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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