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5 from 2 votes

Sweet Cardamom Rolls with Pearl Sugar

These sweet cardamom rolls are a perfect breakfast or afternoon snack! They are sweetened yeast rolls with nuggets of pearl sugar mixed throughout and sprinkled on top. If you are looking for cardamom recipes, start with this one! It really shines in these rolls without being overwhelming. The pearl sugar adds the perfect crunch! 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 rolls
Calories: 226kcal
Author: Karen


For the rolls

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour spooned and leveled**
  • 1/2 cup pearl sugar optional (to fold in dough)

For the egg wash

  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 teaspoons water

For the top

  • cardamom to sprinkle on top of each roll
  • pearl sugar to sprinkle on top


  • In a small bowl or a glass measuring cup, add the 1/4 cup water, 1 cup milk, and 3 tablespoons of butter. Microwave for about 30-60 seconds, checking to stir at least once, until it is lukewarm but not hot. You want the mixture to be about 105 degrees F. It's okay if the butter has not melted. If the mixture becomes too hot to comfortably stick your finger in it, put it in the fridge for a few minutes.
  • Add 1 tablespoon yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar and stir. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes. It should be nice and foamy.*
  • Transfer the mixture to a large bowl or stand mixer.
  • Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cardamom, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1 large egg yolk. Beat well.
  • Add half of the flour. If you are using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook if you're not already using it. Add the remaining flour and mix (or stir by hand) until the mixture has formed a soft dough. You can add a bit more flour if you think the dough is too sticky. Add the least amount of flour that you can to get a workable dough.
  • Knead the dough with the dough hook or by hand for 5 minutes.
  • Spray a large clean bowl with oil, or rub with a little butter. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the greased bowl. Turn it over so the top is oiled. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place** to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  • Meanwhile, use butter or nonstick spray to grease a 9x13 inch pan.
  • Punch down the dough. Use your hands to fold in 1/2 cup pearl sugar. This step is optional. Most of the sugar will dissolve, but some of them will leave you with little nuggets of crunch through your rolls. It's delightful!
  • Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball (pinch one end with your fingers).
  • Place the rolls into the well-greased 9x13 inch pan.
  • Use a fork to beat 1 egg in a small bowl. Add 2 teaspoons water.
  • Brush the top of each roll generously with the egg wash.
  • Sprinkle each roll with a little cardamom.
  • Top each roll with a little pile of pearl sugar, however much you can fit on!
  • Cover the pan with a tea towel and let the rolls rise in a warm spot for another 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size. When they are almost done rising, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Make sure to remove the rolls from the oven if they are rising in there!
  • Bake at 375 for 14-18 minutes or until golden brown all across the top. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before digging in.
  • Eat hot! These are really good with a glass of milk, or a mug of hot cocoa or coffee. (At least I assume it would be! I don't drink coffee.)


*If your yeast mixture is NOT getting foamy, then abandon ship! You killed your yeast with too hot liquid probably. Better to start over now than wind up with sad flat rolls in 2 hours.
** My favorite warm place is in the oven. Turn your oven on to the keep warm setting (170 degrees F) for about 30-60 seconds, then turn it off. This will make the oven nice and warm but not hot. If it's too hot to touch the inside of the oven, then leave the door open and let it cool down before putting your bowl in.
I buy my pearl sugar on Amazon, click here. I've actually never seen it in a store, maybe you could find it in a specialty store? Not sure. It's cheap online and comes right to my door, so I've never bothered checking around. 


Serving: 1roll | Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 235mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 161IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2mg