Swedish Cardamom Buns (Kanelbullar)

Serves 8

| Prep Time: 3 hours

| Cook Time: 15 mins

| Total Time: 3 hours 15 min

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Kanelbullar are spiced pastry buns that are immensely popular across Sweden. As a distant cousin to the American cinnamon bun, these Swedish Cardamom Buns (Kanelbullar) are sweet, fluffy, and a must have at coffee parties and cafes across Sweden. The main difference between the American cinnamon bun and Kanelbullar, is that the Swedish pastry emphasizes cardamom spice, instead of cinnamon and sugar. Kanelbullar cardamom buns  are absolutely delicious and  perfect morning pastries any time of year, but especially around the holidays. 

This recipe for Swedish Cardamom Buns uses our Orange Cardamom spice to give this recipe the perfect spice and zest. There are three parts to the recipe - the dough, the filling, and the glaze. The dough is made with warm milk, yeast, flour, sugar and spices. After it rises, it is rolled out, filled with butter and spices, folded, and twisted into a knot (a very particular Swedish style). Then, they are brushed with a sugar glaze, and baked until golden brown. The Orange Cardamom spice is in each of the three components, creating a mouthwatering treat with each bite. These buns will fill the house with a sweet aroma that will have everyone clamoring to the kitchen.

If you've never baked a pastry before, don't be intimidated! Follow the recipe and you'll have a hit pastry party in no time.


  • 1 packet dry active yeast (7g)

  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp whole milk

  • ¼ cup + 1 tsp brown sugar

  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 Tbsp Piquant Post Orange Cardamom spice

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 4 Tbsp butter, cold

  • 4 Tbsp butter (for the filling)

  • ⅓ cup brown sugar (for the filling)

  • 2 tsp cinnamon (for the filling)

  • 2 tsp Piquant Post Orange Cardamom spice (for the filling)

  • 1/4 cup water (for the glaze)

  • ¼ cup brown sugar (for the glaze)

  • 1 tsp granulated sugar (for the glaze)

  • ½ tsp Piquant Post Orange Cardamom spice (for the glaze)


Check out this video to see how to twist the dough into buns.

Proofing is a step in the preparation of bread and baked goods where the dough rests before baking. During this time, the yeast ferments the dough, produces gases, and leavens the dough. This gives bread it's springy texture. There are 2 proofing stages. The first when mixing milk with the yeast (blooming the yeast) and the second, after twisting the buns. 

Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor, but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.


Warm the milk to 110 degrees Fahrenheit in a medium bowl (bathwater warm; not hotter!). Whisk in 1 tsp sugar and yeast, until dissolved. Cover loosely with a towel, and let it activate for 10 minutes. The mixture should start to bubble and foam. 

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk flour, the rest of the brown sugar, 1 Tbsp Orange Cardamom spice, and salt. Cut the cold butter into small cubes. Whisk in the butter piece by piece, so the cubes are covered in flour and spread throughout. 

After the yeast has been activated, add the yeast/milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix slowly with a wooden spoon to combine. When the dough starts to come together, place the dough on a floured surface and use floured hands to knead the dough for about 4-5 minutes. Form it into a round ball. Place the ball in a greased bowl, and lightly cover with a kitchen towel. Place in the oven (unheated) and let it rise for 40-60 minutes, until doubled in size.

Make the filling: Mix softened butter, brown sugar, and filling spices. Remove the risen dough. On a floured surface, roll dough to a roughly 12”x 21” rectangle. Spread filling across dough evenly with a spatula. With spoon, gently mark the dough into thirds along the long side, then fold the right side into the middle, then the left side over the middle. 

Turn the dough so the openings are on your right and left. Roll dough to ~10”x 18”. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut 1" strands. You should have about 18-20 strands.

Form the buns: Hold the strand in your left hand and lightly stretch. Using your right hand, wrap the strand two times around your pointer and middle finger. Twist while you wrap. Use your thumb to hook the strand, and wrap perpendicularly. Tuck the end inside the bun. Repeat with all the strands. (see notes for video) 

Place on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Cover the formed buns with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes for the second proof. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.

Make the glaze: whisk brown sugar, granulated sugar and spices in hot water until dissolved. 

After the 30 minute rest, brush the warm glaze on each bun, and bake for 12-15 mins, until golden brown. Top with slivered almonds or pearl sugar (optional).

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • Our Orange Cardamom spice is a perfect blend to experiment with in your baked goods. Try it in brownies, cakes, cookies, or even oatmeal or chia bowls.

  • Don't have time to proof the dough and create our authentic Kanelbullar recipe? Make this delicious vegan Cardamom Orange Coffee Cake, perfect for your next coffee break / Fika!

  • Or, try these Orange Cardamom Sugar Cookies instead. Use 1.5 Tbsp of Orange Cardamom spice instead of the cardamom called for in the recipe (you can leave in orange zest).

  • Start your new year with a new routine. Spice up breakfast bowls with our spice. Try making this beautiful Orange Cardamom chia pudding recipe using ~1/2 teaspoon of Orange Cardamom spice per serving instead of the dried spices they call for.

  • Vegans: Try our Vegan Gingerbread Kanelbullar recipe instead! You can substitute the orange cardamom spice in for gingerbread.

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