Saffron & Cardamom Knots

A delicious cardamom filling wrapped in a soft dough & loaded with a bunch of dark berries. It’s a common thing in nordic bakeries, especially in Copenhagen. Easy to find it almost everywhere as “Kardemommeboller” in Denmark.

Baked these saffron buns for breakfast a few days ago to pair with a fresh morning coffee, while I was reading Nilsson’s Nordic Cookbook, which explains me a lot about this atmosphere.

“For me Denmark is a country where people seem to enjoy life a bit of a more frivolously than the rest of us. It is perfectly fine to drink a couple shots of Aquavit for lunch now and then; to have a slice of rye bread with a layer of fatty Liver Pâté so thick that you leave teeth marks in it when you have taken a bite; it is fine to enjoy a smoke and have a very pleasant time without feeling guilty about it.
This carefree and convivial approach to life manifests itself in a mood between people, an atmosphere described in Danish as hygge.” Magnus Nilsson, The Nordic CookBook


Saffron is typically used in small quantities – a few threads, or a “pinch” – and rehydrated in a small amount of warm liquid before using, in order to extract both flavor and color. The main pigment is water soluble, but the inclusion of some alcohol or fat in the extraction liquid will dissolve additional fat-soluble carotenoids. Thats why it’s important to start infusing process one night before with alcohol. To start the the infusion you should grind saffron envelopes with sugar & alcohol. You will use these base as an aromatic for the filling.

One night before
1 g saffron
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp  vodka

200g soft butter
100g granulated sugar
1 tsp  freshly ground cardamom
+ Infused saffron

60g  soft butter
60g  granulated sugar
2  large eggs
25g  fresh yeast
500g  all purpose flour
1 tbsp  freshly ground cardamom
250g  milk
1 tbsp  ground turmeric

Egg wash
1 large egg, lightly beaten
pearl sugar, any kind of aromatic sugar or chopped nuts




  1. Mix the ingredients for the filling, add the saffron infused vodka to your filling and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, mix soft butter, sugar, cardamom, turmeric and eggs in a large bowl.
  3. In a saucepan slightly heat milk, remove from heat and sprinkle yeast. Stir until dissolved.
  4. Add milk to butter mixture.
  5. Gradually add flour, add salt at the end and work until dough is smooth & elastic. Cover with a cloth till doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes. This process depends on the temperature of the kitchen.
  6. When dough is ready, start by rolling out a large rectangle. Spread the filling on the half of the rectangle & fold it over.
  7. Cut long strips of dough around 2 cm wide, roll the strip around your fingers two times & tie a knot.
  8. Put on parchment paper & cover with a cloth again leave it to rise around 20-30 minutes.
  9. When they are ready brush with beaten egg, sprinkle whatever you want.
    Bake for about 10-13 minutes, in a preheated oven to 220°C. Baking time is depending on the size of your knots & type of the oven.


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