Cardamom Pistachio Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

cardamom pistachio rolls

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Hi friends!! Happy Friday! Or happy whatever day you’re reading this. 🙂 Easter is THIS Sunday, and things are still a little weird with COVID. Maybe your family is vaccinated and you are safe to get together! Or maybe you don’t even celebrate Easter? Either way, why not celebrate Spring with these crazy delicious Cardamom Pistachio Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting! Impress your family or just impress yourself because these rolls are so bomb and actually not that hard to make!!

I follow @kingarthurbaking on Instagram because their flours are great and their IG makes me drool. Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of their posts about their 2021 Recipe of the Year—Perfectly Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls. Cinnamon rolls that stay soft and delicious even a few days after baking?? Yes please!! I made the original recipe and it was AWESOME. If you’re looking for a classic cinnamon roll, definitely make their original recipe. But I wanted to put my own special twist on them, of course.

cardamom pistachio rolls

I looooove the cardamom + pistachio + orange flavor combo, so I decided to make it happen with these rolls. I added fragrant ground cardamom to the dough, filled them with a super delicious White Chocolate Pistachio Butter (adapted from Molly Yeh’s Molly on the Range cookbook), and topped them with an orange zesty cream cheese frosting. You GOTTA have cream cheese frosting with these kinds of rolls, amiright?!?

I feel like this recipe is pretty easy, with most of the time being inactive rising time. Especially if you have a stand mixer. BUT! The first time I made this recipe, I did not use my stand mixer so that I could see if it was too hard. I will admit that I was a little sore the next day because you have to knead the dough for 15 minutes by hand but I just put on some good music and it was no prob. One other thing that you absolutely need is a reliable food processor to make the pistachio butter. An old blender or a mini food processor is not gonna cut it. Also, disclaimer, pistachio butter is not a pretty color. It tastes amazing but… you can come up with your own idea about what it looks like… hehee.

pistachio butter for cardamom pistachio rolls

But who cares about the color when it tastes as good as it does!? I gave these rolls to a bunch of my friends and family to make sure that I wasn’t the only one who thought they were delicious. Two people said they were only going to eat half but then ended up eating the whole thing because it was so good. My best friend’s husband who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth was like “where did these come from?!” sooooo I thiiiink they’re pretty good. But I guess you’ll have to see for yourself! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

cardamom pistachio rolls rising
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cardamom pistachio rolls

Cardamom Pistachio Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Megan B-L
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 16 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 1/2 hours
  • Yield: 8 rolls 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Pastry


These cardamom spiced rolls are filled with a delicious white chocolate pistachio butter and topped with orange cream cheese frosting. They’re perfect for a special occasion! 

Rolls adapted from King Arthur’s Perfectly Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls

Pistachio White Chocolate Butter adapted from Molly on the Range by Molly Yeh




  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons bread flour


  • cup cold whole milk
  • 2 ½ cups bread flour, (spooned, not scooped!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened to room temp

White Chocolate Pistachio Butter Filling

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups salted, roasted pistachios (de-shelled, obvi)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

  • zest from 1 orange
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temp
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 good pinches of salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


  1. First make the tangzhong. Mix the milk and flour in a small saucepan until no lumps remain. Put saucepan on medium heat and mix for a few minutes until thickened. Transfer to a large bowl or stand mixer.
  2. Then we’ll get the dough together. Immediately after adding tangzhong to bowl, add all dough ingredients in the order listed to the bowl or stand mixer, then begin mixing. If using a stand mixer, mix on medium-low for 10 minutes. If using a bowl, mix with a wooden spoon until you can’t any longer, then knead on the counter for 15 minutes. When dough is a smooth elastic ball, place into a bowl and cover to let rise for 60–90 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the pistachio filling. You will need a good food processor for this. Melt butter in a bowl with pistachios in the microwave for 30 seconds or so. Warm pistachios will butter-ify better. Add to a food processor along with the rest of pistachio butter ingredients. Process until it turns into a thick paste—this may take 10 minutes or more.
  4. When dough is done rising, roll it out into a 10 x 12 inch, ½ inch thick rectangle. It has to be a rectangle with real corners!! Then spread the pistachio butter evenly alllll the way to the edges, leaving a half inch from the edge bare on one long side.  
  5. Roll up the dough—not too tight, not too loose—starting on the long side with pistachio butter all the way to the edge. Use unflavored dental floss or a sharp knife to cut roll into 8 equal pieces. 
  6. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Place rolls on sheet in a 3-2-3 formation. Gently stretch the end of each dough spiral out, then tuck underneath so roll doesn’t come undone. 
  7. Cover and let rolls rise for 30–60 minutes. About 15 minutes before the rise is done, preheat oven to 375° and move an oven rack to the top third of your oven. 
  8. While rolls are rising, make the frosting. Mix all frosting ingredients together besides powdered sugar until smooth, then mix in powdered sugar. Add a splash of juice from the orange or milk if the frosting is too thick for your liking. 
  9. Bake rolls on that top rack for 16–18 minutes. Remove and let cool on the sheet for 15 minutes before frosting.
  10. If serving right away, frost rolls with a spoon. If serving the next day, let rolls cool completely, store in an airtight container, then frost before serving. 


Keywords: sweet, cinnamon roll, cream cheese, orange, pistachio, cardamom, special occasion

chai spiced breakfast cookies
Mmm… sweets for breakfast. Have you tried my Chai Spiced Breakfast Cookies? If a bowl of oatmeal was a cookie, these would be it. These breakfast cookies feature orange zest, chai spices, walnuts, dried cranberries, and about a half cup of oats in each cookie.

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