Swedish Cardamom Buns – Kardemummabullar Recipe

cardamom buns

Well we are into the first week of October and the weather is telling me it’s time to start making some Autumn treats. One of my favorite things to make when the weather turns are these delicious Swedish cardamom buns. Known as kardemummabullar (I know, hard word) in Swedish, these delightful little pastries go perfect with your morning coffee.

The most difficult thing about these cardamom buns doesn’t have anything to do with the actual recipe at all. It’s the folding and twisting them into the iconic shape that tends to give people the most trouble. No matter though, as I have a pretty easy way of doing it.

How To Make Awesome Swedish Cardamom Buns

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The first step is to activate your yeast in some warm milk. This method is actually quite similar to a challah. Just heat up a cup of milk (240 ml) on a stove top or the microwave. Let it come down to a fairly tepid temperature and then add in a tablespoon of active dry yeast. Give it a stir and set aside for 10 minutes. Note: if you add the yeast when the milk is too hot it will kill the yeast and your dough will not rise.

For the dough you can use a stand mixer, or do it by hand. I prefer using my stand mixer as it is easier. Into the bowl add 150 grams of butter, 85 grams of brown sugar, a tablespoon of ground cardamom, and a pinch of salt. Cream all of that together by hand or with the paddle attachment.

Once you cream everything together, slowly pour in the milk and yeast mixture.

adding in the flour

Switch to the hook attachment and add 3 cups of flour (350 grams) a quarter cup at a time. Keep the speed on slow because we don’t want to overmix the buns and cause them to become too chewy.

Once everything is just mixed remove the dough from the hook and place on a lightly floured surface.

Knead the dough for a few minutes, just enough to get it into a tight ball. Oil a bowl and place the dough inside. I suggest using rapeseed or sunflower oil, as olive oil will impart too much flavor. It wouldn’t be very traditional that way.

Cover the dough with a cloth and place it in a warm place. Like with most of my dough rising recipes, I use the inside of my oven with just the light on. That always seems to do the trick. Leave it in there for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Swedish Cardamom Buns Filling

The filling is super easy. Just melt 100 grams of butter in a ramekin, add a tablespoon of cardamom, and 80 grams of brown sugar. Mix everything up and place in the fridge to solidify a bit. This really is just a sweet compound butter.

Rolling Out The Dough And Shaping The Buns

Once the dough has doubled in size remove it from the bowl. Punch it down and roll it out into a large rectangle. As you can see from the picture above it’s about the size of my whole table. It’s not paper thin, but it is about the thickness of a sheet of lasagna.

Spread half of the cardamom mixture all over the dough and then make a tri-fold. Also called an envelope fold, you will fold both sides of the dough over the middle. Now unlike a traditional bun, I like to do 9 layers instead of 3, so that means we are going to do one more lamination. Use a rolling pin to lightly flatten the dough again, and then make another tri-fold top to bottom.

Swedish Cardamom Buns - Kardemummabullar Recipe

This method will give you 9 layers of dough/cardamom mixture instead of the basic 3.

Swedish Cardamom Buns - Kardemummabullar Recipe

Here comes the tricky part. Cutting the dough. With a knife make a full slice every 2cm or so. This recipe makes 8 buns so aim for 7 full slices. Of course, if you can only do 7 or can do 9 that’s all okay too, it depends on how wide your laminated sheet is. Once you have all your slices, make another slice in between the big ones, but this time don’t cut fully through, leave an intact centimeter or two at the top (about an inch).

After you have your slices done, just twist everything. Hold the intact part and turn it like a key until the two “legs” twist and expose their layers. Then tuck them into a ball shape and place on a baking tray. I suggest using parchment or a silicone mat so the bottoms don’t get burnt to the metal.

Place the tray of unbaked cardamom buns into the oven with the light on for another rise for another 30 minutes. Then brush them with a beaten egg, generously sprinkle with granulated sugar, and bake. I recommend 200 Celsius for 15 minutes on convection. Check on the buns after 10 minutes though as your oven may be different from mine.

Swedish Cardamom Buns - Kardemummabullar Recipe

These Swedish cardamom buns are best eaten right after they come out of the oven with a hot cup of coffee, as is tradition. To reheat them place them in a microwave with a mug of water and nuke for 30 seconds or so. That should soften them back up to a desirable level.

cardamom buns

Swedish Cardamom Buns

These tasty treats are great with your morning coffee, or on those cold winter mornings.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Bread, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Nordic, Scandinavian, Swedish
Servings 8 buns
Calories 457 kcal


  • Baking Tray
  • Stand Mixer (optional)


Swedish Cardamom Buns Dough

  • 360 grams Flour AP
  • 240 ml Milk
  • 1 tbsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 100 grams Butter unsalted
  • 80 grams Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Cardamom ground
  • 1 pinch Salt

Cardamom Filling

  • 1 tbsp Cardamom ground
  • 100 grams Butter unsalted
  • 80 grams Brown Sugar


  • 1 Egg beaten with some water
  • 1 tbsp Granulated Sugar


  • Warm the milk on the stove or in the microwave then allow it to come down to a more tepid temperature. Stir in the yeast and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • In a stand mixer (or in a bowl by hand) cream together the butter, sugar, salt, and cardamom.
  • Slowly pour in the milk/yeast mixture until everything is combined.
  • Switch to the hook attachment and slowly beat in the flour a quarter cup at a time. You don't want to overmix or the final buns will be chewy so once everything is mixed take the dough out.
  • Lightly flour a table and knead for a few minutes, just until you get a nice tight ball.
  • Oil a bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with a cloth and place in a warm location to rise for 30 minutes.
  • To make the filling melt the butter and mix in the sugar and cardamom. Place in the fridge to solidify a bit while the dough is rising.
  • Roll out the dough into a large rectangle and spread half the butter mixture all over it. Make a tri-fold or an envelope fold by bringing the ends over 1/3 of the way. Use a rolling pin to thin the dough out a bit and spread over the rest of the cardamom butter. Make another tri-fold from top to bottom this time so there are 9 total layers.
  • Make 7 full slices through the dough, about every 2cm. Then another slice halfway in between each of those, but do not go fully through the top of the dough. See picture for reference.
  • Hold the intact part of the dough strip and twist the two "legs" around each other. Then form into a ball and place on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.
  • Place in a warm place and allow to rise for another half hour. Give an egg wash and then generously sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
  • Bake at 200 Celsius for 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately and with hot black coffee.
Keyword Cardamom Bread, Fika, Swedish Cardamom Buns
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