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Easy Brown Butter Iced Espresso Cardamom Buns. Soft and fluffy dough swirled with espresso cardamom sugar. Then each swirled bun is frosted generously with my favorite brown butter and espresso icing. It melts into every nook and cranny of these yummy buns. There’s nothing not to love; every bite is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. You just can’t beat these easy morning buns, they make everyone excited!

Easy Brown Butter Iced Espresso Cardamom Buns | halfbakedharvest.com

Think of these like a cinnamon roll but with the addition of espresso, and then swap the cinnamon for cardamom. They’re different, but so delicious. I love these!

I’ve been wanting to make a cardamom bun for honestly years, they always intrigued me. But for whatever reason, I never tried them and stuck with everyone’s go-to, a delicious cinnamon roll.

But with so many recipes already under my belt, I knew that for Easter this year, I wanted to share a cardamom bun. Something different, but still so delicious!

Easy Brown Butter Iced Espresso Cardamom Buns | halfbakedharvest.com

When I started making these I had another variation of the recipe in mind, but I was not loving the outcome, especially for the amount of effort the buns required. So, with one failed batch down, I decided to try a new idea but with the same flavors.

A much, much easier swirled bun baked up in a muffin tin! And they turned out perfect.

Easy Brown Butter Iced Espresso Cardamom Buns | halfbakedharvest.com

Here are the details

Step 1: the dough

For the buns, we’re making things so easy and simply using pizza dough! Just grab a ball from the store, and you’re ready to roll – literally.

If you’re looking for a good homemade dough option, make the dough that I previously shared for my apple cinnamon rolls.

Easy Brown Butter Iced Espresso Cardamom Buns | halfbakedharvest.com

Step 2: mix the espresso sugar

Just like cinnamon rolls, we’re going to make a yummy espresso sugar to roll these buns up with. I use a mix of dark brown sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and instant espresso powder.

If you’re able to splurge a bit, I’ve been buying organic dark brown sugar. I’ve found it to add a special touch to whatever it’s added to. I don’t know what makes it different, but the organic sugar seems to have more moisture than other varieties. It’s really good!

Easy Brown Butter Iced Espresso Cardamom Buns | halfbakedharvest.com

Step 3: roll the dough out

Make sure your dough is at room temperature and not chilled, then roll it out into a large rectangle. Spread on some butter and sprinkle over the espresso sugar.

Next, fold the dough in half, cut 14 strips, and roll each strip into a tight coil. Like a cinnamon roll.

Easy Brown Butter Iced Espresso Cardamom Buns | halfbakedharvest.com

Step 4: rise and bake

Arrange the rolls in a muffin tin lined with paper liners. Cover the rolls and let them rise for 20 or so minutes, then you can bake.

The smells coming from the oven will be magical. Like sweet cardamom with hints of espresso and vanilla. It’s completely perfect; I’m not sure there’s a better smell.

Easy Brown Butter Iced Espresso Cardamom Buns | halfbakedharvest.com

Step 5: the icing

Brown the butter and mix it with the cream cheese, maple syrup, sugar, and a touch of vanilla. I add a shot of espresso to thin the icing out. It pairs so well with these sweet buns.

Easy Brown Butter Iced Espresso Cardamom Buns | halfbakedharvest.com

As soon as the buns come out of the oven, frost, serve, and enjoy every last sweet and delicious bite. They’re soft, fluffy, and perfectly spiced with espresso and cardamom. Like a latte, but served as a sweet morning bun! You will love them!

And they’re gooey, SO gooey. These buns are beyond good. Perfect for spring weekends and, of course, Easter!

Easy Brown Butter Iced Espresso Cardamom Buns | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other sweet recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

Cream Cheese Swirled Cinnamon Carrot Cake Muffins

Blender Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Giant Double Blueberry Muffin Cookies

Bakery Blueberry Vanilla Crunch Muffins

Blueberry Swirl Coffee Cake Muffins

Double Strawberry Cupcakes

Maple Glazed Doughnuts

Baked Chocolate Fudge Glazed Doughnuts

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts with Cinnamon Maple Glaze

Lastly, if you make these Easy Brown Butter Iced Espresso Cardamom Buns be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Brown Butter Iced Espresso Cardamom Buns

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
rising time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings: 14 buns
Calories Per Serving: 332 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line 14 muffin tins with paper liners.
    2. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and instant espresso powder. 
    3. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick (about 16×14 inches), adding flour as needed. Spread the dough with butter and sprinkle with espresso sugar. Fold the dough in half, directly over the sugar, pressing to adhere. Cut into 12-14 strips. Coil each strip into a bun, like a cinnamon roll. Place in the prepared muffin tins.
    4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 15-20 minutes. Bake the rolls for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
    5. To make the icing. Add the butter to a pot set over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown lightly until it smells toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. In a bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and maple syrup. Whisk in the butter and espresso powder, then add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Spread the icing over the warm buns. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

To Make Ahead: prepare the rolls through step 3. Do not let the buns rise at room temp. Cover the buns and place them in the fridge (up to overnight). When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the fridge 30 minutes prior to baking, then bake as directed. 
To Prepare and Freeze: assemble the rolls through step 3. Then cover the pan and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the rolls overnight in the fridge or on the counter for a few hours. Once thawed, bake as directed. 
To Bake and Freeze: bake the rolls as directed and let cool completely. Cover well and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and warm, then frost before serving. 
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Comments

  1. 3 stars
    The flavors of the rolls were amazing-especially the cardamon, so well done on that front. Unfortunately, the Whole Foods pizza dough did not yield the right texture. I followed the instructions precisely but they were compact, dense, and overly chewy. I was intrigued by the shortcut but it didn’t pan out (no pun intended). On the upside, I will be using your cardamon sugar and icing on my next batch of scratch cinnamon rolls. Thank you for the lovely inspiration.
    Cheers!

    1. Hi Kim,
      Thanks a lot for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback! So very sorry to hear the pizza dough didn’t work very well! Glad to hear the flavors were enjoyed though! xx

  2. Hi! I am so looking forward to trying these. In place of instant espresso powder, could I use actual grounds from beans that I would use to make an espresso shot? Or would that give it a different flavor? Let me know! Thanks!

    1. Hey Hannah,
      You are going to want to use instant espresso, it’s going to work differently than just ground beans. I hope this helps! xT

  3. 1 star
    While I normally love your recipes, this one was not a hit. They came out dense and sitting in a pool of butter. I might suggest you go back to the drawing board with this recipe. 🙁

    1. Hi Melissa,
      Thanks for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback, so sorry to hear they did not turn out for you. Was there anything you may have adjusted? Again, my apologies! xx

  4. I was so looking forward to these being a hit but these were my first HBH fail. The brown sugar and butter melters around the base of the bun turning into caramel. This was not a huge deal for the ones to eat right away but I don’t think will be as pleasant for the ones boxed up for breakfast this week. What can I do differently to prevent this from happening next time?

    1. Hi Evelyn,
      Thanks for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback, sorry to hear you had some issues! Next time, you could try using muffin liners to help prevent the burning and also put your muffin tin on top of a baking sheet. I hope this helps! xT

  5. These were amazing with or without the icing . The only thing I did differently was to melt the butter and brush it on . Usually make my own dough but this was a great timesaver.
    Thanks Tieghan!

    1. Hey Mona,
      Thanks a lot for trying this recipe and your comment, so glad to hear it turned out well! Happy Saturday! Xx

  6. 1 star
    Disappointing. Pizza dough does not provide a soft pillowy roll. The espresso proportions overwhelm in my opinion leaving a bitter finish. I would recommend not using pizza dough and using espresso powder in the icing only. The icing is worth repeating the roll itself not so much.

    1. Hi there,
      Thanks for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback, sorry to hear these were not enjoyed. Please let me know if there is anything that I can help with! xT

  7. 4 stars
    When it says espresso or espresso powder, does that mean a shot of espresso? And then just have more of a wet filling?

    1. Hi Sarah,
      For the filling you only want to use the instant espresso powder, but yes, for the icing you could use the instant espresso powder or just 1 shot of espresso. I hope this helps! xT

  8. 5 stars
    Super tasty & fun to make but I recommend greasing the muffin liners as the bottom of the buns stuck to my liners and were impossible to peel

    1. Hi Haley,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a try, love to hear that it was enjoyed! So sorry to hear your liners stuck to the pan. xT

  9. 5 stars
    Very yummy. In the interests of my waistline and blood sugar levels I didn’t ice them but they were still d3licious. And the smell of them baking- does heaven smell like that?

    1. Hey Sarah,
      Thank you so much for making this recipe:) I’m so glad that they were just as good even without the icing! Have a great Sunday! xT

    1. Hi Becky,
      I’ve never tried this, but I hope you love the recipe! Let me know how they turn out for you:) xT

  10. Skipped the espresso to make a kid friendly and they were a hit! So gooey and delicious without the stress if homemade dough. Made the icing on the side, the rolls are rich enough without it if preferred but also great with it! Thanks for a great easy breakfast recipe!

    1. Hey Emily,
      Wonderful!! I love to hear that this recipe turned out nicely for you, thanks for making it! Have a great weekend:) xT

  11. Would like to try these. Do you have any tips for preventing the “telescoping” shape that some of yours have in the picture? I’d like them to turn out round and flatter, like regular cinnamon rolls. And please, before anyone thinks otherwise and attacks me for this comment, I am asking a genuine question and asking for a baking tip from Tieghan. Thanks!

    1. 5 stars
      The “telescoping” is by design and is created when you put the single buns in a muffin tin. If you prefer flat then simply put them in a flat pan like a 9×13 or similar

    2. Hey Lori,
      Thanks so much for your question! You could try rolling these more like a classic cinnamon roll and then cutting and placing them in a baking dish rather than muffin tins. You also might like one of my more classic cinnamon roll recipes better, these are intended to be more of a cinnamon bun:)
      https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/brown-butter-iced-mocha-cinnamon-rolls/
      https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/christmas-cinnamon-rolls/
      https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/easy-fluffy-eggnog-cinnamon-rolls/
      I hope this helps answer your question! Let me know if I can help in any other way! xT

    3. Hi, quick question: when you say instant espresso powder, is that simply regular espresso powder? Or is it more like instant coffee? The link looks like regular espresso powder but just wanted to make sure! I wouldn’t want them to turn out grainy hehe

      1. Hi Paula,
        For this recipe, you will want to use instant espresso powder, the one that is linked it great! Let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  12. Hi Tieghan. So, I have a son that will not eat cream cheese icing. Do you have a recipe for icing that can be substituted for this and actually for any of the amazing bun recipes that you share…Thanks!

    1. Hey Chris,
      How about using sour cream, greek yogurt, or mascarpone in place of the cream cheese? Any of those would also work well for you! Let me know if that’s something your son would enjoy:) I hope you all love this recipe! xT

  13. This recipe looks so good! Could I omit the espresso in the recipe? Is there something that I can put in its place like cinnamon or more cardamon?

    1. Hi Kiki,
      Sure, you could skip the espresso:) In step 2 just omit the espresso and then the icing will be great without the espresso, but if you wanted to add cinnamon for more of that flavor that would also be delicious! I hope you enjoy the recipe! xT

  14. You don’t have a step three referenced for making ahead; you have two step fours.

    I look forward to making these!

    1. Hi Vicki,
      Ahh thanks for pointing that out! Will get this fixed ASAP:) I hope you love this recipe! xT