It is finally March and it is a step closer to spring. As I write these lines it is pouring rain and on the first day of March I woke up to the most beautiful winter wonderland of this winter season; spring seems far, far away. Eventually spring will arrive. I do not mind the winter time, the cold and the darkness but during the winter months it is very difficult to go on little bike tours in the countryside. I miss my bike outings a lot and I cannot wait for my first bike adventures of the year.
On my bike rides I always take a thermos jug with tea and a snack with me. Last year I often had a little lemon cake (here is my recipe) or a cardamom bun as a snack on my little bike adventures. Cardamom buns, kardemumma bullar, are a classic Swedish sweet bread. Sweet yeast buns are called släta bullar which can be translated as plain buns. Sometimes raisins are added to the buns which I like and always add to my släta bullar. I also sprinkle my cardamom buns with pearl sugar because it gives the buns a crunchiness but traditional Swedish buns are without pearl sugar. 
While I am dreaming of spring and riding my bike in the countryside I am enjoying a bun inside, listening to the rain drops that are knocking against my window and light a candle. I am looking forward to wood anemone flowers which start blooming in the spring time. Wood anemone flowers, vitsippor in Swedish, can be found a lot and often you can find a "carpet" of vitsippor in the woods. Whenever I see wood anemone flowers I know that spring finally arrived.

NOTE: The cardamom buns freeze very well; I always have a few buns in the freezer. It is very convenient because any time you can take a bun or two out of the freezer and defrost the buns. I warm the buns in the oven (at 75 °C / 165 °F) for a couple of minutes. The cardamom buns also taste the very best when they are still warm.
If you do not like raisins you can replace them with dried cranberries.

Makes 12 cardamom buns


  • 35 g / 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 125 ml / 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 15 g fresh yeast / 1 3/4 teaspoons instant actice dry yeast / 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 50 g / 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 50 g / 1/3 cup raisins (or dried cranberries), optional
  • 250 g / 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 egg (small size)
  • Pearl sugar, optional


  • Crumble fresh yeast * into a big bowl. 
  • Melt butter in a small pot; add the milk and heat until the mixture is lukewarm (not hot, otherwise the yeast will "die" and your dough won't rise). 
  • Add a little bit of the milk mixture to the crumbled yeast and stir until the yeast is completely dissolved. Add the remaining liquid, salt, sugar, cardamom and raisins and mix well. Add most of the flour (save 2 tablespoons) and stir with a big (wooden) spoon until the dough comes together.
  • * If you use instant active dry yeast: mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl and then add the lukewarm butter-milk mixture and proceed as written above. 
  • If you use active dry yeast: heat the milk until lukewarm. Add the active dry yeast to a mug and dissolve the yeast with two tablespoons of milk. Melt the butter. Mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl, add the melted butter, remaining lukewarm milk and the dissolved yeast. Proceed as written above.
  • Transfer the dough to floured surface and knead the dough until it is smooth. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. 
  • Let the yeast dough rise in a draft-free and warm place (I place my bowl in the oven which I preheated to 35 °C / 95°F). Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size which takes about 30 to 40 minutes. 
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  • Knead the dough again on a floured surface. Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Form each piece of dough to a ball. 
  • Place the balls onto the baking sheets. Make sure that there is enough space between each ball. Cover each baking sheet with a kitchen towel. Let the buns rise again for 20 minutes in a draft-free and warm place (I let the buns rise in the oven again). 
  • Preheat the oven to 220 °C / 430 °F. 
  • Beat the egg with a teaspoon of lukewarm water. Gently brunsh the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle the buns with bearl sugar (if you like).
  • Bake the buns for 4 to 6 minutes or until the buns are golden in color. The buns brown very quickly, so make sure you are in the kitchen while the buns are in the oven.