Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls

cranberry orange sweet rolls
Don’t buy sweet rolls…make them yourself!

Cranberry Orange Sweet Roll Recipe

These sweet rolls are so good, especially on Christmas morning! But you can enjoy them any time you want some gooey goodness. I used my bread maker to mix up the dough while I was busy with other things, then I rolled the dough out, added the extras, let them rise, and popped them in the oven.

Warning: These sweet rolls are prone to disappearing into thin air!

Ok…they disappeared only to reappear on my hips!

Sooo…you want some too? Here’s the recipe:

Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls

  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp powdered milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • peel from one small orange, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups milk with egg*
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • Powdered Sugar Icing – optional

If you have a bread maker, you can follow these instructions:

Place flour, salt, powdered milk, 2 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp sugar, finely grated orange peel, and 1/2 tsp nutmeg in the bread machine pan. Crack the egg into a measuring cup for liquids. *Add enough milk to make a total of 1 1/4 cups. Pour into bread machine pan and place pan in machine. Place yeast in yeast dispenser and set machine for dough option.

If you do not have a bread machine, follow these instructions:

Mix together flour, salt, powdered milk, sugar, and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside. Measure 3/4 of a cup of milk into a small saucepan and heat to 95 – 110 F (warm, but not hot). Melt butter in milk and add yeast. Stir in yeast to dissolve and allow to rest for 10 minutes. *Crack the egg into a measuring cup and add milk to the 1/2 cup line. Add to warm milk mixture and mix well. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in about half of the flour mix. Add the rest of the flour mix a little at a time while you combine thoroughly. Knead dough on a floured surface until dough is no longer sticky. Cover and allow to rise until doubled (in a warm spot). Punch the dough down and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until it is elastic.

For both bread maker and hand made, finish your rolls with these instructions:

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 1 – 2″ thick. Make the filling by melting the 4 tablespoons of butter and mixing it with the chopped nuts, dried cranberries, sugar, and nutmeg. Spread filling over the rectangle, leaving a strip along one of the long ends of the rectangle without any filling. Roll the long end of the dough rectangle up, with the filling free end on the outside of the roll. Use a little warm water dabbed along the filling-free end to stick the roll together. Cut the dough ‘log’ crossways into 2″ ‘pinwheel’ sections. Place each section on a greased cookie sheet, so that there is about 3″ between them.

Allow to rise in a warm (not hot) place until almost doubled in size and the dough returns to shape when lightly poked. Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool sweet rolls on a cookie rack. When completely cooled, you may drizzle with Powdered Sugar Icing, if desired.

Powdered Sugar Icing

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Milk or orange juice

Sift sugar into a mixing bowl. Add vanilla and about 1 teaspoon of milk. Mix thoroughly. Add very small amounts of milk and stir, until the icing reaches the desired consistency. I like it thin enough to drizzle.


You may leave the pecans out of the recipe, or you can use walnuts or another kind of nut if you like. You can also leave out the grated orange peel and add some cinnamon (a teaspoon or two should do it) to the dough, substitute raisins for the dried cranberries, and you’ve got some yummy cinnamon raisin sweet rolls. Finely diced dried pineapple may be substituted for cranberries. Also, finely grated lemon peel can be used in place of the orange peel. You can also make up the dough, mix in the dried fruit and nuts, then bake this as a loaf instead of sweet rolls. Replace about 1/3 of the flour with whole wheat if you like. Mix it up and try your own recipe! It’s all good. 🙂

What is your favorite kind of sweet roll?



      • Lisa Lombardo

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.