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Cranberry Orange Sweet Roll. No yeast, no rising, no waiting! Just fluffy biscuit dough filled with cranberry sauce and flavored with fresh orange zest.

Cranberry Orange Sweet Roll

Servings 8 -10 Servings


For the spiced sugar mixture:

  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon all spice
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of ground cardamom

For the dough:

For the filling:

  • 4-6 Tablespoons jellied cranberry sauce

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest from 1/2 orange
  • freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2-4 Tablespoons toasted chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Make sugar spice mixture. In a small bowl, combine both sugars and all spices. Set aside.
  3. Zest an orange and divide zest in half. Set aside. You'll use half for the biscuit dough and half for the glaze.
  4. Juice the zested orange and set juice aside.
  5. Make one recipe of Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuit Dough, but stir the zest from 1/2 an orange into the buttermilk before adding it to the flour mixture. Once you've added the buttermilk, continue to follow directions, mixing and then folding dough over 10-13 times until it is smooth as per the instructions. This creates lots of flaky layers.
  6. Roll dough out on floured surface to about a 12 X 14" rectangle. It doesn't need to be perfect, but you want your dough to be about 1/4" thick. (I use a couple of sheets of plastic wrap that stick to my counter as my surface.)
  7. Spread the cranberry sauce in a thin layer over the dough. I used about 5 Tablespoons or so.
  8. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the cranberry sauce.
  9. Starting on a long side, roll dough up tightly but without stretching it or squeezing the filling out. (You won't be able to roll it all up at once. You'll have to work from one end to the other.)
  10. When you've finished rolling, seal the dough by pinching the end with the rolled dough creating a closed seam.
  11. If the dough has warmed up too much from being out and working with it, wrap it up in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or the freezer for 15 minutes.
  12. Remove any plastic wrap, if you've used it, and place the roll, seam side down on a large, ungreased baking sheet. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut the roll in half, lengthwise.
  13. Loosely form one of the halves into a spiral with the cut layers facing up. Take the other half and continue the spiral, pinching the end to connect it to the first spiral.
  14. Bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes or until the center appears done and not doughy. You can check a little by poking with a fork and pulling a bit of the dough aside, but gently so that you don't ruin the spiral.
  15. If you think your sweet roll is browning too quickly, cover loosely with a piece of foil after about 10-12 minutes of baking. I just place a small sheet of foil right on top and let it sit on top of the roll.
  16. While the roll is baking, make your glaze.
  17. In a small bowl, stir together the confectioner's sugar, pinch of salt, vanilla, orange zest and enough orange juice to make a nice drizzling consistency. Start with just a small spoonful of juice, you can always add more. If it gets too thin, just add more confectioner's sugar.
  18. Remove the sweet roll from the oven and let cool for 5- 10 minutes. Drizzle the glaze over the warm roll and sprinkle with toasted walnuts.
  19. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

*When you form the spiral, it can be a little looser than what my photos show. The second time I made it, I left a little bit of space and the biscuits puffed up while baking to fill it.

*Covering the roll with a piece of foil for the last minutes of baking will help it from getting too brown while giving the center of the roll a little extra time to finish baking.

*If you like lots of glaze, double the recipe for it.

*I used a cooked cranberry sauce that had a jelly consistency. This worked better for me than the kind that comes out of the can, shaped like a can. The gelled can version still worked, but the jelly consistency of the Trader Joe's version made for a juicier filling. If you use a cranberry sauce that has whole cranberries, you'll want to chop them down a bit so they fit nicely into the roll. If your cranberry sauce is very wet, let it sit in a mesh strainer to remove the excess liquid so that it is not drippy or you could cook it until the water parts evaporate. You just don't want watery. It shouldn't be a raw relish kind of cranberry sauce. It should be thick like jelly.

*Don't be tempted to make a thick layer of cranberry sauce. Too much wetness in the dough will make it harder to bake up into fluffy layers.

*I tried using cranberry sauce with no sugar/spice sprinkled on top and that also worked, but we did like it better with it.

*Not a fan of cranberry sauce? Use your favorite jam/jelly! Then make a glaze that complements it. You can make all kinds of flavor combos! I'm sure I'll be posting more flavors in the future.

*If you don't want the orange flavor to be too pervasive, you can omit the zest from the glaze. If you don't want any extra orange at all in the topping, skip the zest and substitute water for the orange juice. We liked all of the orange additions, but it can compete with the cranberry sauce. We tried it without the orange in the glaze and we liked it better with it than without.

*Store leftovers at room temperature wrapped in foil. Reheat in a toaster oven to revive it. I love it best fresh, but leftovers are still quite good once reheated.

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