Dessert, Holiday, Recipes

Cranberry Orange Rolls

Cranberry Orange Rolls are the perfect holiday breakfast or dessert! Fluffy dough with a hint of orange zest, filled with a sweet tangy cranberry filling and drizzled with an orange glaze.

Cranberry orange rolls on a cooling rack with orange glaze.

These homemade, fluffy Cranberry Orange Rolls will be your new favourite holiday breakfast or brunch. A great alternative to cinnamon rolls if you’re looking for something different this year. Plus it features one of our favourite flavour combinations – cranberry and orange.

The holidays are filled with many delicious flavours; gingerbread, pumpkin spice, peppermint, eggnog – the list goes on. But we’re hear to say you’ve been sleeping on cranberry orange and it’s time to change that.

Native to North America, cranberries are one of the few fruits that originate from here. One of the many reasons we love cooking and baking with them during their peak season.

Cranberry orange rolls on a cooling rack while drizzling orange glaze.

Cranberry orange rolls on a cooling rack with orange glaze.

Top tips for making making Cranberry Orange Rolls:

  • Follow the recipe for the best results. While we always encourage a little creativity in the kitchen, baking is a science! If you are not comfortable with baking, it’s best that you follow the recipe to a tee. That also means using grams instead of cup measurements.
  • Milk temperature matters. Make sure the milk is warm, but NOT hot. It should be just warm to the touch. If the milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast and your dough will not rise.
  • Give it the time to rise. Yeasted dough needs time to rise, twice. Don’t try to rush the process too much because this where all the flavour is developed.
  • Use leftover cranberry sauce for a quicker prep time. While we love a homemade cranberry sauce, you can cut your prep time dough by using store-bought or leftover from your holiday dinner.
  • Every oven and baking dish is different, which means cook time can very. We bake them on a baking sheet for a more even bake on each of the rolls, but if you decide to do them in a dish, your bake time will differ. You want to look for a golden brown exterior.
  • Serve warm. For the best tasting rolls, you want to serve them freshly iced just a few minutes out to the oven.

Top down view of holiday roll recipe.

Cranberry Orange Rolls FAQ

Can I make these the night before?

Yes! Once you get to the second proof – after you’ve rolled them – place them on your baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and leave in your refrigerator to rise overnight. The next morning you want to remove them from the fridge at least 30 minutes before baking so they can come to room temperature.

Can I replace the soy milk?

Yes! If you are allergic to soy or just prefer another non-dairy milk, you can substitute for your non-dairy milk of preference.

What if I can’t find vegan butter?

That’s okay, while vegan butter is the preferred choice you can also use vegan shortening or coconut oil. Please do keep in mind though, that we haven’t tested this recipe with those modifications. The taste and texture could be different than the original recipe and not result in a success.

What if I don’t have a stand mixer?

You can opt to knead the dough entirely by hand, but remember this will take much longer. Knead until the dough is smooth and when you press it with your finger it should bounce back.

Fluffy rolls on a cooling rack with orange glaze.

How to make this holiday recipe:

Cranberry Orange Rolls

Cranberry Orange Rolls are the perfect holiday breakfast or dessert! Fluffy dough with a hint of orange zest, filled with a sweet tangy cranberry filling and drizzled with an orange glaze.
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Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Prep Time: 35 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Rise Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 6 rolls

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 120 mL (½ cup) soy milk
  • 5 g (½ tbsp) instant yeast
  • 25 g (2 tbsp) white sugar
  • 17 g (2½ tbsp) vegan butter
  • 1 flax egg, (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp warm water)
  • pinch salt
  • 240 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 6 g (1 tbsp) orange zest

Filling:

  • 460 g (4 cups) frozen cranberries
  • 12 g (2 tbsp) orange zest
  • 60 mL (¼ cup) orange juice
  • 67 g (⅓ cup) brown sugar
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 56 g (¼ cup) butter, room temperature
  • 50 g (¼ cup) brown sugar

Glaze:

  • 180 g (1½ cups) icing sugar
  • 30 mL (2 tbsp) orange juice
  • 6 g (1 tbsp) orange zest

Instructions

To make dough:

  • Heat the non-dairy milk until it is just warm to the touch, between 40-50°C.
  • To the warmed milk add instant yeast and white sugar and whisk until incorporated. Set aside for about 10 minutes.*
  • Add butter to a stand mixer with the flax egg and beat until butter has softened. Add flour, salt, orange zest, and yeast mixture to the stand mixer and using the dough hook, beat until the dough just comes together. It is okay if it is a little crumbly.
  • You can use your stand mixer with a dough hook to knead until smooth or turn out the dough onto a clean surface and kneed until it comes together into a smooth dough.
  • Add dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl and place clear wrap over top. Place in OFF oven to proof for at least 1 hour or until it has doubled in size. Do not turn on or preheat oven while your dough is rising.

To make filling:

  • Combine cranberries, orange zest, orange juice, brown sugar, and vanilla extract to a saucepan on medium heat. Cook until cranberries are mostly broken up. Allow to cool completely.

To construct rolls:

  • Once the dough has doubled in size, place on a lightly flour surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough and rolling pin and roll into a long rectangle until the dough is about 1/4" thick.
  • Spread butter across rolled dough, then spread the cranberry sauce and sprinkle with brown sugar.
  • Tightly roll the dough into a pinwheel, starting from the long side. Using a sharp knife (or unflavoured dental floss) cut into 1 inch rolls. You should get 6 rolls from this dough.
  • Place buns on a lined baking sheet with an inch of space between them. Cover with clear wrap and a kitchen towel to proof again. This rise will take 30 minutes. You can rise it in dark humid place or in your oven that is OFF.

To bake rolls:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Once the rolls have risen and the oven is preheated bake rolls in over for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

To make glaze:

  • Combine glaze ingredients and mix until smooth.
  • Drizzle over cooked buns and serve.

Video

Notes

*The milk mixture should start foaming, if it's not after 10 minutes your yeast is probably expired or your milk was too hot and killed it. Restart with a fresh batch of yeast. 

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