Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls*

If I haven’t mentioned it before, one of the best things about having this blog is the amazing interaction I get with readers. Yes sometimes I get frustrated…you know like when I get rude emails or questions that are actually answered right in the post. But overall I get great emails with challenging questions or if I am lucky enough something amazing happens…like a video! This past weekend, some amazing e-friends, Catherine (@Orangegirlnz) and Craig (@storminwalker),  made my veggie spring rolls!

Making spring rolls

I mean how cool is this! First off, dude it’s me on the laptop! I’m in New Zealand! Ok, maybe I am not actually there, but it is probably the closest I am getting and I think it’s pretty amazing. Next, look at how cool their kitchen is! And when you watch their video, check out their kitchen a little more. I am in love with the clean/modern look they have going on! And also, when you watch the video, make sure and memorize/perfect their accents…because the next time I see any of you, I expect you to be able to sound just like Craig and Catherine! I wish I could bottle that accent and get rid of my lame American one.



I wasn’t sure how to thank Catherine and Craig for this video…I don’t think cupcakes or whoopie pies would travel that well from Florida to New Zealand. But I know Catherine loves orange everything, so I thought I would make something specially for her! And Craig may not love orange, but who doesn’t love cinnamon rolls? These cinnamon rolls were delicious. Seriously, delicious! I made a enough that I was able to freeze some and am going to serve them for Thanksgiving breakfast! I think these may be my new favorite cinnamon rolls (yes, even better then crack Cinnabon).



Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: about 24 cinnamon rolls


  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 7 1/2 cups all purpose flour (plus extra for kneading)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 8 oz fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • zest of 2 large oranges


  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • orange zest for garnish


Add yeast to 2 cups warm water. Stir and set aside for about five minutes.

In a bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, and salt until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beat until combined. Slowly add yeast mixture and mix until well combined.

Gradually add 7 1/2 cups flour. When you begin adding flour, you want the paddle attachment to remain on. But once the dough starts to come together, switch to the dough hook. Once all the flour has been added, knead the dough on medium high speed for about 3 minutes. Then remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured counter. Knead dough by hand, adding a little flour if the dough is still sticky. Knead dough until it feels smooth.

Place dough in a well greased bowl and cover with a towel. Place in a warm area and allow to rise for 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Remove dough from bowl and place on a ligthtly floured counter. Divide dough in half. With a rolling pin, roll one half of the dough into a rectangular shape. Spread dough evenly with 4 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle dough with 3/4 cup brown sugar, half of the chopped cranberries, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Lastly you want to sprinkle the orange zest, I did this by actually zesting the orange over the dough with my microplane.

Gently roll dough into one long roll. Cut rolls, using a piece of dental floss or thread, about two inches thick. In a small bowl, combine the zest of one orange and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Dip and twist the tops of the cinnamon rolls in the orange/sugar mixture. Place rolls in two greased 9X13 baking pans. Now repeat the same steps for the other half of the dough.

At this point you can either freeze your cinnamon rolls for a later date or eat them immediately.

To freeze: Wrap rolls/baking pans tightly in saran wrap, followed by a tight layer of foil. They will stay good in your freezer for up to one month (probably longer, but I have never made it past 1 month). When you are ready to make them, allow the cinnamon rolls to thaw overnight, or until completely thawed. Once thawed, remove all foil/saran wrap, and follow the directions for baking immediately.

To bake immediately: Cover with a towel and place in a warm area and allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until the rolls have almost doubled in size. Once they have risen, bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes and then drop the temperature down to 350 and allow to cook for an additional 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove pans from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

To make the frosting-in a medium bowl combine, butter, powdered sugar, milk and orange juice. Whisk until smooth. Frost the cranberry orange rolls generously with frosting. Garnish with orange zest. Serve warm. (To reheat, heat in microwave for 15 seconds)

Very loosely adapted from: Two Peas and Their Pod

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27 Responses to “Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. 1

    The Blue-Eyed Bakers — November 22, 2010 @ 6:25 am

    Oh gosh delicious! We wish we had some of those right about now for breakfast!

  2. 2

    Jorge Segarra — November 22, 2010 @ 10:01 am

    Just had one for breakfast with my coffee and OMG if you’re reading this go make them now.

    -The ever-expanding husband of The Novice Chef

  3. 3

    Cookbook Queen — November 22, 2010 @ 10:02 am

    OH. EM. GEE. These look stinkin’ amazing…

    Truly one of the best flavor combos EVAH!!

    Gorgeous pictures too!!

    P.S. Totally agree with your take on reader emails….some are mean or lame-o, but most are pretty dang awesome.

    Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!!

  4. 4

    michelle — November 22, 2010 @ 10:18 am

    My mother in law makes orange rolls every year around the holidays and I can’t stay out of them! These remind me of hers, they look delicious!

  5. 5

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — November 22, 2010 @ 11:53 am

    Hey, it’s you in New Zealand (sort of) – how cool! Congratulations on that awesome video. You did a great job on that, and a great job on these delicious cinnamon rolls! I am definitely going to make these for our friends, who are hosting Thanksgiving dinner. I know they’d love them for breakfast the next morning. Thanks for sharing this dynamite recipe!

  6. 6

    Rachel — November 22, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

    I have fond memories of orange rolls. Yours look delicious!

  7. 7

    Tessa — November 22, 2010 @ 7:07 pm

    Orange and cranberry are always a great combination! These look amazing!

  8. 8

    Liz @ Blog is the New Black — November 22, 2010 @ 7:09 pm

    These look amazing! I made cinn buns this past weekend, but I love the idea of orange and cran!

  9. 9

    sippitysup — November 22, 2010 @ 7:23 pm

    How cool that they did that and that we all get to see it! GREG

  10. 10

    Sharlene — November 22, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

    These are definitely getting made for the morning after Thanksgiving! I’m in love!

  11. 11

    jenn — November 22, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

    awww that is such a sweet video! i bet that made your day!
    those orange cranberry cinnamon rolls look delish! so “happy” looking! happy thanksgiving!

  12. 12

    Anna Johnston — November 23, 2010 @ 1:02 am

    How cute & what an honour that they’ve made a video to show you. Awesome.
    Lovin’ the fruity cinnamon rolls too, its hard to stop at 1 :)

  13. 13

    Chiara — November 23, 2010 @ 3:57 am

    That was very nice of you!! And the cinnamon rolls look amazing! I’ll have to take a picture of your blog being read here in Switzerland! =)

  14. 14

    Orange Girl — November 23, 2010 @ 4:38 am

    We feel very privileged to be featured on your blog! Thank you!! We’ve told all our friends at work about it and showed them too which reminded us how we ‘met’ you … through Craig following @SQLChicken because of the geek connection and him including you in a tweet about cooking or cats so Craig curiously read some of your tweets and eventually followed. And then one day he showed me a gorgeous photo of Bella that you posted which I’ll never forget and I started following you instantly! Friends across the world – totally awesome :)

  15. 15

    We made someone’s day! — OrangeBlog — November 23, 2010 @ 4:50 am

    […] She was stoked and said the video made her week! She wrote a blog about it and her recipe for the day was something involving orange, just for me! Have a read of the post (and some of her others, she tells a great story!) and see the video we made for her: The Novice Chef – Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls. […]

  16. 16

    Anne Marie — November 23, 2010 @ 8:41 am

    This looks absolutely awesome. I’m not a big cranberry sauce fan, but I think this would definitely be delicious!!

  17. 17

    Tammi Marie — November 23, 2010 @ 10:11 am

    Those look amazing!!!

  18. 18

    Becky — November 23, 2010 @ 10:17 am

    How awesome! Love the video and their kitchen ; )

    These do look very addictive! Yum yum yum

  19. 19

    Leah — November 23, 2010 @ 11:07 am

    How cool is that! These rolls look divine. I’m loving that green dish you have them in. Where did you get it?

  20. 20

    Jenna — November 23, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

    How sweet that they sent you a video! =)
    BTW, I made and blogged about your Israeli Couscous recipe from a while back. Here’s the link if you want to take a look:

  21. 21

    Juliana — November 23, 2010 @ 10:49 pm

    Jessica, these roll look delicious…absolutely love the combination of cranberries and orange…so yummie! Beautiful pictures :-)

  22. 22

    ErinsFoodFiles — November 28, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

    These look delicious, and that video is TOO DARN CUTE!

  23. 23

    Miryam — November 28, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

    How cool is that!! and the rolls look just delicious. I am sure it made your day more than especial, man technology it is just unbelievable, I love it :-)

  24. 24

    Melody Fury — December 3, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

    What a stunning holiday recipe! Would you like to submit it to my contest to win a cookbook? Just wanting to share the holiday cheer (and exposure to your blog) Would love for you to win :)

  25. 25

    The Novice Chef » Protein Meets Flavor — April 14, 2011 @ 4:20 am

    […] means you can order delicious carb-laden Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls and then you can reach over and grab half a few bites of a Croque Madam from your […]

  26. 26

    The Novice Chef » San Francisco — November 30, 2011 @ 1:47 am

    […] we got lucky and met up with my favorite New Zealanders, Catherine and Craig! You have seen them on here before, but this was the first time I have gotten to meet them in person. They recently moved to […]

  27. 27

    Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls | Sew You Think You Can Cook — December 23, 2013 @ 8:51 am

    […] Always wanting to make my own, I’ve gone through many trial-and-error attempts at baking cinnamon rolls from scratch. Either the yeast didn’t bloom properly or the flavor was just lacking. I couldn’t give up though, I kept searching for the perfect recipe. And a few years ago I found it with these Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls by The Novice Chef. […]

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