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grandma sells' orange rolls

Grandma Sells' Orange Rolls

Rae Bond
Rae Bond shares her grandmother's homemade orange roll family recipe that's truly a labor of love.
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Southern
Servings 12 rolls


For the sweet roll dough:

  • 2 packages active dry yeast (you can use rapid rise yeast if you are short on time)
  • ½ cup warm water, 105˚-115˚F (125˚-130˚F if using rapid rise yeast)
  • ½ cup milk, 105˚-115˚F (125˚-130˚F if using rapid rise yeast)
  • ½ - ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup shortening or butter, softened
  • 4 ½ - 5 cups flour

For the filling:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 stick butter, softened (or combination of butter and softened cream cheese)
  • 4 tbsp orange peel, grated
  • 1 ⅓ tbsp orange juice concentrate (add more as needed to get a consistency that is easy to spread)


  • Start with the sweet roll dough. For regular yeast, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and half of the flour. Beat until smooth. Add enough flour to make dough easy to handle. (For rapid rise yeast, mix yeast with half of the flour. Heat water, milk, and shortening. Add to flour. Add sugar, salt, and eggs. Beat until smooth.)
  • Turn dough onto a lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and turn greased side up. At this point, if you used regular yeast, the dough can be refrigerated for 1-2 days. Cover and let rise in warm place until double the size – about 90 minutes. Dough is ready if impression remains when touched. (For rapid rise yeast, let the dough set for 15-30 minutes. Roll and shape into rolls. Then let rise 60 minutes or so until rolls are puffy.)
  • To make the filling, beat powdered sugar, butter, orange peel, and orange juice until creamy.
  • Roll dough into a rectangle, 12x7 inches, on a lightly floured surface; spread with half of the orange mixture. Roll up tightly, beginning at the 12-inch side. Pinch edge firmly to seal. Stretch roll to make even. Cut into 12 1-inch slices. Place slightly apart in greased round baking pan, 8x1 1/2 inches. Let rise until double the size, about 40 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 375˚. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Frost with remaining orange mixture while warm.


“My grandmother made orange rolls for every special occasion, so when I married I began making them to remind me of my family back in Idaho. My sons grew up helping me make them, and those times together are precious memories. I asked my son to share what this meant to him, and he shared from the heart.” - Rae Bond
“Growing up in a ministry-based family, you share basically everything. You share your parents, you share your home, you share your cooking, you share your heart. Making orange rolls with Mom was one of the few things that we didn’t have to share. Other people got to taste the fluffy, flakey fruits of our labor, sure. But their creation, from grating the oranges to making sure the dough was rolled just so to produce perfect layers – that was for us.
Over the years as we’ve gotten older, we’ve introduced new people into the tradition as our family grew. When I was a kid, making orange rolls was almost selfish – a special rare thing I didn’t have to share in a life of sharing for the greater good. Now that I’m an adult, all I see is love in that recipe. I’m thankful I get to share with so many people as an adult, and thankful that readers get to start their own traditions with it now.” – John Michael Bond, son
Keyword dough from scratch, family recipe, orange cinnamon rolls, orange rolls, orange rolls recipe, sweet rolls