Swedish Kardemummabullar 

For all my talk of holding on to summer, I think I am leaning into fall with more enthusiasm than I expected. This happens every year, but I somehow always forget that I actually like the colder mornings and drinking coffee that isn’t iced. And eating soup. Oh, the soups! But we aren’t here to talk about soup.
We’re here to talk about Kardemummabullar! Have you tried these before? They’re Swedish buns flavored with cardamom or cinnamon (those would be Kanelbullar) and this particular version has both- in the cardamom and cinnamon flecked dough and in the filling.
Kardemummabullar are made with a yeast dough, and this one, which comes together in minutes and rises quickly, is soft and lovely to work with, thanks to melted butter.  The filling is an intoxicating paste of dark brown sugar, butter, salt and the spices, and it’s smeared thickly over the dough, which is then cut, twisted and shaped into pretty little buns. Topped with crunchy pearl sugar, the Kardemummabullar bake for a few minutes and fill the kitchen with the warm, sweet scent of cinnamon.
These are wonderful fresh out of the oven and served with a cup of tea. In fact, in Sweden they are often served for fika- the traditional daily coffee break Swedes take with the intention of slowing down and being purposeful. Doesn’t that sounds lovely? I think we here in the US need to adopt that!
Whether you make these for fun or for fall, you’re going to love their delicate, sweet and spicy flavor.
Happy fika!

Swedish Kardemummabullar

Yield: around 15 small buns

Lightly adapted from here

Why I love this recipe: melted butter makes for an especially soft, buttery dough which is then flecked with cardamom and cinnamon. Butter, dark brown sugar and more cardamom and cinnamon make an intoxicating paste that’s spread over the dough, which is twisted and shaped into pretty little buns, topped with pearl sugar and once baked, a perfect morning treat.

Notes: this recipe doubles easily. These last in the freezer for up to two months, tightly sealed.

For the dough:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg beaten, for egg wash
  • pearl sugar, for topping
  1. Make the dough: Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the milk and heat until warmed through.
  2. In a small bowl combine the yeast with a couple of tablespoons of the warm milk mixture. Let sit until foamy, around 10 minutes.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the flour, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon and salt. Add the yeast mixture and remaining milk. Mix, with dough hook attachment, until a dough forms.
  4. Knead the dough on high speed until smooth and elastic, 3-5 minutes. The dough will be soft and a little bit sticky.
  5. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  6. When the dough is risen, make the filling and assemble: line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Stir the filling ingredients in a small bowl until well combined and smooth.
  8. Roll the dough out to a rectangle roughly 11×17 inches with the long edge facing you. Spread half of the filling over half of the dough (lengthwise), making sure to spread it all of the way to the edges and fold the dough in half lengthwise. Slice the dough into 15 strips.
  9. Slice down the middle of each strip, leaving the strip intact at the head, and twist each strand of the strip. Twirl and knot the strips together to form pretty twists. See pictures here.
  10. Transfer the twists/buns to the lined baking sheets, cover the buns with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise for 45 minutes or until puffy. Preheat your oven to 425ºF.
  11. After the buns have risen, brush them with egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar.
  12. Bake the buns for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking.
  13. Serve warm or cool the rolls completely, then store them in an airtight container in the freezer.

Swedish Kardemummabullar


3 responses to “Swedish Kardemummabullar ”

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