I LOVE baking… I enjoy filling an apartment or house with delicious aromas and sharing food with others. One of my favorite things to make are cardamom buns, when I found out these were actually a thing, I had to make them immediately the same day. Cardamom buns are a traditional Swedish pastry with a beautiful knotted shape and rich flavor. A bonus is that they never cease to impress when serving to others. Although they take a bit of time because the dough has to rise twice, they are not too complicated to make. Let me tell you they are definitely worth the time and effort!
Before I get into the recipe, I would like to make a note about two of the ingredients: the yeast and cardamom. I use a combination of seeds from cardamom pods and pre-ground cardamom in my recipe. I get the seeds from cardamom pods that I break open, but you can also solely use ground cardamom if you don’t have access to pods or seeds. However, the fresh coarsely ground cardamom from the pods attributes to a better texture and flavor. If you can only use ground cardamom, I would recommend adding more than the recipe calls for. I make use of instant yeast: this yeast does not have to be “activated” first. You can get it at any supermarket or if you want large quantities, you can go to a windmill or bakery which sells flour and other baking goods. If you don’t use instant yeast you’ll need to activate your yeast first (follow package instructions), in this case it would be added with the wet ingredients not dry!
- White flour 475g (whole wheat or a mixture has also worked for me in the past)
- 1-2 teaspoons coarsely grounded cardamom seeds from pods (I used 20 pods)
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 65g white sugar 14g instant yeast (equal to 2 sachets)
- ½ teaspoon salt 65g melted and cooled margarine*
- 250ml room temperature soy milk (almond or oat also works)
- 75g margarine*, softened but not melted!
- 7g coarsely grounded cardamom seeds from pods (I used 60 pods)
- Pinch of ground cardamom (to taste)
- 60g brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy milk
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- Optional: pinch of cinnamon and cardamom
*I prefer using “romig” from Becel, because it has a rich and buttery taste
**You can also use white sugar or a mixture of both
1, Start by preparing the dough: sift the flour into a bowl, then add all the other dry ingredients (cardamom, sugar, yeast, salt) and mix together well with a wooden, plastic, or silicone spoon.
2. Once the dry ingredients are well incorporated you can add the wet ingredients: margarine and plant-based milk. Mix together well, until you find you can’t mix it with a spoon anymore. Now move the mixture to a floured surface.
3. Now kneed to dough until it becomes one uniformed ball. If the dough is too wet (almost runny or it sticks more to your hands than to itself) you can sprinkle some more flour on top and incorporate it by kneading it in. If the dough is too dry (not holding together well, crumbling apart) you can add some plant-based milk or water.
4. Now that your dough is ready and uniform transfer it to a large pre-oiled bowl, cover the bowl with a damp cloth/kitchen towel and set it to rise in a warm (and preferably humid) spot. Make sure the dough has enough room to rise: you don’t want it to already touch the cloth on top of the bowl and preferably not even to touch the sides. Now let it rise for 1.5 to 2 hours, you want the dough to at least double in size.
5. While the dough is rising it is time to prepare the filling, which is rather simple! Just mix the softened margarine, sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon together.
6. Once the dough has risen you want to roll it out as best as you can into a rectangle shape, aim for something around 60 by 30 centimeters.
7. Now spread out the filling on the dough, it’s important that the filling is not too runny (preferably you want it to have a thick, still butter like, consistency) as this will complicate the next step.
8. Fold the dough over on the longest side, and then fold over open the edges and softly smooth them out with a rolling pin (or if you don’t have one a wine bottle also does the trick!)
9. Now cut the dough into equal long strips, I prefer mine between 1 and 2 centimeters wide.
10. When you have your strips it’s time to form the buns. There are multiple methods to doing this but I prefer wrapping the strip around my pointer and middle finger (sometimes adding my ring finger) and at the end looping the strip through itself from the top. This article by Fix Feast Flair gives you a different but similar method in a great gif, and you can also look up methods on YouTube. Once the buns have been formed put them aside to proof again, this time for around 45 min to 1 hour (or if you have a very good proofing spot you can get away with 30 minutes)!
11. While the buns are proofing preheat the oven. For a normal oven preheat it to 180 degrees Celsius. At my current place I only have access to a microwave oven, if you find yourself in the same situation preheat it to 200 degrees Celsius. If you have a microwave oven you will have to do the baking in batches!
12. At this point you can also prepare the optional glaze. For this just mix 2 tablespoons of plant-based milk with 4 tablespoons of maple syrup (agave syrup would also work). You can also add a pinch of cinnamon/cardamom.
13. Once the buns have risen put them in the oven for 20-25 minutes in a regular oven and 25-30 minutes in the microwave oven (later batches will need less time!). Be sure to leave enough room between the buns as they expand!
14. Your buns are done once they are golden brown. At this time take them out of the oven and you can add the optional glaze. If you want to get real fancy you could also try adding some crystal sugar pieces or sliced almonds.
15. Let the buns cool down slightly and enjoy!
The buns can be stored in an airtight container in a cool/dark spot once completely cooled and will stay good for about 5 days.