Many families have their go-to Easter meals they like to prepare. Are you looking to add a new recipe to the mix? These pistachio cinnamon rolls are a great way to add a sweet treat to your Easter breakfast with the family!
I love Easter! Christmas gets all the hype, but Easter is the real deal. Sure, Christmas carols and the world lighting up gets you in the holiday spirit, but there is a lot to be said for a holiday that kicks off in Mardi Gras style! (Comment if you love King Cake!) Next, you spend Lent reflecting and reconnecting to what matters before holy week, and then: boom! It is time to share JOY.
My family is Greek Orthodox, and so those of you that know KNOW that Orthodox Easter celebrations are incredible! Mostly because of all-day feasting and little games like this cute (and economical) egg-cracking game that is a tradition and a big hit. With dyeing Easter eggs (the kiddos and I love to use natural food dyes like turmeric, beets, cabbage, and onion skins), Easter egg hunting, and lawn games. What’s not to love about a fun-filled family Easter?
I also love the beautiful colors of Easter. The white symbolism is surrounded by enormous rainbows of color! If we are talking aesthetic goals – Easter gets the vibrancy award with so many ways to add pizzazz to your tablescape. Whether it is for Easter breakfast or Easter brunch, these green cinnamon rolls are a fun twist on a morning favorite!
About This Recipe
Bonus points if you double up the batches and become the toast of your church’s coffee hour. After I discovered @turkuazkitchen on Instagram and they posted this pistachio cinnamon roll recipe in their stories, I knew I HAD to try it. [Sidebar: if you love watching Tasty videos and scrolling through Foodstagrams – @turkuazkitchen is for you.]
I add orange zest to brighten it up! Let me tell you: This. Treat. Does. Not. Quit. It is rich, elegant, and screams special occasions from the rooftops! What makes it an Easter treat to me is the lovely color and elegant upgrade to an ooey, gooey favorite. Don’t worry – it is still a sticky sweet. But it is super fun to switch up the earthiness of cinnamon rolls or the toffee taste of monkey bread with this zesty surprise!
What makes these pistachio cinnamon rolls so special is the pistachio flavor is so rich, warm, and lovely. It adds a kind of quiet decadence while never being a loud flavor. In fact, the different textures of having the finely chopped pistachios in the filling while reserving some for the top sets these apart from other breakfast foods when it comes to the most texturally pleasing bite – chewy dough, syrupy icing, and a yummy nut crunch.
Plus, if all of the men in your family switch to preferring pistachio-flavored ice cream upon achieving fatherhood, this one is going to be a big winner. We always have every conceivable nut on hand in our pantry because they are such great snack foods and perfect pick-me-ups. Great for hiking and backpacking trips, but if pistachios are something new for you – don’t worry!
The longest step in the prep of this pistachio cinnamon rolls recipe is shelling them out, so take the shortcut and buy pre-shelled nuts from the store. Alternative: keep some mischief-making kitchen helpers occupied by forming a Shell Squad! Remember: it always tastes better when you bake together. (T-shirt patent pending.)
Tips and tricks:
These can be pinwheel cookies! When we baked our batch, we had enough dough left over to do something with, but not quite a healthy big roll! Bake them at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. These pinwheel pistachio cookies taste delicious with or without the icing. So, indulge as you like, or bring the sugar high for your littles down a few notches.
The recipe calls for 1 cup of pistachios – 75% for the filling, and 25% for the topping. You will truly see the results in an ultra-fine chop of the pistachios for the filling. This is where you activate your biceps in the rough chop because the natural oils in the nut mean you can’t zip it up in the food processor. However, run your knife through the cup of pistachios a few times before scooping out your ¼ cup of roughly chopped pistachios for the topping. It saves you muscle and time while also looking prettier and tasting better!
Make the dough ahead of time! Time management makes the most of your holiday! I add orange zest and a capful of orange blossom to the icing because I have these in my pantry. This recipe is still delicious if you omit the orange, add or replace them with lemon zest or even lemon extract. Make this recipe your own!
Be sure to gently warm your milk before getting started so that it incorporates into the dough nicely – the temperature makes a difference when feeding the yeast. I put it in the microwave for 45 seconds while assembling everything I need to get started.
So, why not start a new Easter tradition this year? Heck, don’t wait for the holiday and treat yourself to these so very memorable, cozy, and comforting flavor bombshells!Print
What makes these green rolls so special is the pistachio flavor is so rich, warm, and lovely. It adds a kind of quiet decadence while never being a loud flavor. In fact, the different textures of having the finely chopped pistachios in the filling while reserving some for the top sets these apart from other breakfast foods when it comes to the most texturally pleasing bite – chewy dough, syrupy icing, and a yummy nut crunch.
For the Dough:
- 2 tsp of dry yeast
- ½ cup of warm milk
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 2 ½ cups of flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 4 tbsp of room temperature butter
- 1 capful of vanilla
For the Filling:
- ¼ cup of room temperature butter
- ½ cup of sugar
- ¾ cups of finely chopped pistachios
For the Frosting:
- 4 oz of cream cheese
- 1 tbsp of butter
- 1 tbsp of milk
- 1 ¼ cup of powdered sugar
- ¼ cup of roughly chopped pistachios
- 3 tbsp of orange zest (about 1 orange)
- 1 capful of vanilla
- 1 pinch of salt
In a bowl, mix together the milk, yeast, and a pinch of sugar for about 5 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients from the dough section in a stand mixer – flour, sugar, salt, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Mix well.
Add activated yeast mixture to stand mixer. Mix for 3 minutes.
Knead the dough for 5 minutes.
Cover dough with warm cloth or saran wrap. Let it rise somewhere warm for 60 – 90 minutes. (It should double in size.)
Roll the dough into a rectangle shape that is about ¼ in thick.
Spread the room temperature filling butter onto the dough.
Mix the finely chopped pistachios with sugar to finish making the filling. Evenly sprinkle the pistachio-sugar mixture on top of the butter.
Roll the rectangle to make one big dough rope. Slice the rope into an even number of pieces. (Makes about 8-10 big rolls.) Snugly put the rolls in a cast iron skillet.
Cover with clean cloth and let the rolls rise for 30 – 45 minutes at room temperature.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes.
Mix the frosting ingredients in a mixing bowl. Reserve some coarse pistachios to sprinkle on top.
Remove pistachio rolls from the oven. Add the icing and pistachio topping while still warm.
Happy Easter from our cabin to yours.
- Method: Baking
More Easter recipe ideas!