Pretty much everybody loves cinnamon rolls, am I right? But sometimes it’s nice to change it up a little with some seasonal flavors. Cranberry and orange is one of those classic fall and winter flavor combos- that is just so happens to be perfect in a cinnamon roll. The tartness of the cranberries and the brightness of the citrus adds a wonderful contrast to what otherwise tends to be a very rich treat. Add some cinnamon and a bit of ginger for spice and depth of flavor and you’ve got a a serious crowd pleaser on your hands. I promise you a pan of these won’t last long.
Adapted from Feed Me I’m Hungry’s Best Ever Cinnamon Rolls.
Cranberry Orange Cinnamon Rolls
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 5 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour + additional to roll out the dough
- 2 and 1/2 cups bread flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup cream
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
- 6 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 tablespoons butter softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon dried grated orange zest please see notes
- 1 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries washed and dried
Additional Equipment/ Ingredients
- parchment paper for lining the pan and rolling out the dough
- spray oil for spraying down the bowl the dough will rise in
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh orange zest please see notes
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 tablespoon butter
Add the yeast, sugar, and warm water to the bowl of a large stand mixer. Stir gently. Allow to stand for 10 minutes until yeast is foamy.
Add the all purpose flour, bread flour, salt, milk, cream, butter, eggs, and vanilla to the bowl. Mix on the dough setting (low/3 on a Kitchen Aide) until a smooth dough is formed.
Lightly oil a large bowl for rising. Use your hands to shape the dough into a ball. Place in the oiled bowl and cover loosely with a towel or saran wrap. Place in a warm location and allow the dough to rise for 1 and 1/2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Prepare the filling by mixing together the 1/2 cup orange sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel. Prepare a 9×13 pan by lining with parchment paper.
When the dough has doubled in size, gently punch down, and turn out onto a large lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 9 X 24 inches.
Spread the softened 8 tablespoons of butter evenly over the dough leaving a 1/2 in margin around the outer edges. Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly across the dough, maintaining the 1/2 inch margin. Spread the washed and dry cranberries out around the dough.
Starting with the long side closet to you roll the dough up (with the filing inside) towards the other long edge. Roll as tightly as you can around the cranberries. Push along the outer edges of the roll to seal the dough. If you look at the ends of the roll before you seal it you should see a spiral.
Cut the dough into 12 even parts and place the cut pieces spiral side up into the prepared pan. Space the rolls out evenly through the pan. Tip: It may help to seal the edge of the dough after each cut to help keep in the cranberries as you cut. Cover the pan tightly with saran wrap and refrigerate over night. Allowing the cinnamon rolls to rise slowly in the fridge overnight will really improve their flavor and texture.
Preheat the oven to 350.* Remove the cinnamon rolls from the fridge and remove the saran wrap. The rolls will have expanded to fill the entire pan. Bake the rolls for 40-45 minutes until the rolls are lightly golden brown and are no longer doughy where the edges meet.
Remove the rolls from the oven and set aside to cool before glazing.
In a small sauce pan melt together the powdered sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and butter. Stir gently and then pour or drizzle over the cinnamon rolls.
This recipe calls for both dried orange zest and fresh orange zest because the flavors of each are a little different and enhance the overall recipe. However, if you don't want to mess with two kinds of zest feel free to use only one. However, I will mention that dried orange zest is not ideal in the glaze as it can be kind of grainy when not baked into something.