In a bowl combine sugar, yeast, and water. The water should be between 100-110 F, just run your tap water warm and you should be able to easily get water of this temperature. Stir the ingredients briefly, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
In saucepan, scald your milk by heating it over medium heat while stirring constantly until bubbles begin to form and steam begins to be produced. Remove from heat and add 1/4 cup white sugar, butter and salt. Stir until butter is melted.
In a large bowl (or stand mixer) combine yeast mixture, milk/butter mixture, eggs and 1 1/2 cups of the flour. Stir until well combined and then add flour, about 1/2 cup at a time beating well after each addition (dough should be sticky, but clinging together).
Turn dough out of bowl onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
Grease a large bowl with butter. Put your ball of dough in the bowl, rolling it around the sides so that the surface of the dough is covered with a thin layer of butter.
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and allow dough to rise in a warm space for 2 hours. Meanwhile, prepare your filling.
Stir together softened butter, brown sugar, flour, vanilla and orange zest. The mixture will be much like a paste.
Prepare 13x9 pan: melt 1/2 stick butter, add 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar. Stir, and pour into the bottom of pan.
Once the dough has finished its rise, roll it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle (about 20x16", the shape is important and the rectangle should have distinct corners because this will affect the quality of the appearance of your rolls) about 1/4 inch thick.
Spread the filling over the rolled dough, avoiding about 1/2 inch on both of the longer edges. Starting from one of the longer ends, slowly roll up the dough, starting at one corner and slowly moving down the length of the dough to evenly roll. Start with a tight roll; after the first two turns it should roll easily.
Gently, using serrated knife, cut roll into 1" slices and place (swirl side down) into prepared pan. Cover the cinnamon rolls in the pan and allow them to rise again for 1 hour before baking.
Once rolls have had 1 hour to rise, remove the towel and bake in 375 F oven for 20-25 minutes (tops will be slightly golden brown when done) and remove. While rolls are baking, prepare the icing.
In stand mixer, combine cream cheese and 1 cup sugar on low-speed
Add orange zest and orange juice and gradually add the remaining sugar.
Beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure that all ingredients are equally incorporated.
Once the rolls have been removed from the oven, allow them to cool for about 5 minutes and then use an icing spatula to generously portion icing over the pan.