My husband’s goal every year around this time is to make the most Christmasy Christmas ever. He starts talking it up at the beginning of fall. He sets me down and explains how he wants this Christmas to feeeel more like Christmas than last year, and how this year should beat the previous year on the Christmasy scale of feeling Christmasy- so I have my mental checklist:
- Christmas tree and decorations- Check
- Lots of Christmas music-Check
- Christmas movie marathons- check
- Presents under the tree and anticipation from the kids-check
- Lots of Christmasy treats-check
- Lots of Christmasy treats- check (did I already say that one?? Oh well, he won’t mind double the treats)
Every year I try to make a special, out of the ordinary kind of Christmas breakfast. In the last couple of years on Christmas morning, I’ve made a twisted cinnamon roll. It was delicious, but this year I wanted to do traditional cinnamon rolls with a twist- made with plenty of cardamom and orange zest! Let me tell you that they were hands down the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever eaten!
They are the perfect Christmas morning treat because you can mix them up the evening before and have them ready to rise and bake in the morning!
Not much can beat the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls filling the air, fresh coffee being made, the sound of excitement and music filling the room, and a few gifts exchanged with love.
For other great cinnamon roll recipes try my Apple Cinnamon Rolls!
Orange Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls
- 1/4 cup warm water + 1 package yeast
- 6 tbsp melted butter
- 1 cup milk warm
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp pink salt or sea salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 1/2-4 cups unbleached flour
- 6 tbsp butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 2 inches from a block of cream cheese softened
- 4 tbsp butter softened at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3-4 tbsp warm milk
- Zest of one orange
- In a large mixing bowl, place warm water and yeast. Let rest until frothy.
- In a small saucepan melt butter, add milk and turn off heat. Make sure milk and butter are just warm to the touch and whisk into the yeast and water mix.
- Whisk in egg, salt, vanilla, and sugar.
- With a wooden spoon, one cup at a time, mix in flour until a less sticky smooth dough forms.
- cover and set in a warm part in your kitchen to double in volume.
- Preheat oven to 350
- Butter a 9x13 pan using a pastry brush with butter or refined coconut oil. Set aside.
- When It has doubled, place dough on a floured surface and press with fingers or use rolling pin to form dough into a rectangle of about 15 inches long.
- Spread filling on dough evenly (as pictured abovand then with the long side tightly roll dough into a log.
- To cut evenly, cut log in half, then each half in half and so on until you have 16-18 cinnamon rolls.
- Place cinnamon rolls in pan and set in a warm part of your kitchen to let them rise to about double. If needed you can cover them to help them rise.
- With a pastry brush brush the tops of the cinnamon rolls with a little melted butter.
- Place in your preheated oven, and bake about 30 min. or until golden brown on top.
- Note: I baked mine in 2 separate pans so I could use the pan in pictures, so I had 12 in that pan and 6 in another.
- While dough is rising, make filling
- Mix soft butter, spices, and sugar in a small mixing bowl with a whisk or hand mixer.
- Set aside.
- I usually make this while cinnamon rolls are baking, but you could make before.
- With a hand mixer or whisk, mix cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar.
- With a grater grate in zest from one orange and mix well.Buy a hand zester here
- Add warm milk 1 tbsp at a time until icing is thin enough to drizzle it on.
- Drizzle on icing and enjoy!
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