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Honey Cardamom Pistachio Buns

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Honey Cardamom Pistachio Buns are filled with brown sugar and crushed pistachios and topped with cinnamon honey syrup.

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Cinnamon buns have always been my favorite breakfast treat. I love the simplicity of the flavors as well as the whole process of making them. The best reward is the smell that hangs in the kitchen air for several hours after they come out of the oven. The recipe for these Honey Cardamom Pistachio Buns is a variation on my basic Kanelbullar recipe, and I am so delighted by how they turned out! I love the combination of honey and pistachios with cardamom, and the dough is a joy to work with.

The Flavorings:

This recipe uses raw shelled pistachios. I like the sweetness and delicate flavor of the raw nuts, however, roasted pistachios would work in a pinch. These are combined with light brown sugar, cardamom, a bit of sea salt, and sweet European-style butter with high milk fat.

Finely chop some of the pistachios in a food processor for the filling, while coarsely chopping the remainder to use on top of the buns.

While the dough is rising for the buns, mix the filling ingredients together by hand. I like using a pastry cutter to combine everything.

Punch down the dough and get ready for rolling.

Assembling the Honey Cardamom Pistachio Buns:

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle that is 20 x 16 inches. The dough should be about 1/8-inch thick.

Carefully spread the filling over the entire surface, being careful not to puncture the dough with the nuts.

Start at the bottom of the wide edge of the dough and roll it up jellyroll style.

Using a serrated knife, mark the dough into 16 pieces (or 20 if you want slightly smaller buns). Gently cut into slices using the score lines as a guide.

Tuck the ends of the dough under each roll and place them on parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover with plastic or a damp tea towel and let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes while the oven preheats.

Baking and Finishing the Honey Cardamom Pistachio Buns:

While the buns are rising, make the cinnamon honey syrup. Combine your favorite honey, a bit of water, vanilla extract, and a cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and then turn off the heat and let the syrup steep with the cinnamon stick.

Once the buns have risen, carefully brush them with egg wash to create a nice sheen while baking.

Top each bun with some of the coarsely chopped pistachios.

Bake for 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure not to overbake, as this will dry out the rolls. They should be a light golden brown and still a bit soft in the center. Brush each hot bun with some of the syrup and move to a cooling rack.

The buns are best eaten on the day they are baked, but they will stay wonderfully moist if stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.

Honey Cardamom Pistachio Buns are perfect for Fika time with coffee and would also be a delightful addition to an Easter brunch. Enjoy!

Honey Cardamom Pistachio Buns

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Honey Cardamom Pistachio Buns are filled with brown sugar and crushed pistachios and topped with cinnamon honey syrup.


For the Dough:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast, or 1 package
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 yolk whisked to combine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 4 ounces finely chopped raw pistachios
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch salt

For the Syrup:

  • cup honey
  • cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Coarsely chopped raw pistachios, for garnish


For the Dough:

  • Heat the milk until very warm but not hot, and combine with the yeast in a stand mixer bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the 1/3 cup granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla, cardamom, salt, softened butter, and 3 ½ cups of the flour. Mix with a dough hook until starting to form a dough.
  • Add additional flour a couple tablespoons at a time while mixing until the dough is silky smooth and not sticky. Only add as much flour as needed.
  • Remove dough from the bowl and knead by hand to form into a smooth ball. Place in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic, and let rise until double in bulk (about 1 ½ hours).

For the Filling and Shaping:

  • While the dough is rising, mix together all of the filling ingredients in a small bowl until well-combined.
  • Punch dough down and roll out into a 20 x 16-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
  • Spread the filling over the entire surface of the dough in a thin layer. Take care not to puncture the dough with the nuts.
  • Starting at the bottom edge of the dough, roll up jelly roll style in to a log.
  • Mark the roll into 16 even pieces (or 20 if you want slightly smaller buns). Use a serrated knife to gently cut the roll into slices along the score lines.
  • Tuck the ends of each slice under and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover with plastic or damp towels and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit.

For the Syrup:

  • Combine the honey, water, cinnamon stick, and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Allow to steep while the buns are rising.

Egg Wash and Baking:

  • Whisk together the egg wash and lightly brush the buns. Sprinkle with the coarsely chopped pistachios. Bake the buns for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with syrup. Makes 16-20 buns.
Course: bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Fika, Snack
Cuisine: Scandinavian, Swedish
Keyword: Honey Cardamom Pistachio Buns
Servings: 16 Buns

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