June 4, 2012

Citrus Cream Cheese Pull Apart Rolls

My husband has loved orange rolls ever since I first met him. But, he rarely has them because I've just never really been a fan.  Every once in a while, when I have a coupon or there is a good sale going on, I'll pick up a can of the refrigerated kind in the can.

And, to think of it - maybe that's why I never cared for them.  I'm not a huge fan of pre-made stuff like that, so it's really not a surprise.  When this month's Secret Recipe Club assignment of Barbara Bakes came along, my husband was glancing at the screen as I was scrolling past her citrus rolls and spoke up - I want those!!  

They were quite convenient for me to make too - I was able to whip them up right after he pointed them out because I already had the ingredients on hand. I have a stockpile of Rhode's frozen dinner roll dough from a double coupon event at Harris Teeter (I got them for free - woohoo!) & I have been looking for new ways to use them up.  I adapted it a little bit to fit our tastes & what I had on hand as well.  Not having to run out to the grocery store is always a plus! Like instead of low-fat cream cheese, I used the full-fat I already have on hand.  Plus, I just like the taste of full fat better.  I know, I'm bad.  In addition, I opted to skip the dried fruit on the top. 

I wasn't even going to try one, and made these entirely for my husband & children to gobble up.  But, with all the compliments I was hearing - I had to try one.  Surely they couldn't be that great.  Oh dear - they were!

These orange rolls are oh-so-good.  Plus, they are quite simple & cost efficient to prepare.  This recipe makes 2 cake pans (or small casserole dishes - or heck, one large pan) full, and they reheat beautifully too!  

Citrus Cream Cheese Pull Apart Rolls
(makes 36 small rolls)
adapted from Barbara Bakes

  • 18 frozen dinner rolls dough - such as Rhodes
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • the juice & zest from one medium orange
  • the juice & zest from one med-large lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar


Thaw dough at room temperature for 45 mins to 1 hour.  Cut rolls in half.  Place all the halves, cut side down, in the bottom of each of 2 9-inch cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray or Baker's Secret.  Brush the melted butter evenly over the rolls, cover, & let rise for 30 minutes in a draft-free area.

Meanwhile, combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar, cream cheese, orange juice, & egg in a bowl; beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Pour the cream cheese mixture over the rolls.  Combine 3/4 cup of granulated sugar & the orange & lemon zest in a bowl.  Muddle with a fork until the sugar takes on the color of the zest.  Sprinkle evenly over the rolls.  Cover, and let rise until doubled in size - between 1-2 hours, depending on the temperature & humidity in your kitchen.  

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Remove; cover with foil, and return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes, or until center of rolls is done.  Remove from the oven, and let cool for 15 minutes.  Combine the lemon juice & powdered sugar with a whisk, and drizzle evenly over the citrus rolls.

Overnight Method-

After pouring the cream cheese mixture over rolls, cover & refrigerate for up to 12 hours.  Gently remove the wrap & sprinkle with the sugar/zest mixture.  Let stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours, or until dough has doubled in size. Proceed with recipe as directed.


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