Baking Through the Alphabet: O is for Orange Olive Oil Sticky Buns


I told myself I’d make at least one more letter post before 2015 ended.


It’s still 2015. Thus, mission accomplished. Four tries later.


I made these this past Thanksgiving when I went home to be with family. It’s been hard these past few months, so weekends when I get to go back to my familiar and happy places are always so sweet. I was reflecting on Thanksgiving the other day, and there are just so many things to be thankful for. To honor this post being my fourth attempt at the letter “o”, I’ll (briefly) list four things that I’m thankf-o for:


  1. Family – my support system, the people who endlessly and unconditionally love and care for me. The people who lovingly call me out when I’m being stressed and difficult. The people who encourage me to trust in God, stay warm, and find a boyfriend…
  2. Church – my fellow race runners, the body of Christ that teaches me, rebukes me, shepherds me, and grows me. The people who open themselves up to me, show me around the Bay Area, and welcome me into their lives. One of the biggest blessings since moving, and I genuinely mean it. The body of Christ that teaches me what it means to love God, His Word, and His people.
  3. Work – my Bay Area version of Disneyland. The place where I spend 40+ hours a week, grab meals with coworkers, learn about the tech industry and the impact we have on social media. The place where I meet people left and right, am part of an amazing work culture, and have fun. The place where I have such a great team filled with people that I get along well with and have a good time together both inside and outside of work.
  4. Community – my other support system comprised of people from all my different life stages–high school, FCBC, GLMC, college, etc.–and overlap with the groups above.  People who check up on me to make sure I’m doing okay, show me around to places, and share life with me. People who genuinely care for me, keep up with me, have made me who I am today…and seriously make life fun :)).


These are just four things that I’m thankful for. And there are so many other things to be thankful for…because God is gracious and good.


As for these little suckers–think cinnamon rolls, but replace the cinnamon filling with orange sugar. The orange sugar was super fragrant, and it made the sticky buns, well, sticky. But the citrus-y flavors paired well with the soft rolls.


Some recipe notes:
1) I was scared I didn’t have enough filling for the buns, so I increased the proportions. They’re reflected in the recipe below.
2) The glaze made the buns too sweet for my taste, though, so I’ve cut the recipe for that in half below. I also didn’t have milk on hand, so I used orange juice instead. Feel free to use buttermilk like the original recipe states.
3) I couldn’t taste the olive oil in my buns. It might just be the brand I used, though.


Orange Olive Oil Sticky Buns
Makes about 12-18 buns
Adapted from Food52

For the Buns:
1 3/4 cups warm water
1 teaspoon bread machine yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
4 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup olive oil (I used Trader Joe’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

For the Filling:
1.5 cups sugar
Zest of 3 medium oranges
4.5 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the Glaze:
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a bread hook, stir together the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Add the salt and half the flour, and stir. Slowly add the rest of the flour with the mixer on low until the dough comes together into a shaggy ball. Drizzle in the olive oil. The dough will come together as a wet ball; feel free to add a little more flour if needed, but be careful to not add too much to make the dough tough (err on the side of a stickier dough). Continue to let the dough knead for five minutes.
  2. Place the dough in a large bowl, and cover the bowl with either plastic wrap or a damp, clean kitchen towel. Put the bowl somewhere warm to rise until doubled in size (about an hour, depending how cold your place is).
  3. Make the filling while the dough rises. In a bowl, mix together the sugar and the orange zest. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rub it together with the orange and lemon juices. You might not need all the juice, so just add enough until it becomes like wet sand. You don’t want it wet; otherwise it’ll be too runny for the filling. Set aside.
  4. Grease a 9×13 baking pan (I used an 8×8 pan + one 8-inch cake pan). Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a large rectangle that’s about half an inch thick.
  5. Spread the orange sugar filling mixture onto the dough, leaving some border for the dough seams to close later (about 1/2 inch). Roll the dough up tightly, starting at the long end. Slice into 12-18 even slices. Place the rolls into the greased pan. Cover and let the rolls rise until doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes.
  6. Once the rolls are doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the rolls for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
  7. While the rolls are baking, make the glaze by whisking together the orange juice and powdered sugar until it has a thick, but pourable consistency.
  8. When the buns are done, pour the glaze over the buns. Serve warm, and enjoy!



Until next time,

Soli deo Gloria, and happy reading, eating, and baking!


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