Delicious and not too sweet, the flavors of tahini, pistachios, and cardamom combine beautifully in a fluffy, light roll. These cinnamon rolls take a little extra time, but they’re so worth the effort—especially since most of the work is hands-off. Working with yeast is nothing to be afraid of. If you’re worried about your water being too warm or cool, use a thermometer to keep the temperature in check. These rolls would be fantastic at breakfast or brunch, but they’re also perfect for a snack or treat with a cup of coffee or hot tea. 

Pam Lolley
Recipe by MyRecipes


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary test

30 mins
3 hrs 40 mins
Serves 12 (serving size: 1 roll)




Instructions Checklist
  • Prepare the Dough: Combine water, sugar, and yeast in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes. Beat butter with a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add milk, lemon juice, and eggs; beat just until combined. Whisk together flour, salt, and cardamom in a medium bowl; gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until well blended, 1 to 2 minutes. 

  • Sprinkle a work surface with about 1/4 cup bread flour; turn dough out, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding up to 1/4 cup bread flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking to hands and surface. Place dough in a lightly greased (with cooking spray) large bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

  • Prepare the Filling: Pour boiling water over figs; let stand 15 minutes. Stir together very soft butter and tahini in a small bowl. Stir together granulated sugar, brown sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg in a separate small bowl.

  • Assembly: Punch Dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 16- x 12-inch rectangle. Spread tahini mixture over dough leaving a 1-inch border around edges. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over tahini mixture. Drain figs, and lightly pat dry; sprinkle figs evenly over brown sugar mixture, and sprinkle with pistachios. 

  • Starting at 1 long side, roll up dough jelly-roll fashion; cut into 12 (1 1/2 inches thick) slices. Grease bottom of a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with butter. Place 8 rolls, cut side down, in prepared 12-inch skillet; place remaining 4 rolls, cut side down, in prepared 10-inch skillet. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake in preheated oven until rolls are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes.  

  • While rolls bake, prepare the Glaze: Beat together butter and tahini with an electric mixer in a medium bowl until smooth and combined. Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with lemon juice and orange juice until blended and smooth; beat in orange zest. Brush cooled rolls with Glaze. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.