Brunch: A combination of breakfast and lunch, generally served from 10am to 2pm, and regularly is accompanied by champagne or a cocktail. What better way to say “I love you, Mom!” than hosting a brunch in her honor or simply making her a homemade dish filled with lots of love!

My mom claims that my brother and I learned to cook “out of survival” as her favorite form of cooking was heating Pop Tarts in the microwave. The truth is, she is a wonderful cook, she just prefers spending her time outside the kitchen. She also treated us to Pillsbury Orange Rolls most every Sunday morning. It’s a precious childhood memory; their fragrant aroma ascending the stairs made me hop right out of bed! I discovered later in life that one of my favorite breakfast dishes did not have to come in an airtight cylinder that gently exploded when tapped on the kitchen counter’s edge.

That discovery came when my great aunt shared with me her famous homemade yeast roll recipe, which can be easily transformed into orange or cinnamon rolls. It took just one attempt, and my fear of cooking with yeast dissolved! So, give it a try! The recipe below is actually very easy and not terribly time consuming. It takes you back to a homemade classic and is made with so much love. I hope your Mother’s Day celebration is filled with delicious moments and some very special memories!


1 package active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

fresh orange zest from 1 medium orange

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

3 – 3 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature


1 cup confectioners’ sugar

3 Tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed

fresh orange zest from 1 orange

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl attached to an electric mixer, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water until doubled in size. Add orange zest, orange juice, sugar, salt, egg, butter, and 1 1/2 cups of flour. With the paddle attachment, mix everything together on low, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the remaining flour to make a dough easy to handle.

On a lightly floured surface, transfer the dough and knead it with your hands for about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a large bowl that has been buttered on all sides. With a damp towel, cover the dough and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, (about 1 1/2 hours).

While dough is rising, mix together super and cinnamon. Prepare glaze by mixing together powdered sugar, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla.

Line the bottom of a 8″ cake pan with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll  dough into a rectangle. With softened butter, butter the top of the dough then sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll the dough tightly to form a log then cut into 8 equal rolls. Arrange in prepared pan. With a damp towel, cover the rolls and allow them to rise for about 30 more minutes.

When ready to bake, remove towel and cover the rolls with buttered aluminum foil and bake for about 25 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes then drizzle glaze over rolls. I hope the photos below help; EnJOY!

*recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

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