Small Batch Brown Sugar Cardamom Buns Recipe

I say "small batch brown sugar cardamom buns recipe", but what I really mean is "one batch of four giant cardamom buns recipe".

Swedish cardamom buns are one of my favourite kinds of buns ever, even more so than their cousin, the cardamom bun. I absolutely love the warm but almost floral zing of cardamom, which is found in a lot of sweet Scandinavian bakes.

Traditional cardamom buns are usually made with a white-sugar-and-butter filling, but I absolutely loved the caramelised flavour of brown sugar – so I used that instead for the filling in mine.

You can also watch me make these on my YouTube channel:

Ready? Let's go.

(Makes four buns.)

Ingredients for Dough:

100ml milk
5g fresh or dry active yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
200g bread flour
30g more caster sugar
15g unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
1/2 a beaten egg (keep the other half for the glaze)
1 tsp ground cardamom

Ingredients for Filling:

70g unsalted butter, slightly softened
70g light muscovado sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom

Glaze and Topping:

The other 1/2 of the beaten egg
Pearl sugar (optional)


1. Warm the milk a little in a small saucepan or in the microwave (but not so hot it's steaming), and mix it with the yeast and 1 tsp of caster sugar in a small bowl. Leave for a few minutes until it's bubbly.

2. Add the bubbly yeast mixture, along with all the rest of the bun ingredients (keeping the other half of the beaten egg for later) into a large bowl. Stir until it comes together, then use your hands to knead into a dough.

3. Turn out onto a clean work surface and keep kneading for around 15 minutes, until the dough becomes super smooth and elastic, and springs back when you try to stretch it.

4. Pop the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm or a damp kitchen towel. Let it proof until doubled in size (about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how warm your room is).

5. While your dough is proofing, make the filling: simply stir the butter, sugar and ground cardamom together until well combined.

6. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it back down. Sprinkle a little flour onto a clean work surface, and roll the dough out into 30x15cm-ish a rectangle with the longer side facing you.

7. Spread the cardamom sugar butter evenly on the surface. Fold the rectangle into thirds, first folding the left side inwards and then the right side inwards. Now you should have a smaller rectangle, with the shorter side facing you.

8. Cut lengthways into four long strips. Take one strip, pull at it gently to lengthen it and twist it like a rope. Then curl it in on itself to make a spiral, saving a bit of un-spiraled length to wrap around the middle of the bun to secure it. Tuck the loose end underneath the bun, and place on a baking sheet lined wth non-stick paper. Repeat for the other three strips.

9. Cover the buns with clingfilm and let them rise for another 30 minutes.

10. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Brush the tops of the buns with the remaining beaten egg, sprinkle over a little pearl sugar on top, and bake for 12–15 minutes. Set aside to cool a little, but definitely enjoy them while still warm.

Enjoy, and have fun.


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