Orange Vanilla Cinnamon-Rolls

Yield: 12 medium cinnamon rolls
Preparation: 2 hrs. (includes rising time)
Bake time: 25 min.

2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 c. milk, warmed to 95F
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
3 c. (360g) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
Zest of 1/2 orange
4 tbsp. butter, room temperature, cubed

4 tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 c. dark brown sugar (105g)
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon

4 tbsp. melted butter, divided

Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
4 oz. heavy cream
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
Zest of 1/2 orange


In the microwave or on the stove, warm the milk to 95F. Add in the yeast and sugar, stir, and then set aside for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture begins to foam.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix together the flour and salt. Add in the milk mixture, egg yolks, vanilla bean paste, and zest. Start kneading the dough on a low-speed until it starts too come together in a cohesive unit. Once this happens, begin adding in the butter slowly, making sure to fully incorporate before adding more.

Once the butter is fully incorporated, knead the dough for an additional 3-4 minutes, until the sides of the bowl are clean and the dough is smooth. Grease the mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Set the dough in the bowl and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise in a warm environment until doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes.

Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, and roll the dough out into about a 14″ x 12″ rectangle. Spread the melted butter evenly over the dough, and then spread the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture over the butter. Carefully roll up the dough and slice into 12 evenly sized pieces.

Lightly grease a 9×13″ pan with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer each roll to the pan, leaving space between each roll to allow them to grow. Cover lightly with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm environment until doubled in size, approximately 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325F (165C). Brush the tops of the cinnamon rolls evenly with 2 tbsp. of melted butter. Place the rolls in the oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden brown and the dough reads 190F (88C). Take the rolls out of the oven and brush with the remaining 2 tbsp. of melted butter.

Use either a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese until it is smooth. Add in the zest and vanilla bean paste, mixing until combined. Add in the powdered sugar 1/2 c. at a time, making sure it is fully incorporated before adding more. Once fully incorporated, begin to slowly add in the heavy cream. Beat until slightly fluffy, approximately 2 minutes.

Once the rolls are cooled, frost them and enjoy!

Cinnamon rolls are best enjoyed on the day that they are baked, fresh out of the oven. I recommend waiting to frost the cinnamon rolls until you are ready to eat them, in order to have a warmed roll but not warmed frosting. Store the unfrosted cinnamon rolls in an airtight container at room temperature, where they will keep for about 3 days. Keep the frosting in the fridge until you have warmed the cinnamon roll and are ready to enjoy.

If you make this recipe, I would love to see! Tag me on instagram @doughlights and use #doughlights

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