Blood Orange Sticky Rolls

February 23, 2022
Created by Guest Chef
3 hours
Serves 12
  • For the dough:
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (approximately)
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 eggs plus one egg yolk
  • 1 cup whole milk, warm but not hot
  • 6 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp blood orange zest (zest of about 1 blood orange)
  • For the orange caramel:
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp blood orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 3 blood oranges, for slicing
  • For the filling:
  • 6 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp blood orange zest (zest of about 1 blood orange)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add brown sugar, salt, 3 1/2 cups of flour, and yeast. Stir to combine. Add eggs and egg yolk, milk, butter, vanilla, and orange zest. Turn mixer on low, mixing until a wet and shaggy mixture forms. Slowly add remaining 1/2 cup of flour, a few tablespoons at a time, mixing on low to low-medium speed until a dough is formed. It should be quite tacky and soft, but if it is very wet, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. Increase speed to medium to medium high and mix for 5-6 minutes to knead, until dough is smooth and elastic. 

Remove dough from mixer and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free spot. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 

Once dough is nearly doubled, line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment and spray sides with non-stick cooking spray. Make the orange caramel sauce by adding butter, brown sugar, blood orange juice, honey, and salt to a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring intermittently, until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Allow mixture to cook an additional 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened and syrupy.

Pour orange caramel sauce into prepared baking pan. Cut orange peels off of the three blood oranges, then slice each orange into four even round slices. Arrange slices (12 total) evenly spaced in the bottom of the baking dish and set aside while you form the dough. 

Punch dough down. Dump dough onto a well-floured surface. Roll dough into a large, thin rectangle at least 12″ by 18″, and about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Spread softened butter evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving about ¼ inch border around the edges. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the buttered dough, then top with orange zest evenly. Roll dough tightly lengthwise into a long log. Cut log into 12 thick, even pieces (about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick or so). Arrange rolls in prepared baking dish with orange caramel, placing one roll on top of each orange slice, pushing down to flatten rolls slightly. 

Cover loaf pans with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free spot. Allow to rise until nearly doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes.

When dough is nearly ready, preheat oven to 350°. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until dough is cooked through and golden on top. Remove from oven. Let pan rest for about 5-10 minutes until cooled slightly, but still hot. Carefully invert onto large baking dish or serving tray. Allow rolls to cool slightly slightly, then serve warm.

Recipe courtesy of Melissa Wright at