Brown Butter Pistachio Cinnamon Rolls

overhead view of brown butter pistachio cinnamon rolls in a lined pan

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5 from 3 reviews

Rich, fluffy cinnamon rolls made with a soft brioche dough. Filled with brown butter, pistachios, and cinnamon sugar, and topped off with tangy pistachio cream cheese icing. 




  • 244g (1C) whole milk, warm (100-110°F)
  • 75g granulated sugar
  • 7g (1 packet or 2 1/4 teaspoonsinstant yeast
  • 113g (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 250g all-purpose flour
  • 250g bread flour


  • 113g (1 stick) unsalted butter, browned and cooled
  • 125g brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1.5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 75g ground pistachios
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 6oz full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 25g pistachios, blended into a paste
  • 80g powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt


  1. Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the instant yeast, warm (100-110°F) whole milk, and a spoonful of the sugar. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until the mixture starts to bubble. Note: This step is optional if you are using instant or quick-rise yeast. If substituting with active dry yeast, do not skip this step. Either way, this step is useful for checking if your yeast is alive. 
  2. Add the rest of the sugar, softened butter, eggs, and kosher salt and mix until combined.
  3. Switch the paddle attachment to the dough hook and gradually add in the flour while mixing on low. 
  4. Once the dough starts coming together, mix on medium speed for 8-12 minutes until it passes the window pane test (see detailed post above) and is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl. 
  5. Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Form the dough into a ball by stretching and folding the sides into the center. Cover with a tea towel and place the bowl in a warm place for the first rise. After 1-1.5 hours the dough should double in size. 
  6. Brown the butter: Place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts. Once melted, continuously stir the butter until it foams and becomes a darker amber color. You will notice darker bits at the bottom of the pan and a nutty aroma. Once the milk solids have browned, turn off the heat and transfer the browned butter to a heat-safe bowl. Allow butter to cool. (To speed up the cooling, you can place the bowl in the fridge after 10 minutes as long as you are not using a glass bowl).
  7. Using a food processor, blend 75 grams of pistachios until chopped into small bits and set aside.
  8. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground pistachios, and salt for the filling. 
  9. Assemble: Once the dough has completed its first rise and doubled in size, place it on a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 12" x 18" rectangle. 
  10. Spread the browned butter (Make sure it's a spreadable consistency at this point. Give it a stir if it hardened too much in the fridge.) over the entire surface of the rolled-out dough using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon, sugar, pistachio, and salt mixture over the spread butter-- you may have a tiny bit left over. 
  11. Slowly roll the dough into a tight, long tube. Start rolling from the long side, and you should end up with a log 18 inches long. Using a sharp knife, score the dough into 12 even sections. 
  12. Grease and line a 9"x 13" metal baking pan with parchment paper. Using dental floss or a knife, cut the dough log into 12 rolls and place them in the lined pan.
  13. Lightly cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes until doubled in size. After 10 minutes, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  14. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 19-22 minutes at 350°F until the tops are slightly golden brown. Prep the icing while the cinnamon rolls are in the oven. 
  15. Prepare the icing: To make the pistachio paste, blend 25g of pistachios in a food processor until they form a paste. After about 5 minutes, the nuts will release oils that help form the paste. 
  16. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the room-temperature cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add in the pistachio paste, sugar, salt, and vanilla, and mix until combined. 
  17. Allow the cinnamon rolls to cool slightly before icing a serving. Best served warm!


  • Storing: Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Best served warm the same day. 
  • Yeast: You may substitute with active dry yeast if that is all you have, but the rising time may take longer. 
  • Flour: For best results and texture, don't skip out on the bread flour. You can substitute with all-purpose flour if necessary.