Cardamom buns

Cardamom buns

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(16 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 25 mins plus at least 2 hrs proving and rising

More effort

makes 12

This spiced Swedish bun has an intense floral perfume from cardamom seeds, which works its way into the dough during cooking

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal381
  • fat16g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs52g
  • sugars20g
  • fibre1g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 35 cardamom pods
  • 350ml full-fat milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 200g butter, cubed



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • vegetable oil or sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp pearl sugar (available from


  1. Crack open 10 of the cardamom pods with a pestle and mortar, and tip into a saucepan. Add the milk and warm until steaming but not boiling. Add 50g butter (leave the remaining butter at room temperature to soften) and set aside to cool until lukewarm, swirling the pan from time to time to encourage the butter to melt.

  2. Put the flour, 75g of the sugar, the yeast, cinnamon and 1 /2 tsp salt into a large bowl, or the bowl of a freestanding mixer. Mix until well combined. When the milk has cooled, strain it through a sieve into the flour, discarding the cardamom. Using a wooden spoon or dough hook, mix to form a soft dough. Tip onto a work surface and knead for 10 mins, or run the freestanding mixer for 5 mins, until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Clean the bowl, lightly grease with oil, then return the dough to the bowl and turn it over until well coated in oil. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film and leave to rise for 2 hrs or until doubled in size (you could prove it in the fridge overnight).

  3. Crack the remaining cardamom pods using a pestle and mortar. Prise them open and tip the seeds back into the mortar, discarding the pods. Crush the seeds to a powder, then combine with 150g sugar. In a bowl, mix the remaining butter with all but 2 tbsp of the cardamom sugar.

  4. Line two baking trays with parchment. Punch the dough down to knock out the air, then roll to a rectangle roughly 35 x 45cm, with the longer edge facing you. Spread the cardamom butter over the surface, right to the edges. Fold the top third down to the middle and the bottom third up, like an envelope, so you have three layers of dough. Score, then cut into 12 equal strips, measuring about 3.5 x 11cm each. Cut each strip down the centre, leaving it attached at the top. Twist each strip away from the centre two or three times, then tie the dough in a knot and tuck the ends underneath the bun. Put each on the tray when done.

  5. Cover both trays with a sheet of lightly oiled cling film and leave somewhere warm to rise for 30 mins - 1 hr, or until almost doubled in size. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.

  6. Uncover the buns and brush all over with the beaten egg, then sprinkle with the pearl sugar. Bake for 20-25 mins until golden brown – swap the trays halfway through if they’re browning unevenly.

  7. Tip the remaining cardamom sugar into a pan and add 50ml water. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool, swirling to dissolve the sugar. Brush the syrup over the buns two or three times as they cool, leave them to soak for 20 mins before eating. Will keep for 2 days in a sealed container, or freeze for 2 months. Defrost at room temperature and reheat for 5 mins in the oven before eating.

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Comments, questions and tips

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29th Mar, 2020
Delicious! I ate three in one sitting! Oops! Based on others' comments I decided to go for 2/3 of the filling which worked really well. I used powdered cardamom as that's what I had in the cupboard, using a conversion of 1 pod = 1/6 tsp.
14th Dec, 2019
Really tasty buns. The filling spilt all over the tray however and I only put in 80% of the mixture after reading the comments. I also think they were just a touch too sweet so will reduce the sugar next time, and that was leaving out the pearl sugar.
19th Feb, 2017
I don't really understand how you do the shaping of the buns could someone please explain it?
impa88's picture
2nd Oct, 2017
You need to divide the folded dough into strips and each strip needs to be cut lengthways down the middle leaving it attached slightly at the top. Take each strip and twist it around each other and then holding one end carefully loop it around your forefinger and tuck it underneath. When I made it I didn't cut the strip again, I just twisted it and then did the loop and tuck. Hope that makes sense! There are lots of videos on YouTube that'll show you how. Agree with the comments on the butter, I'd probably use 150g butter, 50g for the milk and 100g for the filling.
29th Nov, 2016
As per the other comments; far too much butter in the filling. Roughly half would be sufficient. I was left with caramel on my trays after baking. The dough, proving times etc were fine however.
14th Aug, 2016
Lovely - worth the effort. I agree with Pixee though - spread the butter thinly. I will try half the butter mixture when I make them again and It is a when - not if.
11th Jul, 2016
The recipe worked well and the flavour was really nice. I didn't have any cinnamon so I substituted in 1/4tsp of cloves abd 1/4tsp nutmeg but still worked. I found the cardamom butter melted a lot in the oven so if I were to do it again I wouldn't use nearly as much and only spread a thin layer.
10th Jul, 2016
These are tasty and interesting. On my first attempt I couldn't quite master the twisty knot so they've turned out a bit haphazard but they look nice with the glaze anyway (didn't bother with pearl sugar). I found I couldn't crush the cardamom seeds with my improvised pestle and mortar and instead of risk the whole seeds being unpleasant I used cinnamon instead which worked really well.
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2nd Jul, 2019
Using 100g butter mixed with the cardamom sugar will give more than enough to fill the buns. Also, you can roll the dough into a long strip about the height of a hand, fill it and fold it with the book method described in the recipe, but cut the sheet into much smaller strips. I made 25 smaller buns using this technique after finding the recipe made excellent but truly enormous buns.
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