When I was a kid and I would go to the mall with my parents, they would always share a raisin croissant for an afternoon snack. I never understood why they chose the raisin croissant over the chocolate one. I mean who likes raisins in their pastry? Well apparently as an adult I do too. Perhaps it’s the memory of my parents or perhaps I’ve just developed a better palate but I now crave raisin croissants. To combine my craving with the seasonal fruit, I decided to create the ultimate orange cardamom raisin buns. Flaky layers filled with warm spices and finished with an orange glaze, these pastries are the best way to wake up.

orange cardamom raising buns

orange cardamom raising buns

orange cardamom raisin buns


Orange Cardamom Raisin Buns

3 hr, 30 Total Time

Yields 12 buns

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  • 2/3 cup warm milk (100 degrees F)
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups – 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup butter, cold
  • Filling
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cardamom, ground
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 cup raisins
  • Orange glaze
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest


  1. Combine 2/3 cup warm milk with 1 tbsp active dry yeast and ¼ cup granulated sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture is foamy. Add 2 eggs, ¼ cup melted butter, 1 tsp salt, and 3 cups all-purpose four and mix to form a dough. Knead for 7-8 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the bowl and is smooth. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and wrap in plastic wrap. Proof the dough in a warm area for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  2. Place ¾ cup cold butter in between two sheets of wax paper. Pound and roll out with a rolling pin into a 12x6 inch rectangle.
  3. Lightly dust a clean work counter with flour. Transfer the dough to the counter and roll into a 12x18 inch rectangle, with the long side facing you. Place the butter in the center of the dough and fold over the left side of the dough over the butter. Fold over the right side of the dough to form a tri-fold. Dust off any excess flour and wrap the dough in plastic. Freeze for 15 minutes or chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Unwrap the dough and rotate it 90 degrees so that the open seams are now facing the sides. Roll out the dough into a 12x18 inch rectangle and fold it the same way as before to form a tri-fold. Chill another 15 minutes in the freezer or 30 minutes in the fridge. Repeat the folding process one more time and chill another 15 minutes in the freezer or 30 minutes in the fridge.
  5. While the dough is chilling, make the filling. Melt ½ cup butter and set aside. Combine ¾ cup brown sugar with 1 tsp cardamom, 1 tbsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg, and 1 tbsp orange zest. Reserve 2 tbsp of the sugar mixture and set aside. Add 1 cup raisins to the sugar and set aside.
  6. Roll out the dough into a 12x18 inch rectangle with the long side facing you. Brush the dough with the ½ cup melted butter and sprinkle the brown sugar raisin mixture on top. Roll the dough into a log and place it on a baking sheet with the seam side down. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Cut the log into 1 ½ inch wide pieces for a total of 12 rolls. Place the rolls with the cut sides on top in a 9x13 baking pan, leaving space in between the rolls. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
  9. Heat ¼ cup butter with ¼ cup butter, ¼ cup orange juice, and 1 tsp orange zest in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool.
  10. Brush the tops of the buns with the orange syrup, you will have some left over. Sprinkle the reserved 2 tbsp sugar mixture on top and bake the buns for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Remove the buns from the oven and brush with the remaining orange syrup. Serve warm.


**Helpful tips and common mistakes

I’m sure that by reading the recipe you’ve assumed that these orange cardamom raisin buns require some work. Funnily enough, I wanted to skip the tedious step of making a croissant so I went with a shortcut route. Unfortunately, even this shortcut route still requires a handful of steps.

Let’s start by making an enriched dough. I wanted soft flaky layers so there are eggs and butter in the dough itself. Knead until smooth and let it rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

proofed dough

To create the layers, we’re going to laminate the dough similar to how croissants are laminated. This simply means you’re creating layers of dough and butter by folding the dough multiple times.

For successful lamination, you need cold butter. Pound and roll out the butter into a thin 12×6 inch rectangle. This is the perfect opportunity to let out all your stress and anger! Use that power to get the butter paper-thin.

trifold the dough

Now roll out the into a 12×18 inch rectangle and place the butter in the center. Fold the dough into thirds, folding the right side over the butter followed by the left side. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge or 15 minutes in the freezer.

Take out the dough and turn it 90 degrees so that the open seams are now facing the sides. Think of it this way: the dough pictured above needs to rotate to the right so that the long side is now horizontal. Roll out the dough and fold it into thirds. Chill and repeat.

orange cardamom raisin filling

While the dough is chilling, use the time to make the filling. Mix together brown sugar with all the spices and set aside 2 tbsp. You’re going to use that 2 tbsp to sprinkle on top of the buns later on. Add raisins to the mix and set it aside.

proof the rolled buns

Now comes the fun part: filling the dough. Brush melted butter on the rolled out dough and sprinkle the filling in an even layer. Roll the dough into a log and transfer it to a baking sheet with the seam side down. Chill the log for 30 minutes before cutting it into 12 even rolls.

We’re almost at the finish line! Proof the cut rolls for 30 minutes and make the orange glaze. When you’re ready to bake, brush the tops of the buns with the orange glaze and that reserved 2 tbsp brown sugar mixture. Bake until golden brown about 20-25 minutes.

brush on the glaze

Finish the orange cardamom raisin buns with that glorious orange glaze and finally dig in.

Can you see those beautiful layers? These pastries were exactly what I wanted: soft, buttery, flavorful, orange-y, and so much more that I don’t have enough words to describe them. Hey mom and dad? Think you would want one of these??

orange cardamom raising buns


Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.


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