Have you seen my award winning Old Fashioned Butterscotch Pecan Rolls yet? Well cranberry sweet rolls are their cousin.
Cranberry sweet rolls are perfect for any holiday breakfast or even dessert. Orange cranberry bread in sweet roll form is an award winning recipe!
Funny thing about these sweet rolls, they have a long history in my family dating all the way back to my mother’s childhood in Nebraska. For ages, my mother’s side of the family indulged in the buttery, airy crumb created by allowing yeast to rise twice, long kneading and upside down baking on a bed of sticky goodness.
This was the type of breakfast that my great Aunt Beverly got up at 4 o’clock in the morning to bake and serve to hard working farm hands. A “normal” breakfast, laden with calories and a sugar high to get them through until lunch.
These days my sweet rolls are for special occasions only, like Christmas morning, birthdays and Saturdays (I consider Saturdays to be special occasions).
For Christmas time I swap the traditional brown sugar base for a festive and aromatic cranberry-orange sauce for cranberry sweet rolls!
For me, cranberries are the ultimate holiday food, whether a main dish or an accoutrement, the beautiful deep red color will steal the show on any table, holidays or not.
Orange zest will fill your home with scents of the holidays without having to purchase an overpriced candle. They really are the perfect holiday specialty, whether for breakfast, dessert or a snack.
If you like my Cranberry Sweet Rolls, you’ll love these other sweet breakfast recipes:
- 3 teaspoons active yeast or 1 packet
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs well beaten
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup melted shortening not oil
- Cooking Spray
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 12- ounces fresh cranberries
- 1 orange zested and juiced
Heat whole milk in the microwave for 1 minute. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a bread hook, or a large mixing bowl, place yeast, sugar and salt, stir. Add hot milk and allow to sit for approximately 10 minutes, or until yeast has activated, bloomed and smells fragrant.
Stir in well beaten eggs and then half of the the flour. Mix with the bread hook until mixture is fully incorporated and dough drapes off of the hook. You can also use a large wooden mixing spoon. Stir in melted shortening and then remaining flour. Continue to knead with the bread hook or hands until dough is smooth and elastic, approximately 3-5 minutes.
Roll dough into a ball and place into a large, well lubricated mixing bowl. Turn once to cover all exterior with cooking spray. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes. Dough will double in size.
While dough rises, make the cranberry topping. Place all cranberry-orange topping ingredients into a medium sauce pan. Melt over low heat, sitting occasionally. It is very important that the mixture does not reach a boil, or even a simmer. Stir until sugar is dissolved and fully incorporated. Spray a 9×13 rectangular baking dish or two 9-inch circular pie plates with cooking spray. Cover bottom(s) of baking dishes with cranberry-orange topping, set the rest aside.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle, approximately 14×22 inches. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl. Brush melted butter over dough and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Roll dough tightly from the short end. Using a sharp knife, cut into 12 equal slices. Place slices directly on thin layer of cranberry-orange topping (either all 12 in the 9×13 or 6 and 6 in pie plates). Cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. If the tops start to brown, loosely lay a piece of aluminum foil over top.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Now is the tricky part, you have to flip this bad boy onto a large platter. Choose a serving dish that is larger than your cookware. Be careful not to burn yourself. Serve immediately and enjoy your Cranberry-Orange Sticky Buns.
If you have tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!
Note: If you get the topping on your counter tops, floor, etc, allow to cool and you should be able to easily peel it off. Not that I know from experience or anything….