Cranberry Orange Rolls

Breakfast, Desserts, The Holidays

Cranberry Orange Rolls

The holiday season is officially in full effect. If I’m being completely honest, the truth is that I’ve had holiday decorations out since the third week in November lol. I had some serious preparation for this holiday season! And I’m super pumped to be kicking off the season with these Cranberry Orange Rolls because they are divine!

For this post, I teamed up with Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Yeast. Using their RapidRise® Yeast for this recipe was a total ace!

Cranberry Orange Rolls

What is Rapid Rise Yeast?

Most yeast requires you to get it started in water. Most of my cinnamon roll recipes have you dissolve it into lukewarm water or milk and wait until it activates. Sometimes this can be finicky. It can take anywhere from 5 to 8 minutes for it to activate and get all nice and foamy. But Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Yeast is actually mixed within the dry ingredients—no activation required! This means no waiting around for it to be activated. You can mix and proceed with the recipe!

It saves a total of 5 minutes from this recipe. It makes these morning rolls super fool-proof. No need to worry if you activated the yeast correctly!

Cranberry Orange Rolls

Cranberry and Orange = Best Flavor Combo!

These morning rolls are inspired by one of my favorite flavor combinations: cranberry and orange. I love adding orange juice to my cranberry sauce; those two flavors just sing together. The sweetness of the orange juice just brings out the wonderful tart qualities in the cranberries.

Cranberry Orange Rolls

I wrecked my brain and played around with how to incorporate the cranberry to these rolls. I knew that cranberry sauce would be too sloppy and make these rolls too loosey goosey, which I don’t love. It doesn’t result in user-friendly rolls. I just imagined all of you with these incredibly messy rolls that would lead to frustration and chaos in the kitchen. Not my favorite!

I decided to make a mini version of my classic cranberry sauce and then strained it, separating the cranberry juice with the pulp.

After I rolled out the dough, I smeared a brown sugar and butter mixture onto the dough and then added the pulp to the top. I smoothed it out a bit, so it was a nice even layer of delicious tartness. And then rolled it up!

I used the technique of using floss to cut the rolls and let me tell you, it was amazing and so easy! Totally seamless. (Check my IG stories for a step-by-step of the whole recipe!)


Make them Overnight!

Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Yeast made these incredibly easy. I actually made these a bit of an overnight roll, which is my favorite kind. I let the dough rise in the fridge overnight. You have some options with this:

  • This recipe can be made from beginning to end. Easy peasy.
  • You can make the dough and then let it rise overnight in the fridge.
  • Or you could make the dough, let it rise, assemble the rolls and then let them rise overnight.

So many options! It’s splendid. I hope you make these Cranberry Orange Rolls. I hope you love them.

Cranberry Orange Rolls Recipe

4 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rising Time 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Serving Size: 10
Calories: 386kcal
Cranberry Orange Rolls are a super soft morning roll with a delicious flavor combination: cranberries and oranges.



  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet of Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 3 large eggs, beaten in a bowl
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature


  • 1 cup of cranberries
  • Juice from 1 naval orange, (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

Cranberry Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 2 tablespoons reserved cranberry sauce
  • Pinch of sea salt, plus more for topping
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream


To Make the Dough:

  • In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and orange zest. Mix them together to activate the oils and flavor from the orange zest. Next, add the all-purpose flour, Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Yeast and salt.
  • To the bowl with of a stand-up mixer with the dough hook (alternatively, you can do this in a large bowl by hand), combine the milk, eggs and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and mix until the dough starts to become together. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the cubes of butter.
  • Knead on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Alternatively, if you’re doing this by hand, you’ll need to knead the dough for about 10 to 15 minutes. The dough will go from crumbly and separate to completely cohesive and smooth. The dough shouldn’t be sticky. Remove the dough from the hook and the bowl and form it into a ball.
  • Transfer the ball of dough to a clean, lightly greased bowl (I used the flour bowl and just wiped it clean with a kitchen towel and then greased it). Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and transfer to the fridge to rise for at least 2 hours or overnight. Or if you’re making it right away, you can let it rise in a draft-free part of your kitchen for about 30 minutes, until it’s doubled in size.

To Make the Filling:

  • In a small pot, set over medium heat, add the cranberries, orange juice, brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Cook until it begins to bubble, and the cranberries begin to soften. Turn the heat down and using a spatula, begin to gently press the cranberries (you don’t want to do this violently because it’ll get messy fast!). Pour through a strainer that is nested on top of a bowl. Press the cranberries, separating the pulp and the sauce. Set aside.
  • To the bowl of a stand-up mixer (with the paddle attachment) or using a medium bowl and a fork, add the butter and brown sugar. Mix until the filling is completely smooth.
  • *If you’re looking to save yourself a step in the morning, you can make this filling let it sit on the counter overnight, so it stays softened.

To Assemble the Rolls:

  • The following morning (or when the dough has risen), remove the dough from the bowl. Lightly flour your work surface and place the dough into the center. Lightly flour your rolling pin and roll the dough into a 1/8-inch thick rectangle that measures 15“x 22“ If it’s not a perfect rectangle, then that’s totally ok.
  • Add the brown sugar and butter mixture to the dough and smooth it out into an even layer. Add the cranberry pulp all over the dough. And then using a butter knife or offset spatula, smear the cranberry pulp so it’s a nice even layer.
  • Roll the dough starting closest to you and going up. Using unflavored dental floss, slice the rolls into 2-inch rolls, about 8, trimming the ends off.
  • Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 baking sheet (or comparable baking dishes) or a 10-inch round pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.

To Make the Cream Cheese Icing:

  • To the bowl of a stand-up mixer (or a large bowl) with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugars, vanilla paste, salt, heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of cranberry sauce. Beat for about 30 seconds until completely combined.

To Serve:

  • When the rolls come out of the oven, pour the icing over the rolls and smother them with icing.
CourseBread, Breakfast, Dessert
CuisineAmerican, Christmas, Holiday
Keywordcranberry orange bread, cranberry orange sauce, cranberry rolls recipe, morning rolls
Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 273mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 563IU | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen

Cranberry Orange Rolls

(This post is sponsored by Fleischmann’s®. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep A Cozy Kitchen cozy.)

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Recipe Rating

  • Reply Alex December 25, 2019 at 6:16 am

    4 stars
    You mentioned adding brown sugar and butter to the filling in the mixer after separating the sauce and thicker part but it doesn’t say how much to use for the filling!

  • Reply Kiara December 4, 2019 at 4:33 am

    Are there any freeze, then bake make-ahead versions of this? Hoping to make them wayyyy ahead for the holidays…

  • Reply Emily Menken December 3, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    I want to make these! I love these flavors so much. And 1 question – if I don’t want cranberry sauce in filling, can I just use a typical cinnamon roll (cinnamon, sugar, butter) filling? We’ll opt for just the cran cream cheese.

    Also love your pan. Please send a link / band name?