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My Favorite Swedish Cardamom Buns

Well, this recipe has been a long time coming! I am so excited to finally share with you all today one of my very favorite treats, Swedish cardamom buns.

Don’t be intimidated by how fancy they look — in this post I am going to break it all down for you and I promise you can do this. I believe in you. After you make these once and get the hang for them, you’re going to become addicted to them like me and crank out a batch once a month or so. I like to always keep a big bag of these cardamom buns in my deep freezer…like some sort of insurance for whatever morning life decides to throw at me. 😉

Almost two years ago, we went on a family trip to Stockholm and I became absolutely, hopelessly addicted to all of the wonderful cardamom buns that were available at every single bakery and pastry shop we stopped into. When we got home from our trip, I went through a bit of withdrawal. I needed my morning cardamom bun and espresso…especially with a jetlagged toddler. I tried out a bunch of recipes but nothing was just right. In utter dismay, I sent an email to a Swedish blogger friend whom we had met up with on our trip. Surely you must know the perfect cardamom bun recipe…I need them to be perfect – like the ones at Fabrique! (my favorite bakery in Stockholm). Mina wrote back, directing me to a Swedish food blogger’s recipe for cinnamon buns, which I promptly baked that day. Finally we were getting somewhere! 

I have since baked these buns dozens and dozens of times and tweaked the recipe to better suit my tastes (and our American kitchens). 

And what better way to break in my new mixer than with these buns! After two of my previous mixers (a different brand) bit the dust, I opted for something different this time around. It’s still quite new to me, but so far I am really enjoying the Ankarsrum. It’s VERY different than what I was used to, and there’s definitely a learning curve involved, but I am pretty sure the motor on this thing could power a car. 😉 It’s perfect for what I plan to use it for — breads, cardamom buns and homemade pasta dough. Plus, it’s pretty darn good looking if I do say so myself. And stay tuned in to my Instagram because there may be a giveaway in the works!

Okay – back to the buns! Here’s a step by step look at how to make ’em all pretty. I promise it’s not as hard as it seems. 

First, roll the dough out to a large rectangle:

Spread some cardamom sugar filling on top of your dough rectangle:

Then fold up the rectangle three times — like a book! Easy peasy.

Now, cut strips of dough out of your rectangle:

And cut “legs” out of each dough strip. Be careful to leave one end attached!

Twist the dough legs around each other and make a knot. Things might get messy but persist in the name of butter and sugar.

I just brush each bun with egg wash and I like to sprinkle pearl sugar on top for an extra “oomph”. Either way, these are so pretty and SO yummy. I swear, eating one hot out of the oven with a cup of coffee is seriously a spiritual experience. Just try it and you will know what I mean.

This week is the celebratory Swedish Midsummer so there’s no better time to bake up a batch (or two) of these cardamom buns. I hope you love them as much as we do!


Swedish Cardamom Buns
Prep Time
1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 35 mins
Course: Breakfast
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".

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  • Rebecca
    June 22, 2017 at 8:30 am

    These look amazing! I, too, miss the cardamom buns available in Sweden. I get my pearl sugar from King Arthur Flour.

  • Paige
    June 22, 2017 at 10:10 am

    These looks incredible! You did an amazing job!


  • Anneline
    June 22, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    I loooooove Linda’s cardamom buns, I make them all the time! In fact I love all of her recipes <3 And I discovered her blog through you! I remember when you came back from Sweden and told us about these buns . I didn't wait long before making them too! 😉

  • Aimee
    June 23, 2017 at 7:52 am

    These are almost too pretty to eat! …almost. I’m sure the aroma of the cardamom would win out in the end and I would quite possibly eat them all.

  • Lisa
    June 27, 2017 at 11:22 am

    These are incredible! just made them today- I didn’t have cardamom so I used cinnamon instead. Next time, will definitely get my hands on some cardamom.

  • Sarah V
    June 28, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Hi Jenna. I want to try these too. They look delicious! One question, how long is the first rise? Thank you.

  • Megan
    July 1, 2017 at 2:00 am

    Hi Jenna, thank you for this recipe! I have made it twice already! My family, friends & I love it! ?

  • Amber
    December 11, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Loved this, thank you! So nice to find a simple recipe that doesn’t use quark! I used green cardamom since that’s what I had. Is black or green preferable? Tack sa mycket!!

  • Marie
    December 13, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    I was really disappointed in my results with this recipe. My cardamom buns came out dense and a bit dry (and I think I’d like them a little sweeter– but I know how to fix that 😉 ). I think I may have overkneaded the dough, or overworked it while rolling out the flat rectangle. I also cheated and added the butter to the warm milk with the yeast rather than creaming it with the sugar. Would this make the difference? Any tips for better results next time?

    Your instructions for making the beautiful shapes were so easy to follow: my cardamom buns look amazing, but don’t have the lovely soft texture that I was craving (and that I also remember fondly from a trip to Sweden!).

    • Aja
      February 14, 2018 at 3:00 pm

      Overkneading may be a culprit, but your cheat with the butter into the milk is likely what really did it. You aren’t trying to melt the butter to that degree before putting the buns in the oven. It really does make a difference — it’s not cheating if it doesn’t work.

  • Susan
    March 15, 2018 at 5:30 am

    I love this recipe (as does my whole family). I personally haven’t tasted them (I’m GF, DF), but my whole family loves them. I just finished making 400 for a school event and they were a hit! We loved that they weren’t too sweet and truly reminded us of our trip to Sweden this summer. Thanks for this recipe!

  • Caitlin
    March 24, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    These are so delicious! After returning from a trip to Sweden I knew I had to try this recipe. It came out so perfectly. I can’t wait to put some in the freezer and I’m sure I’ll be making them again in the future. Thanks!

  • tess
    March 31, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    Can I make the dough tonight and bake the buns tomorrow morning?

  • 10 Food Blogs & Bloggers you must check out & follow! - Make Calm Lovely
    August 8, 2018 at 7:46 am

    […] My favorite Swedish Cardamon Buns.  The Swedes love Cardamon buns, and once you make this recipe you will too!  These can be made ahead of time and kept available for the week ahead.  They are easier to make than they actually look, and they are fun to make too! (oh did I mention how absolutely delicious they are!!) […]

  • Lora
    November 17, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    These came together so easily and we absolutely delicious. I followed instructions other than the amount of flour. I probably added a half cup to a cup less as my dough didn’t need it. The resulting cardamom buns were soft and had an ever so slight crunch. The flavor was mellow and they weren’t too sweet. (I did put the pearl sugar on top too.)

  • Patricia
    December 23, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    Made these tonight to freeze and have on Christmas morning. SO DELICIOUS!! I was a little intimidated by all the steps but it’s really simple enough for a baking novice like me. Highly recommend. Thanks!

  • Ashley
    December 24, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    These are amazing! Thank you for our new family tradition!

  • Lily
    May 27, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    Lovely recipe! Cardamom is extraordinary and this recipe for kardemummabullar tastes of cardamom all through out!
    I put on a cardamom lime glaze instead of pearl sugar.

  • Minna Jaffery
    July 12, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    I’ve been making this recipe during the pandemic for my family and they love it so much, they’re always in demand!

    Regarding the freezing, do you freeze the entire bun after it’s been filled and twisted? And then just bake at 300 for 15 minutes? Or do you have to bake the buns, freeze them, and then reheat them?

  • Amy
    April 27, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    These came together really easily kneading by hand and are really good! Next time I’ll add a bit more sugar, some cinnamon (I tested a few and it was great), and a tiny bit cardamom pod icing or simple syrup. I thought it could be a bit sweeter and I missed the non-ground flavor of cardamom pods.