A citrusy twist on a Scandinavian classic
Traditional cinnamon buns meet orange and cardamom in this fresh update
The Norwegian American
Everyone knows that Scandinavians love cinnamon buns. While the Swedes may have helped to make them famous—cinnamon buns are a big part of the Swedish fika, or social coffee break, and there’s an actual cinnamon bun day in Sweden (mark your calendar for October 4)—they’re a big part of Norwegian food culture too.
In Sweden, cinnamon buns, or kanelbullar, originated in the 1920s, and they were eventually adapted in Norway, according to Sunny Gandara, a contributor to The Norwegian American and the voice behind the blog Arctic Grub (arcticgrub.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/cinnamon-buns-a-swedish-cultural-treasure).
These orange cardamom buns from author and designer Kajsa Kinsella are a riff on the traditional buns scented with cinnamon and often cardamom. Anyone familiar with Scandinavian baking knows how important cardamom is in cookies, cakes, and buns such as these. The scent alone is enough to trigger nostalgia and memories. Whip up a batch of these buns and invite someone over for coffee—they’re bound to be in for a treat.
Recipe by Kajsa Kinsella
Cardamom & Orange Buns
5dl (2.11 cups) milk
50g fresh yeast
1.7 liters (7 1/4 cups) flour
250g (1 cup) soft butter + 50g (3.5 tbsps.) for spreading
3.5dl (1.5 cups) sugar
2 tsps. ground cardamom
3 tsps. cardamom seeds
pinch of salt
1 large orange
1 egg for brushing
1. Pluck the fresh yeast into small crumbly pieces into your baking bowl, heat half the amount of milk to finger warmth, and pour it into the bowl.
2. Stir until the yeast is fully dissolved, then add the ground cardamom. Add 1/3 of the flour and work it to a smooth dough in a machine or by hand, cover with a clean and dry tea towel, and let proof for 30 minutes.
3. Mix butter and sugar together until smooth, ground the cardamom kernels in a mortar, and add them along with the other half of lukewarm milk to the mix. Finally add the salt, then pour it all into the proofed dough. Add flour until the dough lets go of the sides of your bowl, then cover again with the tea towel and let proof for 20 minutes.
4. Flour your clean work surface, cut the dough in half, and roll it out as thick or as thin as you prefer. Spread soft butter all over the dough and sprinkle over a little sugar and more ground cardamom (I can’t get enough of that stuff!), wash your orange well, and grate it over the dough as well.
5. Roll the dough to a long tube and cut it into 2 cm wide pieces. Pat the buns into shape a little and then place them in pretty bun cases—I picked some orange ones for this, to make them extra festive. Brush the buns with whipped egg, add delicious pearl sugar, and bake in the oven on 200 degrees Celsius (400 F) for about 7 to 8 minutes until golden brown.
6. Let the buns cool on a rack, covered with a clean tea towel while you put the kettle on!
Kajsa Kinsella, Swedish fabric designer, photographer, interior stylist, and author, is well established in the world of magazines and book publications and is a regular contributor to Prima Magazine, Prima Makes, Pretty Patches Magazine, and Simply Sewing Magazine. Kajsa has been featured as a designer in many publications. Her own fabric and interior design range, “KajsaK,” is available at www.kajsak.com, containing artisan Scandinavian and Celtic interior items and decorations, handmade porcelain details and ornaments, as well as her own Nordic-inspired fabric collection, available from Spoonflower on www.spoonflower.com/profiles/kajsak.
This article originally appeared in the July 1, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.