These Swedish Cardamom Yeast Rolls have so much going for them. Known as Kardemummabullar, the dough is easy to make in the processor or mixer and interestingly has no eggs. It is wonderfully soft and really easy to roll out. Any yeast dough is best eaten the day it is made but these are great even the next day.
Cardamom is a spice that is not generally used in America. It holds sway in Indian cooking and Scandinavian baking. I ran across these yeast rolls while searching for something else on the internet. I can see using this spice a lot more.
Cardamom seeds are held in a pod. The original recipe grinds the seeds in a small coffee grinder or in a mortar and pestle. I skipped this step and used the ground version instead. Spoiler Alert: Cardamom is very expensive. I buy my spices at Penzy’s since I like their quality. I also like the small jars. I buy these when I am not going to use the spice a lot. After I use it, I put the jar in the freezer so it is fresh the next time I want to use it. The spice itself is fluffy.
There are two main types of cardamom: black cardamom and green cardamom. Green cardamom is one of the most expensive spices by weight, but little is needed to impart flavor with hints of lemon, mint, and smoke. Originally grown in India and Indonesia, it was introduced into Guatemala, before World War 1. They are now the largest grower of Cardamom with India being the second.
It is best stored in the pod, as exposed or ground seeds quickly lose their flavor. Grinding the pods and seeds together lowers both the quality and the price. For recipes requiring whole cardamom pods, a generally accepted equivalent is 10 pods equals 11⁄2teaspoons of ground cardamom.
It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking. It is also often used in baking in the Nordic countries, in particular in Sweden, Norway, and Finland, where it is used in traditional treats such as the Scandinavian Jule bread Julekake, the Swedish kardemummabullar sweet bun, and Finnish sweet bread pulla.
If you want to substitute something for the cardamom in these yeast rolls you can use half cinnamon and half nutmeg.
I am a firm believer in making yeast dough one day and shaping it a day or two later. Chilled doughs are so much easier to roll and shape. If the dough is used immediately after the first rise, especially for yeast rolls, it is prone to getting out of shape when rolled and shaped. Much less flour is needed to roll the dough. When shaping this dough, chill it anytime it gets too soft.
I have to admit I was so excited about these yeast rolls, I forgot to take the pictures for making the dough. However, it is so easy, it is self-explanatory.
Cardamom Yeast Roll Dough
1 cup milk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter (75 grams 2 ⅔ ounces)
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (7 grams, ¼ ounce or 1 package)
2 ¾ cups flour (385 grams or about 13 ½ ounces)
1 ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup light or dark brown sugar (65 grams or 2 ⅓ ounces)
Heat the milk and butter until the butter melts. Cool to lukewarm and add the yeast. Allow the yeast to dissolve.
Combine the flour, cardamom, salt, and brown sugar in the bowl of a processor. Process briefly to combine. Add the liquid and process until a ball forms. Redistribute the dough if it does not come together. Once a ball forms, process about 10 seconds. Remove from the processor and knead about 10 times to smooth out.
Fit the mixer with the dough hook if available.
Combine the flour, cardamom, salt, and brown sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Add the lukewarm liquid and beat until the dough comes together. Knead in the machine for about 3 minutes until smooth.
Spray a storage container with baking spray. Place the dough in the container and let double in size, about 40 minutes. Punch down and refrigerate overnight.
Filling for the Cardamom Yeast Rolls
5 tablespoons butter, softened (75 grams or 2 ⅔ ounces)
⅓ cup light or dark brown sugar (65 grams or 2 ⅓ ounces)
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a mixer. Beat until smooth. Continue beating to increase the volume somewhat.
Shaping and Baking the Cardamom Yeast Rolls
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 13” x 21” rectangle. Spread the filling over the entire rectangle. It will be very thin but that is as it should be.
Mark the dough 7” in from each of the 21” side. There will be three 7” sections.
Fold the bottom of the dough up to the middle.
Then fold the top of the dough down over the middle.
Roll the dough into a 9”x15” rectangle. At this point, place it on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze or refrigerate until firm. If putting it into the freezer, just firm it – do not freeze it.
When firm, mark the dough every inch on the 15” side. Using a pizza cutter preferably, or a knife, cut out 15 strips of dough.
Take one strip of dough and twist it. Place it on the work surface in front of you and with your right-hand roll the twisted dough up and with your left hand, roll it down, stretching as you roll to about 12”. Tie the twisted strip into a knot.
Place on a prepared baking sheet.
Cover lightly and let rise for about 1 hour or longer until doubled.
Prior to the rolls completely rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Double Pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until baked through.
Topping for Cardamom Yeast Rolls
¼ cup water
¼ cup light brown sugar (50 grams or 1 ¾ ounces)
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
While the rolls are proofing, combine the water, sugar, and vanilla in a small saucepan. Heat on high until the sugar has dissolved. Set the syrup aside.
In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and cardamom. Set aside.
Immediately upon removing the knots from the oven, brush them with the syrup and sprinkle with the cardamom sugar.
Yield: 15 delicious rolls.
This post was inspired by the following blog. https://non www.fixfeastflair.com/home/2015/2/9/swedish-cardamom-rolls-kardemummabullar-recipe
If you liked this recipe, you might enjoy the following posts on this blog:
My Chocolate Babka
Brandied Chocolate Cherry Almond Garmisch
60 Second Brioche with Lemon Twists
I am going to make these because I’ve always loved the flavor of cardamom. I have one question. I’m am confused with the instruction about rolling them up and tying the knot.
Helen S Fletcher says
Hi Kathleen - I only discovered cardamom a few years ago and love it. Just roll out the dough to the length called for and tie them up like a shoestring, tucking the ends underneath. Hope this helps.
In one of our bakeries we used a small amount of cardamom in our cinnamon rolls. It was only 2 Tbsp in an 8 lb dough, so very minor amount, but it provided the most wonderful background note to the product, never overwhelming, but customers knew there was something ‘different’ and special about them.
I remember breaking the pods, for just a few of the seeds in each, and then pulverizing them with a coffee grinder. It seemed to take a while to generate the 2 Tbsp.
I intend to make the rolls this weekend, they sound excellent. But I think I’ll stop by Penzey’s this time. Thank you for this.
Hi Rob, Good to hear from you. Good idea to use the powdered versio Penzy's. I rarely used cardamom and never as the dominant flavor. Really good. Too good - I ate too many!
Cathy Wett says
I have often wondered what yeast doughs can be refrigerated overnight and which ones shouldn't be. I would bake more bread/rolls if only some recipes call for chilling overnight. I am anxious to try the cardamom spice. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
Hi Cathy - Offhand, I can't think of a single yeast dough that can't be refrigerated. In fact, one of the basic tenants of Artisan bread is that they develop more flavor if they are left for a longer time before baking. They will take a bit longer to rise because they have to get to room temperature but otherwise all the rest is the same.
Yum! Coming from the South of India, Cardamom is more of our dessert spice than savory. We put cardamom in every dessert! I always use and recommend fresh green cardamom pods. The best flavor! Would love to try it this weekend. For the FLOUR, can I use Pastry flour instead of all-purpose? Will bread flour be too tough on the texture?
Pastry flour is going to be too weak to get these to rise properly. It doesn't have enough gluten in it. Bread flour will toughen them - too much gluten. Part of the wonder of these rolls is the soft texture when baked.
oh, these are adorably wonderful! Cardamon is my favorite spice these days, and I intend to make these babies as soon as we travel back home, maybe next week for sure!
Looking forward to another year following your amazing baking!
Thanks Sally. Think I'll put cardamom in a cookie for the never-ending book! Happy to have you with me.
Helen, these look delicious. Look what popped up in my Saveur feed this morning! Must be a sign!
Your photos are always great! Thanks!
Hi Elle - what do they say about great minds? They shape theirs differently but cardamom is the key. Thanks for sharing.