Cranberry & Tangerine Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

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Guest Blog Post for Sunchowder’s Emporia

Earlier this fall, I was asked by Wendy of Sunchowder’s Emporia to guest blog and provide a holiday recipe for her readers. It was Wendy’s Tangerine Ginger Rum Jam that inspired me to tweak an old original recipe of mine–Cranberry Orange Pecan Cinnamon Rolls made with a buttery, rich biscuit dough and a filling consisting of melted butter, brown sugar, spices, pecans and plump dried cranberries. Both the dough and the glaze were accented with fresh orange zest making them quite irresistible.

The original recipe was inspired by my husband, The Big Lug. He had held a particular fondness for the popular refrigerated orange cinnamon rolls his mother purchased from the dairy case at the grocery store and baked for him as a child. As it turned out, my recipe became his new favorite as there simply is no comparison with fresh-from-the-oven homemade biscuit cinnamon rolls–especially at this caliber of richness!

Back in November 1996, I had shared the recipe with Chef Larry Forgione of American Spoon Foods in Indianapolis. At that time, because dried cranberries were not easily found in grocery stores (hard to imagine these days, eh?), the recipe featured dried cranberries by American Spoon Foods.

In this latest version, my recipe features Sunchowder Emporia’s exquisite Tangerine Ginger Rum Jam in the filling creating a citrus flavor sensation that complements the spiced filling ingredients making these cinnamon rolls ideal to serve for breakfast or brunch during the winter holidays. Everyone should try adding a little bit of pure Florida sunshine in their cinnamon rolls!

The complete article and recipe with photos are posted below.



A New Spin on No-Yeast Biscuit-Style Cinnamon Rolls:

Cranberry & Tangerine Cinnamon Rolls {Overnight-Style with Gluten Free Option}

Holiday Greetings!

My name is Stacy and I just started blogging over at and baking is my passion. Today, I will be guest posting for Wendy and sharing an original recipe of mine that I tweaked after being inspired by the Tangerine Ginger Rum Jam by Sunchowder’s Emporia. When I gave Wendy two options for a recipe (the other was a coffeecake), she selected this one especially for you…her loyal readers and true-blue fans of her artisan jams. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as my husband and I do. The fragrance in your kitchen, as these rolls bake, alone will make you swoon!

Buttery. Gooey. Rich. Fruity. Tangy. Nutty. Spicy. Distinctive. Easy. All of these words aptly describe these out-of-this-world tasty and hot-from-the-oven dreamy rolls, a new spin on traditional pecan cinnamon rolls.

Wait. Did we just say the word “easy” to describe irresistible home-baked cinnamon rolls? Yes. Yes, we did. Why easy? First, the recipe is a real time saver. It is a no-yeast recipe comprised of rich biscuit dough which saves on the prep time required with yeast dough risings for cinnamon rolls. Second, this quick bread version is prepared overnight-style so that these warm and gooey babies are freshly baked in the morning with the greatest of ease. Want to know the best part? This all means that you can enjoy your steamy cup of morning coffee with a fresh, warm sticky bun without having to get up early to do all the work. The glaze is so easy to prepare, it is a breeze. In fact, it can be made the night before as well. Stress-free holiday baking is where it is at these days. And, it just doesn’t get better than this!

With the addition of Wendy’s tangerine jam to the filling, these exceptional cinnamon rolls, which are like a cross between a biscuit and sour cream coffeecake, taste like they were kissed with pure Florida sunshine. The richness in the dough comes from using real butter, dairy sour cream instead of milk or buttermilk, and only egg yolks versus a whole egg for incomparable taste and texture. Biscuit dough has never been so moist and tender! In fact, the rolls stay moist and delicious the next day—if they even last that long at your house! The buttery-rich Orange-Vanilla Glaze? It’s the cherry on top.

For those on a gluten free diet, I am happy to report that Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour performed extremely well in this recipe. Handle the dough carefully when rolling it into a cylinder to create the cinnamon rolls. As I mention in the recipe, a dough cutter, or even a pancake turner, can help you get under the dough and turn it upward as you work to start the rolling process. If the dough tears, simply pinch it closed and continue to roll. The taste and texture was stellar in the gluten free version and I bet no one will be able to tell that the rolls were made gluten free!

This past fall, when Wendy asked me if I would be interested in sharing a holiday recipe for her blog, I knew it was meant to be as her vast array of unique and naturally flavored artisan jams truly sparked my creative interests. Literally, I ordered an entire case of her exquisite jams and fruit butters to carry me through the holiday season with my baking and recipe development. The Tangerine Ginger Rum Jam by Sunchowder’s Emporia inspired me to dust off an old recipe and update it to incorporate the holiday flavors of cranberries, tangerine, brown sugar, spices and toasted pecans in a foolproof cinnamon roll recipe to share with others.

Thank you, Wendy, for the opportunity to reach out to your readers and share one of my best recipes. I truly enjoyed the experience.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

~Stacy, Wicked Good Kitchen

Cranberry & Tangerine Pecan Cinnamon Rolls {Non-Yeast}

Yield: Makes 12 rolls.

Cranberry & Tangerine Pecan Cinnamon Rolls {Non-Yeast}


  • Mise en Place*
  • Plump dried cranberries for filling, see Notes below for How to Plump Dried Cranberries
  • Toast and chop pecans for filling, see Notes below for How to Toast Nuts
  • For the Cranberry & Tangerine Pecan Filling
  • 6 tablespoons (75 grams) organic granulated cane sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 6 tablespoons (75 grams) firmly packed organic light brown cane sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (90 grams) dried cranberries, such as Craisins® by Ocean Spray®, plumped
  • 1 cup (110 grams) coarse-fine chopped toasted pecans
  • 6 tablespoons (84.75 grams) unsalted butter, divided
  • 6 tablespoons Tangerine Ginger Rum Jam, by Sunchowder’s Emporia
  • For the Rich & Buttery Sweet Biscuit Dough
  • 3 cups (360 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, see Notes below for Gluten Free Option
  • 6 tablespoons (75 grams) organic granulated cane sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks or 169.5 grams) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup (240 grams) dairy sour cream
  • 2 yolks from eggs graded large
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Extra flour for kneading and rolling dough
  • For the Orange-Vanilla Glaze
  • 6 tablespoons (84.75 grams) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1½ cups (172.5 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted


Prepare the Cranberry & Tangerine Pecan Filling: In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugars, spices and salt; stir in cranberries and pecans. Melt the butter. Stir 3 tablespoons of butter into filling mixture blending well; set aside. Reserve remaining 3 tablespoons of butter to drizzle over dough before filling.

Grease 10-inch nonstick round baking pan with softened butter and set aside. (I like to use my 10-inch nonstick springform pan.) Alternatively, grease 12-cup nonstick standard muffin pan.

Prepare the Rich & Buttery Sweet Biscuit Dough: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Working with a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small mixing bowl, gently whisk together sour cream, egg yolks and extract. Add sour cream mixture to dough mixture; gently stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead about 8 times.

With a floured rolling pin, roll dough out into a rectangle measuring 18 inches by 12 inches. Spoon the jam onto dough and spread evenly with back of spoon. Drizzle dough with reserved melted butter; spread evenly with back of spoon. Sprinkle filling evenly over the dough to within ½ inch of edges. Firmly press down on the filling.

Beginning from the long side, tightly roll the dough jelly-roll fashion into a cylinder. (It helps to get the dough rolling with a stainless steel dough cutter.) Using a sharp knife, cut cylinder of dough into 12 slices each measuring 1½ inches thick. Place slices, cut side down, in prepared pan. Cover tightly with plastic food wrap and refrigerate overnight.

In the Morning: Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and set out at room temperature for 45 minutes. Arrange rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 400ºF. Bake rolls until puffed, filling is bubbly and top crust is golden brown, about 20 to 22 minutes for those baked in muffin pan and 28 to 30 minutes for those baked in 10-inch round pan. Allow to cool slightly on wire rack. Serve warm, drizzled with glaze.

Prepare the Orange-Vanilla Glaze: While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Remove pan from heat, stir in orange juice, vanilla and salt. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes to cool. Whisk in the sugar until fully incorporated. Let stand 5 minutes to thicken. Whisk until smooth; use immediately. If preparing glaze the night before, store covered tightly. A good option is to transfer the glaze to a squeeze bottle with cap.

Recipe Notes

How to Plump Dried Cranberries: Place cranberries in a small heatproof glass bowl. Pour enough boiling water over cranberries to cover them, about 1 cup. Allow to stand for 15 minutes to soften. Drain and pat dry with paper toweling before using in recipe. Alternatively, you may use warm orange juice instead of water or soak the cranberries overnight in liqueur such as Grand Marnier.

How to Toast Nuts: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place nuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. (You may line the baking sheet with parchment paper if you wish.) Bake until nuts become fragrant and lightly browned, about 7 to 8 minutes. Stir halfway through baking time and watch closely to prevent nuts from overbrowning or burning. Cool nuts completely before chopping and adding to recipe. To speed cooling process, transfer nuts onto plate and place in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.

For Gluten Free Option: Substitute 3 cups (384 grams) Cup4Cup (C4C) Gluten-Free Flour, available at Williams-Sonoma. You will need extra flour for kneading and rolling dough.

Recipe Notes from the Author

*Mise en Place: (pronounced miz on plahs) The literal French to English translation of Mise en Place is to “put things in place” or “everything in place”. It is an important term and practice to learn and adhere to in professional kitchens to ensure that necessary prep work is completed for recipe components in advance. Sometimes, this prep work is even completed the night before for assembly stations to assure recipe success the next morning. Mise en Place is not strictly for ingredients only as the term also applies to the proper planning of equipment.

In essence, Mise en Place means “to have all of your ducks in a row” before preparing a recipe by proper advance planning. This means allowing time to toast and chop nuts, plump dried fruits, prepare and chill pastry cream, etc.

This author and recipe developer so strongly believes in the importance of Mise en Place that she writes her recipes in a way that, at first glance, it is easy for home bakers and cooks alike to properly allot time to such preparations. A simple subheading can be found directly under the Ingredients header for Mise en Place. The hope is to revolutionize recipe writing to include Mise en Place notations within the Ingredients header.

About Stacy

Stacy Bryce is a recipe developer and member of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). Her passion is developing original conventional baking recipes as well as special diet recipes to include dairy-free, gluten-free and grain-free. You can follow Stacy at Pinterest.


  1. These sound wonderful! I love the fact there is no yeast, somehow makes it seem so much easier! Sunchowder jams are amazing arent they?

    • Thank you, Jayne! I agree with you…Wendy’s jams and fruit butters rocked my baking world! Truly, Sunchowder’s Emporia has inspired my baking this holiday season. And, yes…no yeast does make the recipe seem easier. The recipe assembles quickly similar to biscuits, but are moist and tender like sour cream coffeecake. The true magic is that the recipe can be prepared the night before (just like with yeast cinnamon rolls) and, still, the baking powder performs flawlessly (due to double-acting) for a no-fuss, stress-free morning when you pop them into the oven. I hope you will try them as the filling possibilities are endless! However, using Wendy’s Tangerine Ginger Rum Jam is highly recommended the first time you try the recipe. Come spring and summer, berries as a filling (both fresh and in preserves) would be spectacular as well. Thanks again and enjoy!


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