My boyfriend recently got a bunch of ground cardamom, so it was finally time to try to make kardemummabullar, or Swedish cardamom buns! I’ve had them before, but never attempted to make them. They always looked so pretty, with their interesting shape (we’ll get more into that, I promise) and sugared, crisp exterior, with the earthy, delicious cardamom flavor in every bite. Yum!
Most recipes for these call for cardamom pods that you have to crush with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and then use. I’m sure it smells amazing, and the flavor is probably unreal, but…I have none of those things. So! In the spirit of making do with what we have, as we’re all doing during quarantining, you’ll see only ground cardamom in this recipe. And I know, it looks like a loooooong recipe, but don’t worry! Describing the shaping process isn’t easy and it took a few words, but hopefully I got there. Read through the process a few times before attempting it to get the idea, and there are also videos on YouTube if you’re a visual learner! I liked this one. Its the same process I used, even if I cut the dough a bit differently. It’s going to take a few tries before the buns look good, but they’re going to taste delicious regardless of the look.The ones that don’t come out quite right are the treat for the cook!
Also, that topping – don’t skip the syrup! Not only will the cardamom sugar not stick if you don’t use it, but it’s GOOD. If you have vanilla paste definitely use it here, although vanilla extract will work too in a pinch.
Cardamom Buns (makes ~20)
For the dough
- 1C/245mL milk, heated to 110*
- 2 1/4tsp/7g yeast
- 3 1/4C/427g flour, divided
- 1/4C/50g sugar
- 1tsp/3g cardamom
- 1/2tsp salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3C/76g butter, softened and cubed
For the filling
- 1 stick/113g softened butter
- 1/3C/76g brown sugar
- 2tsp/5g ground cardamom
- pinch of salt
For the topping
- 1/4C/59mL water
- 1/4C/50g brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
- 1Tbsp/12g sugar
- 1/4tsp/2g ground cardamom
How to do it
Make the dough and filling
- combine warm milk, yeast, and a tsp of sugar. let sit until the yeast starts to bubble
- in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine most of the flour (about 2C), sugar, cardamom, and salt.
- add the milk mixture and egg and mix until combined. add butter one piece at a time until fully incorporated
- switch to the dough hook and knead for 6 minutes on high. if the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add the remaining flour 1 Tbsp at a time until it doesn’t stick
- transfer dough into a large, oiled bowl and let rise for ~1hr at room temperature until doubled in volume
- while the dough is rising, make the filling by combining the butter, brown sugar, cardamom, and salt in a bowl until well combined. cover and set aside at room temp.
Fill and shape
- prepare your baking sheets with baking spray or parchment paper
- once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a large rectangle, about 21″x12″ with the long side facing you
- spread the filling onto the rectangle, covering the whole thing with a thin layer. then, fold the rectangle into thirds like a letter – fold the right third over the middle third, then fold the left third on top of that. rotate 90* so that the folded edge/new long side of the rectangle is now facing you
- roll out the new rectangle a bit, then, using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut 2cm horizontal strips from the rectangle. see picture above for clarification
- take each strip and stretch it out a bit. then wrap the dough twice around 3 fingers. after the second time around, hold the strip against your fingers with your thumb, then make a right angle with the remaining dough strip so it’s parallel with your fingers. wrap it around to the back of the dough, carefully remove your 3 fingers from the inside of the dough, and tuck the end of the strip into the hole where your 3 fingers had been. the side that had been facing away from you is what should be the top of the bun
- place on the prepared sheet, and continue until all buns have been shaped. cover, and let rest for 40 minutes
- while the buns are resting, make the toppings. make the syrup by combining the water and brown sugar in a small pot over medium high heat until the sugar is fully dissolved. remove from heat and add vanilla. set aside.
- combine the sugar and ground cardamom. set aside
- preheat oven to 375*
Bake and top
- once the buns have rested, bake them at 375* for 20-23 minutes. if baking several pans at once, make sure to rotate them halfway through the bake time
- as soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush generously with the premade syrup and sprinkle with cardamom sugar
- enjoy! they’re best within a day, but you can easily keep them in an airtight container and reheat them before eating.