Swedish Cardamom Buns (Kanelbullar)


When I came back from my trip to Sweden I could not get these buns out of my head. I think I had one every single day while I was there. I’ve tried making these before and they turned out fine, but just weren’t as good as the ones I had while traveling. I got some whole cardamom seeds from an Indian grocery store the other day and decided I should try making these again. They are so much better with fresh ground cardamom because you get these big chunks of the spice that add a lot of flavor and are fun to chew on. While I love cinnamon rolls, I like these cardamom buns even better because they are less sweet. You’re supposed to put pearl sugar on top of them, but I didn’t have any on hand and I was impatient to make them 🙂




  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour


  • 1 cup almond paste (1 cup blanched almonds + 1/4 cup sugar blended in food processor)
  • 8 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon


  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Pearl sugar


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan and add milk. Heat to 110-155 degrees, which if you are testing by touch, should be slightly warmer than lukewarm.
  • Place yeast in a bowl and add a small amount of the mil mixture, stirring until the yeast is dissolved. Add the remaining liquid, salt, sugar, cardamom and about 2/3 of the flour, mixing to combine. Knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. Add in more flour, but keep a ½ cup aside. The dough is ready when it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Cover with a cloth and set in a warm place to rise. Let it rise until the dough has doubled.
  • While dough rises, make the almond paste and prep the filling, by combining all ingredients in a bowl and mixing together until smooth.
  • Punch the dough down and knead a few times in the bowl, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in the remaining flour.
  • Roll out the dough into a large rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
  • Spread the filling over the dough and fold into thirds, lengthwise, first lifting a third of the dough towards the middle, then folding the top third down so it aligns with the bottom edge of the dough.
  • Cut the dough into strips, about 2 cm wide. Cut each of the strips to split them down the middle but stop about 2 cm from the top. With each 2 cm strip, twist the two parts together to make a rope. Twist into a bun and place in a paper baking cup or place together in baking dish.
  • Cover and let rise for an additional 30-60 minutes.
  • Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar.
  • Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes.

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