The Kardamombullar is a cardamom and cinnamon sweet bun served commonly in North Europe and North America. Its origin country is Sweden where you can also find the Kanelbullar or Kanelbulle that is known in all the other European countries as cinnamon roll.

What is the difference between a Kardamombullar and a cinnamon roll ?

The Kardamombullar is usually made with ground cardamom and cinnamon, then shaped like a knot or a bow. The cinnamon roll has a spiral shape and it’s made using only ground cinnamon. Usually the Kardamombullar is brushed with a dark brown sugar syrup and sprinkled with pearl sugar; the cinnamon roll, instead, is topped with a sugar frosting or royal icing. They taste similar but the Kardamombullar has a distinctive, more intense flavour.

How do you make a perfect Kardamombullar?

Making a nice looking and tasty Kardamombullar takes time, exercise and patience. To be honest, I had to try lot of times to achieve a good shaping technique and I tried a couple of different recipes before finding the right one, the one for the perfect flavour and the perfect texture. The most important thing is the dough: it should not be too soft nor too tough; it has to be soft enough to be rolled out easily but absolutely not sticky otherwise you won’t be able shape the kardamombullar.

Other 2 very important things are the filling and the syrup. The filling must be rich, made using dark brown sugar, ground cardamom (you can order it on Amazon or you can use cardamom seeds, but you have to grind themwith the pestle in a mortar and it takes lots of time) and good unsalted butter.

The syrup should be thick and warm, and you should brush it on the Kardamombullar as soon as they come out of the oven so they can absorb it well.

As I said at the beginning, I tested different recipes before finding the perfect one. I actually developed 2 very good recipes. The first one is very similar to the original Swedish recipe (I will write it below), the dough is made using only strong bread flour and there are no eggs. The second one (I will leave it in the notes) is made using eggs and different flours: the result is a softer dough, less easy to shape but richer in flavour and texture, very similar to an Italian brioche; I suggest to use it only if you are a very expert baker.

In both the recipes I used mixed spice and cinnamon along with cardamom, even if in the original recipe there is only cardamom. You can use only cardamom but, if like me you love the pumpkin spice aroma, I suggest to use all the spices I used.

Kanelbullar - swedish buns
Kardamombullar

I prepared this recipe in “collaboration” with my friend Monica (from Aroma di mandorle blog)because, after the cruffins success we decided to do another recipe following 2 different methods and using different fillings and dough. She prepared the saffransbullar, swedish buns made with saffron and shaped twisting the dough. Click here for her recipe.

Swedish buns - Kardamombullar

Prep Time:1 hour
Cook Time:15/20 minutes
Passive Time:1 h 30 minutes
Servings:15-20 buns

Ingredients

  • For the dough
  • strong bread flour: 500 grams
  • unsalted butter or lard cubed ad softened: 50 grams
  • caster sugar: 60 grams
  • whole milk: 300 millilitres
  • dry yeast fast action/easy bake: 7 grams
  • fine salt: 7 grams
  • ground cardamom: 1/2 tsp
  • ground cinnamon: 1/2 tsp
  • For the filling
  • unsalted butter softened: 100 grams
  • dark brown sugar: 100 grams
  • ground cinnamon: 1 tsp
  • mixed spice: 1 tsp
  • ground cardamom: 1/2 tsp
  • ground cloves (a pinch)
  • For the syrup
  • water: 50 grams
  • light brown sugar: 50 grams
  • mixed spice: 1 tsp
  • ground cinnamon: 1 tsp
  • ground cardamom: 1/2 tsp
  • To finish
  • pearl sugar
  • egg for brushing: 1

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer with the hook attachment place flour, yeast sugar and spices. Start the mixer at low speed and after a couple of seconds add the salt and start adding the milk, slowly.
  2. Continue mixing the dough adding the milk a little at a time until you finish it and you have a sticky but well combined dough.
  3. With the mixer on low speed add the butter, one cube at a time: don't add the next piece of butter if the previous has not been absorbed.
  4. Once you have a soft and not sticky dough transfer it on a lightly floured surface and form a smooth ball.
  5. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside in a warm place until doubled. It takes about an hour.
  6. Meanwhile prepare the filling and the syrup
  7. For the filling combine the dark sugar with the butter and the spices in a bowl using a rubber spatula until you have a creamy paste.
  8. When the dough has risen roll it in a rectangle, about 50 x 60 cm, on the slightly floured table with the longer edge facing you.
  9. Spread the filling evenly all over the surface then fold the dough in half with the long edges together.Spreading the filling
  10. Cut the folded dough into strips about 2.5 cm wide.Cutting the dough into strips
  11. Take a strip, hold one end with your thumb and your middle finger then wrap it 2 times around your index and your middle finger stretching the strip a little bit and forming a knot, then tuck the other end underneath.
  12. Repeat with all the strips and place the kardamombullar on a tray lined with parchment paper.
  13. Cover with a towel and leave the kardamombullar to rise for about 30 minutes or until almost double in size.
  14. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  15. While the kardamombullar are rising make the syrup. Mix water, sugar and spices in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer until the sugar is dissolved and you havethick syrup. About 10-15 minutes.
  16. Once risen brush each bun with egg wash and bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 25 minutes until they are golden.
  17. As soon as the buns come out of the oven brush them with the warm syrup and sprinkle with pearl sugar.

Notes

Alternative recipe
300 grams "00" flour
200 grams "Manitoba" flour or strong bread flour
250 grams whole milk
60 grams unsalted butter
60 grams caster sugar
1 medium egg
10 grams salt
7 grams dry fast action yeast
same spices and same quantity as the recipe above
For the method follow the instructions above.

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