Breakfast, Sweet

Saturday Morning: Orange glazed pecan cinnamon rolls

A few weeks ago when I doing some recipe research on Pinterest, I stumbled across this recipe for a giant cinnamon roll baked in a cast iron skillet. I couldn’t pass up what looked like such a fun and visually striking recipe, so I saved the post for a future weekend project! However, when I revisited the recipe yesterday evening, I noticed some room for improvement and realized that this massive cinnamon roll was going to be a lot of work. I had my heart set on a cinnamon roll, but I needed to make some changes. I scoured the internet for more cinnamon roll ideas. With the added inspiration and some creativity, I ended up with this decadent recipe for orange glazed pecan cinnamon rolls. Aside from baking the rolls in a cast iron skillet, they are almost completely different from the inspiration recipe.

The first change I made was to not make my dough from scratch. Homemade dough is great. Homemade dough also adds at least an extra hour of prep time, so I opted to use fresh pizza dough. Using pre-made dough saves a lot of time and a few dirty dishes. Fresh pizza dough is readily available at grocery stores like Whole Foods. I used this recipe from PureWow as a reference. There is no sugar in pizza dough, unlike the homemade dough recipes. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. These rolls are still a total sugar bomb without sweetened dough.

Speaking of sugar, I also mixed up the sugar by using both white and brown sugars. I had an abundance of pecans on hand leftover from the bourbon bundt cake, so I added those to the filling for more flavor and a bit of crunch. Last, but not least, I knew my cinnamon rolls would feel incomplete without a citrusy orange glaze. When I think about cinnamon rolls, the classic Pillsbury orange rolls are what comes to mind. I really wanted the rolls to have that flavor, so I sacrificed two of my satsuma mandarins for the glaze to my pecan cinnamon rolls.

The end product is a pan full of glorious breakfast perfection. The orange glaze is totally on point with the Pillsbury roll flavour. The toasted pecans, as always, make everything taste better. Deciding not to make one giant roll might not make for the most dramatic visual presentation. However, individual rolls are definitely more practical and just as good. It’s easier to share individual rolls than cutting up one giant roll like a cake. Loaded with butter and sugar, these rolls are definitely a special occasion type of breakfast. If calories weren’t a thing, I’d be happy to have them for breakfast weekly. It might be too late to make these pecan cinnamon rolls as a Valentine’s Day breakfast, but Easter is soonish!

Orange Glazed Pecan Cinnamon Rolls


  • Cinnamon Roll
  • Fresh store-bought pizza dough, about 22 ounces
  • 1 Stick of butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Cup Pecan halves, finely chopped and toasted
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tbsp. Water
  • Orange Glaze
  • 1 Cup Powdered (confectioners') sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Orange juice
  • 2 tsp. Orange zest


  • Preheat oven to 375F and lightly grease a 10-12 inch cast iron skillet. A similarly sized baking dish will also work.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the pizza dough into a rectangle. Add flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin or surface. The dough should be about 1/2 inch thick and the short end of the rectangle should be about 12 inches long.
  • In a medium bowl, melt the butter.
  • Once the butter is melted, add both sugars, cinnamon, flour, and vanilla extract and whisk until well blended.
  • Spoon the cinnamon and sugar filling evenly across the surface of the dough.
  • Sprinkle the toasted pecans over the top of the filling.
  • Starting at the short end of the dough, roll the dough into a tight spiral.
  • Cut the dough with a serrated knife into 1 1/2 inch sections to make 8 rolls.
  • Place the rolls into the pan. Make sure the rolls are evenly place and not touching to allow room to grow when baking.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the water and egg.
  • Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the surface of each roll with the egg wash. This will give the rolls a nice golden color after baking.
  • Place the pan in the middle of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. They should be lightly browned on top with bubbling filling.
  • Set the pan aside to cool for about 15 minutes and start preparing the glaze.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest until smooth.
  • Once the rolls have finished cooling, drizzle the orange glaze over the rolls with a spoon. Wait a bit between each coating of the glaze to let it soak into the rolls.
  • Serve immediately with coffee!

One Comments

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    February 12, 2017

    The pizza dough substitute is a great idea.

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