Two Peas and Their Pod

Cranberry Orange Cinnamon Rolls

Cranberry Orange Cinnamon Rolls

My dad came to visit last week. We gave him the grand tour of our new kitchen and spent some time baking together. It was nice having two ovens to work with, we accomplished so much more this visit:)  My dad is the expert when it comes to baking. He is famous for his cinnamon roll recipe, everyone loves them. This time we did a spin on the traditional recipe and made cranberry orange cinnamon rolls.

My dad loves raisins, so his cinnamon roll recipe always includes raisins. If someone doesn’t like them, he tells them to pick them out, but he will never omit them from the recipe. I was a little worried he wouldn’t want to swap dried cranberries for the raisins, but he was a good sport:) I made sure he knew I wasn’t trying to replace his beloved cinnamon roll recipe, I just wanted to mix things up for fun.

It was a chilly day so we used the “proof” setting on our Thermador oven and it worked wonders with our dough. It rose right up for the occasion.

My dad rolled out the dough and we spread it with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dried cranberries, and orange zest mixed with sugar.

We tightly rolled up the dough into one large log and cut the rolls with a piece of thread. My dad has always cut them this way, much better than a knife.

We dipped and twisted the rolls into the orange sugar mixture to enhance the orange flavor.

After the rolls rose a second time we popped them in the oven and whipped up our orange frosting.

The rolls turned out beautifully!

We frosted the rolls and served them while they were still warm. The satin dough melts in your mouth-it is the best. The cranberries and orange flavor were delightful, especially with the sweet orange frosting.

The center bite is my favorite. Ooey, gooey, and loaded with all of the good stuff:) 

These cranberry orange rolls are perfect for the holidays. Make a batch for breakfast or brunch and invite your family and friends over. These rolls are too good not to share.

*The winner of the Tortilla Land giveaway is Pam who said: “I love tostadas! Great combination of flavors and textures… yum!” Congratulations! We will email you!

Cranberry Orange Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: Makes about 30 rolls


For the rolls:

2 packages of yeast, dissolved in 1 cup lukewarm water
6 tablespoons shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
7 cups all purpose flour (you might need a little extra if the dough is still sticky)
2 cups hot water
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon salt

1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Zest of 2 large oranges
3/4 cup granulated sugar

For the orange sugar topping:

Zest of 1 large orange
1/2 cup granulated sugar

For the frosting:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice


1. Add yeast to 1 cup of lukewarm water. Stir with a spoon and set aside for about five minutes.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add shortening, sugar, and salt to hot water and beat for 30 seconds. Let cool to lukewarm temperature. Stir in 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture and mix until well combined. Mix in the beaten eggs.

3. Gradually stir in the remaining flour and mix with the dough hook for about 2 minutes. Remove dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured counter. Knead by hand, add a little flour if the dough is still sticky. Knead until dough feels satiny and smooth.

4. Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for 30 minutes or until dough doubles in size.

5. Remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured counter. Divide dough in half. With a rolling pin, roll one half of the dough into a rectangular shape. Spread dough evenly with 4 tablespoons of softened butter. Sprinkle dough with 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup dried cranberries, and 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon. Rub orange zest and granulated sugar together in small bowl. Sprinkle half of the mixture over the dough.

6. Gently roll up dough into one long roll. Cut rolls, using a piece of dental floss or thread, about two inches thick. Rub the zest of one orange and half cup of sugar together in a small bowl. Dip and twist the rolls into the orange sugar mixture. Place rolls in greased 9X13 baking pans.Now follow the exact same steps with the other half of the dough.

7. Place rolls in a warm spot and cover with a towel. Let rolls rise until double in bulk, about an hour. Bake rolls at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 5-7 more minutes or until golden brown. Remove pans from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

8. To make the frosting-in a medium bowl combine, butter, powdered sugar, milk, orange zest, and orange juice. Whisk until smooth. Frost the cranberry orange rolls generously with frosting. Serve warm.

*Note-these rolls are best eaten warm. To reheat-microwave each roll for about 15 seconds.

If you like these cranberry orange cinnamon rolls, you might also like:

Orange Rolls from Two Peas and Their Pod
Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Sticky Buns from Barbara Bakes
Orange Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl Coffee Cake from Back to the Cutting Board
Orange-Cinnamon Honey Sticky Buns from 17 and Baking

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116 Responses to “Cranberry Orange Cinnamon Rolls”

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  1. Katrina — November 1, 2010 @ 4:21 am

    These look heavenly. I love your ingredient list…these are sure to be addictive!

  2. Jessica @ How Sweet — November 1, 2010 @ 4:49 am

    Nothin’ like a good cinnamon roll!

  3. Jennifer @ Maple n Cornbread — November 1, 2010 @ 5:05 am

    What a nice visit with your dad, and a sweet one at that :) Love the orange and cranberry in them!

  4. Erica — November 1, 2010 @ 5:46 am

    Maria- these look perfect! The orange zest is such a cool touch. Glad you’re enjoying your new kitchen :)

  5. jenna laughs — November 1, 2010 @ 6:15 am

    Looks delicious. I love cranberry orange scones too, those flavors together are the best!

  6. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — November 1, 2010 @ 6:20 am

    Cranberries and orange are a flavor-match made in Heaven! I used to make cinnamon rolls quite often, but have just fallen out of the habit. I need to correct that immediately with a batch of these.

  7. the blissful baker — November 1, 2010 @ 6:30 am

    these look fabulous! i’ve yet to try making my own cinnamon rolls, but these look so temping, there is no way i can hold back any longer!

  8. Traci — November 1, 2010 @ 6:31 am

    Maria, these look delicious! I wish I could eat today. These would be the first things that I would make. I think I ate way too much this weekend though. :) Stomachache!! Your apple cinnamon loaf was well received by my neighbors who loved it. Such a delicious moist bread!

    • twopeas replied: — November 1st, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

      Glad everyone liked the apple cinnamon bread!

  9. Amanda — November 1, 2010 @ 6:43 am

    Beautiful and looking entirely to delish compared to my plain yogurt. 😉 Blessings!

  10. Jenny Flake — November 1, 2010 @ 6:58 am

    DROOL! Wow, these look incredible girl!

  11. Erica Lea — November 1, 2010 @ 7:39 am

    I love orange and cranberries together. They seem to be a blend of Autumn, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Your rolls look delicious.

  12. Barbara Bakes — November 1, 2010 @ 7:46 am

    I wish I had one of these for breakfast. I love the center too. Thanks for the link love.

  13. Eliana — November 1, 2010 @ 7:48 am

    Love love love the flavor combination in these beauties. They look awesome.

  14. Annalise — November 1, 2010 @ 7:56 am

    Oh my, these look incredible! I love the twist! And when are you going to show us your new kitchen? :)

    • twopeas replied: — November 1st, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

      The kitchen isn’t 100% finished yet, but come over, I will give you a preview:)

  15. Susan — November 1, 2010 @ 8:24 am

    Oh my word! Talk about tempting!

  16. Kim — November 1, 2010 @ 8:34 am

    We’re about to start on a remodel too, and I’ve been eyeing the Thermador appliances! It seems as though you love yours. :) And – the cinnamon rolls look DELICIOUS!!!!! I’m a sucker for any excuse to eat cream cheese.

    Happy November, and have a great week!


    • twopeas replied: — November 1st, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

      Good luck with your remodel. We love our Thermador appliances. Love them! If you have questions, just let me know!

  17. Lauren — November 1, 2010 @ 8:36 am

    I love that you used orange zest everywhere! Yum. I’ll have to try these. Great photos, too!

  18. Pam — November 1, 2010 @ 8:38 am

    I am so exicted I won! I am also so excited to make these beauties! I love the cranberry/orange combinatiion. Nicely done!

  19. crustabakes — November 1, 2010 @ 8:39 am

    I feel like I would be able to taste the sunshine with these. They sound so refreshing together ! And oh, they are such lookers too. Very pretty indeed !

  20. Amy — November 1, 2010 @ 8:48 am

    YUM! Call me when you make the next batch!

    (Looks like you’re enjoying that cool new kitchen.)

    • twopeas replied: — November 1st, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

      You are always welcome. If I call, you better come:)

  21. Kristen — November 1, 2010 @ 8:53 am

    So delicious, Maria!!

  22. Anna — November 1, 2010 @ 9:01 am

    Proof setting on your oven? Seriously? I’m SOOO jealous!

    Love your site–I just found you and it’s wonderful to think you live in the same city! Perhaps I’ll get to see someone famous like you at the grocery store!! :)

    Can’t wait to try these….

    • twopeas replied: — November 1st, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

      The proof setting is amazing! So you live in SLC? Yay!

  23. averagebetty — November 1, 2010 @ 9:01 am

    Your rolls look so fluffy and light! Mmmm…

  24. Megan — November 1, 2010 @ 9:04 am

    They look gorgeous. I never would have thought to put the dried cranberries inside.

  25. You’re making me drool over here! I definitely need to learn to make cinnamon rolls, and when I finally decide to try, I will turn to this recipe. Thanks for sharing and always inspiring me!

  26. Camille — November 1, 2010 @ 9:49 am

    MMMM…I want one right now!

  27. Megan — November 1, 2010 @ 10:12 am

    I bet dad (and Josh) was one happy man!!!

  28. Rachel — November 1, 2010 @ 10:13 am

    Love this! I’ve been searching for an orange roll recipe to try since a fond Christmas memory was eating the pillsbury orange rolls in the morning. I’ll have to give this a try sometime. Nice job and the addition of cranberries sounds perfect. I love craisins.

  29. Jenna — November 1, 2010 @ 10:58 am

    Oh man–2 ovens–that sounds blissful! And the rolls look amazing, especially with the tang of the orange zest. Yum!

    • twopeas replied: — November 1st, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

      We are loving our two ovens. Makes life so much easier!

  30. the urban baker — November 1, 2010 @ 11:08 am

    I know most people find cinnamon rolls daunting. Not I! And not you! These look FABULOUS!

  31. Sarah — November 1, 2010 @ 11:26 am

    I have to say I love my cinnamon roll recipe – but these sound like a fun fall twist on the traditional. I love cranberries in almost anything.

  32. Julia — November 1, 2010 @ 11:27 am

    I made cranberry orange scones this weekend. LOVE the combo…and of coursee I love cinnamon rolls…conclusion: I will be making THESE ASAP!!!!

  33. Heather (Heather's Dish) — November 1, 2010 @ 11:41 am

    oh my goodness, this sounds like a really INCREDIBLE amped-up version of orange cinnamon rolls in a can…and i cannot wait to make them!

  34. Sara — November 1, 2010 @ 11:58 am

    I made cinnamon rolls for the first time a few months ago and now I’m hooked on making them! I love this spin on the traditional version! I also like how you have actual amounts from your dad, for this version. :)

  35. megan @ whatmegansmaking — November 1, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

    These look beautiful! Good tip on cutting with thread, I’ll have to try that!

  36. Kelley — November 1, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

    I don’t know how you can make your dad’s rolls any better, but this is definitely a must try.

  37. Nicole S — November 1, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

    I learned to cut cinnamon rolls when I was raking home ec. in middle school years ago- It works great!

  38. Tracy — November 1, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

    I love experimenting with different kinds of cinnamon rolls. These look great!

  39. Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker — November 1, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

    These are so pretty and I can only imagine how amazing they taste! I love the combo of orange and cranberry. These would be a great holiday breakfast!

  40. alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — November 1, 2010 @ 1:36 pm

    My mouth is watering!

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