A GF version of my light and flavorful orange rolls. These gluten-free orange rolls, made like orange muffins, are glazed with sweet icing and perfect for dinner, but so good you'll want them for dessert too.
This orange rolls recipe was created for my GF brother. It's easy to make alongside my classic butter flake Orange Rolls when we are making them for the family.
I made this an orange muffin variation because the texture is so much more delicious than the versions we tried with a yeast dough. So, bonus! These are quick to make.l
Make orange muffins for gluten-free orange rolls
Baking orange muffins makes this recipe so easy! I tried several variations of my own, tried online recipes and flour swaps for orange rolls with yeast. It's tricky to get a perfect yeast gluten-free bread dough. Let alone one that could compete with my delicious classic orange roll recipe with regular flour.
One of my favorite takes was a variation on a Bob's Red Mill basic muffin recipe. With a few tweaks it turned into a delightful gluten-free orange muffins recipe.
Since I bake my regular Pull-Apart Orange Rolls in muffin tins, this orange muffin variation was the closest thing to the original. Perfect I'd say!
I wasn't trying to make rolled orange sweet rolls like the Pillsbury Orange Rolls you see recipes for. Those are more of a dessert roll.
Are orange rolls dinner rolls?
I grew up eating iced orange rolls with dinner. Usually with a nice Christmas or Easter dinner. They were obviously the most delicious sweet treat along with the savory meal.
My original orange rolls are butterflake pull-apart rolls, and were always considered dinner rolls.
I think most people think of dessert rolls as the kind rolled up like cinnamon rolls. So, these iced muffins could be served as dinner rolls, no problem.
What kind of gluten-free flour is the best?
I always use Cup4Cup all-purpose gluten-free flour. I find it has the best texture and flavor.
If you use another kind of flour for these muffins they may turn out differently. I know the brand sold at Costco has a lot of cornstarch. Recipes made with that brand could be more dry.
How to make gluten-free orange rolls
The directions for making these orange rolls is a simple muffin method. These are really orange muffins that I call dinner rolls because they are the gluten-free take on my original orange roll recipe.
Those orange rolls are baked in muffin tins, so I chose to bake this quick-bread version in muffin tins as well.
- Heat oven and grease 10 muffin cups in a 12-cup muffin pan.
- Mix dry ingredients together.
- Blend shortening, sugar and eggs.
- Mix together the milk, orange zest and vanilla.
- Blend the flour and milk mixtures into the eggs alternately.
- Portion into 10 muffin cups.
- Sprinkle tops of muffins with a generous amount of turbinado or raw sugar.
- Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool in pan a few minutes then remove to a rack to cool.
- Make icing while rolls are still warm.
Orange glaze for orange muffins
Just use confectioners' sugar and orange juice to make the icing for the orange muffins. I often use fresh orange juice from the oranges I zested.
If you want a stronger flavored glaze you can used thawed orange juice concentrate to mix the icing.
- Mix together confectioners' sugar and orange juice for the glaze.
- Dip warm muffins into glaze to coat all over.
- Place dipped muffins on a rack set over a baking sheet to catch the glaze.
Dip the entire muffin in glaze
A thin coating of glaze all over these muffins creates a sweet and tangy crust. It's divine. If you're like me you'll add an extra drizzle on top once they are cool.
They can be served just like this. Or garnished with extra orange zest.
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Make a lemon version
You can easily swap lemon zest, and lemon juice in this recipe to make lemon muffins. Delicious!
How to store these GF orange muffins
The muffins are best eaten the same day they are made. They don't take long to make, so that is easy.
If you need to store them or have extras, they will store in an airtight container for up to a day.
More muffin recipes you'll love:
Gluten Free Orange Rolls Made Like Muffins
- 1¼ cups Gluten-free all-purpose flour (I use Cup4Cup)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoons orange zest (from 1 orange)
- ½ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup sugar in the raw, or turbinado sugar
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons orange juice
- Heat oven to 350ºF with rack in the center.
- Grease 10 cups of a standard 12-cup muffin tin with butter or cooking spray; set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl cream together the sugar, shortening and eggs until well blended and smooth. In another bowl combined the orange zest, milk and vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk mixture to the blended sugar and eggs, beginning and ending with flour. Mix after each addition just until combined.
- Divide batter between the 10 greased muffin tin cups. Sprinkle the muffins with the turbinado sugar. Bake until just done through (a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean), 18 to 20 minutes.
- Let muffins cool a few minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack. While still warm, make glaze.
- Whisk together the confectioners' sugar and enough orange juice to make a smooth glaze. Dip warm muffins in the glaze, almost coating them all over. Set dipped muffins on a wire rack set over a baking pan to catch any drips. Let the muffins cool.
- When glazed orange rolls are cool, you can serve or drizzle tops with more glaze and serve. Rolls will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days.