Orange Cinnamon Sticky Buns with a Pecan Citrus Glaze

It finally happened.

I finally found myself with enough time and just the inspiration to make cinnamon rolls from scratch. Now, as far as breakfast pastries go, cinnamon rolls aren’t the most difficult thing to whip up ingredient wise but they do require a lot of time. However, these orange cinnamon sticky buns were worth all 6 hours I spent whipping them together.

Orange Cinnamon Sticky Buns Recipe

Orange Cinnamon Sticky Buns Recipe Orange Cinnamon Sticky Buns Recipe

Orange Cinnamon Sticky Buns Recipe

I’m not sure I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like a cinnamon roll. They are the most crowd-pleasing breakfast item I can think of. Everyone loves the sticky, savory sweetness of a fresh cinnamon roll from the oven and you become everyone’s favorite once you offer to pour blood, sweat and tears into breakfast of this magnitude.

Okay, so that’s a gross over exaggeration of the labor that goes into this… this recipe is a bunch of hurry up and wait. 

Orange Cinnamon Sticky Buns Recipe Orange Cinnamon Sticky Buns Recipe Orange Cinnamon Sticky Buns Recipe Orange Cinnamon Sticky Buns Recipe Orange Cinnamon Sticky Buns Recipe Orange Cinnamon Sticky Buns Recipe

But in the end, you get amazingly dense, flaky, warm, spongy, moist, sweet, sticky buns that get devoured as tears of happiness are shed by both those enjoying and those who have created them because your concoction has finally come to fruition. 

This is an amateur’s attempt at cinnamon rolls and they turned out every bit as lovely as you would expect. I recommend you make them the night before, let them rise for 30 minutes before popping them in the oven. You’ll save yourself the stomach pains of having to wait for 6 hours while the yeast works its magic on the dough. The orange in these make this a perfect holiday breakfast meal and fills the house with that delicious Holiday aroma of fresh citrus and cinnamon. 

Oranged Cinnamon Sticky Buns with a Citrus Pecan Glaze
Prep Time
4 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
4 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 4
For the dough
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar divided
  • all-purpose flour plus additional for rolling
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
For the Filling
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
For the glaze
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
For the dough
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the milk and heat so it’s warm but not simmering then add 2 tablespoons of yeast and 2 tablespoons of the sugar, whisking to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and salt to a bowl (if you have a stand mixer make sure you are using the dough hook). Add the milk mixture and the egg and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the melted butter and orange extract and continue to mix until a dough ball forms.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. If the dough is still sticky, sprinkle it lightly with additional flour.
  4. Lightly grease a large bowl and add the dough to the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm place (on the counter away from a window). Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1½ to 2 hours. Punch down the dough then refrigerate for at least an hour and up to overnight.
  5. When the dough is chilled, put it onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a 16-inch x10-inch rectangle that is about ¼-inch thick.
For the Filling
  1. In a small bowl stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and orange zest. In another small bowl stir together the butter and the orange juice.
  2. Brush the surface of the dough with half of the butter mixture and sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture in an even layer, patting the sugar mixture down to ensure it sticks. Evenly spread the pecans over the top then drizzle with the remaining butter.
  3. Starting with the end closest to you of the long side of the dough, roll the dough up into a tight coil. Cut the log into 9 even slices, about 1¾-inch thick. Lightly spray a 12-inch cast iron pan with vegetable spray and arrange the dough coils in the pan. At this point the rolls can be covered and refrigerated overnight.
  4. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until the dough has risen again, about 1 hour (it may take longer if the dough was refrigerated overnight).
  5. Preheat oven to 375º. Bake until the rolls are golden brown and fluffy, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.
For the glaze
  1. In a small bowl whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, orange juice, and orange zest until an icing forms. Drizzle over the top of the sticky buns and top with pecans. Serve warm.
Truly a masterpiece of breakfast pastries, I highly recommend you put this on your “bucket list” to make this year. 

Author: Cynthia

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