Filled with both blueberry preserves and cinnamon sugar, these soft and fluffy rolls are packed with flavor. With orange infused in both the dough and the glaze, these are a bright way to start off any day!
Bringing Summer to your Cinnamon Rolls
I'm an all seasons kind of baker. I don't care if it's 95° and 95% humidity, if I want a cinnamon roll in the morning, I will turn on that oven. I'm the same way about fruit. If I want a Summer fruit in the middle of a blizzard, I will break out the frozen or preserved fruit and have my way with it!
This recipe for Blueberry-Orange Cinnamon Rolls is the answer to both of those scenarios. Made with a juicy orange and blueberry preserves, both of which you can find year-round, these rolls are moist, and chewy, and sticky, and everything you want when you're craving morning sweets. 100% worth turning on the oven, no matter what the calendar says!
Ingredients for these rolls
- All-purpose flour I’m not trying to complicate your life by using a special flour.
- Active dry yeast I know a lot of people use instant yeast, but I really like to proof my yeast first. Seeing it bloom in warm milk makes me feel confident about my dough rising. There’s nothing worse than making a dough and realizing your yeast was dead. Ugh. If you only have instant yeast, that fine. Just add it to your dry ingredients, and skip the yeast proofing process.
- Butter There’s butter in the dough and butter in the filling. These are definitely made for eating in your stretchy pants.
- Eggs Two large room temperature eggs are needed. If you forget to take your eggs out of the fridge, like I do, just cover them with warm water while you do all the other stuff and they’ll be fine. Just not too warm, we don’t want soft boiled eggs 🤣
- Cinnamon Buy what you can afford, but I find that Ceylon cinnamon has more depth and is less bitter than the 99¢ version I was buying. My mom used to say “you pay for quality” and, darn it, she was right.
- Blueberry jam or preserves You could make your own blueberry jam. Fresh blueberries, high in pectin, combined with sugar and lemon juice, are all you need. But I find a really good quality store-bought jar of blueberry preserves to be the perfect texture for these rolls. Whatever you use, make sure you use jam or preserves, not jelly, which tends to liquify too much when heated.
- Orange I put the juice and zest from an orange right in the dough, infusing every bite with the essence of orange. But I don't stop there! Using the juice and the zest of a large orange in the glaze, brings an amazing brightness to these rolls and the citrus flavor matches perfectly with blueberries.
How to make Blueberry-Orange Cinnamon Rolls
When you look at the full recipe, it may look like there are a lot of steps, but none of them are difficult. I tried to break everything down into small, individual parts, to make this as foolproof as possible! Read through the whole recipe before starting and you'll be eating Blueberry-Orange Cinnamon Rolls in no time!
- Make the dough The base of these rolls is the same brioche dough that I use for my Overnight Cinnamon Rolls. It's an easy to make dough that's super squishy, and rolls out beautifully. In this recipe, I add the zest and some of the juice from a large orange to bring the zing!
- Rise the Dough This is a quick riser, if you place your covered bowl in the warmest spot in your kitchen. I'm lucky enough to have a dough proof setting on my new oven, but I didn't always. Before that I would turn my gas oven on to 350°F for exactly one minute, shut it off, then place my dough in the oven to rise. If you have an electric oven, try turning on your oven light before you start making the dough, place your finished dough in the oven, and keep the light on while the dough rises.
- Make the Filling Whisk together the brown and white sugar with cinnamon, and cardamom and set aside.
- Roll out the dough and form the rolls You'll roll out your dough to an 18 inch by 12 inch rectangle, schmear with softened butter, then your blueberry jam or preserves over top, and then sprinkle with your dry filling. Cut your long roll in two and place both logs on a parchment lined baking sheet into the freezer for 15 minutes, making them easier to slice. Using a serrated knife, cut each log into 6 pieces and place in a 13 inch by 9 inch pan.
- Trim the ends of your rolls Before I cut the individual rolls, I like to cut the angled ends off. It gives each roll a flat bottom to rest on, and a nice uniform appearance on top. You don't have to do this, but it makes me happy.
- Do a second rise and then bake Cover the rolls and let them hang out near the oven while it preheats to 350°F, about 30-45 minutes, or until puffy. They might not all touch each other, and that's okay. Baking in the oven will make them all cuddly. Alternatively, you can make these the night before and place the formed rolls in the refrigerator. In the morning you'll just need to bring them to room temperature for a bit and then bake as directed.
- Make the frosting and finish the rolls - While the rolls are baking and cooling, you can make the glaze. You'll just mix the juice and zest of a large orange with powdered sugar and whisk. If the glaze is too thick for drizzling, you can add a touch of milk to thin.
Can cinnamon rolls be made ahead?
If you would like to make the dough the night before and bake in the morning it's a snap to do! Give yourself enough time to make the dough, let it rise, and form the rolls. After a short stint in the freezer, cut the rolls and place in the pan, as directed. Cover tightly and place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350°F, take the rolls out of the oven, and allow them to rest next to the preheating oven for 30-45 minutes, or until they pass the poke test described above. If it's a particularly cold morning, it might take an hour.
Storing cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon rolls tend to dry out rather quickly. Although the blueberry filling keeps these more moist, proper storage is still key to a pleasurable leftover cinnamon roll moment. The key to keeping them moist is all in the packaging.
- You can store these at room temperature if placed in an airtight container.
- Store at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. After that, I recommend freezing them.
Freezing baked cinnamon rolls
In the unlikely event you haven't eaten all of your rolls, you can store them in the freezer. Separate the rolls and place them, unwrapped, on a parchment lined plate or tray. Flash freeze them for about an hour. Remove from the freezer and wrap each roll individually in plastic wrap and place wrapped rolls in a large zip top bag. Store frozen for up to 2 months.
How do I reheat my Blueberry-Orange Cinnamon Rolls
- Remove rolls from whichever storage method you are using, room temperature or frozen. Allow frozen rolls to thaw.
- Lightly spread softened butter over the un-iced portions of the roll. Place on a microwave safe plate and microwave 30-45 seconds on high. Add an additional 10-15 seconds at a time until warmed through, if needed.
- Alternatively, you can reheat these in the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spread softened butter over the un-iced portions of the roll. Place in a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 10 minutes, or until warmed through. Enjoy!
Looking for other ways to get your day off to a sweet start?
- Breakfast Strawberry Shortcake with Whipped Greek Yogurt Cream
- Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Swirl Waffles
- Not So Basic Buttermilk Muffins: Better than Basic
- Orange Marmalade French Toast
- Chai Spiced Waffles with Maple Cinnamon Apples
Blueberry-Orange Cinnamon Rolls
Orange Cinnamon Roll Dough
- ¾ cup warm milk 180 g, 105°-115° is optimal
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- Zest of one orange
- ¼ cup orange juice 60 g
- ½ cup granulated sugar 100 g
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 stick unsalted butter 113 g, room temperature and cut in small cubes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 552 g
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter 113 g, softened
- ½ cup brown sugar 100 g, light or dark
- ½ cup granulated sugar 100 g
- 3 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- 8 oz blueberry jam 240 g, at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar 250 g
- Juice and zest of large orange
Mixing the filling
- In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. Cover and set aside until needed.
Making the dough
- Warm milk in the microwave for 45-60 seconds, to about 105°-115° Place the milk into the bowl of your stand mixer, then add honey and yeast. Let sit until it becomes foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
- Add the sugar, butter, eggs, orange juice, zest, and vanilla into the milk. The butter will not "mix" in, but it will all come together during the kneading process.
- Sift in 4 cups of your flour, and the salt and stir with the beater attachment, starting on low and increasing to medium-high, until all the flour is fully incorporated, and there are no stray dry bits, about 2-3 minutes. if it seems too wet, add remaining ¼ cup of flour and mix.
- Switch to the dough hook and let it knead the dough for about another 5-6 minutes or until the dough wraps around the hook and starts to pull away from the bottom and sides of the bowl. It will still be slightly sticky, but not wet.
- Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and put in a warm place to rise for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Sprinkle a large work surface with flour and turn the dough out of the bowl onto the surface. Gently roll the dough into an 18 inch by 12 rectangle, using a bench scraper, or other straight edge, to square the sides.
- Using a silicone or offset spatula, spread softened butter all over the dough, leaving a small border unbuttered along the long end at the top.
- Spoon dollops of blueberry jam over the surface of the butter and spread out over the butter. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar, going all the way to the unbuttered border.
- Roll the dough away from you, along the long end, compactly enough to form nice swirls, but not so tight that all the filling oozes out the sides.
- Cut into two even logs and place on parchment lined sheet pan and place in freezer for 20 minutes, to make cutting into individual rolls easier.
- Remove rolls from freezer and, using a serrated knife, cut each log into 6 equal sized rolls. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and lightly spritz with non-stick spray. Place rolls in 4 evenly spaced rows of three.
- Cover again with plastic wrap and let rise until puffy and they stay poked when you gently poke them, about 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350° F. Remove plastic and place rolls in oven and bake until golden brown, about 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before glazing.
- Overnight instructions: If you would like to make these the night before and bake in the morning, cut the rolls and place in the pan, as directed. Cover tightly and place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350°F, take the rolls out of the oven, and allow them to rest next to the preheating oven for 30-45 minutes, or until puffy. If it's a particularly cold morning, it might take an hour.
Making the glaze and eating stuff
- Sift 2 cups powdered sugar into a bowl. Add in the juice and zest of a large orange and whisk until combined. If too thick for drizzling, thin with a small amount of milk. start with one tablespoon. Drizzle rolls with glaze and devour!
The nutritional and caloric information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It does not assert or suggest that readers should or should not count calories, and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s or doctor’s counseling.