Sticky Spiced Orange Biscuits

by Dorothy Reinhold on March 21, 2023

Print This Post Print This Post Orange spiral biscuit on a white plate with flowered napkin and fork behind.

Disclosure of sponsored content in this post for Spring Sweets Week

Sticky Spiced Orange Biscuits are like an orange cinnamon sticky bun, delightfully spiced and gooey with orange juice and zest.I’m a sucker for cookbooks, cookbooklets, heritage spiral-bound pamphlets put out by church and community groups, and recipes passed from neighbor to neighbor.

Weathered cookbook held by a hand with biscuits on plates in the backgroundSo when I saw a recipe for heritage orange biscuits from a 1951 school district cookbooklet, I snapped to attention. These had to be made! I baked them several times and ended up making a few small changes to the recipe:

  • Butter instead of shortening in the biscuit
  • A more complex mix of spices in the filling and more of them
  • Added vanilla extract in both the biscuit and the sticky sauce
  • I used silicone baking cups because I hate digging the sauce out when it sticks to a metal cupcake tin
  • Instead of making them upside-down biscuits, I poured the sauce on top before baking. It soaked through, and turned out just fine!
  • I made it as originally stated at 9 biscuits, but I think it works better as 12 biscuits. Suit yourself!
  • I renamed them to reflect the amped up flavor and method.

Recipe for Updside-down Orange Biscuits from a 1951 school district cookbookAbove is the original page from the book, in case you want to try your hand at a 1951 recipe.

How to make Sticky Spiced Orange Biscuits

Ingredients for Sticky Spiced Orange Biscuits grouped on pink marble countertop First, gather your ingredients. For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Butter
  • Oranges (I used Cara Cara oranges from Melissa’s Produce, for juice and rind)
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Milk
  • Cinnamon, Allspice, Star anise (I used Selefina spices. If you’ve never tried star anise, it has a warm slightly licorice-like flavor that really adds something interesting! I ground it up in an old coffee bean grinder that I reserve just for whole spices.)
  • Vanilla extract

4 orange halves sit on a white cutting board next to a green juicer, knives and a small saucepanFirst, attend to the oranges, by first zesting 2 of them, and juicing them. You have to zest first, and then cut them in half to juice them; the other way around doesn’t work.

A hand pours orange juice from a measuring cup into a small silver sauce pan containing sugar, butter and orange zestFirst you make the sauce by lightly boiling butter, orange juice, sugar, orange rind and vanilla.

Ball of biscuit dough on a floured white cutting boardThen you make the biscuit dough. I used a stand mixer (because I am lazy!), but you could cut the butter in by hand and stir it all together by hand if you like.

Dough rolled out square with a pink tape measure across it and a rolling pin above itRoll it out on a cutting board to a 12-inch square. Use a measuring tool to make sure it it 12 inches across.

A hand holds a clear measuring cup and sprinkles cinnamon sugar on square piece of doughSprinkle it with spiced cinnamon sugar.

A hand rolls dough into a long log on a white cutting board with rolling pin at the topRoll up like a jelly roll or cinnamon roll. I was taking a photo with one hand and rolling with the other; you’ll use both hands to roll!

A hand holds half the dough log with a knife alongside on a white cutting boardCut the log into 12 even slices. I do this by first cutting the log in half, then each piece in half (giving you 4 pieces). Cut each of those 4 pieces into 3 pieces, and you’ll have 12 little orange buns.

4 spiral biscuits in silicone baking cups with orange sauce over topPlace the biscuits cut side down in silicone baking cups. Ladle orange sauce over them. 

7 Sticky Spiced Orange Biscuits browned from baking, in colored silicone baking cupsBake, and when they’re out of the oven, ladle the remaining orange sauce over them evenly. Use it all up!

I used the following ingredients from our Spring Sweets Week sponsors to make Sticky Spiced Orange Biscuits:

1 whole orange and 2 orange halves showing inside segments on a white marble counterCara Cara oranges from Melissa’s Produce. Cara Cara oranges are the pinnacle in sweetness, and their slightly pink flesh is unique. They’re in season starting in February. 

Jars of cinnamon, allspice and star anise on a white marble countertopSpices from Selefina. This recipe uses ground cinnamon, allspice and star anise, for a complex marriage of flavors. Selefina is an online spice shop offering high quality, fresh spices and seasonings.

Sticky Spiced Orange Biscuits

Yield: 12 sticky biscuits

Sticky Spiced Orange Biscuits

Sticky Spiced Orange Biscuits are like an orange cinnamon sticky bun, delightfully spiced and gooey with orange juice and zest.


  • Sauce
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (you will need 2-4 oranges, depending on how large and juicy they are, so have 4 on hand)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Biscuit dough
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Filling
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground star anise


  1. Turn oven on to 450F degrees. Set 12 silicone baking cups on a baking sheet or half-sheet pan.
  2. First, prepare the oranges! Use a microplane to remove the zest from 2 of the oranges. Set zest aside. Juice both oranges and measure the juice. If it is 1/2 cup, great, that's what you need. If it is less, juice another orange until you get 1/2 cup of juice. Set juice aside.
  3. Make the sauce: In a small saucepan, combine butter (and a tiny pinch of salt if you are using unsalted butter), orange juice, sugar and orange zest. Cook for about 2 minutes, until it is hot and bubbly. Take the pan off the heat and set it to the side.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, place flour, salt and baking powder. Mix to combine. Cut butter in chunks and cut butter into flour on low speed, until it looks like dry sand. Add milk and vanilla and mix for a few seconds, until the dough comes together. You don't want to over mix it or it will be rubbery.
  5. Remove dough and place it on a large floured cutting board. Roll it out to about a 12-inch square (about 1/4-inch thick). The important dimension is the width, because you will be cutting 12 rolls, and it is easiest to do this if you roll it to 12 inches wide. The depth could be 10-12 inches.
  6. Make the filling: In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, allspice and star anise.
  7. Sprinkle the cinnamon filling evenly over the 12-inch-square rolled-out dough. Roll it up as you would a jelly roll or cinnamon roll, with the seam on the bottom. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 12 even pieces. Place each spiral cut side down in a silicone cup. Carefully ladle sauce onto the top of each roll. You probably won't use all the sauce and you'll have about 1/3 cup left. Save that for after baking! Do not overfill the cups, or the sauce will spill out as the biscuits rise in the oven, and it will be wasted! Consult photo for how full to make the cups.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and set pan on a heatproof surface. Carefully ladle the remaining sauce evenly into each of the 12 cups. It will be a little bit for each biscuit.
  9. Allow biscuits to cool, and when cool, pop them out of their cups (they should release easily), and serve.
  10. To store, put in a closed, lidded container and keep them at room temperature for a day or 2. They are best the first or even second day, like most biscuits!
  11. Makes 12.


Recipe source: my adaptation of a heritage recipe from "Los Angeles City School Districts Favorite Recipes" cookbooklet, circa 1951. Thanks to Suzanne Joskow at @archivecooking on Instagram for sending me the recipe and photo of the original recipe and cookbook cover!

pin this please!Pin the image below for Sticky Spiced Orange Biscuits to your Pinterest board to save this recipe

A single orange biscuit on a white plate with recipe title above

Spring Sweets Week

It’s Spring Sweets Week, and we’re celebrating all things springy and sweet.

Welcome to #SpringSweetsWeek 2023 hosted by Heather from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks! The sun is shining, the weather is getting warmer, and we’re celebrating the beginning of spring with plenty of spring sweets and a fun giveaway! This year 20 food bloggers from around the country are sharing over 75 sweet recipes that are perfect for spring. So get ready to enjoy amazing spring treats like cupcakes, cookies, pies, jams, and even a few beverages! Thank you to our #SpringSweetsWeek sponsors that are helping us give away some great prizes. Thank you to Melissa’s Produce, Anolon, Taylor and Colledge, and Selefina Spices for your generosity and support. We have an incredible giveaway with four amazing prizes (go here to see all the prizes!) and please enter the giveaway using the widget right below here. 
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Wednesday #SpringSweetsWeek Recipes

We share recipes from #SpringSweetsWeek on Pinterest! Make sure you follow the board to see all the delicious recipes shared this week.

Thank you #SpringSweetsWeek sponsors: Selefina Spices, Anolon, Melissa’s Produce, and Taylor and Colledge for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #SpringSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine. The #SpringSweetsWeek giveaway is open to residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Four (4) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #SpringSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #SpringSweetsWeek posts or entry.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer April 2, 2023 at 5:49 am

I love that sticky orange glaze on top.


Radha April 1, 2023 at 8:40 pm

I love sticky buns and the orange flavors sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try this recipe.


Lisa March 27, 2023 at 10:29 am

These sticky biscuits are making me drool!


Inger March 27, 2023 at 9:53 am

Sticky and orange flavored–sounds perfect to me!


Christie March 25, 2023 at 4:39 pm

Oh my goodness! These look so delicious! I love the upside down. That topping, the biscuit. It just looks scrumptious.


Karen's Kitchen Stories March 23, 2023 at 9:13 am

I bet this would be good with a yeasted dough too!


Dorothy Reinhold March 23, 2023 at 1:09 pm

I’m sure you’re right! I know you are queen of yeast breads, but I prefer biscuit dough for ease and speed. I want to taste the buns you make with a yeast dough!


Jolene March 23, 2023 at 6:38 am

What a great update to a vintage recipe! Those Cara Cara oranges are fantastic!


Dorothy Reinhold March 23, 2023 at 1:10 pm

I think that is my favorite orange variety!


Cindy March 23, 2023 at 1:53 am

I love that you added fresh orange flavor to these buns! Yum!


Hezzi-D March 22, 2023 at 6:21 pm

Oh yum! Love the stickiness of these orange biscuits.


Dorothy Reinhold March 23, 2023 at 1:10 pm

Sticky buns rule!


Wendy Klik March 22, 2023 at 3:29 pm

What a fun cookbook and recipe…I’m a sucker for those community cookbooks too.


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