Oct 26, 2017

Orange Rolls with Pecans

Prep Time: 12 hrs
Cook Time: 35 mins
This recipe gives classic sticky buns a zesty upgrade with the addition of orange and pecans.

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This recipe gives classic sticky, sweet cinnamon buns a zesty upgrade with the addition of orange and pecans. The nuts made with both orange juice and zest combined with sugar for a punch of flavor.

Every Christmas it is tradition in my house that we have orange sweet rolls after we open presents on Christmas morning. While in the past we have opted for the store bought version, this year I will definitely be making this recipe instead!

Orange Rolls with Pecans

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Pecans – I use Diamond Nuts shelled pecans in this recipe to add a nutty crunch that complements the orange flavors in the sticky buns. Pecan is a species of hickory quite popular in the South.
  • Orange – Both the zest and juice from oranges are used in this recipe for enhanced orange flavor. The orange zest is combined with the juice, sugar, cinnamon and pecans for the filling as well as included in the glaze with powdered sugar.
  • Milk – Using milk in the yeasty dough makes for a softer crumb than water. It also helps to add that perfect golden brown color to the rolls as they bake.
  • Confectioner’s sugar – The fine powdered sugar is used to make the glaze for the rolls. It’s combined with just a little bit of orange juice (a little goes a long way) and orange zest to add a citrus twist to the cinnamon rolls.

How to Make Orange Rolls with Pecans

how to bloom yeast in milk
Step 1: Bloom the yeast. 

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the milk and heat so it’s warm but not simmering (110ºF). Add the yeast and 2 tablespoons of the sugar, whisking to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.

flour dough in stand mixer
Step 2: Mix the dough. 

Add the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.  Next, add the milk mixture and the egg and mix on low until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the melted butter and continue to mix on low speed until a dough ball forms.

orange rolls dough in stand mixer with dough hook
Step 3: Knead the dough. 

Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. If the dough is still sticky, sprinkle it lightly with additional flour.

bulk rise of sweet roll dough
Step 4: Let the dough bulk rise. 

Lightly grease a large bowl with the vegetable spray and add the dough to the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm place. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1½ to 2 hours. Punch down the dough then refrigerate for at least an hour and up to overnight.

roll out dough for pastries
Step 5: Roll out the dough. 

Turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a 16-inch x10-inch rectangle that is about ¼-inch thick.

cinnamon orange butter filling
Step 6: Make the filling. 

In a small mixing bowl stir together the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, orange zest, orange juice and salt until completely combined.

cinnamon butter filling spread over dough with chopped pecans
Step 7: Spread the filling.

Spoon the orange cinnamon filling over the dough and evenly spread it with a knife or spatula. Evenly spread the pecans over the top.

sliced sweet rolls
Step 8: Cut into rolls. 

Starting with the end closest to you of the long side of the dough, roll the dough up into a tight coil. Cut the log into 9 even slices, about 1¾-inch thick. I recommend using a piece of unflavored dental floss or a serrated knife to cut them best.

arrange orange rolls in cast iron pan to rise
Step 9: Arrange the orange rolls in a pan.

Lightly spray a 12-inch cast iron pan or 9×12 baking dish with vegetable spray and arrange the dough coils in the pan. At this point the rolls can be covered and refrigerated overnight.

second rise of the orange rolls
Step 10: Let the rolls rise. 

Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until the dough has risen again, about 1 hour (it may take longer if the dough was refrigerated overnight).

baked rolls in cast iron pan
Step 11: Bake the rolls. 

Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Bake until the orange cinnamon rolls are golden brown and fluffy, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.

orange glaze with confectioners sugar
Step 12: Make the orange glaze. 

In a small bowl whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, orange juice, and orange zest until an icing forms.

sticky buns drizzled with orange glaze and pecans
Step 13: Assemble and serve. 

Drizzle over the top of the sticky buns and top with pecans. Serve warm.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

How to Prep the Rolls in Advance

These sticky buns can certainly be made and eaten the same day but I usually like to make the dough the night before and then let them rise and bake the next morning. I get very “hangry” (anger brought on by hunger) in the morning so I like to do a little work as possible before eating! You have two options for prepping these in advance:

  1. Refrigerate overnight during bulk rise.
  2. Refrigerate overnight after cutting into individual rolls in pan.
The Best Pans to Use

A 12-inch pan might seem large for the cinnamon buns at first – just wait until they rise! From start to finish the buns just about triple in size. I like using a large cast iron skillet or 9×12 baking dish.

individual orange roll with chopped pecans lifted from pan

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this orange rolls recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Orange Rolls with Pecans

Orange Rolls with Pecans recipe in staub cast iron pan
Print Pin
Prep Time 12 hrs
Cook Time 35 mins
Serves 9

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable spray, as needed

For the filling:

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

For the glaze and topping:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions:

For the dough:

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the milk and heat so it’s warm but not simmering (110ºF/ 43ºC). Add the yeast and 2 tablespoons of the sugar, whisking to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.  Add the milk mixture and the egg and mix on low until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the melted butter and continue to mix on low speed until a dough ball forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. If the dough is still sticky, sprinkle it lightly with additional flour.
  • Lightly grease a large bowl with the vegetable spray and add the dough to the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm place. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1½ to 2 hours. Punch down the dough then refrigerate for at least an hour and up to overnight.
  • Turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a 16-inch x10-inch rectangle that is about ¼-inch thick.

For the filling:

  • In a small mixing bowl stir together the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, orange zest, orange juice and salt.
  • Spoon the orange cinnamon filling over the dough and evenly spread it with a knife or spatula. Evenly spread the pecans over the top.
  • Starting with the end closest to you of the long side of the dough, roll the dough up into a tight coil. Cut the log into 9 even slices, about 1¾-inch thick.
  • Lightly spray a 12-inch cast iron pan with vegetable spray and arrange the dough coils in the pan. At this point the rolls can be covered and refrigerated overnight.
  • Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until the dough has risen again, about 1 hour (it may take longer if the dough was refrigerated overnight).
  • Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Bake until the rolls are golden brown and fluffy, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.

For the glaze:

  • In a small bowl whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, orange juice, and orange zest until an icing forms. Drizzle over the top of the sticky buns and top with pecans. Serve warm.

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This sponsored post was created in partnership with Diamond of California Nuts – all opinions expressed are my own.

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  1. In the ingredient list it calls for 2 1/2 tsp yeast but in directions it calls for 2 Tbsp yeast, which is correct?

    • I’m so sorry about that Sherri, thank you for bringing this to my attention! The mentioning of the tablespoon in the instructions list is a typo. It should just read “the yeast and 2 tablespoons of sugar…” I’ve gone ahead and corrected it within the post.