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Sticky cardamom Christmas bun

Sticky cardamom Christmas bun

Inspired by Danish brunsviger, this bun has a wonderfully sticky brown-sugar topping that sinks into the dimpled, cardamom-spiced dough as it bakes. Leave it to prove overnight in the fridge, ready to be baked the next morning.

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  • Makes15
  • CourseBrunch
  • Prepare35 mins
  • Cook40 mins
  • Total time1 hr 15 mins
  • Pluscooling and proving

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  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 British Blacktail Medium Free Range Eggs
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 15 cardamom pods, seeds finely ground
  • Sunflower oil, for greasing


  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 160g dark brown soft sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract


  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, then tip into a heatproof bowl and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, heat the milk in the same pan over a very low heat until just warm to the touch. In a large bowl, use a fork to whisk together the flour and salt; set aside. Pour the lukewarm milk into a stand mixer fitted with a doughhook, then add the cooled melted butter, egg, sugar, yeast and ground cardamom. Mix on a low speed until combined. With the mixer running, gradually add the flour mixture, a spoonful at a time, until combined.

  2. Knead the dough (using the dough hook and scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally) for 5-7 minutes until smooth and elastic; it will still be sticky. Grease a large mixing bowl, then scrape the dough into it, cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise at room temperature for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

  3. Grease and line a baking tin (about 20cm x 30cm) with baking parchment. Knock back the dough, then transfer to the tin, pressing it into the edges. Cover with a damp tea towel and set aside to prove at room temperature for about 1 hour until puffed up. (Or let it prove overnight in the fridge; bring back to room temperature for about 1 hour before baking.)

  4. Meanwhile (or the following morning), for the topping, melt the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring, until combined (about 10 minutes). Stir in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool slightly for 10-15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6.

  5. Once the dough is puffed up, make deep dimples in the surface using an oiled thumb. Spoon the topping over the dough, spreading it evenly almost to the edges. Put a large baking tray on a lower oven shelf to catch any drips, then bake for 22-25 minutes until golden and the top is bubbling. Leave to cool in the tin, then enjoy warm or at room temperature, cut into squares. It’s best eaten on the day of baking, but any leftovers can be wrapped in foil and gently reheated in the oven the next day.

Cook’s tip

No stand mixer? Make the dough in a large bowl, combining the ingredients with a balloon whisk; knead by hand for 10 minutes on a lightly floured work surface. It is a sticky mixture, but avoid adding too much extra flour or the dough will become dry and heavy.


Typical values per item when made using specific products in recipe


1,276kJ/ 304kcals



Saturated Fat












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5 out of 5 stars1 rating