I’m always experimenting with different recipes for cardamom buns, because well… I’m sorta obsessed with them.  I can’t think of anything equivalent in the baking world in any other country that is so simple, versatile and satisfying. If it were up to me, I’d eat them every day, but since I still want to fit into my clothes, I restrain myself to just a few times a year.

As we’re headed into the holidays, these buns can be enjoyed during a decadent breakfast, either with just some butter and strawberry jam, or savory options such as (vegan) cold cuts and cheese, bean spreads, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers, and so forth.  You can make them into a delicious dessert, by filling them with cream and jam, or a vanilla or chocolate custard. You get the point.

Why cardamom in these buns you might ask, and why is this spice so popular in Norwegian baking? We even have a “city” named after it, Kardemommeby, (cardamom town) located in a theme park in Kristiansand.  This town was inspired by a popular story called “When The Robbers Came to Cardamom Town,” created by famous Norwegian children’s book author, Thorbjørn Egner in 1955.  Cardamom is used in many baked goods, and is one of the basic staples in every Norwegian household, especially for Christmas.

The spices of the far East have influenced Norwegian Christmas food for several hundred years. Along with cardamom, we use ginger, cloves, and cinnamon generously. They arrived in Norway, as they did in the rest of Europe, through the spice trail via the sea, and quickly became popular. While most cuisines might use these in most savory dishes, Norwegians (and the rest of the Scandinavians) also found a way to employ them in pastries and sweet foods.

Back to my cardamom buns: This time I tried a slightly different recipe yet again, and I have to say I was incredibly happy with the results.  The dough was smooth, light and really easy to work with, and the recipe also doesn’t make a million buns. This will make about 15-18 pieces, depending on how big you make the buns.  Most Norwegian recipes make around 40 buns or so, but in our household of only 2 (5 if you count the dogs, and they love these too!) it doesn’t make sense to make this many, because I honestly don’t love to freeze baking goods. You can definitely freeze them if that’s your jam, but I prefer them fresh and warm straight out of the oven.

Perfect on a Sunday afternoon with a hot cup of coffee, make these if you have guests coming over and want something casual to serve, or want to impress them with your baking skills. They really are so easy to make – get the dough going in the morning and you can do other chores while you wait for the dough to rise. I also love to eat them plain, especially when they are still warm! You will not believe these have no dairy or eggs in them, there really is no difference in texture or flavor – I promise!


This recipe was republished with permission from Sunny Gandara.

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