Autumn, Winter, Breakfast, Sweet, Snacks

Swedish cardamom buns

This fab recipe uses the same dough method as my Pumpkin Spiced Rolls and Chelsea Buns. It's relatively simple, and can easily be adapted – in fact, the only tricky element here is forming the knots.

As you can see from my buns, which vary in shape and size, I'm no expert myself! I learnt how to make these knots by watching YouTube tutorials (this video shows you the technique – skip to 7 mins 20 secs).

Don't worry too much if you struggle to get the hang of it. There are loads of different ways to tie these, and as long as you have a rough swirly knot, they'll be fine, and taste just as delicious!

If you can, use cardamom seeds fresh from the pods, rather than ready-ground, as the flavour when you crush them yourself is far superior.

The sugar pearls I've used here aren't compulsory – however, they are traditional, and they add a fabulous sweet, crunchy texture. The best ones are the Swedish, which you can buy on AmazonOcado also sells a slightly different version.

12 Buns


For the dough

350g 00 flour, plus extra for dusting

50g coconut or soft brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cardamom seeds, from about 7 pods

7g sachet dried yeast

30g vegan butter, melted

Pinch of salt

200ml oat milk

For the filling

2 tbsp ground cardamom seeds, from about 20 pods

50g soft brown sugar

50g vegan butter

For the glaze

¼ cup caster sugar

¼ cup water

For the cardamom sugar

1 tbsp ground cardamom seeds, from about 10 pods

1 tbsp caster sugar

To finish

2-3 tbsp sugar pearls


  1. Combine all the dough ingredients, using either an electric mixer or a wooden spoon, until you have a sticky dough.
  2. Using your mixer's dough hook, knead the dough for around 10 mins, or knead by hand. The dough is ready when it's firm, and it passes the windowpane test – when you take a small lump, it will stretch until you can see the light through it.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a surface lightly dusted with flour, and shape into a ball. Place it in a lightly dusted bowl and cover with cling film or a tea towel. Set aside somewhere warm for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Once the dough is ready, place it on a lightly dusted surface, and roll into a large rectangle about 0.5 cm thick.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the filling ingredients, then spread the mixture evenly over the dough. Using the shorter side of the rectangle, fold the bottom third of the dough up into the middle, then fold the top third over it, to form a smaller rectangle. Gently roll this out again.
  6. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, slice the dough in half width ways, then cut each half in half again. Cut each quarter into 3 strips, leaving you with 12 strips.
  7. Cut each strip almost in half lengthways, leaving a 1-inch piece at the end of each strip still connected.
  8. Hold both ends, and lightly shake and pull to stretch the dough out. Twist the strands around your fingers to form a spiral.
  9. Holding the end that's still connected together between your thumb and forefingers, wrap both strands twice around your fingers, then across and between your two fingers, and tuck the end underneath. Place each knot on a lined baking tray. Repeat with the remaining dough strips.
  10. Cover the knots in cling film or a clean kitchen towel, and allow to prove for another hour somewhere warm. Don't leave them for longer than an hour, otherwise they could over-prove.
  11. 15 mins before your knots are ready, preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4.
  12. Meanwhile, add the water and sugar for your glaze to a small pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, allow to bubble for a couple of minutes, then take it off the heat and set aside.
  13. Combine the ground cardamom with the sugar and set aside.
  14. Once proved, bake your knots for about 15-20 mins, until golden and fluffy. Be careful not to overbake them, as you want them as light and tender as possible. To check they're ready, check the bottoms of your buns are lightly browned and crisp.
  15. Remove the buns from the oven and brush the sugar syrup glaze liberally over the tops and sides, until you run out of syrup. Sprinkle them with the cardamom sugar, and finish with a sprinkling of sugar pearls.

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