What if I told you that you could make and serve homemade orange cinnamon rolls with a decadent orange cream cheese glaze in about 40 minutes from start to finish? Would you be interested?
Is there anything better or sweeter than a billowy, puffy, homemade yeast cinnamon roll right out of the oven? But, if you are like me, the problem is you don’t have the time it takes to make them and let them rise, not once but twice. As you know, it can take hours! Yes, they are divine; yes, they are over-the-top delicious, but unless it’s a special occasion, and you are really committed, they just aren’t practical.
Enter my easy orange cinnamon rolls without yeast and, oh yes, don’t forget the sweet, utterly delectable, orange cream cheese icing! Okay, in reality, my rolls are just sweetened biscuits, so the texture is more like a soft biscuit than a yeast roll, and no, they don’t have that sweet yeasty smell. But for me, the trade-off in time is worth it. These orange cinnamon rolls are every bit as delicious, and the perfect weekend treat.
Oh, and just in case you have forgotten, the holidays are just around the corner. Wouldn’t these yummy orange sweet rolls be the perfect breakfast or brunch on Christmas morning?
How to make Easy (no-yeast) Orange Cinnamon Rolls and Orange Cream Cheese Icing
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Add flour, baking powder, salt and granulated sugar to a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
Place flour mixture and cold butter in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times until the butter is the size of small peas and mixed well with the flour.
Add buttermilk and pulse just until the dry ingredients are moistened. (No buttermilk? See the tips below on how to make your own.)
Sprinkle about 1/3 cup of flour evenly over a large cutting board, pastry mat or kitchen counter.
Place the dough in the center. It will be sticky. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough and using a light touch, gently knead the dough 5-7 times.
If your dough is still really sticky and pieces of it are stuck to the counter, use a spatula and scrape up the sticky bits and sprinkle fresh flour on the board or mat.
Gently pat the dough into a 14×8 inch rectangle or use a rolling pin. I like to neaten up the edges by gently pressing them with a ruler, or you can use something else with a straight edge.
Spread the melted butter evenly over the dough.
Stir the marmalade until it is smooth and then use an offset spatula to spread it out evenly over the dough.
Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the marmalade and top with the cinnamon.
Starting at the long end of the rectangle, gently roll the dough towards you. If it sticks to the board or mat, gently insert a spatula or use a ruler placed between the mat and dough to help unstick it. Roll it up completely into a log.
It is easier to cut the rolls if you first place the log in the freezer for 15 minutes to allow it to firm up. Use a sharp knife and slice the log into 8 slices about 1 inch thick.
Spray a 10-inch cast iron skillet with non-stick baking spray and place the cut rolls inside, spaced evenly apart.
Bake the rolls for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before adding the icing.
While the rolls are baking, place the cream cheese and butter in a medium-size bowl and mix with an electric mixer until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Add the confectioners’ sugar about a cup at a time and mix until smooth. Add the orange juice and a pinch of kosher salt, mix to combine. If the glaze is too thick, add just a touch more orange juice, but remember it will thin out when it hits the warm rolls.
Spread the icing over the warm rolls and optional, garnish with orange zest. Serve warm.
(Depending on how much glaze you like, you might have some glaze leftover.)
To make your buttermilk at home, simply add 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of regular whole milk. Mix well and let it sit for 5 minutes.
This dough will be stickier than yeast roll dough; if it’s too sticky to handle, simply add a bit more flour. Also, be sure to sprinkle flour on your rolling pin and flour your hands before handling the dough. Patience and a gentle touch are key here. Take your time when rolling up the log.
To make the log easier to cut into neat slices, be sure to place the log in the freezer for about 15 minutes to allow it to firm up.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a pastry cutter or two forks to break up the butter into small pieces in the flour.