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Breakfast, Sourdough

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Glaze

Alright now that you have a sourdough starter, what next? Sure, you can make bread over and over, but quite honestly, sourdough bread doesn’t call for a ton of starter. Once you have a fed starter you’ll probably want a way to use up the discard before putting it back in the fridge for another week, so here’s a recipe that uses up a lot of it. Oh, and uh, these sourdough cinnamon rolls are the absolute bomb.

spreading orange glaze on sourdough cinnamon rolls
sourdough cinnamon rolls with orange glaze

Now, the only experience I had with cinnamon rolls before this was popping open a can of Pillsbury rolls and putting them in a pie dish. I truly never thought that making cinnamon rolls could ever be easier than that, which yeah, it’s kind of true. But when I made sourdough cinnamon rolls for the first time, I was shook. How could they actually be that easy?

As you can see, for this recipe I used an orange glaze instead of a simple vanilla glaze. Why? Well, it reminds me of these orange cinnamon rolls I usually have with my in-laws when we’re visiting with them.


Making orange glaze is really easy! But if you prefer vanilla glaze, simply substitute the orange juice with milk and add 1/2 tsp of vanilla in the mix.

sourdough cinnamon rolls pre bake
sourdough cinnamon rolls post bake

Don’t have sourdough starter? Here’s how to still make them!

No problem! Instead of using the starter, grab 1 packet of Instant Yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp) and follow these instructions! Unlike the sourdough version, you can do this recipe all the morning of, so need to prep the night before! When you wake up in the morning, here’s what you do.

  1. Mix the warmed milk with the packet of Instant Yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Leave it for five minutes while the yeast blooms.
  2. Mix in the other tablespoon of sugar, the egg, and the 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
  3. Sprinkle in flour. Knead with a dough hook for 5 minutes, or using your hands on a clean floured surface.
  4. Cover and let it rise for 1 hour. Then proceed with the recipe as normal!

Don’t forget a little brunch cocktail to pair! This heavenly lemonade is the perfect for brunch.

orange glaze on warm sourdough cinnamon rolls
pulling apart sourdough cinnamon rolls with glaze
digging into cinnamon rolls

Don’t want to bake all the rolls? Freeze them for later!

This recipe should make about 12 rolls, but honestly, I find a round 9″ dish holds 8 rolls perfectly. So I’ll save the rest to bake for another time!


Here’s what to do:

  • After cutting up the rolls, place on a piece of parchment paper on some kind of pan (either another round pan or a sheet pan) and freeze the rolls. Make sure the rolls are spread apart and not touching so they don’t freeze together.
  • Once frozen (takes about 3 hours) move them (on the parchment paper) to a large freeze bag that can seal.
  • Freeze up to one month!
  • When you’re ready to use, remove the rolls from the bag and line a round pan or a small casserole dish with parchment paper. Place the frozen rolls in it, then place the dish in the fridge.
  • Let the rolls defrost in the fridge overnight (at least 12 hours).
  • The morning of, remove the rolls from the fridge and let them warm up on the counter for 1 hour. Take this time to preheat your oven.
  • Bake as normal!
freezing cinnamon rolls for later

Other sourdough discard recipes:

If you have a sourdough starter and want to use up your discard (aka, the starter that usually goes in the trash when you feed the starter), you could also make these recipes!

What other sourdough discard recipes do you want me to make? Share below!

spreading orange glaze on sourdough cinnamon rolls
Print Recipe
3 from 1 vote

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Glaze

Use up your sourdough discard and prep some cinnamon rolls for the morning!
Course: Breakfast
Keyword: cinnamon rolls, sourdough bread, sourdough cinnamon rolls, sourdough starter
Servings: 12 rolls

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 Tbsp salted butter, melted plus some for coating
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp orange juice

Instructions

For prep the night before:

  • Warm the milk in a microwave for 15 seconds, or until it is lukewarm. The easiest way to test if it's lukewarm is to dip a clean pinky into the milk.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of melted butter to the milk and whisk together. Let it cool slightly while you get the other ingredients ready.
  • Add your egg, starter, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar to a stand mixer. Mix together with the flat beater, then slowly add in your milk mixture. If you don't have a stand mixer, mix with a spatula in a large bowl.
  • Sprinkle in the flour, and mix. Once the flour is mixed in, remove the flat beater and cover the dough with a kitchen towel. Let it rise for 30 minutes.
  • Using the dough hook, knead the dough for 5 minutes on setting #2. Without the stand mixer, knead the dough on a clean floured surface for 5 minutes.
  • Coat a large bowl with extra butter. Move the dough to the bowl with a spatula, then cover and let it rise again for another 30 minutes.
  • Fold the sides of the dough with the spatula to the center—should fully go around the bowl once. Cover and leave the dough to rise overnight on the counter.

For the morning:

  • Flour a clean surface and roll the dough out with a rolling pin—or if you don't have one, an empty wine bottle that has been floured! You'll want to roll it into a long rectangle.
  • Melt the other 2 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush or a small spoon, spread the butter on the top surface of the dough.
  • Mix the other 4 tablespoons of sugar with 2 tablespoons of cinnamon in a bowl. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly on top of the buttered dough.
  • Roll the dough from the long side of the rectangle to the other (not the short side—this will create fat rolls).
  • Using a serrated knife or a bench scraper, cut the dough into 12 rolls. To make them even, score the top of the dough before cutting. You can score the halfway mark, then the quarter marks, then cut each quarter into 3 rolls. Voila! 12 evenly cut rolls.
  • Place a sheet of parchment paper inside a round cake pan, a pie dish, or a small casserole dish.
  • Add the rolls to the dish lined with parchment paper. You may not have enough room for all 12, so you may want to bake 2 pans, or freeze some pre-baked rolls for another day! Freezer instructions are above.
  • Cover the rolls with a towel and leave them to rise for 1 hour. At the 45 minute mark, start preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place the rolls in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Let the rolls cool slightly while you whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice to make the glaze.
  • Pour the glaze on top of the rolls and spread using a small knife. Then devour!

Notes

Don’t have a sourdough starter? No problem! Instead of using the starter, grab 1 packet of Instant Yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp) and follow these instructions!
FYI, you can do this recipe all the morning of—no prep the night before!
  1. Mix the warmed milk with the packet of Instant Yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Leave it for five minutes while the yeast blooms.
  2. Mix in the other tablespoon of sugar, the egg, and the 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
  3. Sprinkle in flour. Knead with a dough hook for 5 minutes, or using your hands on a clean floured surface.
  4. Cover and let it rise for 1 hour. Then proceed with the recipe as normal!

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sourdough cinnamon rolls with orange glaze

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2 Comments

  • Reply Meg

    3 stars
    The step by step directions were perfect. I added some cream cheese and orange zest to the glaze to make it more a frosting like the Pillsbury orange rolls I love so much and it was wonderful. I also added some brown sugar to the cinnamon mixture as it wasn’t sweet enough for me. Would recommend dropping the bake time down a lot though, my rolls were more hard like bread then a soft “cinnabun” style I was looking for. This was the downfall after I had worked so hard for so long to make them and then they turned out very hard.

    May 17, 2020 at 10:15 am
    • Reply Kiersten

      This is good to note, thanks for your honesty Meg! I will test it out with a shorter bake time.

      May 17, 2020 at 6:49 pm

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