Bread · Pastry


Swedish twisty buns full of cardamom, cinnamon and honey, perfect for fika. # 148: Kardemummabullar

I don’t know about you, but I’m a total sucker for a fresh-baked cinnamon roll in the morning. The warm buttery cinnamon smell, combined with a soft, pillowy texture and just the right amount of sweetness . . . yep, heaven on earth. Henry made a cocoa version of these delights on the most recent season of the Great British Bake Off and I fell in love. Even the name is fun:

  • Kardemumma = cardamom
  • Bulle = bun (the “ar” being the plural version)

Plus a little more essential vocab:

  • ett = one
  • snälla = please
  • “may I have” = “får jag ha”

Now you’re all set for a trip to Sweden! Or at least you’ll be able to order delicious pastries with the correct vocabulary. Finding the nearest bathroom or bus is still on you.

Do you call them rolls or buns? For me, rolls conjure images of savory dinner breads, and buns bring to mind sweeter treats. Plus, the word “bun” just makes me smile involuntarily.

Did you know October 4th is Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden? Now you do! These twisty delights are the Swedish twin of the traditionally icing-coated American cinnamon roll. They’re definitely fraternal twins, since these ones have more spice and less thickly-sweet topping.

With just a honey/maple syrup glaze, they are perfect for fika – the Swedish excuse to eat sweet pastries in the middle of the day. My office has adopted this habit and once a month they host a 2pm fika event with fresh coffee and pastries. I could use it once a day, but I’ll take what I can get!

The ingredient list is a little daunting, but as long as you do a thorough mise en place, you’ll be just fine! I used orange-scented olive oil instead of regular on a whim and it. was. so. good. I know it’s a weird ingredient, but there are so many things you can use it in that’ll make the purchase worth it! It adds a new layer to brownies and olive oil cakes – 10 outta 10, would recommend.

Dough hook making magic happen. (Side note: we just got kittens and one of them is sleeping on my arm while I try to type. This will take me 10 years to finish, but it’s worth it!)

While the dough rests, it’s time to make the two fillings. First up, almond spice butter. More cardamom and cinnamon, mixed with almond flour and brown sugar, and whipped into softened butter.

Yep. This would be fabulous on baked French toast.

Second up: cocoa pastry cream! Now when I first read it, I balked. My pastry creams always have the consistency of thick pudding and I could see my future pastry oozing all over the place and in general being a disaster. This version however was twice as thick, so it became more of a custard paste to paint on the pastry. Phew. In this case, trust the recipe!!

After a nice short proof (only an hour!) it’s rollin’ time.

Look at all the spice freckles!


Fold it up like a big calzone and seal the edges.

Slice into 12 equal strips. Kinda looks like piano keys, huh?

Cut each strip in half again and do the twist!

Twirl each double-twisty piece of dough into a muffin tin and tuck the ends into the middle.

Simmer some maple syrup, vanilla and honey to make a shiny glaze. The British recipe called for “runny honey” – so cute. Is there another type of honey? Besides crystallized I suppose? Either way, adorable.

Pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee and find your fika moment!

Happy munching!

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