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Drizzled Cinnamon Rolls

Easy Overnight Citrus Scented Sweet Rolls

Last year we made homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast, but this year we wanted to add a new twist. These citrus scented sweet rolls are flavored with freshly squeezed orange juice and zest, and are drizzled with an orange glaze.

Cinnamon Roll Closeup

This year we are celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve with my parents, before they fly overseas to meet up with my brothers. Although the whole family won’t be together, we will be thinking of everyone while eating these rolls!

I love this recipe because you can make the rolls the day before, store in the fridge overnight, then pop in the oven once you wake up in the morning. No need to wake up early to watch the dough rise.

Dough Rising

For the filling, you’re supposed to spread the butter and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. I tried mixing the butter and sugar together first, then spreading – which turned out to be much more difficult.

Spread Filling

Then roll the sweet roll dough into a tight roll, starting at the shorter end.

Roll into a Log

Divide the dough into thirds with a serrated knife or dental floss. Then divide each third into thirds, for a total of 9 rolls.

Cutting Rolls

When you’re ready to place the rolls into the pan, take the end of the dough in each spiral and wrap underneath. This will help the rolls stay closely spiraled as they rise and then bake.


Place rolls into a 9×9 glass pan. Then tightly cover and store in fridge overnight.

Rolls In Pan

In the morning, all you have to do is place the pan into a cold oven. Then turn on the oven to 400 degrees. Once the oven reaches 400 degrees, set the timer for 15-20 minutes. The rolls are done when the tops are golden brown.

Baked to Golden Brown

Then serve drizzled with an orange glaze.

Cinnamon Rolls

Drizzled Cinnamon Rolls


4 t. active dry yeast (1 package = 2 1/4 t.)

2/3 cup warm milk (105-115 degrees)

1 t. sugar

1 medium orange (will use juice and zest)

4 T. melted butter

2 T. sugar

1 egg

1/2 t. salt

2 cups 2 T. flour


4 T. softened butter

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 t. cinnamon


1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 medium orange (will use 3 T. orange juice and zest)

1 t. vanilla extract



Warm milk (we just microwave for 10-20 seconds). Whisk yeast and 1 t. sugar in warm milk, then let sit for 10-15 minutes or until bubbly.


Zest half of an orange and set aside. Note: you may want to chop the orange zest if the strands are really long. Slice the orange in half and squeeze juice into glass measuring cup. Remove any seeds. You’ll want 1/3 cup fresh orange juice, which we were able to get from just one orange. Warm orange juice in microwave for around 20 seconds, then pour into large mixing bowl.


Mix orange juice with melted butter, fresh orange zest, 2 T. sugar, and 1 egg. Stir in yeast mixture.


Mix flour and salt in a small bowl.


Add flour mixture to liquid ingredients 1/3 at a time, mixing well with a spoon until flour is fully incorporated.


Knead dough on well-floured surface until dough isn’t sticking, and springs back when poked with a finger. (About 10-15 folds) Grease a large bowl and place the dough ball into the bowl. Let rise in a warm location for around 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.


Grease and line the bottom of a 9×9 glass pan with parchment paper.


Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to make around a 10×15 inch rectangle.


Spread softened butter onto to dough with a butter knife. Then mix together cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle on top. (Ignore my pictures where I accidentally combined the butter with the cinnamon sugar and then tried spreading it…)


Starting at the shorter end, tightly roll the dough rectangle into a log. Using a serrated knife or dental floss, cut the roll into equal thirds. I like to lightly score the top of the dough first to make sure it’s even. Then divide each third into thirds, for a total of 9 rolls.


Take each roll and tuck the end of the dough underneath as you place into the greased 9×9 pan. Tightly cover with plastic wrap and store in fridge overnight.


Remove plastic wrap from rolls. Place pan into cold oven. Then turn oven on to 400 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden and the center is cooked through.


While the buns are in oven, mix together all of the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. (If it is too thick, add more orange juice. If it’s too watery, add more sugar.) Then drizzle over the rolls before serving.


    • Joy Walker
    • December 25, 2018

    SO GLAD you posted!!! Yum, can’t wait to make these 🙂

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