Cardamom buns

Cardamom buns

This is made possible by BBC Foods!


  • 28 cardamom pods (or 10 pods, plus 1 tsp ground cardamom)
  • 250ml/9fl oz full-fat milk
  • 125g/4½oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 350g/12oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 150g/5½oz golden caster sugar
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • oil, for greasing
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten with a fork


  1. Use a rolling pin or pestle and mortar to lightly crush 10 cardamom pods.

  2. Add the pods and seeds to the milk and heat in a saucepan or microwave until steaming but not boiling.

    1. Add 35g/1¼oz butter and swirl until melted.

    2. Set aside to cool.

  3. Mix the flour, 50g/1¾oz of the sugar, the yeast and the salt in a large bowl or in the bowl of a freestanding mixer.

  4. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl through a sieve to remove the cardamom pods.

  5. Mix with a wooden spoon or the dough hook attachment of a mixer to form a soft dough.

  6. Knead for 5 minutes in the mixer or tip onto a lightly dusted work surface and knead for 10 minutes by hand until the dough is elastic and smooth.

  7. Return the dough to the bowl then cover the bowl with oiled cling film or a damp tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in size.

    1. This should take 1 hours.

    2. Alternatively, you can leave it to prove in the fridge overnight.

  8. Crack open the remaining cardamom pods and place all of the seeds in a pestle and mortar.

  9. Crush to a powder then mix with the remaining 100g sugar.

  10. Set aside 1½ tablespoons of this cardamom sugar for the final step.

  11. Use a fork to mash the remaining 90g butter and cinnamon into the rest of the cardamom sugar.

  12. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough out to a 35x30cm rectangle, with the shorter edge facing you.

  13. Spread the cardamom butter over the surface, right up to the edges.

  14. Fold the top third down over the middle third.

  15. Then fold the bottom third up over the whole lot, so you have three layers of dough sandwiched together with the butter.

  16. Roll out the dough again lightly to stick the layers together and stretch the rectangle back to about 15x30cm.

  17. Cut the dough into 8 equal strips, about 15×3.5cm.

  18. Cut each into three strips, leaving it attached a little bit at the top, and plait the three strands.

  19. Roll up the plait, starting from the join at the top like rolling up a Swiss roll.

  20. Place the buns on lined baking trays with the ends underneath to stop them unravelling and spaced apart to allow for spreading.

  21. Cover the trays with lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise somewhere warm until doubled in size.

    1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5.

  22. Brush the risen buns with the egg, then sprinkle with the reserved cardamom sugar.

  23. Bake for 20–22 minutes, rotating the trays halfway if the buns aren’t browning evenly.

  24. Eat within 2 days, refreshing in a low oven for 5 minutes before eating, or freeze the buns for up to 2 months.

Banner and Image Credit: BBC

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