowl

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    Orange Breakfast Rolls in a Bowl After Proofing Overnight, Wrapped with Plastic Wrap

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  10. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and warm slightly:

    The next morning, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let rest at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes while you make the filling.

Assemble and Bake
  1. Make the filling:

    In a small bowl, stir together the butter, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt until blended.

    Bowl of Filling for Orange Breakfast Rolls

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  2. Prepare the baking pan:

    Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Fit a 12 x 16-inch piece of parchment into the pan so the 2 long sides overhang by 1 1/2-inches.

    Baking Pan Greased and Lined

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  3. Roll the dough into a rectangle:

    Set a second 12 x 16-inch piece of parchment paper on a work surface and sprinkle with flour. Turn the dough onto the parchment paper, pat it into a rectangle, and roll it to the same size as the parchment, stretching the corners if necessary. 

    The dough should be around 3/8-inch thick.

    Orange Breakfast Rolls Dough Rolled into a Rectangle over a Floured Surface

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  4. Fill, roll, and cut the dough:

    With an offset spatula, evenly spread the filling over the dough, leaving a border of about 1-inch all around.

    Position the dough so the long side is parallel to the edge of the counter. Lift the parchment paper and roll the dough away from your body to form a cylinder. 

    Firmly pinch the seam and turn the log so the seam side is down.

    Simple Tip!

    If the dough is very soft at this point, place it in the freezer for 10 minutes to become firm.

    Orange Breakfast Rolls Filling Spread All over the Dough

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    Orange Breakfast Rolls Rolled into a Log and Ends Pinched

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  5. Shape the rolls and let them rise:

    With a paring knife, mark the log into 12 even pieces that are about 1 1/2 inches wide. Use a serrated knife or a bench scraper to cut the dough into rolls and place them in the pan. They should just fit into the pan and barely touch. 

    Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 to 60 minutes, or until they look puffy and have almost doubled in size.

    Orange Breakfast Rolls Measured and Cut Using a Ruler and Bench Scraper

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    Orange Breakfast Rolls Resting in Baking Pan

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    Orange Breakfast Rolls After Proofing in Bake Pan

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  6. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  7. Make the glaze:

    In a medium bowl, whisk the confectioner’s sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, butter, and salt until smooth. The glaze should be pourable. If it is too thick, thin with more orange juice, 1 tablespoon at a time.

    Orange Breakfast Rolls Glaze

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  8. Bake the rolls then cool:

    Bake the rolls for 33 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Check towards the end of the baking time and cover the pan loosely with foil if the rolls are browning too quickly. 

    An instant read thermometer inserted into the center of a roll should register 195°F. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.

    Baked Orange Breakfast Rolls

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  9. Glaze the rolls and serve:

    Set a wire rack on a baking sheet. As soon as the rolls come out of the oven, set the pan on the rack and use a pastry brush to paint half the glaze over it. Let sit for 15 minutes. 

    Using the parchment as handles, gently lift the rolls out of the pan and onto the rack. Slide the parchment out from under the rolls. Paint the remaining glaze over them, allowing the excess to drip onto the baking sheet. 

    Serve warm.

    Store leftovers tightly wrapped in foil at room temperature for up to 2 days.

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    Orange Breakfast Rolls Glazed over Wire Rack

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    Orange Breakfast Roll on a Plate

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
454 Calories
18g Fat
68g Carbs
7g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 454
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 102mg 34%
Sodium 320mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 68g 25%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 36g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 4mg 21%
Calcium 41mg 3%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 110mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.