Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Blossom Icing

Cinnamon buns or Cinnamon rolls - it doesn't matter how you call it. These babies are show stoppers. The addition of fresh orange zest in this dough brings a deliciously floral zing and of course the orange blossom icing adds another layer of freshness to the otherwise monotonous sweetness on a regular cinnamon bun. You have to try making this at home. You'll never need Cinnabon every again! 

Cinnamon Buns with Orange Blossom Icing

Dough Ingredients:

2 1/2  tsp Active Dry Yeast

1/2 cup Milk (no Skim Milk!)

1/4 cup Sugar or Honey

1 egg + 1 egg for egg wash

1/2 cup Butter (melted and cooled)

2 cups AP Flour

1 tsp Salt

Zest of 1 Orange 


Filling Ingredients:

1 cup Brown Sugar

2 tsp Cinnamon (ground)

1 tsp Cardamom (ground)

1/3 Butter (soft and spreadable)


Icing Ingredients: 

1 cup Icing Sugar

1/2 cup Cream Cheese (softened)

1 Vanilla pod or 1 tbsp Extract

1/2 tsp Orange blossom extract

How to:

  1. Bloom the yeast by warming the milk (the temperature should be warm to the touch, not scalding). Add 1 tsp of sugar to the milk, mix until the sugar is incorporated. Add the yeast and let the mixture stand for 5-10 minutes or until frothy. 
  2. Add the egg, remaining sugar, melted butter and zest to the yeast mixture. Mix well and then add the flour and salt. Mix until a dough forms. 
  3. Knead the dough about 2-3 minutes. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle some flour as you knead. The dough should be smooth and soft after kneading but will spring back if poked. 
  4. Place the dough in a slightly greased bowl (use butter), cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let this rise for about 1- 1/2 hours or until doubled. 
  5. While the dough is rising, make your filling. In a bowl, add brown sugar, cinnamon and cardamom. Mix well and set aside. Make sure your butter is soft and spreadable at this point. Set butter aside. 
  6. After the dough has risen, use a rolling pin to roll it into a rectangle - about 12 inches wide and 8 inches tall. Spread the softened butter on the dough and sprinkle the brown sugar mixture on top.
  7. Roll dough from the short end. Use a sharp knife and slice rolls. Mine is typically 1 1/2 to 2 inch thick. This produces a nice fat cinnamon roll! 
  8. Place rolls in a pan. They will double in size so ensure they have enough space for this to happen. 
  9. Let rolls rise a second time for 20-30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
  10. Take this time to make your icing. Use an electric mixer to cream your cream cheese until there are no more lumps visible. Add the icing sugar, vanilla, and orang blossom. Mix until well incorporated and the icing is nice and smooth. 
  11. Once the rolls have risen a second time, brush rolls with an egg wash. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Once the rolls come out of the oven, spread them with icing immediately. Let this cool at least 15 minutes before eating.