orange rolls for thanksgiving: 3 versions of the classic recipe

Gosh I love holiday cooking and holiday eating!  A first this year, we’re practicing Thanksgiving.  After all, why do we only have to eat Thanksgiving goodness once a year?  So today, the kiddos helped me alter Mom’s Orange Roll recipe creating a whole wheat & honey version.

I called her this morning to verify a few measurements and told her we were practicing today.  When I asked about rising times, she surprisingly exclaimed, you’re not going to refrigerate the rolls over night?  No, I responded, because we want to eat them today. 🙂

You see, my Mom is a recipe follower and bless her soul we had many good meals thanks to her exactness and honor for the recipe goddess.  But seriously, sometimes the rules need to be broken right?  🙂

As we began altering the ingredients, Annie and Carla arrived to visit and shared with us a fabulous thought on President Uchtdorf’s talk, Of Things that Matter Most.  {on a little side note, I’m so grateful for inspired friends…I was thinking this past week that I needed to reread that talk and here was another reminder}.

Strength comes not from frantic activity but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light…It comes from paying attention to the divine things that matter most.

Let us simplify our lives a little. Let us make the changes necessary to refocus our lives on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship—the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace.

After they left, and the kiddos had raced off for the moment to “climb a mountain” {We read Listen to the Wind this morning during preschool…you know: in gratitude for friendship, learning, etc.}, I finished prepping the rolls and thought about that first Thanksgiving Dinner.

A celebration of journey and safe arrival.  That we eat and gather with those we love most each year in gratitude for courage, for religion, for freedom, and for friendship.  I twisted and turned each roll, thinking about President Monson’s reminder in Finding Joy the Journey.

Thanksgiving can be so busy.  Frenzies of cooking, cleaning, preparing and, yes, let’s admit it, stress, oh…and more cleaning. 🙂

But this next week, this Thanksgiving, I want to find joy in the journey.  To take the time to share this special tradition of orange roll making with the kiddos.  To talk more with them about traditions, celebrations, and why we do them.

I’m wondering if the best way to celebrate that wondrous journey so long ago is to truly find joy in our own journey, and to recommit to focusing on those things that really matter most.

A merriest of Thanksgiving and Life Journeys to us all, may you find yourselves surrounded by those that you love and may your journey, though turbulent at times, find safety, peace and joy!  xoxo ~ katrina

Orange Rolls 3 ways:

{I asked mom where she got it, and she said, her bff Susan Sessions, who she thinks found it in the Lion House Cookbook.  Yes, you could simply buy a box from most Utah grocery establishments, but if you want some real and true rolls, here are a few versions to try out…}

Orange Rolls (Mom’s recipe)

2 pkg yeast {4 1/2 tsp}
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 well beaten eggs
4 1/2 cups flour

Orange Butter
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 grated orange rind

  1. First dissolve yeast in warm water.  Then mix all ingredients (except orange butter) until smooth.  Let rise one hour.
  2. Refrigerate covered, over night.
  3. In the morning or a couple hours before the dinner, divide dough into thirds.  Roll out dough and paint on orange butter.  Cut dough into strips.
  4. Fold and roll and twist strips of dough and place on a greased cookie sheet or muffin tin.  {My mom also paints a little extra orange butter on the top after we form them…she usually makes another batch of orange butter to do this}
  5. Let rise one hour.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 4-6 minutes {my mom always does 6 min. in So. California}

makes about 4 dozen rolls

our whole wheat & honey version
{I halved it for our practice version}

2  1/4 tsp yeast
3/4 cups warm water
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tbs raw honey
3/4 tsp salt
2 well beaten eggs
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

Orange Butter
2 1/2 tbs melted butter
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 grated orange rind

  1. Mix all ingredients (except orange butter) until smooth.
  2. Roll out dough onto a greased cookie sheet.  {I greased the sheets and muffin tins with coconut oil}.  Paint on orange butter and cut dough into strips or any other shape you desire.
  3. Fold and roll and twist strips of dough and place on a greased cookie sheet or muffin tin.  {paint more orange butter on top of your creations…you may need another batch of orange butter}
  4. Cover and let rise one hour at room temperature.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 4-6 minutes {6 minutes was perfect for us in the Wasatch Mountains}

Our practice recipe made 2 dozen delicious and I mean, amazing orange rolls.

Gluten-Free Orange Rolls:

Follow the above recipes using a gluten-free mix for your flour.

Here’s one of my favorites:

3 c brown rice flour
1 1/2 c sweet rice flour
1 1/3 c tapioca starch
2/3 c cornstarch
1/2 c navy bean flour (i used garbanzo bean)
1/2 c almond flour (meal)
1/2 c sorghum flour
1/2 c potato starch (not flour)

(the mix makes 8 1/2 cups of gluten free flours, Simply take what you need and save the rest for another baking adventure)

They probably won’t rise, so I don’t think you need to worry about that.  Roll them out, make some fun shapes and bake them.  Let me know what you think!

2 thoughts on “orange rolls for thanksgiving: 3 versions of the classic recipe

  1. Oh, wow. These look amazing and perfect for thanksgiving morning. I love both those talks you recited and think I will go home and read them again today. You gave me a great idea for our Family Home Evening lesson this weekend. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Hi Pattyann, how are you? Thanks for your comments as always, wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving! Much luv, katrina

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