Married to Medicine

Married to Medicine

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Cardamom Sweet Rolls with Maple Glaze (+ raspberry variation!)

Fresh from the oven, ready to be iced! (picture shows a half-batch; you'd normally use a 9x12 pan)
Finished product - perfection!!!

Mmmmmm, cardamom.

If you're not Swedish yourself, you might not know it by name.  Even so though, you'd probably associate the taste with Christmas (or winter) if you had a slice of cardamom bread.  It's a spice made from the seed pods of various plants in the ginger family - and it's a big time staple in Scandinavian baking.

Every Christmas my (Swedish - but like, 3rd generation) MIL bakes what must amount to 20 loaves of cardamom "coffee" bread, and my husband's gigantic family eats it for days on end - sometimes toasted with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, other times topped with a slice of jarlsburg cheese.  If you're up for a major undertaking, I blogged her recipe before here.  But stay awhile, because these little rolls are much easier to make - and they're soft and moist and gooey.  They pack a delicious burst of cardamom and they are simply to die for when you slather them with maple-coffee icing.

The dough recipe is a real gem; it makes exactly enough for a 9 x 13 pan of about 12 rolls, and it's easy to make and easy to work with.  I now use it for our Citrus Sweet Rolls.... it's SO easy to whip up, I made five different batches of rolls last week so that I could experiment with different fillings and icings.  This one and the Citrus Sweet Rolls were the winners, but don't miss the raspberry variation (below) - also SO good.

For the dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
pinch of salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly whisked

For the filling:
1 stick butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
Smattering of cinnamon (1/2 - 1 tbsp)
3/4 tsp ground cardamom

For the icing:
2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
3 tbsp melted butter
Add in drizzles the following to taste, and to desired thickness/consistency

  • cream or milk 
  • maple syrup
  • coffee
  • extra cardamom (optional)

Here's a pic of the instant yeast I used.  We do NOT have a bread machine.

Place the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl (1tsp cardamom too if you're adding it).  Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the buttermilk - this should bring it to a little warmer than room temp (too hot will kill the yeast), swish it around in the pan to mix it, then add it to the bowl of dry ingredients.  Lightly whisk the eggs - just use the same pan you used for the butter/milk mixture, and add those too.  Mix in mixer a little until it comes together - use a dough hook attachment if you have one - then knead with your hands for about 7 minutes.  If you do this on a baking mat you should not need to add ANY extra flour or make ANY mess (see pic below!!).  

Place in a lightly greased or oiled bowl and flip it over so the top of the dough is also greased.  Cover (I use a wet dishcloth for moisture, you can also use plastic wrap) and let rise in a warm place (I turn my oven on and off briefly so that the oven is slightly warm) for 2 hrs or until doubled.

I can't say enough about these baking mats (and they're cheap too!).  It is practically miraculous how the dough does not stick to them at all, even without flouring them.  I did a side-by-side comparison of what happened when I kneaded the (very moist) dough on the countertop versus the mat - you can see how it stuck to the countertop but not at all anywhere on the mat.  You'd be fine without one, but you'd have to add flour.  I don't EVEN need to flour my hands with this recipe(!!!)

While dough rises, prepare the filling.  Simply mix everything together.  Then grease or butter a 9 x 12 inch baking pan (just the standard size; in the pics here I split the batch in two, and used two smaller pans).

Punch dough down, and again turn it out on lightly floured surface or baking mat.  Roll until it's about 18 inches by 12ish (doesn't have to be perfect).  Examine the filling - if it's pretty soft, just spread it evenly all over.  You *may* want to stick it in the microwave briefly, just to soften it for spreading, if it's not too soft.  

Roll up, starting at one of the longer (18") sides.  You can definitely pull and stretch the dough as you go to get more rolls out of it if you want.  Once rolled up, slice it into about 12 slices (so, 1.5 inches each to make 18 inches) - doesn't have to be perfect!!  By the way, I'm told unwaxed floss is great for the slicing, but I use this dough cutter by OXO - it's cheap and it's also really handy for scraping dough off surfaces and into the trash (you won't need it for that though, if you have the baking mats!).  Place the slices as evenly as you can in the prepared baking dish.  At this point, you can cover and refrigerate overnight if you prefer!

In this batch, I used half the dough for the regular rolls, and half for the raspberry variation) *****You can see how filling leaked out but NO DOUGH stuck to the mats - see that piece of dough at the top that goes beyond the mat?  It's stuck to the countertop; when I sliced the rolled dough down the middle, the part over the mat receded but the part on the countertop stuck.

Cover (I used the same moist dishcloth but you could use plastic wrap) and let rise again, again in a warm place, for about an hour, until rolls are all touching each other and appear to be the proper size.  If you refrigerated overnight, you may need to let them rise an extra 30 mins or so.

Risen and ready to bake! (half-batch)

Then bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden on top.  Do not overcook!!!!  Or undercook.  It's worth it to test a roll with a knife, you can just eat that one later.  While it cooks and cools a bit, prepare the glaze.  Just add everything in and whisk it up OR mix it in the mixer!

Fresh from the oven, ready to ice! (half-batch)

Cover with the glaze - I actually only use about half the glaze recipe, and I drizzle it, because I don't like a lot of icing.  I save the other half and make more rolls eventually; it keeps really well.  But if you're an icing lover, feel free to slather it all on!  Serve.  Heavenly!!!!

It simply doesn't get better than this!!!!

Raspberry Filling Variation:  For a fresh raspberry edge, add to the above filling recipe 2 tbsp of raspberry preserves (I used raspberry-apricot by Bonne Maman) and the zest of one lemon.  Then rip some fresh raspberries and set on top of the filling before rolling.  

Raspberry filling variation - easy! (half-batch)

Risen and ready to bake! (half batch)
Fresh from the oven and ready to ice! (half batch)

Another option (the possibilities are endless!) - Here I added apricot jam to the filling and reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup)

Married to Medicine Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to where products carried on Amazon are mentioned.  The above post contains affiliate links.  


  1. Ok being pregnant these look extra amazing! Glad I came across your blog I am a fellow doc wife. Hope to read more :)

    1. Thank you Kelly! You can join us in Physician Spouse Network if you're on Facebook!

  2. Lisa, these look amazing!! I love cardamom. Will have to try.

  3. I was going to email you but I can't find a link for that. Just wanted to say I really enjoy all aspects of your blog. The vaccine post helped me make an educated decision and I really appreciate that. Just FYI it is Very hard to navigate your blog or read things on it while on a phone or tablet. Just thought I'd let you know. I'm sure if it was more user friendly you'd have tons more traffic. That's all. God bless and I will be looking out for future posts :)