Rose Pistachio Cardamom Buns
Updated: Aug 28
Wow. Just wow is what I have to say about these Rose Pistachio Cardamom Buns. They turned out to be everything I imagined them to be and more! This recipe took a couple tweaks to get it perfect, I'm so excited to share it with you. I was obsessed with the idea from the moment I saw Loria Stern made these rose petal filled swirly buns for Flamingo Estate that she calls “romance.” Just LOOK at her post! How could you not fall in love?
I also made Lemon Verbena + Chamomile Shortbread Cookies with pressed flowers, also inspired by Loria’s style and use of edible flowers. Love her work and so admire her unique style. I had fun playing with edible flowers and these rose buns ARE FREAKING PHENOMENAL.
About this Recipe
I made some tweaks to Loria’s original recipe, which is shared on Flamingo Estate's website. Her recipe is very very good, and the dough is more like a brioche bread. Brioche is a bread of French origin made with egg and butter that gives it a tender crumb. It’s light, slightly puffy and wonderful, but has a texture that's not my cup of tea. I want a bun that is super soft, fluffy, slightly chewy like a cinnamon bun.
I know just the one. The Carrot Cake Cinnamon Bun recipe by Katiebird Bakes I made earlier this Spring was exactly the texture I was looking for and I already know that recipe is a great one, so I did a recipe mashup -- dough and technique by Katiebird Bakes and roses by Loria Stern -- with a few additions and adjustments from me (pistachio butter, brown sugar, rose icing, and candied rose petals).
Totally worth the extra embellishments because each of those elements took an already really-freaking-great recipe and took it a next level of delicious that keeps you coming back for more as you’re chipmunk-cheeking the buns into your mouth. You know that feeling when you bite into something so damn good that your eyes roll into the back of your head and your knees buckle? Yea, that. There must be a beautiful word with no English translation for this feeling.
My favorite beautiful word with no English translation: Kummerspeck (German), translated literally means “grief bacon.” It’s the excess weight you gain from emotional overeating.
Baking with Edible Flowers
Roses are edible and fun to bake with! For this baking project, fresh rose petals are best. They should not be dried or pressed rose petals. Source organically-grown roses that have not been sprayed with pesticides. I hit up my friend who grows beautiful roses in her backyard for this baking project. Thanks Leah! Does anyone else I know grow roses or edible flowers? GIMMIE all your flowers!
Not all flowers are edible. Make sure you know exactly what you have before you eat it. Loria also made similar beautiful buns with hollyhocks. Here’s a list of edible flowers if you’re interested in learning more and experimenting with baking with flowers.
Where Can I Buy Edible Flowers? If you’re not growing them, can’t source from friends or neighbors try your local farmer’s market, Whole Foods, or online retailers like Gourmet Sweet Botanicals.
Love these flavors? Try my Rose Pistachio Shortbread Cookies or Peach Rose Petal Jam
When you buy using my Amazon Affiliate link I make a small commission. Please? Thank you!
Get the Recipe
Rose Pistachio Cardamom Buns
These pillowy soft, rose-scented pistachio cardamom buns with edible rose petals tucked into the swirled layers, and decorated with candied rose petals are the perfect spring brunch recipe. Inspired by and recipe adapted from Loria Stern via Flamingo Estate and Katiebird Bakes.
Makes 16 servings (two 9-inch pans, 8 buns each)
Time to Prepare: 2 hours
2 cups milk (whole milk, or full-fat coconut milk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon cardamom
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup divided (see below)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup pistachios, ground into a fine powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 cups loose organic rose petals (washed)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup rosewater*
Candied Rose Petals:
16 rose petals
1 egg white
1/3 cup fine baking sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons rosewater and sugar mixture from macerated rose filling
1/2 cup powdered sugar
lemon juice from half a lemon
1/4 cup rough chopped pistachios (for garnish)
*To Make Your Own Rosewater: Boil rose petals in a pot with just enough water to cover them. Bring water to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. The rose petals will turn translucent. Strain and squeeze out the liquid and discard the translucent rose petals. Transfer to a small jar and store in the fridge. It will last a few months stored in the fridge.
1. In a large pot (a Dutch oven is great because it retains heat for the dough to rise nicely), combine the milk, oil, and sugar and place over low-medium heat until the mixture is warm to the touch. A minute or two on the stove. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool until it’s 105-110 degrees F. If your milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast.
2. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the mixture and let sit for 1-2 minutes, until foamy. Grab a small handful of rose petals (8-10 petals) and chop into small pieces (like confetti-size). Add 4 cups of the flour, cardamom, chopped rose petals, and stir until an evenly combined dough has formed.
3. Cover and let sit in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour. Check after halfway through to make sure it’s rising and your yeast isn’t dead, you may have to start over. By the end of the hour, it should have doubled in size and smell yeasty.
4. While the dough is rising, make pistachio butter and macerated rose petal filling, and candied rose petals. Mix rosewater and 1/4 cup sugar together in a small bowl, toss in 2 cups rose petals, and massage the petals into the liquid. Set aside. In a small bowl, stir together softened butter and ground pistachios. Set aside.
5. Make candied rose petals. Dip rose petals in egg white, shake off excess, sprinkle both sides with fine baking sugar. Lay on a parchment paper to dry for several hours. Candied rose petals will be done when the egg white and sugar crystals have hardened. Set aside.
6. When your dough has risen and doubled in size, add the remaining 1/2 cup flour along with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and stir until combined.
7. Divide the dough in half and roll one half out on a floured surface (to prevent sticking) to about a 16x8-inch rectangle.
8. Spread half the pistachio butter evenly over the dough, then sprinkle half the brown sugar evenly over the top. Scoop the macerated rose petals out of the rosewater liquid and squeeze excess liquid out with your hands into the bowl. Save the rosewater sugar liquid to make the glaze icing later. Spread the macerated rose petals evenly over the dough.
9. Scatter the remaining 2 cups of rose petals evenly over the dough so they blanket the entire surface.
10. Starting with the long edge farthest from you, roll the dough and rose petals towards you until it is tightly coiled with seam down, tuck in any stray rose petals. With a sharp knife, cut into 8 even rolls. I like to cut in half, in half again, and half those pieces.
11. Place 8 rolls into in a 9-inch round cake pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat steps 8 through 11 with the second half of the dough.
10. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Let the rolls rest on top of the oven (or in a warm place) for 15-20 minutes covered with a towel until slightly risen and it fills out the pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes, side-by-side on the same middle oven rack until golden brown. Turn the pans halfway through baking for a more even bake on all sides.
11. While buns are in the oven, make the rose icing. Stir together softened butter, 2 tablespoons of rosewater and sugar liquid, lemon juice, and powdered sugar until smooth and silky. Set aside.
12. Remove buns from the oven, lift out from cake pan by lifting the parchment paper sides, and onto a baking rack. When it’s completely cool, spread the icing on top, sprinkle chopped pistachios, and decorate each bun with a candied rose petal.
13. Stuff those fluffy buns into your mouth, savor the flavor, and wait for your knees to buckle!
Thank you, Loria Stern and Katiebird Bakes, for the recipe inspiration! If your two beautiful recipes came together and had a love child, it would be this.
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