Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls

Tasty and not a crazy amount of work. Works well for brunches. Based off of a Paupered Chef recipe.

-makes 24 small rolls-


In total

  • 3/4 C milk
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1 1/4 sticks (5oz) butter
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 t cardamom pieces (20 pods?)
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1C powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 C AP flour (but have extra if wet out)
  • 1 package yeast or 0.6 oz cake yeast
  • large bowl for dough
  • small bowl for cinnamon frosting
  • mixer for frosting, or small bowl and hand mixer

Make the dough

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) at room temperature.
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package yeast or 0.6 oz cake yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3.5 cups all purpose flour (probably only use 3)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • two teaspoons whole black cardamom pieces (found inside cardamom pods), ground in a mortar and pestle or spice blender
  1. Take out cream cheese, butter and eggs, to let to come to room temp (1 hour?).
  2. First, warm the milk in a saucepan until very hot. (40sec in the microwave did the trick from our fridge) Meanwhile, put the butter, sugar, salt, and cardamom in a a large mixing bowl. Pour the hot milk into the bowl and stir to combine.
  3. If not using cake yeast: Proof the yeast by putting it into a small bowl with a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons warm water. When it begins to foam, add it to the milk mixture; if nothing happens, start with new yeast and make sure the water isn’t warmer than wrist temperature.
  4. Add about half the flour and the lemon zest to the milk mixture and stir well with a wooden spoon
  5. Add the eggs and yeast mixture and stir until well-mixed.
  6. Continue adding flour and stirring with a wooden spoon until it’s too thick to do so. Switch to kneading with your hands, continuing to add flour until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers, but is still quite tacky. It should feel sticky, but not actually stick. You want a tacky dough. Knead for about 10 min.
  7. Sprinkle the dough with a little flour and cover with a kitchen towel.
  8. Allow to rise in a warm place for at least an hour, up to two. I found it effective to turn the oven on warm while I was kneading, then turn it off and add the bowl.
Make the frosting

Cinnamon filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t nutmeg or cardamom

frosting filling

  • 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  1. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside
  2. Combine the frosting ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until smooth, then set aside.
  3. When the dough has risen substantially, about double in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 2 pieces and set one aside. Roll one piece into a large rectangle, at least a foot wide and 1.5 times as long. The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick at the most.
  4. Paint a layer of the frosting, using about half, onto the dough. Sprinkle with half the brown sugar mixture, and roll the rectangle lengthwise into a long cylinder. It’s important to use your fingers to continue tucking the sugar mixture into the roll, otherwise much of the sugar can get pushed out to the end. The dough will hold well, so don’t worry about tearing it — the rolls will turn out better if you roll them at least a couple times around.
  5. Transfer the roll to a cutting board, cut side down. Using a very sharp knife (or the rolls will get flattened), cut the cylinder into 1-inch wide pieces. Transfer these to a rectangular baking dish, placing them quite close together so they are just touching. Repeat the whole process with the other piece of dough. In all, the rolls should fill two 9 inch square baking dishes, though we cooked our rolls in a 9 x 13 pan and put the leftover dough in a small pie dish.
  6. In any case, cover with a piece of plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes, or place in fridge overnight (8 hours)
  7. If in fridge, let warm up for 30-60 min, until chill is off and have risen since last night.
Topping the rolls
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup pearl sugar (look for this in Scandinavian shops…IKEA carries it!)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the rolls have risen, uncover them and lightly paint with the beaten egg, being careful not to press too hard and risk deflating them. Sprinkle liberally with the pearl sugar.
  2. Bake the rolls until just beginning to brown but still gooey on the inside, 15-18 minutes.
2015 Dec
– didn’t have cream cheese when putting together. Put on top of rolls after and it didn’t melt. Crud. Just realized forgot butter too. *wah wah wah wahhh*
– Should have some lemon zest or orange zest with frosting.
– Needed more spice than just cinnamon it originally called for


Leave a Reply