Swedish Cardamom Buns

Course Breakfast
Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 20 buns


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 packet active dry yeast 1/4th of an ounce
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt

For Filling:

  • 1.5 sticks unsalted butter soft
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp salt just a pinch
  • pearl sugar for topping optional
  • 1 whole egg lightly beaten


  1. Scald your milk over medium heat. To do this, just heat up the milk until tiny bubbles appear around the edge of the pot. Pull milk from the heat when this happens and let cool down to warm temperature - about 98 degrees F.

  2. When your milk has cooled down a bit, sprinkle in the yeast. Mix to dissolve yeast in warm milk and let sit for 5 minutes.

  3. While the yeast is dissolving in the milk, cream together the butter, sugar and cardamom. Pour in the yeast milk mixture and mix. Add the flour and salt gradually and continue mixing/kneading until a soft elastic dough forms - about five minutes.

  4. Cover the bowl with a clean dishcloth and let dough rise for 1 hour. 

  5. Meanwhile, make the filling. The easiest way to do this is by hand. Just mix together the soft butter, sugar, cardamom and salt with your hands and continue kneading together until all blended.

  6. Once the dough has risen, divide into two pieces. Roll one dough out into a large rectangle. Spread half of the filling on top. Fold into thirds like a book. Cut thin strips out of the book. Then, cut "legs" into each strip (see above photos). Twist the "legs" together and tie into a knot. Place on baking sheet.

  7. Repeat with remaining dough then go on to the other piece. You should get approximately 20 little knots/buns. Place all on a baking sheet, re-cover with the clean dishcloth and let rise again for about 30 minutes. 

  8. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425. After 30 minutes, brush each knot with a little beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar if desired. Bake buns for 12-15 minutes until golden.

Recipe Notes

These freeze great! I always have a batch in our deep freezer. Just reheat frozen rolls in a 300 degree oven for about 15 minutes. 

Pearl sugar is available on Amazon. It really does add that special Swedish "touch".