These soft and tender cinnamon roll braids are accented with sweet, citrus-y orange and tender walnuts.  I love them with my morning coffee, but they make a terrific treat any time of day!

These Orange Walnut Braids are just like the Panera Pecan Braids- with a twist!

Whew!  Another week is just about behind us now.  Can you believe it?  I feel like time just keeps whizzing past; every time I turn around here we are closing out the week again.

Was it a good one for you?  Have you kept warm?  Have you gotten a lot accomplished?  Have you eaten well?

I have eaten very very very well this week 😉  Thanks in part to these babies, which I have been nibbling on with my morning coffee, as a little afternoon pick-me-up, and even a few times for dessert!

These Orange Walnut Braids are just like the Panera Pecan Braids- with a twist!

So, basically, I live under a rock.  As a busy mom, and as someone who works from home, and as just a general hermit-ish person, there are a lot of trends that I don’t stumble across pretty until pretty late in the game, if at all.  You may remember that it was just barely over a year ago that I jumped on the Peppermint Mocha bandwagon.  Most of the time, if I’m hungry, I just make myself something to eat!  So I end up going through life blissfully unaware of things like Bang-Bang Shrimp and Petite Vanilla Bean Scones and Zuppa Toscana and Pecan Braids.

But just before Christmas, I was out shopping with the fam when hunger struck.  There was a Panera across the street so we decided to pop in and grab ourselves some lunch.  I ordered myself some soup and they offered me a sweet treat for 99 cents more.  Because I have an insatiable sweet tooth am willing to tirelessly research food trends for the benefit of my readers, I went for it.  I chose a pecan braid and figured I’d save it for next morning’s breakfast.  Ha!

It smelled so good I had to sneak a little nibble on the car ride home.  A little nibble was followed by another, bigger nibble, and then a big open wide mouthful, and then I decided I’d just eat half, and then before I knew it that pecan braid was just a distant memory.  A distant, delicious memory.

I had no choice but to recreate that pecan braid!  So that is just what I did, with a little bit of a walnut and orange spin!

These Orange Walnut Braids are just like the Panera Pecan Braids- with a twist!

I watched this video to learn how to form the braids.  This guy is a freaking machine!  My efforts were a bit more clumsy, but I managed to get the job done.  😉

The bread component is soft and pillowy, and a little bit gooey.  And the filling is cinnamon like whoa!  The tender walnuts are such a nice compliment and that hint of orange just makes them so special.  I hope you’ll give them a try!

Have a wonderful weekend, my dears!  Enjoy it while it lasts- do something wintry like go ice skating or sip hot cocoa or curl up in front of the fire with a good book.  Before we know it we’ll be saying goodbye to Old Man Winter!

These Orange Walnut Braids are just like the Panera Pecan Braids- with a twist!

As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

5 stars (7 ratings)

Orange Walnut Braids

Servings: 6 pastries
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Proofing Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
These soft and tender cinnamon roll braids are accented with sweet, citrus-y orange and tender walnuts. A terrific treat- any time of day!


For the Dough

For the Filling

For the Orange Glaze

  • 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
  • zest of half a navel orange,, or 1-2 clementines
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice


To Make the Dough:

  • Preheat the oven to its lowest setting (on my oven it's 170 degrees F).
  • Stir the warm water and sugar together, in a large mixing bowl.  
  • Sprinkle the yeast over the surface and set aside for 5-10 minutes, or until slightly foamy.
  • In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, oil, and egg.  
  • Add to the yeast mixture, stirring to combine.
  • Add the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball.  (You may not need all of the flour.)
  • Add in the salt and orange zest, and transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface.  
  • Knead the dough for 5 minutes, or until it takes on a silky texture.
  • Lightly mist the mixing bowl with non-stick spray, and place the dough back in.  
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel.
  • Turn the oven off and place the covered bowl in to proof, about 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

To Make the Filling and Form the Braids:

  • Place the brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, cornstarch, and cloves in a small bowl and mix to combine.
  • Preheat the oven to its lowest setting.  
  • Punch down the dough and roll out to a large rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick.  
  • Cut the rectangle into six equal squares, and butter each one liberally, maintaining a clean 1/2-inch border around all four edges.  
  • Spread an even layer of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the soft butter.
  • Roll each square up into a log, pinching the sides to seal.  
  • Cut each log down the center long-ways, leaving the tippy end still attached.  
  • Twist into braids and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  
  • Turn off the oven and place the braids in to proof a second time, again, 1-2 hours or until doubled.
  • Remove the braids from the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  
  • Bake the braids for 15-17 minutes, or until puffed and slightly golden.  
  • Cool completely, then drizzle with Orange Glaze.

To Make the Orange Glaze:

  • Place the powdered sugar and zest in a small bowl and stir in just enough orange juice to reach a drizzling consistency.
Calories: 529kcal, Carbohydrates: 97g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 123mg, Potassium: 158mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 53g, Vitamin A: 165IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 69mg, Iron: 3mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Snack
Tried this recipe?Mention @bakingamoment on Instagram or tag #bakingamoment.


  • Allie

    Allie is the creator and owner of Baking a Moment. She has been developing, photographing, videographing, and writing and sharing recipes here since 2012.

    View all posts