Super soft and fluffy cardamom cinnamon rolls topped with a sweet and tangy buttermilk glaze – the perfect weekend or special occasion breakfast!
Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Glaze

 A cold winter weekend without cinnamon rolls is like, well, a really not ideal life situation.

Add a foot of snow into the mix?

You are looking at a borderline CATASTROPHE.

Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Glaze

Allow me to rescue you from these poor life choices with a batch of cardamom cinnamon rolls!

These are basically your average cinnamon rolls but taken up a notch with a cardamom infusion into the buttery brioche dough. Rather than distracting from the cinnamon roll essence, the cardamom adds a hint of savory warmth that cuts through the rolls’ richness so that you can keep coming back for bite after bite (after bite).

I was a bit worried it would be too overwhelming for my peanut gallery of taste testers, but they didn’t comment on it or at least were too busy stuffing their faces to notice or care.

Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Glaze

Otherwise, these cinnamon rolls are pretty classic. They’re filled with a spicy sweet cinnamon and brown sugar spread and topped with a simple and tangy buttermilk glaze that gets into all of the nooks, crannies, and crevices of the rolls.

As much as I love a cream cheese-based topping, I think I may love this glaze even more both because it is SO simple to whisk together and because as the glaze sets on top of the rolls it helps to preserve the inner soft and fluffiness of the dough for days on end. 

Sure, the rolls are best warm and straight from the oven but they were also plenty delicious on days two and three after baking, which is a real boon when your family is small enough that you will inevitably have some left over.

Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Glaze

A major pet peeve of mine when it comes to so-called “overnight” cinnamon rolls is that the vast majority of recipes out there require you to let the dough rise at room temperature for at least 1-2 hours in the morning before baking. I don’t know about you guys but I wake up HANGRY and can’t possibly wait that long to not only let the rolls rise but also then bake before eating. 

These rolls are magical in that they do most of their second rise the night before baking so that the following morning you only need to set them out for the time it takes for the oven to heat up and then they are ready to go. 

Another benefit of these rolls is that they are kind of a choose-your-own-adventure in terms of baking timing. You can totally forge ahead and bake them in one day OR you can break up the baking process over multiple days with various chill steps.

Personally, I prepped the dough on a Thursday evening, let it do a 2 hour ferment at room temperature, then popped it in the fridge to chill overnight. On Friday, I formed the rolls and let them rise, then into the fridge they went again for one final chill before baking on Saturday morning. This made the entire process feel very manageable and was totally doable for working weeknight bakers, such as myself. 

Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Glaze

This recipe comes from Melissa Weller’s A Good Bake cookbook (her Cinnamon Babka and Spelt Bull’s Eye Scones have also made it to the blog), which features a wealth of recipes for various pastries, cakes, cookies, pies, and breads. The recipes can be a bit on the more advanced side but she does a great job of walking you through each step as well as spelling out the ideal timeline for some of the more involved, multi-day recipes. 

If you’re looking to step up your baking game or challenge your baking skills in the new year, it’s a great book with which to do so.


Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Glaze
Super soft and fluffy cardamom cinnamon rolls topped with a sweet and tangy buttermilk glaze - the perfect weekend or special occasion breakfast!
Yield: 8 servings
For the dough
  • 2 cups (240 g) all purpose flour
  • 1½ cups (158 g) whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp (63 g) sugar
  • 2 tsp (6 grams) instant yeast
  • 1½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup (80 g) whole milk
  • 16 tbsp (227 g) unsalted butter, very soft
  • nonstick cooking spray
For the filling
  • 1 cup (200 g) dark brown sugar
  • 8 tbsp (113 g) unsalted butter, soft
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch fine sea salt
For the glaze
  • 3⅓ cups (400 g) powdered sugar
  • ½ cup (125 g) buttermilk, well shaken
  • ⅛ tsp fine sea salt
For the rolls
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, yeast, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Combine the eggs and the milk in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add in the dry ingredient mixture and mix on low speed for 3 minutes to combine. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes.
  3. Decrease the speed to low and slowly add in the butter, a tablespoon at a time. Continue mixing until all of the butter is incorporated, about 5-10 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Remove the mixer bowl from the mixer, scraping any dough caught on the dough hook into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and allow to rest in a warm place for 2 hours.
  5. Scrape the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and gently pat it into an 8-inch square. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray. Set aside.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough onto a 12x16-inch rectangle with the long edge facing you. Lift the dough periodically as you are rolling and dust underneath with flour to ensure it doesn't stick to your work surface.
  8. Use a small offset spatula to spread the filling (recipe below) over the dough leaving a ½-inch border. Gently roll the long side of the dough away from you to form a log.
  9. Trim the sides of the log and cut into 8 equal-sized spiral rounds that are about 2 inches wide. Place one roll in the center of the prepared baking pan and arrange the remaining rolls around the one in the center.
  10. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1.5-2 hours or until swollen and puffy. At this point you can bake the rolls or pop them in the fridge and refrigerate overnight.
  11. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350F and remove the rolls from the refrigerator if they were chilled overnight. Uncover them.
  12. Place on the center rack of the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until deeply golden brown on top, rotating halfway through.
  13. Place the pan on a cooling rack and carefully remove the sides of the springform pan.
  14. Spoon the glaze (recipe below) over the top of each bun. Serve warm or at room temperature.
For the filling
  1. Prepare just before you are ready to roll out the dough.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until well combined.
For the glaze
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, buttermilk, and salt.
Recipe from A Good Bake


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8 Responses to Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Glaze

  1. Pam says:

    Why oh why did I have to look at this recipe post today. Now I’ll be daydreaming about these beauties all day long. They look AMAZING.

  2. Your pet peeve is my pet peeve. I DO NOT HAVE HOURS IN THE MORNING TO WAIT AROUND ON BREAKFAST, so major bonus with this recipe. Like you, I love cream cheese frosting but I would be equally fine with this one. Looks heavenly!

  3. stacey a geiermann says:

    Could i make this without the long rise?

    • joanne says:

      Hi Stacey,
      The rolls need to rise at least 2 hours at room temperature. The subsequent rise in the fridge is really to proof and chill the dough enough so that it is easy to work with, otherwise it will be quite sticky.

  4. J says:

    Will the yeast still rise if the milk is not warm?

  5. Christine Fordstrom says:

    I’m making these now and the dough seems really wet/sticky and not rising at all for the first ferment. Is this normal? Resisting the urge to add more flour… but not seeing how these will roll at all. I need a Christmas miracle!!

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