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Orange Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Caramel Sauce

Serves: Makes 12 to 15 rolls


  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 4½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • ½ heaping tsp baking powder
  • ½ scant tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, browned
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

  • Caramel:
  • 1 cup fine baker’s sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Zest from one orange


Heat the milk, vegetable oil, sugar and orange zest in a medium saucepan over medium heat. (Do not allow the mixture to boil.) Set aside and cool. When mixture has cooled to 100-110 degrees fahrenheit sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 2 minutes.

Add 4 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for an hour.

Remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining ½ cup of flour. Stir thoroughly to combine.

Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl.

Remove the dough from the pan. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches.

In a small bowl, combine all filling ingredients until a soft paste is formed.

Using the back a spoon, evenly spread the filling to cover the entire surface of the dough.

Beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly toward you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together. On a cutting board, using a sharp knife, make 1 ½-inch slices. 15-20 rolls.

Lightly grease dutch oven well with butter. Place the sliced rolls in the pot, being careful not to over crowd.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover rolls with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 13 to 17 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t let the rolls get overly brown.

For the caramel sauce: place sugar in a small saucepan and just cover with water to achieve a wet sand consistency. bring to a boil but do not stir. Using a wet pastry brush, clean down the sides of saucepan to remove any stray sugar crystals.

Continue to boil until the sugar turns amber. At this point, quickly remove from heat.

In a small saucepan, heat cream and orange zest to boiling point. Gradually add this to caramelised sugar, stirring constantly to achieve a smooth consistency. This may take a while but it will eventually combine. Once combined, add salt. (Timing is paramount with caramel. Both the cream and the sugar need to be really hot when they are combined.)

After the rolls are finished baking, and still warm, generously drizzle caramel over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the caramel and flavor. It goes without saying that these are best served warm, but they are equally delicious even if made a day ahead.

by The Modern Proper

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