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Swedish Cardamom Buns (Kardemummabullar)

Makes 16 buns

6 hours 1 hour active

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Swedish kardemummabullar are soft, rich yeasted buns with an aromatic butter, sugar and cardamom filling. This recipe does require a bit of time commitment and willingness to roll, measure, cut and shape the buns. We think it’s worth it. Despite being rich with butter, milk and an egg yolk, the dough is remarkably easy to handle. It’s essential to use cardamom seeds that you have ground yourself. Preground cardamom doesn’t come close to having the same flavor, aroma or visual appeal. Be sure to purchase decorticated cardamom seeds—seeds that have been removed from the thick, fibrous pods—and grind them in a mortar with a pestle or pulse them in an electric spice grinder to a mix of powder and tiny flecks. For the dough’s first rise (the bulk fermentation), we use a 9-by-13-inch baking dish as the container. This allows the dough to cool more quickly once it’s in the refrigerator. It also makes the dough easy to roll into a rectangle for filling because it takes on the shape of the baking dish. If you wish to make the buns over the course of two days, the ideal stopping point is after putting the dough in the refrigerator; it can remain there for up to 24 hours before rolling, filling, shaping and baking. Leftover baked buns, if you have any, will keep for up to three days in an airtight container; they reheat well in a 350°F oven for 5 to 8 minutes.

Makes 16



Don’t overheat the milk, and be sure the butter has cooled after melting. The 20-minute kneading time in the mixer warms the dough, so making sure the milk and butter are not too hot will prevent the dough from overheating, which can adversely affect the yeast.

6 hours

1 hour active

For the dough

  • 390

    grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting


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Cara B.
November 14, 2023
Better than cinnamon rolls
I make this frequently and it is a huge hit with friends and family alike. Two things I do differently is I use European butter and after brushing with egg white, I sprinkle Swedish pearl sugar on the top for a nice textural contrast.
Linda R.
June 28, 2023
I’ve made these twice and absolutely love them. I watched the video to ensure I got the technique right with regard to shaping them. After a few tries, I got the knack of it. Someone previously asked if these can be frozen. Yes, absolutely they can be frozen. Since it’s just my husband and me, I froze them after baking. When we have a hankering, we just take out one or two and either allow to thaw at room temperature or defrost in the microwave or countertop oven. Delicious!
Darlene A.
April 10, 2023
The Perfect Morning or Afternoon Pastry!
I made this for Easter morning. My family loved it! I did add a touch of nutmeg to the filling because I love nutmeg and I sprinkled it with Swedish Pearl sugar in place of the sugar. I might try adding chopped pistachio, hazelnuts or almond in future bakes. Thank you for all your wonderfully delicious recipes! You inspire my love for baking and cooking!
Diana L.
February 2, 2023
These are SO GOOD. Amazing. Delicious. I watched Milk Street video on youtube on how to make them. I did not have bread flour (just used All purpose). I will definitely make them again. Thank you for the recipe.
Medinah S.
December 24, 2022
These were such a lovely decadent flavor. The first time I had Cardamom rolls was a tiny town in Oregon. Every time I’ve gone back there to visit my aunt I have to get one, Until now! It’s almost dangerous that I can make my own . I honestly feel like they could use a little more cardamom! But absolutely love these
Mick C.

I am not a baker. But my daughter used to make cardamom bread during Christmas, and when I saw this recipe, I figured I would give it a try. I made these buns following the recipe exactly. I even went as far as getting cardamom in the green pods, removing the seeds, and grinding them in a mortal and pestle.

Let's just say that these were so incredibly tasty that it's been suggested that I don't need to wait until next Christmas to make more. They are just the right balance of sweet and a little savory. I made them the day before Christmas. and a quick microwave, maybe 10 seconds, made them so delicious on Christmas morning. As I mentioned, I am not a baker and so cannot offer up any advice or changes to the recipe, as everyone, including me, was thrilled with the result.

The only thing I would change, is that I need to take more time with the mortar and pestle to grind the seeds finer. A couple of the buns had seeds that were a little too large and needed to be remove. But I will say that freshly ground cardamom is so good!

stephanie e.

These were amazing! The directions and recipe were perfect and they were some of the best treats I have eaten in a very long time! I put a few in the freezer since we can't eat them all and hopefully they will be a delicious treat in the future too.

Kathy M.

I loved them but I think I would add a bit more cardamom next time. Wasn't as intense as I expected. (The other recipes I have seen that have similar ingredient amounts, use more.) I might also add a pinch of cinnamon, which seems to amp up the cardamom flavor.

Angela P.

These are incredible. The first time I followed the directions exactly. The second time I made sure to continue kneading the dough until it passed the "windowpane test" which took another few minutes beyond the 20 recommended. The texture was so much better the second time around: stretchy and chewy interiors. The second time around I used half pre-ground cardamom, and half cinnamon in the filling. It was so tasty but the cardamom fragrance was absolutely nowhere near when I ground the seeds myself. Still well worth making though. The best part is always the bottom of these buns. Some sugar from the filling turns into a thin, buttery, caramel crust.

Kellie Lynne W.

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