Friday, February 24, 2017

Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that you are having a blessed New Year. We had a wonderfully low key Christmas. We stayed home and played games and cooked. Just our immediate family. After Christmas we did have family visit through the New Year. There wasn't any snow and it's been unusually warm on and off here. It's been in the seventies and it's February. Too crazy. Have you all gotten much snow? I'm hoping we'll get at least one good storm.
Look at this ooey gooey filling.
I've been spending this New Year cleaning our home, purging it of unnecessary items. Items that aren't being used by us but could bless someone else. It's been nice to be able to get rid of all the excess and seeing how much of it we have has been such a eye opening experience. It won't ever be a completely minimalist home here. It will be less to clean and worry about though. What have you been doing this New Year?
I love the fragrant zest in this sweet roll dough.
I have of course been feeding my little family. There's no getting around that, plus cooking and baking has always been relaxing and fun for me. Recently I made these Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls. I adapted the recipe for my Blueberry Sweet Rolls.  Both are great when you want something fresh and fruity.
Fresh and fragrant out of the oven.
I have five bags of cranberries in the freezer and this is one delicious way to use them up! Four of those bags were left here on accident. I don't usually stock that many bags in my freezer. The dough is sweet and the orange zest is fresh and fragrant. Cranberries provide a sweet and tart finish. 
Makes my mouth water. I could lick the screen.
The orange cream cheese icing... AH-MAZ-ING. This isn't a cinnamon roll, it's more like a danish. Still we ate the whole pan in less than 48 hours. I am glad they aren't overly sweet, perfect with a cup of tea. I hope you'll try them!

Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls, smothered in icing. NOM NOM.

Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls

(About 90 minutes, 12 rolls)


1/2 cup milk
zest from one orange (divided, use half for the dough and half for the icing)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
2-1/4 teaspoons instant yeast, one package
3-1/4 cups (405 grams) all purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
1/2 cup orange juice, room temperature or warm
1 egg


2 cups cranberries, frozen or fresh (7 ounces, 200 gr)
3/4 cup sugar (5-1/8 ounces, 143 gr)
1-2 teaspoons MYO vanilla extract or paste
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves, pinch of ground cloves
Cinnamon sugar (optional)


1/2 block of cream cheese, softened (4 ounces)
4 tablespoons, 1/2 stick butter, softened
Orange zest
1 teaspoon MYO vanilla extract or paste
2-4 tablespoons orange juice
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt, if using unsalted butter

  1. Heat the milk until little bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Turn off the heat, stir in butter. Set aside.
  2. In a big bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, stir sugar, yeast, 2 cups of flour (a little over half the flour), orange zest, and salt.
  3. Beat the egg into the orange juice.
  4. Stir milk, and egg mixture into the flour mixture. Stir.
  5. Gradually add flour to the mixture until the dough comes together. Add more flour if needed, I've used up to 3/4 cup more flour depending on humidity and flour.
  6. Once the flour comes together, knead it for about five minutes. I use my stand mixer, so I can prepare my filling while it kneads. 
  7. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  8. After fifteen minutes put the dough on a lightly floured surface. 
  9. Shape the dough into a rectangle, then roll it out to a (approximately) 12x14 inch  rectangle. 
  10. If using cinnamon sugar with the cranberry filling, sprinkle it on top of the dough.
  11. Spread the filling onto the dough, leaving about 2 inches of room on a 12 inch side plain so you can pinch the dough together. If you spread the filling over all the rough, it will not stay pinched.
  12. Roll the dough from the 12 inch side that has filling, and pinch at the seam when finished. 
  13. With a sharp knife, cut the roll in half once, then cut each half into halves. Cut the pieces into three rolls. They should be about one inch thick.
  14. Place each roll into a 9x13 inch baking dish that has been greased, or buttered. Put any berries that fall out over the rolls. 
  15. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled. (See note below if it's cool in your home)
  16. Preheat oven while the rolls are rising to 375 degrees F.
  17. Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes until a little brown.
  18. Once baked, let the rolls sit for about 10 minutes before icing them.


  1. In a small pan heat cranberries, the sugar, vanilla, spices, and orange juice.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has thickened slightly and the cranberries burst remove from heat.
  4. Remove cinnamon stick and five whole cloves and discard.
  5. Set the filling aside to cool while preparing the dough.
  6. Cinnamon sugar will be sprinkled on the dough, do not mix it into the cranberries.
  1. Beat the cream cheese using a stand mixer or hand mixer.
  2. Beat in butter, until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in orange zest, vanilla, and orange juice.
  4. Slowly add powdered sugar until incorporated. 
  5. Beat until fluffy, adding orange juice to desired consistency.
  • Don't roll these too tight or the filling will ooze out, and the center of the rolls will pop up when in the oven.
  • If it is cool in your home place a baking dish on the bottom rack of your (cold) oven. Place the uncooked rolls on an oven rack above the water, cover the rolls with a kitchen towel. Close the oven door to trap in heat and let the rolls rise according to the recipe directions. I use this method if my filling is very cold, or I add extra frozen berries also.
  • Use any berries you like, raspberries, blackberries, or a combination.
  • You might have noticed that I don't have weight measurements for the filling and icing ingredients, that's because I usually just eye ball the amounts for those. It's pretty fool proof.

FREEZER TIP: Buy an extra bag of cranberries when you see them and just throw it in the freezer as is! 

So do you have any cranberries floating around in the back of your freezer? I hope this post will inspire you to pull them out and bake up a batch of these sweet rolls. As always I appreciate if you share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Have a great day!

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