Marmalade Sticky Buns with Orange Bitters Frosting

Sticky buns are always so tempting at the cafe counter- gooey, dripping with brown sugar filling and sugar frosting. But, they are also an invitation for a sugar coma. As much as I love sweet, I usually want something a bit more savory first thing in the morning. Here’s my compromise between sweet buns and bitter orange.

sweet rolls

sweet rolls

I love the slight bitterness of an orange marmalade. And, while thinking about the rinds that add that bitterness, I thought of cocktail bitters. Specifically, the bottle of Angostura orange bitters sitting on my liquor shelf. I grabbed that bottle impulsively and added it to the frosting, and I couldn’t have been happier with the results.

Sticky buns require a yeast dough, so if you’re planning on making these for a weekend brunch, make the dough the night before and let rise in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.

Marmalade Sticky Buns with Orange Bitters Frosting
makes approx 20-24 rolls

1 package or 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cut into tablespoons
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tbsp salt

10 ounce jar orange marmalade
1 cup brown sugar

2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
2 dashes orange bitters
2 tbsp orange juice

Bring milk and 1/2 cup sugar to 110F-100F in a sauce pan over medium heat. While heating, stir to dissolve sugar. Once 110F is reached, remove from heat and add yeast. Let rest for 5 minutes. During this time, the yeast should bubble up.

In a large mixing bowl,  stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour yeast mixture into the flour, and knead (or mix with a dough hook) until well combined. Add butter 1-2 tablespoons at a time, until worked in. Beat in eggs, and knead until dough is elastic with a slight sheen.  Cover and let rise until doubled – 4 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.

Punch down dough and turn onto a well-floured surface. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick, in a large rectangle approximately 30 inches by 15 inches.

sticky bun dough

dough rolled out

Spread marmalade across surface of dough.

marmalade on dough

marmalade on dough

Sprinkle brown sugar on top of marmalade. Pinch up the long edge of the dough

pinched dough

pinched dough

and roll tightly into one long log.

rolled dough

a less than tight roll

Slice log into 1 inch rolls. Pack tightly into two 9 inch round pie plates, lightly greased. Let rise again, in a warm draft-free place, for about 40 minutes.

buns packed into pie dish

tightly packed buns

Bake at 375F for 18-20 minutes, until filling is melted and edges just barely browned. While baking, mix your glaze. In a mixing bowl, whisk orange juice, bitters and melted butter into confectioner’s sugar, and set aside.

When rolls are done baking, set on cooling rack. Allow to cool 15 minutes (if you can). Brush on glaze and serve.

Now, having made these rolls in glass pie plates and dealt with the cleanup, I would be tempted to make this in disposable aluminum tins next time. Did I mention they are worth the effort and cleanup anyway? So very worth it.

marmalade sweet rolls

marmalade sweet rolls with orange bitters frosting

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