Cardamom Rolls (kardemummabullar)

This bun has been around since the 1920s, created after WWI. The buns became popular as items such as eggs, butter, and sugar started becoming more available after supply restrictions were lifted in a post-war Europe.

However, cardamom, the main flavoring spice in these particular buns, were quite expensive back then, so these sweet treats didn’t become popular across Sweden until the economic boom in the 1950s.

It’s official day of celebration is October 4 but Swedes eat these all year round – especially over the winter holidays. Try out this recipe to recreate this Scandinavian classic at home!

Cardamom Bun (kardemummabullar)


Yield: approximately 32 rolls


3 (1/4-ounce) packets active dry yeast (50 grams fresh cake yeast may
be substituted)
2 cups whole milk, warm
8 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
10 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons cardamom
Filling + topping
10 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cardamom
1 large egg, beaten
Pearl sugar, to garnish

For the pastry

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the milk. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes.

Add flour, salt, sugar, cardamom, and egg and work them together using your hands until a soft dough forms. Cut butter into small pieces and work them into the dough.

Cover with a towel and let the dough rise for 2 hours until double in size.

For the filling

Whisk together butter, sugar, and cardamom in a small bowl.

Set aside.

To assemble and bake

Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Divide the dough into 4 parts, and roll out each part into a long rectangle using a rolling pin. Spread the filling onto the dough evenly.

Fold the dough together into thirds by placing the right third over the middle, and then the left third over it. Roll the folded dough for an even flatter rectangle.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Lay the rectangle horizontally and cut it vertically into 8 pieces. Take each piece by the ends and twist tightly. Hold one end and wrap the other end around to form an eight-shape around your thumb and pointing finger. Tuck in the end. Place on the prepared baking sheet and let rise covered with a towel for 1 hour.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400°F.

Brush egg over the cardamom rolls. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

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