December 10, 2021

Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Icing

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
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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

Serving: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Calories: 300kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk, warm
  • 2 ¼ tsp active yeast 
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg + 2 egg yolks 
  • ½ cup sugar 
  • cup salted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 orange, zest
  • 4 cups 4 cups bread flour 
  • ½ tsp ½ tsp nutmeg 

Filling

    Orange Icing

    • 3 cups powdered sugar
    • 3-4 tbsps orange juice (pulp free)
    • 4 tbsps salted butter, melted
    • 1 orange, zest

    Directions

    • Combine warm milk, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl. Let sit until yeast becomes foamy. Add mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Continue to add eggs, sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, orange zest, bread flour, 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.
    • 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.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 300kcal
    Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
    Cuisine: American

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