Image Courtesy of Isabella Ginsburg ’23


½ cup all purpose flour 

2 ¼ cup strong white bread flour 

¼ cup granulated sugar 

⅔ cup milk, warmed slightly 

2 teaspoons salt 

2 teaspoons ground cardamom 

2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 

Cardamom Filling

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 

½ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cardamom


½ cup water 

½ cup brown sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste 

2 teaspoons granulated sugar 

1 teaspoon whole cardamom pods

  • STEP 1: Combine the flours, yeast, sugar, salt, and ground cardamom in a mixing bowl. Add the milk and mix with your hand or a wooden spoon until all the milk is absorbed. 

  • STEP 2: Tip the dough onto a clean work surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Flatten the dough, place the butter in the middle, and wrap up the dough around the butter. Continue to knead the dough for approximately another 5 minutes until all the butter is absorbed and the dough is smooth. Immediately after adding the butter, the dough will become oily and sticky. Keep kneading. Eventually, the butter will be absorbed, resulting in a smooth and supple dough. 

  • STEP 3: Perform a windowpane test to check if the dough has been kneaded enough: take a small chunk, approximately the size of a golf ball, and stretch it between your fingers until it’s thin enough for you to see light through it. If the dough tears before you can stretch it to that degree, knead for two more minutes.

  • STEP 4: Place the dough back into the bowl, and cover with cling film or a damp towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes; it should double in size. If your kitchen is cold, let the dough rise in the oven with the light on, which will be warm enough to allow for the dough to rise. Meanwhile, make the cardamom filling by mixing all the ingredients together and set it aside. 

  • STEP 5: When the dough is ready, tip it onto a lightly floured surface. Deflate the dough by pressing down gently with your fingertips. Cover and rest for 10 minutes. 

  • STEP 6: After resting, roll the dough into a 12-inch square. This will take some patience. Try your best to make sure the dough has straight sides and right angles. 

  • STEP 7: Spread the cardamom filling on the dough with a spatula. Cover the square completely. Fold the dough in half and roll out the dough again until it’s 15 inches long. 

  • STEP 8: Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut out ½ inch wide strips along the long side. Once you have cut all the strips, you can begin wrapping the knots. 

  • STEP 9: Starting from one end, wrap one strand along with the tips of your thumb and four fingers (three if you have big hands) twice. Twist slightly as you wrap so that the dough is misaligned, like making a ball of yarn. Then, slip your fingers out of the roll, and loop the strand around one last time, tucking the end and the thumb loop into the bottom of the knot. 
    • If the strands are too short, you can take a second strand and pinch it to join the first, making a bigger knot. If you have extra dough, simply pinch it off and use it to make the next knot.
    • Once wrapped, make sure the end is tucked into the bottom to prevent the knot from untangling. 

  • STEP 10: Place the knots on a baking paper-lined baking tray. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes. The knots should grow 70% in size.

  • STEP 11: Preheat the oven to 375°F. 

  • OPTIONAL STEP 12: brush the knots with beaten egg to get a golden brown finish. 

  • STEP 13: Bake the knots for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. While baking, make the cardamom glaze by combining all the ingredients in a saucepan and cooking on medium heat until you get a thick syrup. 

  • STEP 14: Take the knots out of the oven and immediately brush the syrup all over the buns to give them a beautiful sheen and add extra cardamom flavor. 

Let cool and enjoy!