Swedish Cardamom Buns

lluisanunez's picture

I found this recipe at the spanish blog Te quedas a cenar, and I couldn't resist the temptation to try a sourdough version of it. Sweet, spicy, definitely north-european, perfect with coffee or tea.

The Dough

Ingredient Metric Imperial Baker's Percentage
Plain flour 390 grams 13.77 oz 100.00%
Milk 210 grams 7.41 oz 53.85%
Brown sugar 75 grams 2.65 oz 19.23%
Butter 75 grams 2.65 oz 19.23%
Starter 100% 150 grams 5.3 oz 38.46%
Salt 5 grams 0.16 oz 1.15%
Ground Cardamom 1 tablespoons 0.26%
Total Flour Weight:
390 grams

Percentages are relative to flour weight (flour equals 100%) and every other ingredient is a percentage of this. Flour from the starter is not counted. This recipe was originally in grams and has been automatically converted to other measures.


Melt the butter in hot milk and leave to cool. When it's about body temperature, mix in the other ingredients, except 40% of the flour. Mix well with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes, or until the gluten develops. Then add the rest of the flour, mix and knead for 10-15 minutes to get a smooth and silky dough. Leave it to ferment until it doubles in size (mine took 2 hours and a half)

Meanwhile, prepare the filling mixing the following ingredients to a creamy paste:  

  • 60 gr. soft butter
  • 60 gr. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 40 gr ground almond

On a floured surface extend the dough with the rolling pin to get a rectangle not thicker than 3-4 mm. With a soft spatula spread the filling over 2/3 of the rectangle, then fold it like a letter. Cut it into stripes about 2 cm wide. Leave them to rest on the counter for 10 minutes, then take each stripe, stretch it a bit and roll it two loops around two of your fingers,  thenput the end through the hole, like a knot.

Put the rolls on an oven tray or pastry sheet, brush them with beaten egg and sprinkle with granulated sugar or ground cardamom or both,  and leave them to leaven for another couple of hours.

Bake them at 200ºC (fan is good) for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are golden.

504 users have voted.


Cielkaye 2012 February 22

Oh wow. Nearly as good as a trip to Spain. Definitely going to try this one. And Farinam's Chelsea buns. Thank you very much for posting this. It is such a shame to keep throwing out starter. Now that I can make decent bread, I can try some of these delightful sweet things.

farinam's picture
farinam 2012 February 22

Good morning,

Crumpets and pancakes are another good way to used excess starter if you don't have a (k)need for bread.


farinam's picture
farinam 2012 February 25

Hello lluisanunez,

LeadDog had a blog about sourdough Pancakes recently.

But if all else fails, make a batter with your starter, flour, water and salt (plus sugar if you would like a little sweetness) that has the right consistency (possibly 140% hydration) in a suitable sized jug and let it ferment until it is nice and bubbly (maybe 12 hours depending on your temperature).  You are better to pour the batter rather than using a ladle as this causes the gas to escape and the later batches will turn out very dense.

Let us know how you go.


Zahra 2015 October 30


I never throw away starters. In fact I never need to do that. I always keep minimal starter in the fridge, and just before each baking I feed enough my starter to produce more starter for my baking. I reserve again a little in the fridge that could be kept for a long time in the fridge. My formula is: for 1/2 cup starter I add 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup water and keep in the fridge. Before baking I will remove that from the fridge and after 2 hours I add 1,1/3 cups flour and 1 cup water and cover with damp towel. After 6 hours I put back 1/2 cup starter which I feed with my formula in the fridge and use remaining for baking. The remaining will take 2, 1/2 cups water and about 6 cups flour for my breads. 

mango 2012 February 27

HI lluisanunez,

Your method says "Melt the butter in hot milk and leave to cool". But the butter you are talking about is not listed in the ingredients, or am I wrong ? I would like to try this recipe. Do you think I can replace butter by margarine, cause I am vegan.

Your way of folding these buns is very nice. I look after your answer to try the recipe.


mango 2012 March 4

Thank you very much. I sure will try. And thanks a lot for the video. Actually I am learning spanish and my wife speaks spanish, so it will be useful

By the way, thanks for sharing the recipe.


Theo 2012 March 21

As a Swede I have a deep and lasting love affair with these things. Yours look fantastic.

lluisanunez's picture
lluisanunez 2012 March 21

 Wow, thank you, Theo!  Especially coming from a Swede!

These buns are very popular in the Spanish baking forum El foro del Pan since the recipe was brought by Iban Yarza from Sweden, where he spent some time learning how to make bread.

Dirts 2012 November 28

The book sitting on the table in the Spainish video is Swedish Cakes and Cookies by Melody Favish.

Cielkaye 2012 April 25

 I made these last week. We ate so many that we had to put the rest into the freezer or we would have made ourselves sick. They were fantastic. Thanks so much for the recipe.

Karniecoops's picture
Karniecoops 2012 April 29

I made these today - they were GREAT!!  Thanks for the receipe!  I think my ground cardamom might have been a bit old as it didn't have much flavour, but they were still delicicious!  My girlfriends thought a cinnamon version would also be great.

I nearly forgot to take a picture before they were all eaten!  Thanks again, this recipe is a keeper :o)

Josho 2012 May 10

Hi lluisanunez, 

your recipe was clear and simple, thank you.   I have bought a spinach-ricotta scroll, and I think pesto scrolls would be almost as good as these cardamon scrolls.  They would not have to be scrolls, they could be turnovers.  We could see if it works with the butter and milk, but not as much sugar I reckon.

Karniecoops's picture
Karniecoops 2012 May 20

 Made these again today with cinnamon in place of the cardamon. They were YUM as well! Ths recipe is in with he favorites! 


pathgeek 2012 September 1

Wonderful recipe! Thank you:  I took the entire batch in to work today. they were gone within minutes and now I will be dividing my sourdough starter for more people again!

For those who don't want to look it up: 200C ~ 400F (oven temp).

farinam's picture
farinam 2012 September 5

Finally got around to trying this recipe.  And agree with all of the above - they are really fabulous.

Just a couple of findings.  I found it best to stretch progressively from the centre of the strip rather than just pulling on the ends. I think it gave a better result.  I might have folded a bit narrow as even with stretching there was no way I could make two loops around two fingers so just a simple knot (one loop and tail through).  I also waited until they had risen before applying the egg-wash and sugar as I was covering with plastic wrap and a cloth for the proving time.

Definitely on the do again list.

greg_au 2015 September 22

I made these a few weeks ago and they were absolutely delicious! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

I have a photo but am having trouble uploading it unfortunately.

greg_au 2015 October 24

Now that we can upload photos again, I thought I'd share this. These were wonderful and I can't wait to make another batch soon!

Maya 2015 November 1

Does the starter have to be refreshed and vigorous or this is a discard starter?

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