Last Christmas, we received a call from our friends Josh and Chera. It seems Chera made her family recipe orange sweet rolls, but had forgotten just how many rolls the recipe made — and she was overrun with them!

Dave and I were happy to take some off their hands. Honestly, that was the first time I’d ever had this concoction!

Chera’s orange rolls were delicious — light, yeasty, and a fresh citrus flavor.

Last week I had a craving for these orange rolls – but didn’t want to be overrun with them, like Chera was on Christmas!

So instead of making Chera’s recipe, I went with a Pioneer Woman recipe for Orange Marmalade Rolls.

Honestly? They didn’t hold a candle to Chera’s.

Don’t get me wrong – these rolls are very tasty. BUT….the use of butter is literally excessive. It was oozing out of the rolls as I cut them. It was all over EVERYTHING. Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad with softened butter, but with melted butter…bleck.

These rolls were excessive, simply to be excessive. They’re tasty, but they’re also very dense, and heavy from the butter content.

The glaze, as well, could’ve easily been halved…which is about how much I actually used! Oh well, live and learn!

I think in the future I will play with halving Chera’s recipe, and perhaps adding a bit of marmalade to her recipe. I think it would be a yummy addition. 😉

It should be noted that the PW recipe is HALF a cinnamon roll dough’ recipe, but Chera’s recipe is the full-on quantity. I got 18 rolls out of the PW recipe, and you’d probably get about 25 if you halve Chera’s.

First, here is the Pioneer Woman recipe:

Orange-Marmalade Rolls

(Pioneer Woman)


½ whole Recipe Of “Cinnamon Roll Dough”

8 Tablespoons Orange Marmalade

½ cups Melted Butter

1 cup Brown Sugar

½ teaspoons Kosher Salt

Orange Glaze:

2 pounds Powdered Sugar

6 Tablespoons Melted Butter

½ cups Milk

½ cups Orange Juice

1 dash Salt


– Roll out dough into a long rectangle. Spread marmalade over the top. Pour on butter, and then sprinkle on the brown sugar evenly. Sprinkle with salt.

– Beginning at the long side farthest from you, roll the dough in a long roll toward you; begin careful to keep it tucked tightly. Pinch edge to seal.

– Cut rolls into 1 to 1 1/2 inch rolls and place into buttered pans. Allow to rise for at least 20 minutes.

– Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown (but not overly brown).

– While baking, mix together the ingredients for the orange glaze, thinning with more milk or orange juice to make mixture thin enough to be pourable.

– Immediately drizzle orange glaze over the top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

And now Chera’s….

Orange Rolls


2 yeast cakes dissolved in 1/2 c. warm water
1 c. boiling water
1/3 c. shortening
1/3 c. butter
1/2 – 2/3 c. sugar
2 t. salt
1 c. cold water
3-4 eggs
7 1/2 c. flour

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
grated rind of 1 orange

4 c. powdered sugar
2 T. fresh orange juice

– Fill cup with 1/2 c. warm water (100-110*) and sprinkle with yeast cakes. Stir in 2 t. sugar; let stand 10 minutes. If doubles in size= the yeast is active.

– Pour boiling water over the shortening, butter, sugar & salt. Stir until melted; add cold water, eggs and dissolved yeast.

– Mix in flour. Cover and store in refrigerator overnight (at least 3-4 hours, or as long as 2-3 days).

– Separate dough into 2 batches. Roll out 1 batch and spread 1/2 the filling on; roll up and cut as for cinnamon rolls. Repeat with 2nd batch. Put in greased muffin tins, or 8×8, or 9×13 pans.

– Let rise about 3-4 hours, (or roll them out on Christmas Eve, place them in the trunk of your car in the garage to rise overnight. Bake as soon as you wake up so the aroma joins you and your gifts). Bake @ 400* for 10-12 minutes.

– When hot, spread with frosting/glaze.

Total time: 8+ hours
Yield: about 50 rolls

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