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Swedish Cardamom Buns (Kardemummabullar)

Swedish cardamom buns, or kardemummabullar in Swedish, are soft and fluffy sweet buns filled with an aromatic and buttery cardamom filling. You can shape them like cinnamon rolls or more fancy like these cardamom knots – either way they will be delicious!

 

Cake stand with cardamom buns.

 

I even made a video for you to see the shaping of the knots, it’s one of those things that are easy to do but hard to explain, you know. Like how to lattice a pie crust, hopeless trying to explain that, but it is quite easy. Well, I made a video of the whole recipe, but if you just want to see the shaping, skip to 01:53. You’re welcome.   

 

If the video clip doesn’t show up somewhere on the blog post, you can also see the recipe on YouTube.

 

More bun recipes

 

As a Scandinavian, I grew up with buns in all shapes and sizes, flavors and textures, filled or not. Yes, we LOVE bread and buns. That is also why I force all these recipes on to you, Scandinavian or not, I’m going to convert you into a bun lover

 

So if you’re interested (you should be interested), here are my other favorites as well:

 

Swedish cardamom buns on a cooling rack, flatlay.

 

You now have a bun recipe for every occasion, and at least one (preferably two) of these should at all times be in your freezer. 

 

Freezer friendly, make ahead buns

 

Yes, all buns are extremely forgiving when it comes to making them ahead and freezing them. Bread turns stale relatively quickly on the counter, but you can get fresh-out-of-the-oven buns each time you have them. That’s a fact.

 

All you do is pre-heat your oven to about 300F (150C) and add the frozen buns, it takes roughly 10 minutes for them to thaw. It will depend a little on the variety of bun, for example the vanilla custard coconut buns take a little longer and they should also be frozen without the coconut icing (I’m talking all about that in the respective post above). 

 

The kardemummabullar will be fluffy with a slight crisp on the outside with a delectable cardamom smell embracing your kitchen like a warm Scandi hug. It truly is divine and so, so worth taking up space in your freezer. 

 

Cardamom buns on a cooling rack.

 

Fika

 

Do you know the Swedish phenomenon ‘fika’? It means ‘to have a coffee’ but actually, it’s more like a state of mind, a concept. How Swedes make time to sit down with friends or colleagues for a cup of coffee or tea and something to eat, often something sweet like cardamom buns or a slice of apple cake.

 

Fika is huge in Sweden, and according to Fikarapporten (yes Fika report is apparently a thing!), they spend about 9.5 days a year having fika. That includes small fikapaus (fika breaks) during work hours as well, where they exchange knowledge and nurture relationships. However, not all those hours and days are spent eating sweets. That’s the bigger lunch fika. 

 

But fika is always better with cardamom buns, right?

 

One bun on a vintage plate, chair with pink linen.

 

The recipe 

 

Start by mixing the dry ingredients in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer (1). In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Once melted, add in the milk and check the temperature. It should be lukewarm at about 102F (39C), reheat a little if necessary. 

 

Steps to make the dough.

 

When it has the right temperature, whisk in the fresh yeast (if using active dry yeast instead, mix it with the dry ingredients) (2). Add the egg to the dry mixture, along with the butter-yeast mixture and knead (3)

 

Knead until the dough lets go of the bowl, somewhere between 10 to 15 minutes. The dough will be slightly sticky but will not stick to your fingers when you test (4-5). Cover with a towel and place on a warm, non-drafty spot until doubled in size, approximately 1 – 1.5 hours, but that will depend on the climate (6)

 

Meanwhile, make the filling

 

I like to use (green) cardamom pods for this recipe. Just pulse them in a spice grinder until powder form. However, there is zero problem in using pre-ground cardamom. 

 

Mix the cardamom with softened butter and sugar with a stand mixer or handheld mixer until smooth. Easy peasy!

 

Steps to make cardamom filling.

 

Once the dough has doubled, pour it onto a work surface and cut it in two equal pieces. Take one piece and roll it out to about 23×16 in (60×40 cm) (8). Spread the cardamom filling on 2/3 of the dough (9). Then take the un-spread part over half of the spread part (10), and take the bottom half that is spread, on top of that again (11). Almost like an envelope effect. 

 

Now roll it a little more just to blend the cardamom into the dough. The size of this depends on how long strips you want for your knots, I like to roll it to 12×16 in (30×40 cm) (12). Then, using a pizza cutter, cut 1 inch (2.5 cm) strips (13)

 

Steps to roll out the dough.

 

How to shape them into cardamom knots 

 

As I mentioned, this is one of those things that are hard to explain, but easy to do, so if you find it difficult to understand by words (I am NOT judging), then the video may be more in handy for you, or the GIF. 

 

Take one strip of  dough. While you twist the strip around itself, turn it around three of your fingers, then take the ends and tuck them in under, securing the knot. Here’s also a short GIF if you’re so inclined. 

 

GIF of how to shape cardamom knots.

 

 

Let them rest on a parchment lined baking sheet under a towel until again doubled in size. This time it takes about 45 minutes, and in the meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 440F (230C)

 

Right before you bake them, whisk an egg together and brush on top of each bun, and then sprinkle with some coarse sugar. That way you get a beautiful golden crust and a little extra texture from the sugar. If you want less texture, then omit the coarse sugar. You can also reduce temperature and bake for longer if you don’t want the crisp-ish exterior.  

 

Steps to shape a cardamom knot.

 

Bake for around 9 minutes or until golden and when you tap the underside, it makes a hollow sound! Let them rest on a cooling rack. 

 

These cardamom buns are best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee and good company – just like a fika should be!

 

Vintage plate with one cardamom bun and a vintage, pink cup.

 

Did you like this recipe? Here are more Scandinavian treats I think you would like:

 

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. As a thanks you will receive a free e-cookbook Travels Through the Seasons, with many delicious recipes from around the world that suit different seasons of the year. 

 

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Cake stand with cardamom buns.

Swedish Cardamom Buns (Kardemummabullar)

Yield: 36 buns
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

The buns

  • 8 cups flour (1000 grams) Highly recommend to use a scale for this recipe!
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar (120 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 1/4 cups milk (500 milliliters)
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp butter (160 grams)
  • 1.7 ounce fresh yeast (50 grams) See notes below*
  • 1 egg (+ 1 for brushing)
  • Pearl sugar (optional)

The cardamom filling

  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons softened butter (200 grams)
  • 7/8 cups granulated sugar (170 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons ground cardamom (roughly 10-15 grams whole pods)

Instructions

Make the dough

  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl - flour, sugar, salt and cardamom.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter, pour the milk in and wait until the mixture is lukewarm. Mine was at (100 fahrenheit (38 celcius). Combine with crumbled fresh yeast*.
  3. Pour the butter and milk into the flour mixture along with one egg.
    Knead together, using a stand or hand mixer. This is also a very important step, as you have to mix until the dough is fluffy and no longer clings to the bowl, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add a little flour on top, and place a kitchen towel or plastic wrap over the bowl. Leave it in a warmish place for about 1-1 1/2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.

Make the filling

  1. For the filling, mix together the room temperature butter, sugar and ground cardamom. I prefer to use whole cardamom pods, just grind them in a spice grinder. Pre-ground is also fine.

Shape the knots

  1. Once the dough has doubled in size, pour it onto a clean work surface and cut into two equal sizes. Take one piece and roll it into a 24x16 inches (60x40 centimeters).
  2. Spread cardamom butter on 2/3 of the dough. Now roll it a little more just to blend the cardamom into the dough, until about 12x16 inches (30×40 centimeters)
  3. Then take the un-spread part over half of the spread part, and take the bottom half that is spread, on top of that again. Cut into 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) strips.
  4. Take one strip of dough. While you twist the strip around itself, turn it around three of your fingers, then take the ends and tuck them in under, securing the knot. Watch GIF or video in blog post if needed.

Bake them

  1. Let them rest on a parchment lined baking sheet under a towel until again doubled in size. This time it takes about 45 minutes, and in the meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 440 fahrenheit (230 celcius).
  2. Whisk together an egg and brush the buns lightly. Sprinkle with pearl sugar if you want a little more texture. Bake for around 9-10 minutes or until it makes a hollow sound when you tap the underside of a bun.
  3. Cool on a cooling rack. Great for freezing. Re-heat frozen buns in the oven at 300 fahrenheit (150 celcius) for about 10 minutes. Like freshly baked each time!

Notes

* If using dry yeast, use instant dry yeast and combine it with the dry ingredients instead. This is equivalent to US sachets of yeast, 1 Norwegian, or 14 grams (4 1/2 teaspoons).

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1 bun
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 220Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5.5gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 135mgCarbohydrates: 30.9gFiber: 1.2gSugar: 8.9gProtein: 4.3g

Nutrition information isn't always accurate, estimate for informational purposes only.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or tag @thegingerwithspice on Instagram, I'd love to see!

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