Every wintry morning requires something hot and fresh from the oven— like these iced breakfast rolls filled with cranberry and orange, and tied in little knots. I’m sharing this recipe in partnership with Gold Medal Flour’s Virtual Bake Day to celebrate scratch baking.

Cranberry-Orange Breakfast Knots

One of my favorite things is to bake with no agenda, on a pure whim, something I’m sad to say doesn’t happen as much as I’d like it to. Spontaneous Friday night chocolate chips cookies, or a loaf of bread to warm up a chilly winter day brings me so much happiness.

And it’s not all about the tasty treat that comes out of the oven (though that’s a big part, to be sure), it’s the whole journey of how it gets there that fills me with satisfaction. I love taking ingredients and working to turn them into something completely different. Baking amazes me that way.

Cranberry-Orange Breakfast Knots Cranberry-Orange Breakfast Knots
Cranberry-Orange Breakfast Knots

These cranberry-orange breakfast knots start out so simply— just some flour, sugar, butter, eggs, milk and yeast. And yet, with time and effort, and the added help of seasonal flavors like cranberry and orange, they become something wonderful and delicious.

A fun change-up from cinnamon rolls or sticky buns, these are the exact breakfast rolls you should include in your holiday baking this season. It also is a great recipe to get the whole family in the kitchen. Kids will get a kick out of tying the dough in knots.

Cranberry-Orange Breakfast Knots
Cranberry-Orange Breakfast Knots

Virtual Bake Day

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Today Gold Medal Flour is hosting a Virtual Bake Day to celebrate the joy of scratch baking, during the holidays and every day of the year.  Be sure to check out the recipes below from some of my favorite food bloggers, and find out why baking matters to them.

Soft Baked White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies from Eat Live Run
Coconut and Raspberry Financiers from Bakers Royal
Peppermint Cookie Brownies from What’s Gaby Cooking
Chocolate Turtle Pie from Sugar Plum Blog
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes from Gimmie Some Oven
Eggnog Snickerdoodles from Wanna Be a Country Cleaver
Brown Sugar Topped Cinnamon Sugar Coffee Cake from Averie Cooks
Coconut Waffles with Pomegranate Syrup from Foodiecrush
Cranberry, Lemon and Ginger Muffins from Texanerin Baking

You can also follow Gold Medal Flour on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and Pinterest for recipes, videos, and tips on baking.

Cranberry-Orange Breakfast Knots

Cranberry-Orange Breakfast Knots
I often struggle with cranberries in my baking. Fresh cranberries can be so hard to work with, and the dried cranberries often don't impart enough flavor. Thankfully, I've found a solution. Re-hydrating the cranberries in some water for an hour helps them plump up and regain some of their former glory, without being cumbersome.
Yield: 24 rolls
  • ⅓ cup (35 grams) dried cranberries
  • 1¼ (295 ml) whole milk
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 5½-6½ cups (660-780 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2¼ teaspoon (1 package, 7 grams) active dry yeast
  • ⅓ cup (65 grams) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • Zest 1 orange
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 orange)
For the icing:
  • 1½ cup (170 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons orange juice
  • Zest 1 orange
  1. Place the dried cranberries in a small bowl and cover with water and let sit for 1 hour. Drain and pat dry with paper dowels.
  2. Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan set over low heat. When butter has fully melted, remove from heat and let sit for about 5 minutes, to 110-120 degrees F.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine 2 cups of the flour, the yeast, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and milk mixture, followed by the eggs, mixing until smooth. Add the orange zest, juice and cranberries. Add the remaining flour ¼ cup at a time until the dough clears the bowl but it still sticky to the touch. Continue to knead on medium speed for 5-7 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  4. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Gently punch down dough and knead a few times. Let sit for a few minutes, then divide dough in half. Working with each half individually, roll into a rectangle 12x7 inches. Slice into 12 7-inch strips. Tie each strip into a knot and place 2 inches apart on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375.
  7. Bake knots until tops are golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  8. To make the icing, combine the powdered sugar with enough orange juice to reach a moderately thick consistency. Drizzle generously over the knots. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Gold Medal Flour. All opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting partnerships with brands I believe in.

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14 Responses to Cranberry-Orange Breakfast Knots

  1. These look so lovely and yummy, spiced with my favorite winter fruits! I’ll try them for sure 🙂

    xo, Elisa

  2. I was so excited to see bread post here! They look really fluffy and sweet, perfectly portioned too.

  3. Your knots look awesome! I’ve made the garlic butter version before and everyone laughed at them. Booo. 🙁

    And hello there, my cranberry orange Virtual Bake Day friend. 😀

  4. Cranberry and orange is my end all, be all favorite holiday combo. Homerun girlfriend!!

  5. Baking with no agenda is the best! I’m planning (or wait – not planning?) to do some leisurely baking at my place this weekend too.

    And goodness, these knots look fantastic. I love your photography!

  6. My two favorite holiday flavor combos! Your knots look deliciously naughty. Get it? Knot. Naughty? Actually they’re definitely nice. You always have the best recipes. Here’s to more baking on a whim!!

  7. Emily says:

    These look amazing! Perfect for the holidays! I’m definitely going to be baking these soon.

  8. Mmm these cran-orange knots look lovely!!

  9. Mercedes says:

    These rolls are gorgeous and they look very reasonable to make!

  10. TidyMom says:

    oh these look SO good!! one of my favorite flavor combos……I just might have to make these for breakfast soon!

  11. This is my kind of breakfast. I’ll have to try soaking the cranberries.

  12. Kristn says:

    Santa keeps me up pretty late on Christmas Eve Night and The Girl Child will likely wake up before the sun. So, how far ahead can I make this recipe? I’d like to bake them fresh on Christmas morning but I don’t want to have to make them from start to finish. Can I make the dough the morning before (Christmas Eve morning and then refrigerate it or maybe even make the knots….

    • Annalise says:

      Yes! You make shape the knots and then let them do their final rise in the fridge. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking the next morning.

  13. Monica says:

    Must be a delight, I loved.

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