Lemon Cardamom Sticky Buns


By Kaitlin Chad

Cinnamon buns are amazing. Obviously. They’re an excuse to eat sugar-drenched, cream-cheese smothered dough for breakfast. When we think of summertime, though, we tend to lean more towards flavors that are fresh and fruity. We love the combination of lemon and cardamom in these sticky buns – the floral scent of cardamom really complements the punch of flavor from the tangy lemon glaze. It’s like, BAM! Lemony sweet deliciousness. In your face.

When we saw this recipe, we thought it would be the perfect sweet addition to any summer brunch menu. They’re delicious, but not too rich, and they totally scream “SUMMER IS HERE!” By the way, we fully endorse any temptation to double (or triple) the glaze recipe if you’re so inclined. No one needs to know.


Lemon Cardamom Sticky Buns

(Recipe adapted from Food52)


3/4 cup warm milk (the original recipe calls for whole, but I used 2% and it worked just fine)
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cardamom
1 large egg, beaten
3 cups all purpose flour

Combine the warm milk, melted butter, and sugar in bowl of stand mixer. Stir in the yeast and let it sit until yeast is foamy, about 10 minutes. Then, stir in salt, cardamom, and beaten egg.

Stir in the flour, adding just as much as you need until the dough feels sticky to the touch (but not so sticky that it sticks to your fingers.) Knead the dough in a stand mixer with a bread hook attachment for about 6 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Set somewhere warm to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. While waiting for dough to rise, prepare the filling.


2/3 cups sugar
3 tbs lemon zest (from about 3 lemons)
4 tbs soft butter

Mix together the sugar and lemon zest and set aside. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

After the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and on a lightly floured surface roll it into a large rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Spread the dough with the soft butter, then sprinkle it evenly with the sugar and lemon zest mixture.

Roll the rectangle up lengthwise into a long jellyroll. Slice it with a sharp serrated knife into 1-inch thick pieces (I got 15 buns from this.) Arrange the pieces in the prepared cake pans, leaving a little space around each one for room to rise and grow. Cover again with a damp kitchen towel and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about another hour.

When the rolls are finished rising, preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the rolls until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Take them out and allow them to cool most of the way before drizzling with glaze.


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs milk

Whisk together the lemon juice, milk, and powdered sugar until it reaches a glaze consistency. Drizzle over the sticky buns.


 Styled by Kaitlin Chad

Kaitlin Chad is an assistant at Reign Magazine, and also writes her own blog, The Every Hostess!

Photos by Jenny Lebbert