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plate of Swedish cardamom buns

Swedish Cardamom Buns: Kardemummabullar

  • Author: Emma
  • Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 large buns 1x


These beautiful Swedish cardamom buns, or kardemummabullar, are the perfect sweet treat for your next coffee break (fika).  Learn how to make these mouthwatering homemade yeast rolls with this recipe.



For the Dough

  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk (300 ml)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50g)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (43g)
  • 3 tablespoons lard (30g)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fast-action yeast (10g)
  • 5 cups bread flour (600g)

For the Filling

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (43g)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed (100g)
  • 3 teaspoons ground cardamom

For the Decoration

  • 1/3 cup orange marmalade (107g)
  • 1/4 cup pearl sugar or sliced almonds


Making the Dough (25 min + 1 1/2 hrs proving)

  1. Pour the milk, sugar, butter, lard, cardamom, salt, and orange zest in a medium saucepan set over low heat.  Stir frequently until the fats have melted and the mixture is warm.  Remove from the heat, place on the counter and allow the liquid to cool to 115 F.
  2. Pour the liquid into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, then add the eggs and yeast.  Dump in the flour one cup at a time, mixing well between each addition, until a sticky dough has formed.  You might not need all the flour, or you might need a little extra, depending on the brand of flour and the humidity.
  3. Switch to a dough hook and knead for 3-5 minutes on medium-low speed.  The dough should come away from the sides of the bowl and become smooth.  It will still be a little sticky.  Test the dough by stretching a lump of it between the thumb and forefinger of each hand to create a windowpane.  The dough should stretch to be translucent without breaking.  If it does break, knead for a minute longer and check again.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball, place in a buttered bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let the dough prove in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Shaping (20 min + 20 min proving)

  1. Line two 11 by 17-inch rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together the brown sugar and ground cardamom until well blended.
  3. Roll the dough out to a 13 by 17-inch rectangle and spread it evenly with the softened butter.  Evenly sprinkle the sugar mixture on top, then smooth it out with your hand.
  4. Fold the dough as you would a business letter, then roll it out to at least 7 by 14 inches.  Cut the dough into 24 strips.
  5. To shape a bun, stack two strips of dough on top of each other and twist them together tightly.  Wrap the twist around your left hand once, then tuck the end underneath and pull it through the center to form a knot.  (See the instructional photos in my post for a visual demonstration.)  Repeat with the remaining strips.
  6. Space the buns evenly apart on the prepared cookie sheets, then place the trays inside of a large, clean garbage bag.  Inflate the bag and tuck the loose ends under the tray to seal.
  7. Let the dough prove in a warm place for 20-30 minutes, until they have noticeably increased in size and the dough springs back quickly when gently poked with a fingertip.
  8. About 10 minutes before they have finished proving, preheat the oven to 375 F.

Baking (40 min)

  1. Stack each tray on top of another tray to insulate the bottom.  This will help prevent the buns from burning in the oven.
  2. Bake the trays one at a time for 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.  The buns should be a beautiful golden brown and have an internal temperature of 190-200 F on a meat thermometer.

Decorating (20 min)

  1. While the first tray of buns is baking, heat the marmalade in a small saucepan set over medium heat.  Stir constantly until the marmalade has melted.  Push the jam through a sieve using a spoon to remove the chunks of orange peel.
  2. As soon as they come out of the oven, place them on wire racks to cool and brush them with the sieved marmalade.  This will add to the flavor, enhance their golden color, and give the crust a glorious shine.
  3. Sprinkle the buns with pearl sugar or sliced almonds, then leave to cool.  Store at room temperature in a zip-top bag, or freeze for later.


  • If you accidentally add too much flour to the dough, add milk or water a little at a time until the dough is sticky again.
  • Let the dough prove in a warm place to encourage growth.
  • If they are getting too dark while they bake, cover them with aluminum foil.
  • You can make them the night before and let them prove in the fridge overnight.  Let them warm up to room temperature for 20 minutes before baking.
  • Leftover buns?  Freeze them in a zip-top freezer bag for up to 1 month and defrost in the microwave.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Swedish

Keywords: swedish cardamom buns, kardemummabullar