Orange-Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls
Orange and cardamom are natural partners for baked goods, and adding them to cinnamon rolls makes a special breakfast even more festive. The cream cheese frosting isn’t to be missed—make sure you spread it on while the rolls are still slightly warm so it melts into all the cracks and folds.
- 15 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons shortening or unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus about 1/4 cup for rolling
- 3 tablespoons ground cardamom
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons finely grated orange zest, divided
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- Cooking-oil spray
- 3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1In a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, 1/4 cup warm (110°F) water, and the yeast. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/4 cups more warm water, salt, 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, the shortening or butter, and the egg. Mix until blended.
2Change to the dough hook, gradually add 3 3/4 cups flour, and beat on medium speed until the dough is smooth and stretchy and pulls away somewhat from inside of bowl, about 10 minutes (the dough will still feel quite wet).
3In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of cardamom and 2 tablespoons orange zest with the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and all the brown sugar. Generously flour a large work surface and scrape dough onto it. Generously sprinkle the dough and a rolling pin with flour.
4Very gently roll and pat dough into a 10-inch by 24-inch rectangle, keeping a light coating of flour on dough but trying not to work it in. Sprinkle with cardamom-sugar mixture, then roll dough into a log starting from one of the long sides. Cut the dough straight down into 12 equal slices. Place the slices cut-side up in a greased 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan. Let stand until puffy, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325°F.
5Set the pan on rimmed baking sheet and bake the rolls until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center roll (avoid cinnamon-sugar swirls) comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack, 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the cream cheese topping: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and remaining 1 tablespoon orange zest until blended.
6Run a knife around the inside of the pan to release the rolls; remove the pan rim. Spread the rolls with the cream cheese mixture.
Make-ahead note: Instead of letting the rolls rise on the counter (step 5), immediately cover with a piece of oiled plastic wrap and chill overnight. In the morning, let stand at room temperature until puffy and no longer cold, about 1 1/4 hours. Bake as directed.
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