Orange-Cardamom Morning Buns


These fragrant morning buns are a great way to wake up. They're soft and tender, made with dough that's spiked with a hint of honey and vanilla extract. Honey goes into the buttery filling as well, which is flavored with orange zest, cinnamon, and cardamom. The filling is not only rolled up into the dough, but brushed on the baked buns as well, creating a delightfully gooey and sticky topping. The buns aren't too sweet, but if you'd like a little more sweetness, increase the amount of honey in the topping, or drizzle more on top. Serve the buns warm, with plenty of napkins and a mug of tea or coffee.

Orange Cardamom Morning Buns
Photo: Photo by Fred Hardy / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christina Brockman
Active Time:
45 mins
Chill Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
10 hrs 20 mins



  • 3/4 cup (6 1/2 ounces) whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)

  • 4 ¼ cups (about 18 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface and as needed

  • ½ cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

  • 4 large eggs, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Cooking spray


  • ½ cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter

  • ½ cup (4 ounces) honey

  • 3 tablespoons grated orange zest (from 6 medium oranges)

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom


Prepare the Dough:

  1. Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium-low until just warm (105°F to 110°F), about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; stir in honey. Stir in yeast; let stand until yeast is dissolved and mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir mixture until no clumps remain.

  2. Beat flour, sugar, and salt with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add butter cubes a few at a time, beating on low speed until cubes are broken down into pea-sized pieces, about 2 minutes per addition. Remove paddle attachment from mixer; attach dough hook attachment. With stand mixer running on low speed, drizzle in milk mixture, eggs, and vanilla; beat until combined, about 1 minute. Increase mixer speed to medium; beat until a soft, smooth, shiny Dough forms, 10 to 15 minutes. If Dough remains too sticky, beat in additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time.

  3. Transfer Dough to a lightly floured work surface, and shape into a ball. Transfer Dough to a bowl coated with cooking spray, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 20 hours.

Prepare the Filling:

  1. Cook butter, honey, orange zest, cinnamon, and cardamom in a small saucepan over medium, stirring often, until butter is melted, about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir mixture until smooth. Let cool slightly, about 15 minutes.

  2. Coat a 13- x -9-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Remove Dough from refrigerator. Place on a lightly floured work surface, and roll into a 16- x 12-inch rectangle aout 1/4 inch thick, with 1 long edge of Dough facing you.

  3. Brush half of the Filling over surface of Dough. Starting with long edge nearest to you, roll Dough up into a log, using a bench scraper to help move the Dough if necessary (Dough will be soft and somewhat sticky). Using a sharp serrated knife, cut Dough evenly into 12 pieces (about 1 1/4 inches wide). Transfer each piece of Dough to prepared baking dish. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap, and let buns rise until puffy and almost doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F.

  4. Remove plastic wrap. Transfer buns to preheated oven. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove buns from oven, and immediately brush remaining Filling on top. Let buns cool to just warm, about 10 minutes. Serve.

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