Swedish Cardamom Buns

4.5/5 - (21 votes)

Swedish Cardamom Buns, a soft enriched dough flavoured with cardamom, that wonderful spice so full of fruity notes. These buns are very popular, deservedly so. Such buns are popular throughout Scandinavia. In Sweden they are known as Kardemummabullar.

The buns are made with an enriched dough, as I mentioned, which has a good amount of cardamom. Then a paste of more cardamom with butter and sugar is spread over the flattened dough. The dough is folded and rolled and then cut into strips. The strips are then tied into a knot, of sorts, to form the shape. However the shaping can be simplified to be whatever you might wish. The amount of cardamom used is a matter of preference. Obviously the more you use the stronger the wonderfully aromatic flavour will become.

Swedish Cardamom Buns
Swedish Cardamom Buns


It is best to freshly grind the cardamom as it does lose flavour when it is stored in ground form. But, for ease, I am sure ready ground would be quite satisfactory.

I used freshly ground cardamom, out of the shell. But I have seen several videos, and recipes, where the entire cardamom pod was ground which also works very well. Indeed that also leads to the dough being somewhat speckled in appearance, which some people like too. However the strength of flavour is also lessened when the whole pod is ground. So really it is a matter of preference, and of cost.

The dough for the bun is enriched, meaning that it includes milk, butter and eggs. That makes for a very soft bun.

The recipe is not difficult but it does take time, since the dough needs to be proofed before being rolled and shaped. Then it needs to be left to rise again before being baked. But the time taken is rewarded by the most flavoursome bun.

As I mentioned the buns can be shaped however you wish. They are baked on a parchment lined baking tray, though I have also seen them baked in a muffin pan which also works well.

My Cardamom Buns

Swedish Cardamom Buns
Swedish Cardamom Buns

In the video I flattened my dough into a 12 inch x 15 inch rectangle(30cm x38 cm) but I think that 12 inches x 14 inches(30cm x 36cm) is actually a better size, so in the recipe below that is what I detail.

I cut the dough into strips of about 1 inch(2.5cm) and then wrapped each strip around my fingers to form a loose knot.

After allowing the shaped buns to double in size I brushed them with an egg and milk wash and sprinkled some demerara sugar over the tops.

Then I baked the buns for 12 minutes, which allowed them to colour well and baked through. The internal temperature of the buns reached 97C, which is about 206F so I was sure they were fully baked.

I removed them from the oven and placed them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Then it was time to taste one. I must say the flavour was awesome. The cardamom gives such a wonderfully aromatic flavour and the dough was so soft and springy. I really enjoyed the buns, which are great for breakfast or at any time.

These are a great alternative to those lovely cinnamon buns.

Swedish Cardamom Buns – Video

Another great bun recipe is Soft Cream Buns – Maritozzi Con la Panna.

Swedish Cardamom Buns

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: BreadCuisine: SwedishDifficulty: Medium


Prep time(incl. proofing)


Cooking time




  • Dough
  • 500g(3 1/3 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) bread flour

  • 7g(2 1/4 tsp – 1 packet) active dried yeast

  • 250ml(1 cup + 2 tsp) milk

  • 100g(7 tbsp) butter

  • 50g(1/4 cup) caster sugar

  • 1 medium egg(large in USA)

  • 3g(1 1/2 tsp) ground cardamom

  • 3g(1/2 tsp) salt

  • Cardamom Paste
  • 75g(5 tbsp + 1 tsp) softened unsalted butter

  • 4g(2 tsp) ground cardamom

  • 31g(2 1/2 tbsp) caster sugar

  • Topping
  • 1 medium egg(large in USA)

  • 15ml(1 tbsp) milk

  • 25g(2 tbsp) demerara sugar


  • Place the milk and butter into a saucepan and slowly heat it until the butter has melted and the temperature has reached 41C(106F).
  • Pour the liquid into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix in the yeast, then leave it for 10 minutes to activate.
  • Add the sugar, egg and cardamom and mix to combine.
  • With the mixer on a low speed gradually add the flour and mix until it forms a shaggy dough, adding the salt with the first addition of flour.
  • Knead the dough( you can increase the speed) until the dough comes, cleanly, away from the side of the bowl and becomes soft and quite smooth. (in my Ankarsrum this took about 10 minutes of gentle kneading).
  • Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size(1 to 2 hours).
  • In a bowl mix the butter, sugar and cardamom to form a paste, then set aside.
  • Tip the dough onto a work surface and roll into a rectangle 12 inches x 14 inches (30cm x 36 cm).
  • Spread the paste over the lower 2/3 of the dough.
  • Fold the upper third of the dough onto the middle third and fold the lower third over the top.
  • Roll the dough again to the same size as before.
  • Cut 1inch(2.5) strips so that you have 12 strips of 14inches(36 cm).
  • Take each strip and wrap it twice around three fingers then gentle extract the fingers.
  • Roll the remainder of the strip around the centre of the knot, tucking the end underneath.
  • Place the shaped buns onto parchment, or silicone, lined baking trays, leaving a good gap between each.
  • Cover the buns with a clean towel and leave until doubled in size(about an hour)
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/390F.
  • Whisk the egg and milk together.
  • Brush the egg wash over the top of the buns and then sprinkle with demerara sugar.
  • Bake the buns in the oven for 12 to 14 minutes, until they have risen well and coloured nicely.
  • Remove the buns from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Enjoy the buns while they are fresh. Excess buns can be frozen and thawed later. The buns can also be reheated for a few minutes to freshen them up if needed.

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