Swedish Cardamom Buns

cardamom buns on two plates with a bowl of sugar and a spoon

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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close up of cardamom buns

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. 

The smell

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. 

close up of cardamom buns with sugar bowl and spoon

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. 

You can buy ground cardamom, but to truly get the best from the cardamom*, you should grind it before you use it. I bought it shelled and ran it through my spice grinder*. 

grinding cardamom in a coffee grinder

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?

ingredients for dough for cardamom buns

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
milk on the stove with yeast

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.

butter, sugar, cardamom in a mixing bowl

While the milk is heating up, cream the butter, sugar, and cardamom in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment.

milk in butter mixture

Pour the milk and yeast mixture into the butter and add flour and salt. Mix until smooth.

cardamom bread dough in a mixer

Switch to the dough hook and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.

two balls of dough on a counter

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.

swedish cardamom bun filling in a bowl

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.

swedish cardamom bun dough on a counter

Roll the dough out into a rectangle. Spread the filling evenly over the dough.

folding swedish cardamom buns

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.

swedish cardamom buns about to go in oven

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.

finishing swedish cardamom buns with sugar pearls

Brush buns with egg wash and sprinkle half with sugar pearls and the other half cardamom sugar.

baked cardamom buns

Bake in a preheated 425° oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

swedish cinnamon buns on a baking sheet

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.

four cardamom buns on two plates with coffee cup

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.
Swedish Cardamom Buns

Swedish Cardamom Buns

Yield: 20 buns
Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 7 minutes

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! 

Ingredients

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

Cardamom 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

Assembly//

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • Pearl sugar
  • Cardamom Sugar

Instructions

  1. Add milk to a medium saucepan and cook until bubbles form around the edge. Remove from the heat and cool down to 100 degrees. 
  2. When the milk is 100 degrees, sprinkle yeast over and mix to dissolve. Let sit for 5 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, cream the butter, sugar, and cardamom in the bowl on an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pour in the yeast mixture, flour, and salt and mix until smooth. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. 
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let proof in a warm place for 1 hour. 
  5. While the dough is rising, make the filling. Mix the butter, sugar, cardamom, salt, vanilla bean paste until smooth. Set aside. 
  6. When the dough has proofed, turn it out onto a floured surface and cut into two pieces. Roll each piece into a rectangle and spread with the filling. Fold into thirds, fold the top over the middle of the filling and the bottom onto the middle. Slice into strips approximately one inch. Stretch the piece out and tie into a knot. 
  7. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Repeat with all of the pieces of dough. You should get about 20 buns. Cover with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425°. 
  8. When ready to bake, whisk egg and water and brush over the buns. Sprinkle half of the tops generously with pearl sugar and the other half with cardamom sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until buns are golden brown. 

Notes

Dough recipe adapted from Eat Live Run.

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