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Cardamom orange cinnamon rolls drizzled with orange icing.

High Altitude Cardamom Orange Cinnamon Rolls

Heather Smoke
Perfectly soft and pillowy cinnamon rolls with a cardamom scented yeast dough and orange icing.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Proof Time 1 hr 50 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings12 rolls


  • Stand Mixer with Dough Hook



  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup whole buttermilk
  • 3 cups bread flour, spooned and leveled, (plus 1/4 cup for rolling)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 ¼ tsp (1 packet) instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg


  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 4-5 tbsp orange juice



  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the buttermilk and stir. Warm the mixture just until it reaches between 110-115 degrees F.
    If it gets too hot, let it sit for a few minutes until it cools down to the correct temperature. It's important that you check the temperature – if it's too cold, it won't activate the yeast, and if it's too hot, it will kill the yeast.
  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together 2 1/2 cups of the flour with the sugar, salt, cardamom, nutmeg and instant yeast.
    When the butter/buttermilk is ready, add it to the bowl along with the eggs and vanilla. Stir together into a rough dough.
  • Fit your mixer with the dough hook, and knead the dough on medium speed for 5 minutes, gradually adding the last 1/2 cup of flour. The dough will be soft and stretchy, and will not form a firm ball.
  • Lightly spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Scrape the dough into the bowl, and cover tightly with plastic. Set the dough in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
    If your oven has a bread-proofing setting, you can use that to proof your dough. If not, let your oven preheat to the lowest setting, turn the oven off, and then set your dough inside to rise.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, place the covered bowl in the refrigerator to rest overnight. Chilling the dough also makes it very easy to roll out the dough in the morning.
  • In the morning, flour your work surface with 1/4 cup of flour. Turn the chilled dough out and dust with flour. Roll the cold dough out into a rectangle measuring about 15x22 inches, then let rest for a couple of minutes while you prepare the filling.
  • Grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan with butter or non-stick spray.


  • Melt the butter and use a pastry brush to brush it over the rectangle of dough, all the way to the edges.
  • In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and cardamom. Sprinkle over the buttered dough.
  • Roll up the dough (starting on one of the long ends) into a log, keeping it as tight as you can. Using a gentle sawing motion with a sharp, non-serrated knife, cut the dough into 12 rolls.
  • Place the rolls, cut side up, into the muffin pan. Set in a warm place for 20 minutes, just until the rolls fill the muffin pan and puff up gently over the top. Note that they will continue to puff up and rise as they bake.

Egg Wash and Bake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Use a fork to lightly break up the egg yolk and whisk it together. Use a pastry brush to very gently brush the egg wash over the rolls.
  • Bake the rolls on the center oven rack for about 18-20 minutes, until they appear done in the middle, and their color is golden brown.
  • Immediately remove the hot rolls from the muffin pan, using a spoon to slide underneath the rolls to help lift them out of the pan. Set on a cooling rack or platter while you make the icing.


  • In a bowl, stir together all the icing ingredients until smooth. Immediately drizzle over the hot rolls.
  • Serve the rolls warm.


  • Yeast:  This recipe calls for instant or rapid-rise yeast, which does not require any proofing first, so you can just mix it right into the dough.  If you only have regular active dry yeast, you should proof it first, before adding to the dough.  To do this, heat your butter and buttermilk as instructed, then sprinkle the yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar, over the liquid.  Stir in and let sit until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.  Add to your dough and mix as instructed.
  • Eggs:  Your eggs will be too cold if you use them straight from the fridge, and the chill could prevent your dough from rising.  Let them sit out for about an hour (or place the eggs in a glass of hot water) to warm up to room temperature before adding to your dough.
  • 110-115 Degrees:  It’s very important that you check the temperature of your melted butter and warmed buttermilk.  The amount noted here is not a suggestion; it’s essential to correctly activating your yeast.  Too cold, and the yeast won’t be activated.  Too hot, and it will kill the yeast.
  • Leftover Rolls:  Store the leftover rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.  Re-warm in the microwave at 50% power to make them warm and soft.
Keyword Cardamom, Cinnamon Rolls, Enriched Dough, Orange, Yeast Dough
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