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David's citrus cinnamon rolls recipe

David's citrus cinnamon rolls recipe

5 ratings

David Atherton's tangy twist on cinnamon rolls, with orange zest and marmalade is a real treat for the tastebuds! The lemony, vanilla cream cheese topping transforms it into a summer showstopper, perfect for your Pride parties or summer gatherings. See method

  • Serves 10
  • 30 mins, plus 1½ hr proving and cooling
  • 429 calories / serving
  • Vegetarian


  • 420g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
  • 100ml milk​
  • 1 egg
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 30g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp marmalade

For the filling

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the topping

  • 80g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 lemon, zested 
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 160g icing sugar
  • 100g full-fat soft cheese
If you haven't got any white bread, try using brown instead

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    18g 26%
  • Saturates

    11g 54%
  • Sugars

    26g 29%
  • Salt

    0.7g 11%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 58g Protein 7.4g Fibre 2g


  1. Mix together the flour, salt and yeast. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, orange zest, sugar, the orange and vanilla extracts, and the 30g butter with 100ml water. Pour into the flour bowl.
  2. Roughly mix to form a shaggy dough, then set aside for 5 mins. Knead for 10 mins on a lightly oiled surface (the dough will be sticky, but do not add any extra flour). Return to the bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hr or until doubled in size.
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the butter, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan; gently heat until the butter has melted. Beat until smooth and set aside.
  4. Line a 23cm round loose-bottomed tin with nonstick baking paper and set aside.
  5. On a floured surface, roll out the dough in a rectangle about 30 x 40cm. Spread over the filling mix, then roll into a long sausage. Slice into 10 equal rolls: use a sharp knife and don’t press down.
  6. Place the rolls cut-side-up in the lined tin, cover with clingfilm and set aside to rise for 30 mins or until almost doubled in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C and bake the rolls for 15 mins.
  8. While still warm, brush with the marmalade, then set aside to cool.
  9. For the topping, beat together the butter, vanilla and icing sugar until smooth. Add the soft cheese and beat until thick and creamy. Pipe or dollop the topping onto each bun in swirls; scatter the lemon zest over. These are best eaten on the same day, or they’ll keep for 1 day in an airtight container.

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