Kardemummabullar (Swedish Cardamom Buns)

Even though we add a good dose of sourdough starter, these buns are not very sour. The Muscovado sugar and fresh ground cardamom lend a citrusy, spicy and herbal note to this very hygge treat!

If your starter is not especially vibrant and bubbly, then adding the yeast will help with leavening.

Makes 10 – 12 small buns



  • Leftover active sourdough starter 115 grams
  • Full cream milk 85 grams
  • 1/2 large egg (lightly beaten) 26 grams
  • Muscovado sugar (or soft brown sugar) 35 grams
  • 1/2 tsp instant dry years (optional) 2 grams
  • Bakers flour 190 grams
  • 1/2 tsp salt 2 grams
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground cardamon seeds 1 gram
  • Butter softened 35 grams


  • Butter softened 35 grams
  • Muscovado sugar (or soft brown sugar) 40 grams
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom seeds 0.5 grams
  • 1 – 2 tbs poppy seeds 10 – 20 grams
  • Zest of 1 orange 3 grams


  • Muscovado sugar (or soft brown sugar 30 grams
  • Water 30 grams
  • 1 tbs raw sugar for sprinkling on top


Heat the milk gently until lukewarm (about 35°C if you have a thermometer)

Add to a mixing bowl with the sourdough, egg, sugar and yeast (if using) then mix well.

Add dry dough ingredients to wets and knead the dough until gluten is well developed. (Dough should be shiny and elastic).

Mix softened butter into dough gradually (about 3-4 additions), making sure the butter is well incorporated before the next addition

 Once all the butter is mixed in, make dough into a ball shape and place in a covered bowl in a warmish place, free from draughts. Under the doona in your bed is a great spot at this time of year! Leave to double in size, which could take a couple of hours.

Once your dough is ready, tip onto a well-floured bench and use a rolling pin to roll out into a rectangle shape, about as thick as a $2 coin.

Make the filling by quickly creaming the butter and sugar together. Mix in the cardamom & orange zest, then use a dessert spoon or spatula to spread the filling over your rectangle. Scatter poppy seeds over filling.

Fold the rectangle in half and gently pat down into place.

Using a pizza cutter or knife cut the folded dough into 2-3cm wide strips.

Pick up a strip of dough, one hand on either end and twist the dough to form DNA-like helixes. The more twists you create here the more interesting your buns will look when they’re baked.

Coil the twisted strip around itself into a spiral and tuck the tail underneath before placing on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Preheat your oven to 200°C (190°C fan forced)

Cover your buns with a tea towel or plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to proof for 1-2hours. They’re ready when an indent from your finger into the bun barely bounces back

Bake for 20 mins or until a deep golden brown.

While they are in the oven make the sugar syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until dissolved.

Brush the buns with sugar syrup as soon as they’re out of the oven.

Leave to cool, then enjoy a very ‘hygge’ afternoon tea with a nice hot cuppa!