Hollywood Orange Rolls | Vintage Recipe

Step back in time to the 1950s with a classic recipe that brings a touch of California to your kitchen: Hollywood Orange Rolls. These delectable treats were not just a favorite in 1950s homes; they were also made popular in tearooms around the United States for the “Ladies Who Lunch” set.

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Vintage Hollywood Orange Rolls

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I first found these delicious orange rolls in The California Cookbook by Genevieve Callahan.

These are not at all like the orange rolls of today. Those are more like cinnamon and sweet rolls. Hollywood Orange Rolls are much more like the 1930s recipe for Orange Biscuits.

How to Serve Orange Rolls

The heart of a ladies’ lunch was the bread basket, and without a selection of dainty and delicious small breads, any ladies’ lunch would be a flop. (We love our carbs!)

These rolls would have been served as part of a luncheon at a tearoom or at home. These are the kind of lunches that you dressed up for — a tearoom meant a day of shopping. For that kind of day out, you’d wear a suit (with a pretty sweater instead of a blouse) or a dress with a matching coat, hat, handbag, heels, and gloves.

A tearoom was a bastion of femininity in the midst of a city, and offered a safe refuge from ogling businessmen while also offering such feminine deliciousness as ambrosia, chicken sandwiches, shrimp wiggle, and angel food cake with ice cream.

Meanwhile, at home, you’d dress in a 2-piece or 1-piece afternoon dress — perhaps a lovely dark silk — to receive company, and serve the same delicate and delicious feminine foods.

Vintage Recipe: Hollywood Orange Rolls

Vintage Hollywood Orange Rolls

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 24 rolls


  • 1 pkg yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg, unbeaten
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp grated orange rind
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 3 ½ cups sifted flour
  • 24 canned mandarin orange sections

Orange Icing

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp grated orange rind
  • 1 ¼ cups confectioners sugar


  • Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Add shortening, egg, sugar, salt, orange rind and juice. Add flour gradually, beating thoroughly after each addition. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Turn out on a lightly floured board and knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down and turn out on a floured board.
  • Roll dough about ½-inch thick and cut with 2½-inch round cutter. Let rest for a few minutes. Shape like Parker House Rolls, inserting a piece of orange section in the crease of each roll. Place ½-inch apart in two 8-inch square pans. Let rise in a warm place until double in bulk. Bake at 425 degrees F (425 °F.) for 15 to 20 minutes. Brush with butter and while still warm cover generously with Orange Icing. Makes 2 dozen rolls.

Orange Icing

  • Combine 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon orange juice and 1 teaspoon grated orange rind. Heat over hot water until butter melts. Remove from heat, stir in 1½ cups confectioners' sugar and beat well.
Keyword 1950s, breads