December 10, 2021| By

Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Icing

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
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Cinnamon rolls meets a citrusy sweet and tart twist. Soft, doughy cinnamon rolls flavored with orange zest and filled with cranberries. These cranberry cinnamon rolls go above and beyond to deliver all of the cozy deliciousness that you didn't know that you needed!

Baking is my thing - yours too? Check out these apple cider cinnamon rolls with browned butter frosting and these pear cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting!

When I think of cinnamon rolls, I think of Sunday mornings growing up. We'd get those Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls and pop them in the oven. Shortly after, the house would be filled with this heavenly smell and we'd stand in front of the oven waiting for the rolls to finish baking.

Well, now that I've kind of learned my way around the kitchen, I've decided to put my twist on this classic treat. From my apple cider cinnamon rolls to my pear cinnamon rolls, I think it's so much fun to add a little pizzazz to the mix. I've graduated and now I've made Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls just in time for Christmas.

Before we get started, I wanted to bring to your attention how amazing Calphalon's Nonstick Bakeware is. I've been using it for quite some time and I'm truly impressed. It's durable, dishwasher safe, and can withstand up to 500 degrees F in the oven.

In addition, it's nonstick coating takes the headache of worrying as to whether your baked goods will out of the pan/dish cleanly. Every single bake comes out perfectly in their bakeware and I just can't get over it. This set is my new go to for all of my baking needs. YES!

cranberry cinnamon rolls with orange icing in the background

let's talk ingredients - what do I need to make cranberry cinnamon rolls?

Let's get to the burning question - did you use fresh or canned cranberries for these Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls? FRESH!! Ok, I didn't need all of those exclamation points, but I kinda did. If I can source fresh ingredients, that's always going to be my default. However, I understand that fresh cranberries aren't always accessible. So, if need be - you can use frozen cranberries... or even canned if unable to find frozen.

now that that's out of the way, here's what else you need

  • Bread Flour - to make these Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls nice and chewy. Here's an article on the difference between bread and all-purpose flour and why it's important.
  • Active Dry Yeast - to get our dough light and fluffy
  • The flavor bringers: sugar, orange zest, vanilla extract, kosher salt, and nutmeg.
  • Milk: I used whole milk, however, you can use whatever milk you like.
  • Eggs: 1 egg and 2 egg yolks to make the dough nice and rich!
  • For the glaze, all you need is orange juice, orange zest, powdered sugar, and butter.
  • For the filling, I made my Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce, however, you can always use Cranberry jam or even canned cranberry sauce.
cinnamon rolls on top of a dish cloth

how do you make cranberry cinnamon rolls?

Start by dissolving the active dry yeast in warm milk. Once the yeast is foamy, add it to the bowl of a stand mixer along with flour, sugar, eggs, melted butter, vanilla extract, and orange zest. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 10 minutes. Dough should pull away from the bowl and be slightly tacky to the touch.

Allow dough to rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours - it should double in size.

While the dough is rising, make the filling. If using my cranberry sauce recipe, simply follow those instructions (found HERE). If using cranberry jam or canned cranberry sauce, slightly heat it so that it's spreadable.

cranberry cinnamon rolls with orange icing up close

Once the dough has risen, roll the dough out onto a well floured surface and roll into a 12 x 18 rectangle. Trim off any excess dough. Spread the cranberry filling all over the dough and roll the dough into a log. Using a serrated knife, cut 1 inch rolls and place into a Calphalon Nonstick 9-inch round cake pan.

Let the rolls rise again for 30 minutes and then bake for 25-30 minutes. The cranberry cinnamon rolls are almost ready!

it's the orange icing for me!

Make the orange icing by combining powdered sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and melted butter. (Hint: this stuff is SO good. It's my favorite part)

This blog post and recipe for Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Icing was made in partnership with Calphalon! I received compensation in exchange for this work. My opinions on their products are genuine. If I didn't love their products, I would certainly mention it! Thanks for your continued support!

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Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls with orange Glaze

Indulge in the irresistible delight of freshly baked cranberry rolls, where plump cranberries burst with sweetness in every bite. Elevate the experience with a luscious orange glaze, adding a zesty and citrusy twist that perfectly complements the warm, pillowy rolls. This delectable combination promises a heavenly treat that captures the essence of the holiday season in every mouthwatering swirl.
Serving: 10 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Calories: 624kcal


  • 1 cup Whole Milk (warm)
  • 2 ¼ tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • cup Salted Butter (melted)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsps Orange Zest (about one orange)
  • 4 cups Bread Flour
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp Kosher Salt


  • 12 oz Fresh Cranberries
  • 2 tbsps Orange Zest
  • 2 tbsps Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • ½ cup Pomegranate Juice or Cranberry Juice (you can also use water)
  • 3 tbsps Butter

Orange Icing

  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 3-4 tbsps Orange Juice (pulp free)
  • 4 tbsps Salted Butter (melted)
  • 1 tbsp Orange Zest


  • Combine warm milk, yeast, and 1 tbsp of sugar in a small bowl. Let sit until yeast becomes foamy, about 5-10 minutes. Add mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Continue to add eggs, ½ cup of sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, orange zest, bread flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and kosher salt. Attach the dough hook and knead dough in the mixer for 10 minutes.
  • Add dough to a large well oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for about 1 ½ hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
  • While the dough is rising, prepare the cranberry filling and allow it to cool completely before using. Over medium-low heat, add cranberries and sugar to a small saucepan along with orange zest and the juice from one orange and one lemon. Mix together and add the pomegranate juice. 
  • Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 3 minutes then reduce to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until cranberries are softened and sauce begins to thicken.Remove from heat add butter. Stir until butter has melted. Allow to cool completely. 
  • Remove dough from the bowl onto a well floured work surface and using a dough roller, roll out into a 12x18 rectangle, cutting off any excess dough. Spread the cranberry filling so that all of the dough is covered. Roll the dough, lengthwise, into a log.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a serrated knife, cut 1 inch pieces and place in a Calphalon Nonstick 9-inch cake pan. Cover with a towel and allow the rolls to rise again for 20-30 minutes, until puffy. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • To make the orange icing, combine the powdered sugar, orange juice, melted butter, and orange zest. Whisk together until smooth and combined.


Calories: 624kcal | Carbohydrates: 115g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 134mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 71g | Vitamin A: 596IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    The recipe mentions adding kosher salt, but it isn't in the recipe. I guessed 3/4 tsp, but figured it would be helpful to ask.

  2. 5 stars
    I love your cranberry sauce so I tried these and they were SO good! The orange glaze sends it over the top too. Cranberry and orange are so pleasant together and this was perfect.

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