Orange Cardamom Sweet Rolls with Pistachios



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Orange Cardamom Sweet Rolls with Pistachios

I didn’t grow up baking, like at all. My mom was more of a cook because it lent itself to improvisation (her strength) and the idea that you could throw everything but the kitchen sink in a pot and make it work as dinner. Baking doesn’t work that way, as you know. It requires attention to detail, a bit of precision and following directions.

When I graduated college, I started baking a lot because I loved how methodical it was. After a really long week full of to-do lists and meetings and running around, I found it so soothing to follow a set of instructions and end up with something awesome, regardless of how easy or difficult the recipe. It was and still is my favorite stress-reliever.

Orange Cardamom Sweet Rolls with Pistachios

Baking has also become one of my favorite things to do with my friends. My friend Hourie is my go-to friend when it comes to baking. It’s not uncommon for her to come over and we just literally bake the entire day, while simultaneously talking about life and boys and family. It’s always a good reminder of how many wonderful memories can be shared while kneading dough, in the kitchen, while wearing PJs with music playing in the background. It’s a place where sharing of all kinds can happen.

Orange Cardamom Sweet Rolls with Pistachios

Orange Cardamom Sweet Rolls with Pistachios

Today I share with you the second part of my series with Wolf and their initiative to #reclaimthekitchen. Reclaiming your kitchen can mean cooking simple meals, setting aside time to cook more often, or even trying new recipes like this one. I’m sharing this recipe in particular because it’s dishes like this that I love to bake on the weekend. They’re the perfect cure to a busy week when you want to stay in, relax, forgo brunch…and (just as a big bonus) they’re super fun to make with friends and family. Since one of my favorite things to do is bake on the weekends, a bit of planning definitely is required! If it’s going to be a big baking weekend, I usually write out all the recipes I’m using, write a list of what I need to buy at the store and go shopping on Friday after I finish up work. This makes cooking on Saturday morning such a breeze. Take a look at the meal planning tools on Wolf’s Reclaim the Kitchen website. They’ll surely be helpful with your planning and prep!

Orange Cardamom Sweet Rolls with Pistachios

These buns are a play on traditional cinnamon buns but with some new flavors. The orange is my absolute favorite. It adds a bit of brightness. I used cara cara oranges but feel free to use regular ol’naval ones. The hint of cardamom is so lovely and fragrant and the pistachios add some nice crunch. The glaze has lots of creamsicle vibes! The dough is super easy to throw together, too. Lots of downtime with this recipe.

I hope these easy buns have a place in one of your Saturday mornings, when you feel like staying in and baking the day away with friends or family (or maybe just with your dog). I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend a day off.

Orange Cardamom Sweet Rolls with Pistachios

5 from 1 vote

Orange Cardamom Sweet Rolls with Pistachios

Prep: 3 hours
Cook: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 cinnamon rolls



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, from about 1/2 of an orange
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest, from 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed


  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 scant teaspoon cardamom
  • Pinch of salt
  • 10 pistachios, chopped


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons orange juice, from about 1/2 of an orange
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  • Spray a medium bowl with cooking spray and set aside. To the bowl of a stand-up mixer, with the dough hook attached, add the flour and salt; give it a stir to incorporate the salt.
  • In a small saucepan, set over low heat, combine the milk and orange juice; heat until just warm to the touch (110 degrees F). Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the active dry yeast on top of the mixture and allow to sit until it begins to be foamy, about 5 to 7 minutes. (If after 5 minutes, there is still a bit of active dry yeast that hasn’t been incorporated, feel free to whisk it into the mixture.) In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, white sugar and orange zest until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the yeast mixture and whisk until combined.
  • With the mixer running on low, pour in the yeast and egg mixture. At the beginning the dough will be shaggy and you’ll maybe think to yourself that there isn’t enough liquid but just you wait! Next, add the softened butter. It’ll eventually (after around the minute-mark) come together and start to become a cohesive dough. Run the mixer for about 6 to 7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and sticky. Transfer the dough to the prepped medium bowl and cover with a towel until the dough has doubled in size, about an hour and a half.
  • In a small bowl, make the filling by mashing together the butter, honey, cinnamon, cardamom and pinch of salt together. Lightly flour your work surface and drop the dough onto it. Roll the dough into a 17 by 12-inch rectangle that’s about 1/8-inch thick. Spread the filling onto the dough, being sure to stop an inch before the edge so the filling doesn’t ooze out when you roll it. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios atop the filling 
  • Roll the dough toward you, being sure to that’s it’s a little snug. Transfer the large roll to a cutting board and transfer to the freezer to chill for 10 minutes (this will make it easier to slice). Remove it from the freezer and slice 1-inch rolls (I find that using a serrated knife is the best tool for the job). Transfer the rolls a 6-inch baking pan and cover with a towel to rise for the second time, around 1 hour. They’ll rise into each other a bit—this is ok!
  • Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F. When the oven is preheated, add the rolls and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden brown. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, orange juice, vanilla extract and pinch of salt until smooth. Pour the glaze on top of the warm rolls and serve.


Serving: 8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this Recipe? Please Rate & comment below!

(This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Wolf blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.)

Cozy Latin-Inspired Comfort Food Recipes

Hi! I'm Adrianna and this is my cozy space on the internet that is super-charged by butter, flour and copious amounts of pasta. Stay awhile, will you!

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  1. 5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe! It is an instant favorite and will be added to my official rotation of recipes I love. I’ve never worked with Cara Cara oranges before but they were such a sweet subtle flavor I’m glad I went with it it. The only difference I added was that I had left over zest from adding to the dough that I added the rest to my icing and it tasted amazing! The only thing I can say I was a *little* bummed about was that although in your story you show the pistachios in the filling and it is added in the filling section of recipe there is no where in the instructions that it says when to add it? I am a mise en place person to a T so I had it all in rotation but I forgot to add mine as once I was prepped I started reading the directions step by step so I ended up forgetting to add them but sprinkled them on top during the last 5 minutes of baking and it was delicious none the less!

    1. Ahh oh no! Sorry about that. I just added it to the recipe. Apologies! I hope the next time you make them, you’ll be able to correct my mistake!

  2. Have I told you about that one time I invited myself over to the Pioneer Woman s ranch and insisted that she show me how to make her world-famous cinnamon rolls at which point I twisted her arm into adding pistachios, orange zest, and dark chocolate?

  3. i tried making them all in one morning and they were pillowy and then tried again to let them rise overnight in the fridge and they came out of the oven like hockey pucks. Don’t do it! I’m going to try letting them rise overnight on the counter instead.

    1. Ooof. Good to know. You know, a lot of bakers/recipes say you can do a fridge rise and I’ve never had it work for me. Ever. So strange. So I never risk it but I do know some people say it works!

  4. These look fantastic. I am hoping to make them the day before. Any idea how they would hold up if I let them rise in the fridge overnight? Thanks.

    1. I think the second rise (when the rolls are assembled) would do great in the fridge. I obviously haven’t tried it but I’ve tried them with other rolls and they seem to be just fine! Let me know how it goes.

  5. Orange sweet rolls are one of my very favorite things. I’ve never thought of using cardamom in them. These are beautiful!

  6. Cardamom is such an under-utilized spice – thank you for finding more uses for it! Cinnamon rolls to me are normally just a “Christmas Morning” treat, but this might make me change my foolish ways (really, it’s foolish to eat that kind of amazingness just 1 day out of 365). Amazing first photo, too — you captured the perfect pour, and there are even ripples in your Chemex from the coffee dripping. Fantastic!

    1. Haha. Thank you!! Sweet rolls/cinnamon rolls need to be utilized more–they’re too good to just eat one day a year.