Blood Orange Cinnamon Rolls

Ooey, gooey homemade cinnamon rolls drizzled with blood orange icing. These Blood Orange Cinnamon Rolls are where comfort food and warmer weather collide!

Blood Orange Cinnamon Rolls |

It all started last week when my good friend Annalise who writes the awesome baking blog, Completely Delicious posted a recipe for Lemon Cinnamon Rolls. Little did she know I’d had a mad hankering to try my hand at cinnamon rolls for months now. It’s rare that a recipe really jumps at me like these cinnamon rolls did but it’s the lemon that did me over! It just so happened to be a day that I had little going on and I also had all the ingredients on hand. So within an hour of me seeing Annalise’s post, my first attempt at cinnamon rolls were underway. It’s what I like to think of as a perfect (dessert) storm!

Blood Orange Cinnamon Rolls |

I’m not sure why I’ve never made cinnamon rolls before. If I’m being completely truthful, I’m always a little scared to try recipes involving yeast. For whatever reason, they intimidate the hell out of me. But now that I’m a cinnamon roll pro (whatever, one time makes me a pro doesn’t it?), this was a fairly simple recipe to follow. Lengthy, yes, but easy none the less. It’s the kind of recipe that you do a handful of things in-between. Like I folded a load of laundry while my milk cooled off. Then I watched part of a Parenthood while the dough rose. Then I picked up the kiddos from school while they rose the second time. And then I finished Parenthood while they baked. See? A productive afternoon tackling household tasks AND making cinnamon rolls. Sheesh, I should make them more often……

Blood Orange Cinnamon Rolls |

But I can’t make them more often. No sir. Do you know why? BECAUSE I COULDN’T STOP INHALING THEM. And while inhale is a pretty graphic description of how I ate these, it’s the truth. As soon as them came out of the oven and I snapped a few photos on my iPhone, my oldest son and I inhaled two on the stop as we worked on his homework. Never mind that we totally ruined our dinner. Who can resist a perfectly warm, soft centered, citrus filled cinnamon roll? Not this girl. The best part is that when I texted Annalise to show her that I’d made her recipe, she immediately texted me back a picture of one of my recipes that was just about to go in the oven. So fun that without each other knowing, we’re making each others recipes for dinner! Because, yes, cinnamon rolls are indeed what we had for dinner that night.

Blood Orange Cinnamon Rolls |

So here’s the deal. I actually only had 1/2 a lemon on hand (grrrr….) and not wanting to run out the store, I substituted blood orange zest and juice for the lemon. Otherwise I followed her recipe to a T.

Winner, winner chicken cinnamon roll dinner. Make these, trust me.


Blood Orange Cinnamon Rolls

  • Yield: 12 rolls 1x


For the dough:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 33 1/2 all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoon) active-dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs

For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup light or dark packed brown sugar
  • Zest of blood oranges
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 24 tablespoons fresh blood orange juice
  • Zest of 1 blood orange


  1. For the full set of instructions, visit Annalise’s site HERE.


I followed Annalise’s recipe only substituting the blood orange for lemon. I did however make a few time adjustments for high altitude. After warming my milk/honey, it took almost a full 30 minutes for the temperature to come down. Dough has a tendency to rise quickly at higher altitude so keep an eye on your rolls!