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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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Eileen C.
October 21, 2022
These are delicious but it is only two of us here. Has anyone successfully frozen them? Can they bake frozen or thaw first? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Jill R.
September 23, 2022
Fun to make, beautiful and delicious!
Baked these for the first time today. I only had unsalted butter and forgot to add extra salt to the dough. They would have been better with a little more salt. Nonetheless, they were yummy and beautiful, they were fun to make, and the house smells wonderful! I suggest NOT using a GoldTouch baking sheet for these. The ones baked on the GoldTouch sheet were over-browned on the bottom, whereas the ones baked on a plain metal (Vollrath) sheet were fine. I might add slivered almonds to the filling the next time I bake them.
Robin K.
August 18, 2022
Amazing, Crunchy, Delicious
These rolls are absolutely amazing. I ground my spice fresh for this, and the final product turned out incredibly delicious, beyond expectation. I have never had sweet rolls that tasted this good. Everyone loved them and they did not last long. I will make them again, but not too often because they are too good, bad for the waistline.
Anthony M.
June 4, 2022
While these may look complex, the recipe is easy to follow and yields delicious results. Bonus: your house will be filled with an amazing, cozy cardamom aroma.
w. s.
May 26, 2022
Not to sweet perfection
It does take time but the results are worth it.
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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