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Orange Sweet Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze

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These Orange Sweet Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze are light and fluffy with a creamy orange glaze – the perfect addition to any brunch!

For years we have enjoyed Raspberry Sweet Rolls every Easter. They are sweet and filled with delicious fruit. This year, however, I wanted to try a new kind of roll. We love orange rolls but I hadn’t come up with a recipe that was just right until I created this one.

The things that gave these Orange Sweet Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze over-the-top flavor for me were:

  • Cardamom and ginger in the filling. Don’t worry, you can’t taste these specific ingredients, it just adds so much brightness and flavor to the Orange Rolls.
  • Tons of orange zest. More than any other recipe I’ve seen. This really brings out the orange flavor in a fresh, non-artificial way.
  • The softest fluffy enriched dough.
  • Not just a typical glaze made with powdered sugar and orange juice, but the addition of cream cheese. You can still get that silky smooth glaze consistency if you beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add melted butter and whip away, adding fresh orange juice and powdered sugar. The result is a creamy and sweet glaze that has a little more depth of flavor than a traditional powdered sugar glaze.

Orange Sweet Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze

These Orange Sweet Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze are light and fluffy with a creamy orange glaze – the perfect addition to any brunch!


Fluffy Roll Dough

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter. melted (1 stick)
  • cups white flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • cooking spray

Orange Filling

  • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted (softened)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons fresh orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger

Cream Cheese Orange Glaze

  • 1 block cream cheese (8 ounces), softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (1/2 stick)
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh orange zest



  • You want water to be warm, but not too hot.. Dissolve yeast in warm water for 2 minutes.  Then add sugar to yeast and water mixture. Stir well. Add melted butter and beaten egg, then salt. Mix well.
  • Add flour one cup at a time, mixing until well incorporated. At the end you'll want to turn it out of the bowl and knead it together. Knead for 1-2 minutes until dough is soft and incorporated.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about an hour. 

Making the Rolls

  • After dough has risen, punch down and knead into ball. Roll out onto floured surface. Roll into a large rectangular shape.
  • Spread the very soft butter (can be melted) over the dough.
  • In a separate bowl mix sugar, zest, cardamom, and ginger (you won't be able to taste the ginger and cardamom but they add so much bright flavor to the rolls!).
    Sprinkle the the mixture over the dough evenly on top of butter. Roll dough firmly into vertical log.
  • Cut dough at approximately every 1 inch to make 12-18 rolls depending on how big each roll is. Place in a baking sheet or pan that is coated with cooking spray or parchment paper. 
  • Cover and let rise for 30-40 more minutes in a warm space, covered (on top of a warm oven works well.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°F. After they’ve risen, place them in the 200 degree oven for 5 minutes.
    After 5 minutes, turn the temperature up to 350°F and bake for 14-18 more minutes (don’t open the oven door when you raise the temp). 
    When the rolls are lightly browned on top they are done.  (If they aren't a little brown on top, they won't be cooked enough inside.)
  • Remove and frost immediately!

Cream Cheese Orange Glaze

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a medium-sized bowl with a hand mixer, whip cream cheese until very smooth.
  • Then add butter and mix until well incorporated.
  • Slowly add powdered sugar alternating with fresh squeezed orange juice. Continue alternating until you reach the consistency you'd like (I like it to be like a very thin buttercream, but not too runny – it will melt more when you put it on the warm orange rolls).
  • The add the orange zest and mix until incorporated.
  • Frost Orange Rolls right when they come out of the oven.
  • (These keep well for several days in an airtight container – just reheat for 10-15 seconds each in the microwave.)

Instructions for Preparing the Night Before

  • Follow all instructions above through rolling the dough into a vertical log and cutting the rolls and placing on a greased baking sheet.
    Once you’ve done this, spray the tops of the rolls with cooking spray. Cover with saran wrap and seal well around the edges. Make sure no air gets in there so the rolls don’t dry out.
    Place in the fridge overnight, up to a day.
    Remove from fridge 2 hours before you’d like to bake them. Keep them covered, but let them sit on the counter untouched. They need to get to room temperature, and the dough needs to start to rise a little more before they go in the oven.
    Once they’ve come mostly to room temperature (they can be a little cold, but not freezing), and have risen slightly, follow the baking instructions.
    Place them in a preheated 200 degree oven for 5 minutes, then turn the temperature up to 350 degrees F and bake for 15-18 more minutes (don’t open the oven door when you raise the temp).
    When the orange rolls are lightly browned on top they are done. Remove and frost immediately! 
    *You can make the frosting the night before and store in an airtight container. Then just frost as soon as they come out of the oven!

Happy baking! Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make these Orange Rolls!

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