Orange Cardamom Cinnamon Buns are a light, fragrant twist on classic cinnamon rolls. They are perfect for a weekend brunch.

I’m a breakfast for dinner kind of girl. I really love those good old-fashioned diner breakfasts with the works- fried eggs, bacon, pancakes, hash browns, maybe even some french toast. The maple syrup from the pancakes gets all over the bacon and grazes the eggs, while the salty hash browns are dipped in a bit of ketchup. That’s how I roll. Well, that’s how I roll in the evening or maybe really early in the morning after a night of drinking. (Who am I kidding, that hasn’t happened since college). 

Orange Cardamom Cinnamon Buns are a light, fragrant twist on classic cinnamon rolls. They are perfect for a weekend brunch.

Anyway. Breakfast for dinner. In my universe, breakfast for breakfast is usually going to be something light like a smoothie or some yogurt and muesli. I can’t do heavy breakfasts in the morning and I definitely can’t do sweets. Just looking at a doughnut first thing in the day makes my stomach cramp up. The same goes for cinnamon buns. For me, these orange cardamom cinnamon buns make the perfect dessert after a serious breakfast for dinner experience. The orange zest and ground cardamom offer a delicate fragrant quality that you won’t find in a typical cinnamon bun. These are unique without straying too far from a classic recipe.

Orange Cardamom Cinnamon Buns are a light, fragrant twist on classic cinnamon rolls. They are perfect for a weekend brunch.

Orange Cardamom Cinnamon Buns
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12-16 buns
  • ½ cup whole milk, warm (110-115 degrees)
  • 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 large eggs
  • 20 ounces (4 cups) all purpose flour (+1/4 cup if needed)
  • 3¼ ounces (3/4 cup) cornstarch
  • 3½ ounces (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • zest of 1 orange (approximately ½ tablespoon)
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (approximately 1 orange)
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped and at room temperature
  • 10½ ounces (1½ cups) packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (approximately 1 orange)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the whole milk and instant yeast, followed by the eggs.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt, cardamom and orange zest. Break apart any clumps of zest if necessary. Attach the dough hook, turn the mixer on low speed and add the warm milk mixture followed by the orange juice. Allow the ingredients to combine for one minute. Increase the speed to medium and add the butter in pieces until it's all incorporated. The dough will be very wet. Allow it to continue mixing for 10 minutes. If the dough is still looking wet, add up to another ¼ cup of flour in 2 tablespoon increments. The dough should be very soft and delicate but not too sticky to handle. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased large bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to double in size, up to 2 hours. To speed things up, place the bowl inside the oven or microwave next to a small bowl of boiling water and close the door.
  3. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and salt in a bowl. Grease 2 8-inch cake pans thoroughly and set aside.
  4. Place the dough on a lightly floured countertop. Roll the dough into a large, thin rectangle. Using clean hands, spread the butter across the dough, leaving a small border around the edges, and then top evenly with the sugar mixture. Roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Cut into 12 or 16 even pieces and place in the reserved cake pans, cut side up. Cover and allow to double in size, approximately 1 hour.
  5. Prepare the glaze by whisking together the confectioners' sugar, cream cheese, orange juice and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  6. Bake the buns at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Top each pan with ¼ cup of the glaze and allow the buns to cool completely. Top with the remaining glaze before serving.

Tools I Used

KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale with Pull-Out Display
Chicago Metallic Commercial II Non-Stick 8-Inch Round Cake Pan
French Rolling Pin

More Cardamom Recipes

Savory Simple – Cardamom Snowdrop Cookies
Savory Simple – Cardamom Vanilla Bean Layer Cake
Savory Simple – Cardamom Horchata
Princess Tofu – Pecan Frangipane Tart with Orange-Cardamom Poached Sweet Potato Leaves
The Vanilla Bean Blog – Spice Cake with Cardamom Coffee Frosting
A Brown Table – Cardamom and Saffron Olive Oil Pound Cake

  • Kitchen Belleicious

    the perfect! The perfect cinnamon roll EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Two Red Bowls

    Gorgeous. I always love seeing your use of cardamom, it never fails to inspire me! And I’m the same way — small or no breakfasts (even though I know everyone says it’s bad for you!) are the only way I can do things.

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    Can I come over for breakfast?!

  • Julia @Vikalinka

    I don’t know how you do it but every time I look at your photos they project serenity. :-) I’ve never made cinnamon buns but I am a huge bun lover I think it’s time to tear into that packet of yeast I’ve been holding onto.

  • Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg

    This sounds incredible. I’m liking your use of cardamom lately. And lovely photos as always.

  • Lisa @ Fresh Eggs Daily

    Oh I LOVE that you love cardamom too! Pinning and sharing and trying this recipe for sure!
    Fresh Eggs Daily

  • Liz@Virtually Homemade

    I can’t do big breakfasts either! These rolls would be a great afternoon pick me up/snack – beautiful! Pinned!

  • sandra

    I have just begun exploring yeast – and I hear a lot about various yeasts and their quality but I can only find Fleishmans – everywhere I look. I suppose I’ll need to buy it online to get a really good quality one.

    • Jennifer Farley

      Sandra, double check at your grocery store. I’ve seen Red Star products at mine!

  • Sophia @ NY Foodgasm

    These are beautiful and the combination of flavors sounds sooooo good!

  • Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate

    Your photography is my favourite Jennifer! I love how you keep it so simple and let the food speak for itself. Yet in its simplicity it manages to be so complex.

    • Jennifer Farley

      Thank you so much, Mallory!

  • Mackenzie {SusieFreakingHomemaker}

    These sound so perfect for a lazy Sunday morning. Cardamom is a favorite in our house.

  • JJ – 84thand3rd

    I’m the same way – I tend to eat breakfast for dinner or late brunch rather than early in the morning! These sound stunning :)

  • Valerie

    Oh, yes please!! For breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Gorgeous, love the orange and cardamom!

  • Lily @ Life, Love, and Cupcakes

    This sounds awesome! I’ve been seeing cardamom popping up everywhere in recipes this month, I love it paired with orange!

  • fabiola@notjustbaked

    I am in LOVE! I made orange cardamon shortbread cookies last week, perfect flavors. But cinnamon rolls, whoa. My family will love these for Christmas Eve am.

    • Jennifer Farley

      Orange cardamom shortbread?!?!?! I die.

  • Kathryn

    The flavours in these sound wonderful, so full of brightness and warming winter spice. Just lovely.

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    I can’t do sweets first thing in the morning either but now for dinner…that’s a whole other thing!

  • Natasha @ The Cake Merchant

    This sounds like an awesome combination! Your photos are always so lovely.

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    Oh my goodness gracious gooeyness. These look incredible, Jennifer!

  • Hari Chandana

    Looks gorgeous.. thanks for sharing!!

  • Chris

    They really look lovely and delicious. I also like the sounds of it already.

  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today

    I have days when I have breakfast also for lunch and dinner, hahaha.

  • Laura Dembowski

    These look pillowy and comforting! Definitely perfect for breakfast for dinner, which is one of my favorites too!

  • cayley

    I love cardamom and had some time at home on my hands, so I made these the other day; big hit with my family, but they weren’t as fluffy as I would have liked. Might have gotten some not-so-great yeast.

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