Citrus Cream Cheese Pull Apart Rolls

This is one of my all time favorite breakfast recipes. It is a Cooking Light recipe that tastes sinfully delicious. Citrus Cream Cheese Pull Apart Rolls

This easy-to-make recipe takes frozen roll dough to a whole new level. Pre-made roll dough baked with a sweet, creamy orange cream cheese filling and tart dried cranberries, then topped with a sweet, crunchy citrus sugar, and drizzled with a lemon glaze. 

This is one of my all time favorite breakfast recipes. It is a Cooking Light recipe that tastes sinfully delicious. We have these rolls for Easter breakfast every year. They are very easy to make, but do require a lot of time to raise. If you loved the lemon sugar in the Daring Bakers’ Perfect Party Cake, you’ll love this recipe. The citrus flavored sugar is sprinkled over the rolls before you bake them and adds a delicious crunchy top to the rolls.

Citrus Cream Cheese Pull Apart Rolls

I usually do the overnight method and take them out of the fridge to rise at least an hour before I want to bake them. I also often make them with my own dough using my favorite dinner roll recipe that has some whole wheat flour added.

Citrus Cream Cheese Pull Apart Rolls

Yield: 4 dozen

Serving Size: two rolls

Calories per serving: 174 Calories

Citrus Cream Cheese Pull Apart Rolls


  • 1 package frozen roll dough -- (25-ounce) (I usually use 18 Rhodes rolls)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine -- melted
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries -- (such as Craisins)
  • OR 1/2 cup dried apricots -- chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar -- divided
  • 2/3 cup 1/3-less-fat cream cheese -- (6 ounces) softened (I usually just use 8 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


Thaw roll dough at room temperature 30 minutes. (It usually takes much longer for them to be soft enough to cut.)

Cut rolls in half. Place 24 halves, cut sides down, in bottom of each of 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray. Brush butter evenly over rolls. Cover; let rise in a warm place (85º), free from drafts, 30 minutes. Sprinkle with dried cranberries. Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar, cream cheese, orange juice, and egg; beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Pour cream cheese mixture evenly over rolls. Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and rinds. Sprinkle evenly over rolls. Cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size. (It usually takes much longer to double in size.)

Preheat oven to 350º.Bake at 350º for 20 minutes. Cover with foil. Bake an additional 5 mintues or until rolls in center are done. Remove from oven; cool 15 minutes. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over rolls.

OVERNIGHT VARIATION: After pouring the cream cheese mixture over rolls, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 12 hours. Gently remove plastic wrap from rolls; sprinkle with rind mixture. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. (It usually takes much longer to double in size.) Proceed with recipe as directed.


Source: Cooking Light Magazine, December 1999

Citrus Cream Cheese Pull Apart Rolls from Barbara Bakes

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    Leave a Comment:

  1. says

    I have a question abou the recipe. It says place 24 cut rolls in each of two round pans. Do 24 half-rolls fit in one pan? Does that mean there are 48 pieces of dough- 24 in each? Sirry I’m so confused. I haven’t made these yet- making today and they look delicious!!

    • says

      Hi Bonnie – they are so delicious. I’m making them today as well. 24 half rolls do fit in one pan – the Rhodes rolls I use are not big. If you’re using the big Texas size rolls, you won’t be able to fit that many in the pan. The original recipe calls for 24, but I usually only use 18 rolls total, so 18 half rolls per pan so they have more room to rise in the pan and none of the topping spills over the side.

  2. kathy says

    bravo for a great recipe made for Easter am were very moist

    i did cheat a bit an made a copycat Hawaiian roll recipe since had pineapple juice in which i used part oj for a change also used oj for glaze an was very nice

    i made a large pan an 2 small pans so froze one

    thanks again

  3. says

    Thanks so much for sending me this link. I LOVE sweet rolls but rarely make them. I need more visitors to come stay with me so I can have an excuse to make these!

  4. Monica H says

    Oh my, these look and sound delicious. I should make these for my mom- I know she'd love them!

  5. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella says

    I love the sound of these Barbara and they look so gooey and good (just how you’d want a pullapart to be!)