Sweet & Sticky Orange Cardamom Rolls

Sweet & Sticky Orange Cardamom Rolls
Eva Kolenko

The All Steak Restaurant—which first opened its doors in 1938—is famous in Cullman, Alabama, but not necessarily for their steaks. With a cigarette vending machine that was always well stocked and located conveniently by the entrance, the All Steak was where people congregated at 7:00 a.m. to smoke cigarettes and discuss politics, and it was where friends and couples met at 6:00 p.m. to smoke more cigarettes and forget the day’s troubles—and to eat orange rolls, which were on the house! I guess the cigarette vending machine at the entrance made them enough money that they didn’t need to charge people for their orange rolls. Eighty-two years later, the orange rolls still taste just as delicious today. I love them so much that I cold-called the restaurant and spoke to Dyron, the current owner, about the original recipe. I created this recipe to carry the spirit of the rolls I grew up eating. Plus, it’s cheaper than buying a round-trip ticket to Alabama. Few things in life are free, but the orange rolls still are, thanks to Dyron! ~Julie

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  • 1½ cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (½ packet) instant yeast
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ÂĽ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ÂĽ cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice, strained to remove pulp
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus some more for greasing
  • 1 egg, beaten, room temperature


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ÂĽ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from ½ large orange)
  • â…› teaspoon (2 pinches) ground cardamom


  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • Âľ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1½ to 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice


  • 12-cup muffin tin
  • Paper liners
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, and cardamom. In a medium bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk and orange juice. Microwave until heated to 100° to 115°F, about 20 seconds. Add the 3 tablespoons melted butter and the egg to the wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  2. Fit the hook attachment onto the stand mixer and knead the dough on medium-low speed until it just comes together, 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bottom of the bowl, another 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and gently shape into a ball. Lightly grease the bottom of the stand mixer bowl with some melted butter and place the dough back in the bowl, flipping the ball of dough to coat it on all sides with the butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until almost doubled in size, 60 to 75 minutes.
  3. Make the filling: In a medium bowl, mash together the butter, sugar, orange zest, and cardamom until well combined.
  4. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and lightly spray the liners with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to ⅛ inch thick, about 12 x 12 inches. Spread the filling evenly over the dough. Roll the dough up as tightly as you can into a 12-inch log. Using a sharp, serrated knife and a light touch, trim about ½ inch off of either end and discard. Then slice the dough into 12 pieces, each just shy of an inch thick.
  6. Place the rolls in the muffin cups, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until puffed, 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Arrange a rack in the center of the oven.
  8. Bake the rolls until light golden brown and the dough is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.
  9. Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, melted butter, orange zest, and 1½ tablespoons of the orange juice until smooth and pourable, adding more juice as needed, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach your desired consistency.
  10. Remove the rolls from the oven and spoon 1 tablespoon of glaze over each roll while still warm. Let cool for a couple of minutes before serving.


When slicing delicate doughs that you don’t want to squish down too much, even better than a serrated knife is to use dental floss! You can loop it around the dough and give it a firm pull, and it slices cleanly. Just make sure you’re using unwaxed and unflavored floss, though.

Reprinted from FOOD BETWEEN FRIENDS by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Julie Tanous. Copyright © 2021 by Julie & Jesse Cook, LLC. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Photographs copyright © 2021 by Eva Kolenko.

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