Red Truck Bakery’s Saturday Morning Bestseller

Gooey cinnamon rolls get a citrus and pecan upgrade at the rural Virginia bakery

Photo: Angie Mosier

These will get the family out of bed in the morning. We bake our orange-cinnamon rolls in trays of a half dozen each weekend at the bakery, and they’re the first thing we run out of on a Saturday morning. I’ve rejiggered the recipe so that you have the option of prepping them the night before, and then all you have to do the next morning is pop them in the oven. These rolls are extraordinary even without nuts, but the combination of orange and pecans is a natural partnership, and I have been known to roll these up with pecan pieces before letting them rise (and the addition is up to you). The double hit of orange in the icing—zest and juice—will brighten up everyone’s morning. Let the kids spread on that final touch. —Brian Noyes, from his new cookbook, The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook.

Read our interview with Noyes here.




    • Freshly grated zest of 1 orange

    • 1 cup granulated sugar

    • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

    • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

    • 1 cup chopped pecans


    • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

    • 1½ cups whole milk, warmed

    • 1 tbsp. fresh orange juice

    • 1 (0.25-ounce) packet (2¼ tsp.) active dry yeast

    • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar

    • 1 tsp. kosher salt

    • 4½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more as needed


    • 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more as needed

    • Freshly grated zest and juice of 1 orange (2 to 3 tsp. zest and 2 to 3 tbsp. juice)


  1. Make the filling: In a medium bowl, use a fork to stir the orange zest into the granulated sugar; let sit for a few minutes to infuse. With a spoon, stir in the cinnamon, then add the butter until well blended.

  2. Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-low speed for a few minutes until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula. 

  3. Add the warm milk, orange juice, yeast, granulated sugar, salt, and flour. Beat on medium-low speed until a dough forms. If it is sticky, add a little more flour a tablespoon at a time; the sides of the bowl should be mostly clean.

  4. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook (or use your hands and a floured work surface) and knead the dough on medium speed for 8 minutes. (Don’t walk away from the working mixer, as it may travel on the counter.) The dough should be smooth. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

  5. Form the rolls: Dust a rolling pin and your work surface with flour. 

  6. Transfer the dough to the dusted surface and roll it out into a 16×10-inch rectangle. Spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a ½-inch margin on just one of the long sides. 

  7. Scatter the pecans evenly over the filling.

  8. Starting at the long side of the dough with no margin, roll it into a tight cylinder. Pinch the edges of the dough margin against the cylinder to seal.

  9. Grease a 13×9-inch baking dish or a large cast iron skillet with vegetable oil spray.

  10. Cut the log crosswise into 12 equal-size rolls and lay each one cut-side up in the baking dish so that they are touching one another. Cover the rolls again with a dish towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 30 minutes. (Alternatively, to bake the rolls the next morning, cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate. In the morning, let the rolls rest at room temperature for 1 hour before baking, preheating the oven to 400°F during the last 30 minutes.)

  11. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.

  12. Bake the risen rolls 20 to 30 minutes, rotating the baking dish from front to back halfway through, until the tops are golden brown. Let cool in the baking dish for 5 to 10 minutes.

  13. Meanwhile, make the icing: In a medium bowl, use a fork to combine the confectioners’ sugar, orange zest, and orange juice, whisking until smooth, opaque, and barely pourable. If it’s too thin and runny, add a bit more of the confectioners’ sugar as needed. 

  14. Whisk the icing once more and use an offset spatula or a large spoon to spread it across the top of the warm rolls. Let the icing set for about 5 minutes before serving.

Reprinted from The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook, copyright © 2022 by Brian Noyes. Photographs copyright © 2022 by Angie Mosier. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.