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.
You’ll love these other sweet breakfast recipes:
- White Chocolate and Raspberry Pancakes
- Beet Smoothie Bowl
- Easy Apple Cream Cheese Strudel
- Large Cinnamon Rolls
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Cranberry Sweet Rolls
- Heat the whole milk in the microwave for 1 minute (scalded milk). In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a bread hook, or a large mixing bowl, place the yeast, sugar and salt, stir. Add the hot milk and allow to sit for approximately 10 minutes, or until yeast has activated, bloomed and smells fragrant.
- Stir in the eggs and then half of the the flour. Mix with the bread hook until the mixture is fully incorporated and dough drapes off of the hook. Add in the melted shortening and then the remaining flour. Continue to knead with the bread hook or hands until dough is smooth and elastic, approximately 3-5 minutes.
- Roll the dough into a ball and place into a large, well lubricated (cooking spray) 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 the dough rises, make the cranberry topping. Combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup, cranberries and the zest and juice one fresh orange. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and cranberries start to pop. Remove the heat.
- In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- Spray a 9×13 rectangular baking dish or two 9-inch circular pie plates with cooking spray. Pour the cranberry topping into the bottom, tipping around until the bottom is fully covered.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle, approximately 14×22 inches. Baste the dough with melted butter and sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture.
- Roll the 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 the oven to 375°F. 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. Place a serving platter that is at least 1-2 inches larger than your pan over the top. Using oven mitts, carefully and promptly turnover. If any of the topping sticks to the bottom of the dish, use a spatula to put it back on the rolls.
- Enjoy your cinnamon rolls!
- If you have tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings!