Even die-hard cinnamon-bun fans will love this warmly aromatic cardamom version. Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes, plus rising time. Notes: Freshly ground cardamom makes a big difference in this recipe, and is easy to prepare: Remove cardamom seeds from pods and grind them in a clean coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup unsalted butter, plus more for buttering pans
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
4 1/2 cups flour, plus more for kneading
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground cardamom
3/4 cup powdered sugar
How to Make It
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water (about 110°). Let sit until foamy bubbles form on surface, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 1/2 cup butter in a pan over low heat and let cool just until warm. Let remaining 1/2 cup butter soften in a warm place until spreadable.
To the yeast, add melted butter, granulated sugar, eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 4 1/2 cups flour, and salt. Stir or mix in a standing mixer with a dough hook until smooth, 5 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Butter two 9-in. cake pans. When dough has doubled, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 2-ft. square, spread with softened butter, and sprinkle with brown sugar and cardamom. Roll dough into a log, pinching the seam to seal. Cut log into 16 pieces and arrange, cut sides up, in a single layer in cake pans. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°. Remove plastic wrap from rolls and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make glaze: Whisk together 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl. Remove rolls from pans and drizzle with half of this thin glaze. Add remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar to remaining glaze and drizzle over rolls. Serve warm.