Cardamom Lemon Sticky Buns

By • December 18, 2013 • 30 Comments

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Author Notes: Even though we eat the same Christmas breakfast every year, I still daydream up different ideas for new Christmas breakfasts.This year I was thinking about cardamom bread and about lemon sticky buns and then I thought, why not combine the two?! Fragrant, tangy, and utter perfection with a steamy cup of coffee.
The recipe is inspired by a julekake recipe, Luisa Weiss's poppyseed whirligig buns, and the lemon-pull apart bread/coffee cake from Leite's Culinaria.
fiveandspice

Makes about 16 rolls

Sticky bun dough

  • 3/4 cup whole milk, just warm to the touch
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom (preferably freshly ground)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 cups (approximately) all purpose flour (plus more as needed)
  1. Combine the warm milk, melted butter, and sugar in a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in the yeast and let it sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5-10 minutes. Then, stir in the salt, cardamom, and beaten egg.
  2. Stir in the flour, adding just as much as needed to get a dough that feels sticky to the touch but doesn't actually stick inexorably to your fingers (you want to avoid as much as possible adding too much flour as this will keep the dough from rising as well as it could). Knead the dough in a mixer with a bread hook for about 6 minutes or by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set somewhere warm to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Proceed with making the filling and assembling as instructed below.

Sticky bun filling, assembly, and glaze

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest (from about 3 large lemons)
  • 4 tablespoons very soft butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (replace 1 Tbs. with bourbon if you want a lemon-bourbon glaze - and don't you think you do?)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (or enough to make a glaze consistency)
  1. While the bun dough is rising, mix together the granulated sugar and lemon zest and set aside. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans (or a 9X13 pan). After the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and on a lightly floured surface roll it into a large rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Spread the dough rectangle with the soft butter, then sprinkle it evenly with the sugar-zest mixture.
  2. Roll the rectangle up lengthwise into a long jellyroll. Slice it with a sharp serrated knife into 1-inch thick pieces. Arrange the pieces in the prepared baking pans, leaving a little space around them for them to rise and grow. Cover and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about another hour. Or, put the rolls in the refrigerator to slowly rise overnight. Take them out in the morning. If they haven't risen much in the fridge, let them come to room temperature and give them some time to rise (this could take up to a couple hours).
  3. When the rolls are almost finished rising, heat your oven to 350F. Bake the rolls in the oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Take them out and allow them to cool most of the way before drizzling with the glaze.
  4. To make the glaze, whisk together the lemon juice (and bourbon, if using) with powdered sugar until it reaches glaze consistency. Drizzle over the sticky buns. These buns are by far the best eaten the day they're made, though they rewarm relatively well. If you want to keep them longer, you can take them as soon as they've cooled to room temperature, wrap them well in tinfoil and stick them in the freezer. Let them defrost at room temperature and gently rewarm them in the oven before serving.
Jump to Comments (30)

Comments (30) Questions (1)

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9 months ago arcane54

These were outstanding! The recipe is generous and while the few buns that didn't get gobbled up right way lasted a couple of days (reheating well!) they make excellent bread pudding, too! I was short one lemon and used orange peel/juice in its place.

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9 months ago Lauren Fisher

These are absolutely amazing! I made them yesterday but might have to have another go, as the dough didn't rise all that well. I used bread flour as we don't really have all-purpose in the UK, so that might be it! Amazing flavour and sticky consistency though.

Sausage2

9 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the flavor! Sorry they didn't rise quite enough. As I tried to explain to Anita below, yeast bread baking is kind of more art than science, so as closely as a person follows a recipe, results can still vary since yeast is alive and kind of just does its own thing! You might try a longer rising time, adding less flour to the dough (though this can be tricky, but the stickier/wetter the dough, the better the rise, usually), or adding an extra pinch of yeast, if you're having trouble.

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9 months ago Lauren Fisher

Thanks so much Emily! I might try a combination of all of those as I'll definitely be making these again.

Apfelmus

9 months ago Shermin

Baked it - cardamom and lemon ist really a delicious combination. Thanks for this yummy recipe.

Sausage2

9 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Glad to hear it!

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9 months ago Anita

These are so good, that I had to try again! My rolls don't rise enough after slicing and placing into the baking pan. I do love the recipe, but just not sure if it's my bread-making skills or my oven. But I shall keep on experimenting!

Sausage2

9 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Glad you liked them! Yeast bread can be so tricky, since yeast is a living organism, you always have to kind of go by feel, not just the recipe. How active yeast is can vary, as can ambient temperature and humidity, and the amount of flour used for kneading, all of which influences how much the rolls rise! If they didn't rise quite enough, you may just need to let them sit a little longer, or you may need to use a pinch more yeast.

Pamelalee

9 months ago pamelalee

What a delicious twist on cinnamon rolls! We loved the zing of the lemon as well as the texture of the buns. They were wonderful even after being frozen and reheated.

Sausage2

9 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Glad you liked them!

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10 months ago ktgrice

Do you think it's possible to veganize this recipie? Maybe with plain almond milk and earth balance?

Edward-weston_pepper_1930

9 months ago missbellpepper

ktgrice, I was thinking the exact same thing! I veganized fiveandspice's Orange and Olive Oil Sticky Buns for Christmas morning and they were fantastic. I would use the same dough with slightly more sugar and of course the cardamom. I'm sure Earth Balance would work fine for the filling but I would use coconut oil, (simply a personal preference) the result may be a little softer. I hope that this helps!

Sausage2

9 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I do think the dough for the olive oil and orange sticky buns could be used for this with the changes to flavoring. But, I also think it could work with almond milk or potentially coconut milk, which would give the buns the richness you want from them.

Edward-weston_pepper_1930

8 months ago missbellpepper

Ooo that's a wonderful idea. Califa Farms makes a really thick almond milk that would be perfect here. Thank you fiveandspice!

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10 months ago Anita

Delicious! Only my buns didn't rise after removing from the fridge, so we had lemon cardamom biscuits. Still tasty.

Sausage2

10 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Sorry they didn't rise after you took them out! Depending on ambient temperature and humidity, it can take a while for the dough to relax enough to start expanding again - even a couple hours.

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10 months ago Jessica

These are incredible! It doesn't where/when to add cardamom, so I added after flour - is that right? Regardless, they were some of the best sticky buns I've ever made! Thank you!

Sausage2

10 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

That works! So glad you liked them!

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10 months ago Kiyo

The cardamom is not listed in the directions, only under ingredients!

Sausage2

10 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I forgot the step of adding the cardamom, but I've fixed it now.

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10 months ago moseceltic

Love the sound of these but I'm one of those odd folks who can't tolerate cardamom. Any suggestions for a replacement spice, or would that be heresy?

Sausage2

10 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Well, it would be heresy, but I guess you can if you must. ;) You could try making them all lemon buns, putting lemon zest in the dough. Nutmeg might be good in the dough, but you'd want to use a lot less, maybe 1/4 tsp. Or vanilla bean would be yummy.

Sausage2

10 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

You could also try using a little fresh rosemary.

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10 months ago Lani Jacobsen

when is the cardamom added?

Sausage2

10 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

You add it at the same time as the salt, or with the flour, either will work. Sorry I forgot that step. I'll edit!

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10 months ago Lani Jacobsen

when is the cardamom added?

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10 months ago Dubbskii

I can't wait to make these. I love cardamom, but I've never paired it with lemon. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

Sausage2

10 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks!

Dsc01280

10 months ago Gibson2011

Do you think the technique described in this article would work for making the buns ahead of time?
http://www.thekitchn.com...

Sausage2

10 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yes, I do.