Swedish Cardamom Buns – Delicious and fragrant cardamom buns inspired by my trip to Malmo Sweden. This dough is a dream to work with and slathered with a cardamom vanilla butter. Heaven!
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Last year I was able to tag along on a work trip with Wes to Copenhagen. Copenhagen is lovely and we had a wonderful time, but being who I am, I could not be that close to Sweden and not go have a cinnamon* bun where cinnamon* buns were born.
I took the quick train ride over the border and immediately went to St. Jakobs Stenugnsbageri in Malmö.
I just don’t even think that I can describe the smell.
Cinnamon*, cardamom, butter. It was heaven.
I went into the bakery thinking that I wanted a cinnamon* bun. But I didn’t know. I just didn’t even know what I didn’t know.
I was chatting with the women behind the counter and she recommended that I give the cardamom bun a try. She said, “You came all this way, why don’t you try what the grown-ups eat?’. Hand to God, that’s what she said.
I think that what she was getting at is that a cardamom bun is a more mature version of the cinnamon* bun. Not knocking a cinnamon* bun, they are delicious, but the cardamom bun blew me away.
If you have not tried cardamom* before, it is a warm spice, kind like cinnamon* but I think that it is citrusy. I absolutely love it. It is in a lot of Indian cooking and I bought mine from Amazon.
It almost looks like vanilla bean*, instead of the greenish tint that ground cardamom gives. It really makes a huge difference and worth sourcing the cardamom and grinding it before using it.
This is a beautiful dough. It is soft and easy to work with. It is a dream. Ready to make some dough?
For the dough //
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 10 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground cardamom
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Heat the milk until bubbles form around the edges. Remove from heat and let cool to 100°. Sprinkle yeast over and let sit for 5 minutes.
While the milk is heating up, cream the butter, sugar, and cardamom in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment.
Pour the milk and yeast mixture into the butter and add flour and salt. Mix until smooth.
Switch to the dough hook and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Add the dough to a bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof in a warm place for one hour. Turn out onto a floured surface and divide into two balls.
For the Cardamom Vanilla Filling //
- 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon freshly ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
To make the filling, whisk butter, sugar, cardamom, salt, and vanilla bean paste until smooth. Set aside.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle. Spread the filling evenly over the dough.
This is the trickiest part of this whole recipe, but truthfully, while it may not be traditional, they will taste amazing no matter what shape they are in, so just go for it and do your best.
Fold the bottom third of the rectangle to the middle and fold the top third over that, like a brochure. Slice into inch pieces.
Stretch a piece of dough out a bit, then tie into a knot and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes.
Brush buns with egg wash and sprinkle half with sugar pearls and the other half cardamom sugar.
Bake in a preheated 425° oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
My kids prefer cinnamon buns, so with the other dough, I made them a pan of cinnamon buns. I just swapped cinnamon for cardamom and made them a glaze.
Tips for Making Swedish Cardamom Buns //
- These buns can be made the day before and baked the next morning. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, let come to room temperature and let rise for 30 minutes before baking.
- You can bake these and freeze them in an airtight container. Reheat in a 300° oven for 10 minutes.
- Swedish cinnamon buns are topped with pearl sugar*, not glaze. They are crunchy and add sweetness as the buns aren’t overly sweet.
- I like to make a cardamon sugar with ground cardamom, granulated sugar, and a tablespoon or two of sanding sugar*. I love the extra bit of texture the sanding sugar adds.
- Do yourself a favor and buy a cheap coffee grinder* just to be used for spices. It makes a WORLD of difference in the flavor of the spices. To clean it out, run some salt through it before you grind a different spice.