Cardamom-Lemon Sweet Rolls

I am obsessed with recipes.  Cookbooks, magazine cutouts with recipes, a new recipe hastily scribbled down on a piece of napkin,  recipes I memorize for  dishes I see demonstrated on a grocery store monitor while waiting for my items to be scanned—you name it—they all tickle me immensely and lure me into the kitchen, oftentimes when I am supposed to work on recipes to go in my own cookbook.

Why I am rambling about this? Oh, yes. I just received new recipes, or new magazines with tons of recipes, to be precise. Actually I’ve adopted them. Here’s how. The other day my friend Victoria’s neighbor was cleaning her house to get rid of clutter, and she asked Victoria if she would like to “rescue” some cooking magazines that she, the neighbor, had accumulated over the past few years. Victoria’s answer was, “No. But I know somebody who will have a loving home for them.”

Sure enough, soon after that conversation, Victoria was standing on our doorstep, holding a huge stack of Cooking Light magazine issues from past two years. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. More recipes? Sure, why not, although this was happening at a time I vowed not to buy any cookbook or food magazine until I was done working on my own cookbook. But I didn’t buy them, so I easily justified (to myself) my “hospitable” behavior. I eagerly made room for the magazines on the already overcrowded book shelf.

I went through all of the issues on the same day, bookmarking the recipes I would love to try one day. One recipe read Cardamom-Lime Sweet Rolls and it didn’t need any bookmarking. There is cardamom in these rolls and to me, that says it all.

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you know that I suffer from an untreatable case of cardamom addiction. So sure enough,  I was soon heading over to the kitchen to make these rolls. And I made them. Glad I did. They turned out absolutely delicious. Not overly sweet, just the  way I like my rolls. And the aroma of cardamom emanating from them? Pure delight! I made half of the rolls with the original filling, and the other half with ground nuts added to it. Both variations turned out great. The rolls became history as soon as they were out of the oven while the recipe became a keeper. Couldn’t be otherwise. There is cardamom in the name. And I am addicted.

Cardamom-Lemon Sweet Rolls
Adapted from Cooking Light, Jan/Feb 2008. Recipe by Jackie Mills.

Yields 24 rolls

Note: The original recipe calls for lime but I used lemon, simply because I didn’t have lime in my pantry. Feel free to use either.


For the Dough:
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup sour cream (reduced fat ok)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2  1/3 cups all-purpose flour (about 10  1/2 ounces / 300 g), divided

For the Filling:

Option 1
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind (or lime)
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided

Option 2 (here I am adding ground nuts to the filling)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup ground walnuts or almonds
2 tablespoons butter, melted, divided

For the Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon (or lime) juice


1. To prepare the dough, dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes.

2. Combine sour cream and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl, stirring until well blended. Gradually stir yeast mixture into sour cream mixture.  Add 2 cups of the flour to sour cream mixture, stirring to form a soft dough.

3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes; add enough of the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly tacky).

4. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place,1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)

5. To prepare filling, combine brown sugar, rind, and cardamom. If making variation 2, add grounds nuts too. Dive dough into two equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, roll dough into a 12-by-10-inch (30-by-25-cm) rectangle. Brush with 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle half of filling over dough. Beginning with a long side, roll up jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Repeat procedure with remaining dough, 1 tablespoons butter, and filling. Cut each roll into 12 (1-inch/2.5 cm) slices. Place slices, cut side up in a 13-by-9-inch (33-by-22-cm) baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

6. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

7. Uncover dough. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack.

8. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls.

Step 1


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  1. he he 🙂 you know, I also have a whole closet full of magazines and cut-outs 🙂

  2. I have always wanted to learn this. Thank you for the recipe

    Ellerin derd gormesin 🙂

  3. Those rolls look fabulous! Mouthwatering!



  4. Farida, those rolls look lovely. I’m another person who has a cardamom addiction (have already bookmarked this). And have a thing for recipes too. 🙂
    We certainly have a lot in common, I think. ;-D

  5. These rolls look soo good. I can just taste them with a hot cup of coffee!

    I confess….I also have an addiction to cooking magazines.

  6. fabulous!

  7. Wow,…these rolls look amazing & so fabulously delicious!!

    This is a must try in the weekend!!

  8. Farida, always wondered who is your photographer? Whoever is he/she the photos are SUPERB and professional.
    P.S. If it is yourself then you definitely have one more talent.;-)

  9. Farida, these would be most welcome at breakfast…I’ll bring the Greek coffee!

  10. This looks incredibly delicious! I love cardamon too!!!

  11. It looks soooooo yummy! I will and I must try to learn cooking this.

  12. WOW, those look awesome, Farida! I am a cardamom addict too! Great photos!

  13. Farida! I have had an extremely busy month – September and I was thinking that for this first weekend in October, I was going to relax but now those plans have been dashed because you had to go and post such an outstanding recipe like this! I am definitely making this soon! Hugs always and thanks for this recipe!

  14. Ouh! Looks delicious! 😛

  15. hello farida !
    Hello this is Pierre from France !
    ilove these little rolls and find them exquisite !!! i have posted some receipes with cardamom on my blog too !
    If you like French creative cuisine from an amateur come and visit my blog you are most welcome and you can even leave a message I’ll reply to you !!! cheers and à bientôt Pierre

  16. wow…those look awesome! I love cardmom in everything….especially pastries and my tea!

  17. I love collecting cookbooks too ,, I love these rolls. they look great

  18. These look amazing. I am going to try this. I did try the cinnamon rolls long time ago. The taste was good but the bun was little shapeless 🙂 .

  19. this is amazing..u are such a wonder..

  20. MARIJA: Thakn you. And welcome to my club:)

    VUSALA: Nush olsun!

    ROSA: Thank you.

    APARNA: Glad to be sharing the same addiction with you. The more of us, the better:)

    LILIANA: I made you confess too:)

    GRAZI: Thank you.

    SOPHIE: Enjoy!

    ILKIN: I am blushing as I am writing this. I take the photos, but honestly, since I am my worst critic, I am never satisfied with them:) Thank you!

    PETER: Greek coffee must go great with these rolls. Yum!

    AYSEGUL: They are delicious indeed. Easy to make too.

    ECATH: Enjoy!

    JENN: Wow, so many cardamom addicts. I am not alone:)

    CYNTHIA: Glad you like the recipe. I give the credit to the original recipe developer. Hugs to you too:)

    NETTE: Thank you.

    GEORGE: I will check out your post soon. Thank you.

    PIERRE: Welcome and merci beaucoup:) I will check your blog soon.

    AVESTA: Welcome to the cardamom addicted club:)

    DEESHA: Glad you like them.

    CHARAN: Welcome to my blog. I’ve been wanting to try my hands at cinnamon rolls. Will make one day. Love them?

    S: Welcome to my blog.

  21. Tes rolls sont magnifiques.

  22. Oh! Nice rolls never used cardamon, I am sure that gives the rolls an extra special flavor…they look really yummie 🙂

  23. I’ve never tried cardomom in any of my dishes yet. But it has been taking my attention so far as I saw it in several recipes. These rolls are just amazing, so I think they will be a godd start for me to use cardomom for the first time. Thank you Feride!

  24. Scrumptious! as they say here. I can totally relate to your recipe and cardamom addiction! I am going to go through your recipes and tally how many times you have used it! in Lebanon, we use it in coffee mainly.

  25. Hello Farida,
    I’m waving from England! Long way right?
    I’ve just been wandering around your blog, I love cooking & finding new recipes to tackle, I especially like the blinis, ( i have a savoury tooth)…I always wondered where they came from. You post some of the best recipes I’ve seen …IMHO
    Lesley :o)

  26. Farida as usual, the best lip smacking pictures! I love cardamon too and I can just imagine how these rolls perfumed your happy kitchen

  27. NADJIBELLA: Merci beaucoup.

    JULIANA: Cardamom does add a new dimension to the rolls. Love the spice:)

    ZERRIN: Yes, do try cardamom, it’s good. Recommended:)

    JOUMANA: I thought cardamom is used in Lebanese pastries too. Was wrong. Live and learn:)

    LESLEY: Welcome to my blog. Glad you like my recipes. I am flattered.

    NAZARINA: Thank you.

  28. The rolls look amazing… I will definitely try this recipe…

  29. Looks absolutely stunning and delicious. I’ve never (don’t think) had cardamon, but I’m sure it adds another level of flavour to this.

    happy cooking


  30. Is cinnabon rools can be make by the same receipe?

  31. MUSLIMA: I haven’t made cinnamon rolls using this recipe, but I think it should work fine.

  32. Oh dear God! I have such a soft spot for freshly baked goodies, especially rolls! I think I am going to make them tomorrow! Thanks for sharing!

    Oh and of course you had to say yes to those magazines… They came to you, you didn’t even go looking for them… 😉

  33. Hi Farida,
    I have been a very frequent guest on your blog and yet never left any comment. So, I decided to change that 🙂
    I must say, I did make those rolls as my husband is a big fan of lemons and probably so am I 🙂
    Instead of ground nuts I actually added finely chopped ones, it added crunchiness to the rolls. They turned out very yummy and lemony 🙂
    Thank you for the great recipe !

  34. Farida! I made these today…. first thing I ever made with Cardamom. Yummy. I increased the filling by quite a bit, as well as the melted butter creating a much richer and tastier roll… but now they wouldn’t qualify for a “cooking light” recipe. 🙂 I thought that my dough didn’t rise enough, it didn’t double for sure, but they were still big and like on the picture. Thanks so much for another great recipe.

  35. Hi Farida,

    Thank you for introducing me to cardamon. Like the 35 people before me I made this recipe the other day and found the output to be simply delicious! Not too sweet, yet fragrant. I’ll have to search for more cardamon recipes.

    Have a lovely day!

    Kind regards


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