Homemade Sweet Rolls or Sweet Buns are nothing like the store bought version. They have got deliciously crispy exterior and juicy interior that melt on your tongue. And the cardamom is a must for super flavorful sweet rolls. Just imagine the smell when these are baking! Sweet buns are very popular in Scandinavia, so they are often called Scandinavian buns, Swedish buns (but hey what about Norway!), or Swedish cardamom buns, or just cardamom rolls. Seems like we have a lot of names for the things we love, right.
There’s so much you can do if you master this recipe. And if you look closely, this is the recipe I’ve used in all my buns or rolls. Let it be these Best Ever Cinnamon Rolls, or the Christmas version Saffron Buns or these fabulous Vanilla Custard and Coconut Sweet Buns. I honestly will never switch it out, it is always working for me. And if you read on I will tell you all my secrets for the most amazingly soft and fluffy sweet buns!
Troubleshooting: Why doesn’t my rolls turn out good?
I’m beginning with this, because it is super important. If you’re not accurate when it comes to dough recipes, they will just not turn out as good. Number 1 is to be accurate. Especially when it comes to these things:
I highly recommend a kitchen scale for making buns (in general) and really any cake. It’s not that important in many other things, such as most dinners. But here – for crying out loud – use a scale. If you don’t own one, get one now. It will make your life so much easier and your sweet rolls super fluffy and spongy. Trust me on this.
I would also recommend having a thermometer, not that it is that important in this recipe. But it’s very important when it comes to making chocolates or lemon curd (and who doesn’t want to make that). However, temperature is very important. The liquid you combine with the yeast must be lukewarm in order to work properly. And if the yeast doesn’t like the temperature, it will not make fluffy sweet rolls. That will be your punishment.
Now in the life of stand mixers, this is a lot easier than it used to be. I recommend kneading the dough for at least 10-15 minutes. You should also stop sometimes and using a spatula to get the dough down from the sides. I actually prefer to use a hand mixer, because it’s easier to really tell when the dough is done, but a stand mixer is a lot easier on your arm muscles. It should start to let go of the bowl and forming a nice ball. It’s slightly sticky to the touch but not sticking to the bowl any longer.
The rule of thumb when it comes to rising is that it should rise to doubled in size. And then do it again in a later stage. The first rising takes about at least 1 hour, up to 1.5 hours. It will depend on the temperature the dough is rising in. As I mentioned above, yeast is very sensitive to temperature. Not only when you make the dough, but also when it rises. I prefer to rise it in a temperature between 68-77F (20-25C), but it’s not that scientific. I’ve just discovered that this yields the fluffiest soft rolls.
And don’t be frightened by this list, I’m being especially thorough because buns and doughs are my specialty and my heart when it comes to food. It isn’t that difficult if you just follow these 4 tips. Be accurate when it comes to measurements and temperature, and don’t rush kneading and rising. YOU CAN DO THIS!
Fresh vs. Dry Yeast for Sweet Rolls
This is the hard part in making this recipe for International readers as well. I am an avid believer in using fresh yeast. I know it’s not that common in for example the United States, so that is why I’m stating it. Fresh yeast can usually be found in the dairy section near the butter. I think the baked goods turn out better with fresh vs. dry yeast, as they get fluffier and a little sweeter.
However, if you still want to use dry yeast, be my guest. It’s nothing wrong with dry yeast, but I usually reserve it for pizza doughs or similar kinds of doughs. And because I’m awesome I’m giving you an easy conversion here:
- For every 10g of fresh yeast, use 1 tsp dry yeast. (0.35 oz)
- Dividing or multiplying by 3: From fresh to dry divide by 3 to get the amount in dry yeast.
- 5 tsp dry active yeast, instant yeast, rapid-rise yeast yields 50g (1.7 oz) fresh yeast (which is what this recipe calls for). You may use less yeast, but it’s a possibility that your dough needs to rise even longer.
Read more about fresh yeast conversion here. Okay, then that’s out of the way, we can finally make some delicious sweet rolls!
How to Make Homemade Sweet Rolls
For the step by step photos, I’ve added some numbers for you to follow along.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl – flour, sugar, salt and cardamom. (I am truly hoping you don’t need a step by step photo for this). 1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter, pour the milk in and wait until the mixture is lukewarm (not warm!). This is very important or else the fresh yeast will refuse to co-operate. 2. Mine was at 38C (100F). When you’ve got the right temperature, you can pour it over the crumbled fresh yeast. Stir to combine. 3. Then add this wet mixture into the flour mixture along with 1 egg.
4. Knead together. Either get it in a standmixer and mix on medium for 10-15 minutes, or until the dough lets go of the bowl. You may need to stop occasionally to scrape the dough from the edges, with a spatula. You can also use a hand mixer, which is my preferred way as it’s easier to really get a feel of the dough. 5. Mix until the dough is fluffy and no longer clings to the bowl. If you feel like this isn’t going to happen, add a tbsp of flour at the time to help with the process (this is usually not necessary, but it can depend a little on the egg or if the measurements weren’t accurate enough).
6. Add a little flour on top, and place a kitchen towel or plastic wrap over the bowl. 7. Leave it in a warm place (or at least not ice cold and drafty!) for about 1-1.5 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
8. Take the dough onto a lightly floured surface and start to knead a little with your hands and form a long tube of dough. Cut into equal parts, about a handful each. 9. Start to form a ball with your hands and place on a plate with parchment paper. Cover with a kitchen towel, let them rise to double in size again, this time about 40 minutes. Brush with egg wash (one egg mixed with a fork).
Place in the middle in a pre-heated oven of 410F (210C) for about 12 minutes. They are done when they make a hollow sound when you tap on the underside of a roll. Place them on a rack, wait a feew minutes before you dig in.
How to Serve Sweet Buns
You can eat them as is, or cut them in half and spread butter on each. I prefer butter and Norwegian brown goat cheese (Geitost). If you’ve suddenly found yourself in Norway (or a Scandinavian specialty store), please try this! Some find it too strong and use milder brown cheeses, such as Gudbrandsdalsost or Fløtemysost. But nevertheless, brown cheese is the way to go here. But, if you don’t have this, try some homemade jam, store-bought jam, mild cheeses, cream cheese, or simply – nothing. They are delicious anyhow.
Next bun recipes I would love to try are these butter coconut buns from Food Delicacy, meyer lemon morning buns from Tutti Dolci, homemade hamburger buns from Kylee Cooks, and these vegan banana bread cinnamon rolls from Ambitious Kitchen. There are so many delicious carby buns and rolls recipes out there, but this is definitely where I’ll start!
Buns and Breads
- Vanilla Custard and Coconut Sweet Buns (Skoleboller)
- Saffron Buns (Lussekatter)
- Best Ever Cinnamon Rolls
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later!
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Homemade Sweet Rolls or Sweet Buns
- 8 cups flour 1000g. *Highly recommend to use a scale for this recipe!
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sugar 120g.
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.5 tsp cardamom
- 2 1/4 cups milk 500ml.
- 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp butter 160g.
- 1.7 oz fresh yeast 50g. See notes below**
- 1 egg + 1 for brushing
- Mix dry ingredients: Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl - flour, sugar, salt and cardamom.
- Mix wet ingredients: In a medium saucepan, melt butter, pour the milk in and wait until the mixture is lukewarm (not warm!). Mine was at 100F (38C).
- Combine with yeast and egg: Crumble the fresh yeast. Pour the lukewarm butter mixture over and stir until combined. Pour this liquid into the flour mixture along with one egg.
- Knead together: You may use a stand mixer or a hand mixer. Mix until the dough is fluffy and no longer clings to the bowl, at least 10 minutes. You may need to stop occasionally and scrape the dough down from the edges. It should be slightly sticky to the touch but not to the bowl.
- Let it rest: Add a little flour on top, and place a kitchen towel or plastic wrap over the bowl. Leave it in a warm place for about 1-1.5 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Form into balls: Take the dough onto a lightly floured surface and start to knead a little with your hands and form a long tube of dough. Cut into equal parts, about a handful each. Start to form a ball with your hands and place on a plate with parchment paper.
- Rest again: Cover and let them rise to double in size again, this time about 40 minutes. Brush with egg wash (1 egg mixed with a fork).
- Bake: Place on the middle rack in a pre-heated oven of 410F (210C) for about 12 minutes. They are done when they make a hollow sound when you tap on the underside of a bun. Place them on a rack, wait a feew minutes before you dig in.
- Serve with butter, jam, brown cheese, cream cheese, whatever you want!