Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls are the quintessential winter treat! The bright citrus flavor and tart fresh cranberries combine perfectly in a soft, warm sweet roll.
My mother grew up eating homemade Orange Sweet Rolls on Christmas morning and I grew up looking forward to the same Christmas morning tradition too. I’ve continued the tradition with my own kids and we all look forward to those warm Orange Sweet Rolls every year for Christmas.
But, while I love traditions, sometimes my imagination runs away and takes me along for the ride.
It’s been well documented here on Some the Wiser that I love the flavor combination of Cranberry and Orange. That blend of sweet and tart just speaks to me. So, Mom’s Christmas Morning Orange Sweet Rolls got a little makeover.
Let me introduce you to my new favorite Christmas Morning breakfast tradition: Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls!
I make the dough in my bread machine, so while these look like a lot of work, it’s really only about 20 minutes of hands on work. You can prepare these ahead of time (prepare them up to the baking stage and then stick them in the fridge) and bake them on Christmas morning. Honestly, there’s almost nothing better than a hot, fresh from the oven Cranberry Orange Sweet Roll!
Of course, these don’t have to be just a Christmas morning treat. They’re the perfect treat all winter long. The bright and fresh cranberry orange combination is just what any cold wintry day needs.
I don’t know how anyone else in the family is going to feel about me tampering with our long established Christmas morning breakfast tradition. That remains to be seen. And I’m well aware that this may be a one time thing because we’re nothing if not loyal to our traditions.
But I can say, with total certainty, that I’ll be making these Cranberry Orange Sweet Rolls for many winters to come. I took a pan of these to a holiday gathering earlier this week and they received high praise from everyone there! Not that I needed more confirmation than my own satisfied taste buds, but all the compliments and requests for the recipe sealed the deal. These will be making a regular appearance in my winter kitchen!
A Few Baking Notes:
These look fancy, but they really are simple to make. You can definitely roll these up like Cinnamon Rolls, but I love the look of the knots.
In my recipe for Lemon Pistachio Sweet Rolls, I sliced two long slits in the dough. You can do this or not. I baked them both ways (as you can see in the pictures above) and both turned out lovely, they just look slightly different. If you do cut slits, more of the juice seeps out during baking. This isn’t necessarily bad though because it forms this sweet sticky layer over the bottom of the sweet rolls that is absolutely delicious. Anyway, you can look at the pictures above and decide what you like best.
I love using my bread machine for sweet rolls because the dough proofs perfectly every time, but you can most definitely make these by hand or in a standing mixer.
For the dough:
For the filling:
For the egg wash
For the glaze