Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
The warm scent of that wafts from the kitchen as these Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting bake will have everyone out of bed and ready to celebrate Christmas.
I haven’t met a sweet roll I didn’t like. Soft, tender, yeasty bread layered with a jam-like filling and topped with sweet frosting. What’s not to love, right?
Sweet rolls have become a Christmas family tradition in our house. The filling and frosting possibilities are endless, so there’s no tiring of them, and the dough can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake and serve. You gotta love easy!
There’s nothing better than biting into a sweet, sticky homemade roll on Christmas morning as you gather around the tree with your family to open gifts. Well, maybe if you paired said roll with a piping hot cup of good coffee. That, my friends, is pure holiday bliss!
These Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls use the help from Red Star Yeast to achieve their soft, tender texture. When you’re making yeast dough, it’s all about the rise. If the rise is a success, your rolls are guaranteed to bake up big and fluffy.
Just this one last cranberry-orange infused recipe, and I promise I’ll move on to a different flavor combo. Cross my heart!
The filling for this recipe is extremely easy to make. Now, don’t judge, but I used the help from the grocery store and purchased a can of prepared whole-berry cranberry sauce. Feel free to use your favorite homemade cranberry sauce recipe, but I prefer to take a few shortcuts during the holidays to save on time.
The zest of 1 orange and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract get mixed with sauce and smeared over the dough that has been drizzled with melted butter–swoon! Sprinkle a 1/4 cup of brown sugar over the cranberry layer and you’re ready to roll.
It’s that simple.
The frosting: white chocolate cream cheese with a hint of orange zest! Spread it on thick and go to town.
4 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup cranberry sauce (homemade or canned whole berry)
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
In a large pot over medium-low heat, whisk together milk, sugar, and oil. Using a candy thermometer, heat the milk to 120 degrees F. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the warm milk mixture. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of flour. Take off the heat. Cover the pot with a towel and allow to rest, undisturbed, for 1 hour.
Add the remaining 1 cup of flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to the mixture. Stir until combined. Place the lid on the pot and refrigerate until the mixture is completely cool (the dough is easier to handle if it is refrigerated), at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan, or two 9-inch pie plates or round cake pans.
In a small bowl, add the cranberry sauce and orange zest. Whisk to combine.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 18 inches long and 10 inches wide. Brush the dough with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Spread the cranberry mixture evenly onto the dough with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the cranberry mixture.
Starting at the side furthest from you, roll the dough toward you, until it resembles a log. Pinch to seal. Turn the dough over so the seal faces the work surface. Slice off and discard each end. Slice the remaining log into 2-inch thick rolls and place in the baking dish cut side down.
Cover the baking dish with a towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown in color. Remove the rolls from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
To make the frosting: Add the cream cheese and powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer). Beat until smooth and creamy. With the mixer on low speed, slowly drizzle in the melted chocolate. Add the vanilla bean paste, orange zest, and orange juice; mix to combine. Spread the frosting over the slightly cooled rolls. Serve immediately.
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Disclosure: This recipe was developed for the lovely folks at Red Star Yeast. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting my recipes and site while I work with brands I adore.