Sweet Turkish coffee cardamom buns

Turkish coffee knots - like Swedish kanelbullar buns flavoured with coffee and cardamom

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Turkish coffee kanelbullar-style knots: buns flavoured with cardamom and coffeee


Comfort. I love comfort. My wardrobe full of elastic waistband pants is proof of that. No joke. I am an expert on comfort. All my pants have super stretchy elastic waistbands that expand and contract with me as I overeat or undereat, depending on my mood. My pants are very comfy, but probably not really cool. I glanced through my closet the other day in dismay. When did my entire wardrobe become a comfort-wear-only zone. Anything that is tight, form-fitting, snug, or remotely sexy is pushed to the back or tucked in a very bottom drawer, completely out of sight. If it’s a top or a dress that hugs my curves ever so slightly, it gets rejected. My clothes are mostly loose and flowy, some items might fall into the “shapeless” category. I feel like my love of comfort-wear may have debuted when I started binge-watching Netflix instead of reading books. I’m quite certain the two are related. And the two combined are probably to blame for me being trapped in singledom. Sigh.


Turkish coffee kanelbullar knots: buns flavoured with cardamom and coffeeeComfort is… well, comfort is comforting. Comfort soothes and makes me feel safe. Comfort has me sticking to my schedule and has me following a weekly schedule that almost never changes. Comfort has me in a routine, a routine that I don’t like to deviate from. This applies to work as well as life. There are definitely pros and cons to comfort. Isn’t it so easy to be comfortable, to stay put, to not change a thing, to hide inside while others live their lives, to repetitively do the same things over and over? I watch others progress and move forward to new and exciting projects, travelling, getting married, having kids, moving around. Sure, with anything exciting and new, not every moment is “up”. But while they move on, I stay here in the “comfort zone”. I keep to my routine of bed to desk/kitchen to gym to couch to bed. That’s my daily routine at least 5 or 6 days a week. It’s extremely safe. Ask me to deviate, and I find myself grimacing and/or hesitating. Deviation requires thought. Do I feel up for it? Am I motivated enough? Is this activity going to be difficult? Is it going to be very social and demanding of my attention at a time when I feel like I have less and less of it to give?

The same goes for this blog. Comfort has me sticking to the same style of pictures: an overhead, horizontal shot with a bit of empty space where I can fit text—I need a picture like that for the opening of every blog post. The rest of the shots are usually vertical. Add a fork and a napkin to give the shot some life. Take a bite or a forkful from the plate. Tear the bread. Slice the cake. That’s a wrap. Suivant next! Over and over again. Did I just blog about cookies? Well, I guess I can make a cake next. I’ve already posted 3 cakes this year? Then, it’s time for bread. It’s not always planned, but I don’t veer off too far. None of it is easy, honestly, but most of it is very routine. Every recipe involves me calculating ratios and drowning myself in a spreadsheet. We all know how much I love ratios and spreadsheets. It’s all very safe and very comfortable, like my stretchy pants and shapeless tops. But at same time, sometimes I think I end up watching others advance, from my comfortable seat surrounded by a barrier that is comfort, as though I’m watching longingly from behind a glass window as everybody plays outside. At a certain point, the comfort zone leads to that awful feeling of being left out. I make excuses like I can’t because I don’t have a partner or a husband to hold my hand or even just to hold the camera while I attempt something new. That’s w hat friends and tripods are for. I make a lot of excuses.


Turkish coffee kanelbullar knots: buns flavoured with cardamom and coffeeeFor months (probably years, to be honest), I’ve watched other bloggers post about their kanelbullar adventures, yielding the most beautiful swirly twirly bread bun knots, with photos worthy of magazine covers, I swear. I watched, but I didn’t even bother attempting. I mean, come on! Swirly twirly buns that are seemingly more complicated to make than a cinnamon bun? As if! But then, last week, after making these cocoa coffee cookies and inspired by the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (available on Amazon), I decided to step out of my comfort zone and face the swirly twirly kanelbullar bread buns. And while making them, I figured I’d put together a story of the entire process on Snapchat AND I decided to film myself swirling the bread dough to knot it into a shape like the kanelbullar buns that I had been ogling for years. I even shared a video on Instagram the day I made these, on top of everything else I attempted that day. I decided to take a plunge and just try. I gave it my all. Not bad for the girl wearing stretchy pants who seems perpetually stuck in the “comfort zone” of life.


Turkish coffee kanelbullar knots and coffee: buns flavoured with cardamom and coffeeeOf course, when I was working on this recipe, I made a spreadsheet as usual. I had to do something that was familiar and comforting that day! And then, I just went for it. I took snaps every step of the way to show how to make a dough in the mixer, to show what it looked like, to illustrate every step of the process. I even talked while recording. It was obviously very awkward. I’m not sure it really sounded like me. My accent sounds far more Canadian on Snapchat than I think it is in real life. I also realized I’m rather monotonous when I record myself talking. I shared it all anyways, boring Canadian voice and all. And when it was all done, I felt extremely proud and accomplished, like I wasn’t going to be the girl behind the window watching the world go by from the safety of her comfort zone. I decided that everything I’m attempting is good practice. Practice for what? I don’t know yet. It doesn’t even matter why. I still made a video and I’m sharing it here. That’s the point. To step out of the comfort zone, to try a new recipe, a new technique, to face the challenge of something different and unfamiliar.

I love lightly spiced breads, like this no-knead cinnamon raisin bread. But sometimes it’s nice to change things up a bit. This recipe for kanelbullar (or maybe these are more like Scandinavian knutar buns flavoured with cardamom?) is different than all the sweet knotted cinnamon (and cardamom) bun recipes that I found on the interweb. I have a spreadsheet to prove it. I came up with a formula that I ended up having to adjust with a bit more flour than I expected before coming to this final recipe. The Scandinavians like to flavour their buns with lots of cardamom, which brought me to the conclusion that with a little coffee added to it all, we’d have Turkish coffee buns. Sweet Turkish coffee is my favourite, a strong coffee with lots of cardamom. Turkish coffee was the inspiration for this recipe: I had a hunch that transforming a traditional Scandinavian cardamom bun into a Turkish coffee bun would work out well, and this recipe actually turned out better than I expected! I survived (with 12 gorgeous buns to show for all my efforts) to face another challenge of stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new.

Turkish coffee buns

Turkish coffee kanelbullar knots: buns flavoured with cardamom and coffeee
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4.67 from 3 votes

Turkish coffee cardamom buns

These swirly knotted buns are like Swedish kanelbullar buns, flavoured with coffee and cardamom, reminiscent of Turkish coffee
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American, Swedish
Keyword Swedish cardamom buns
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 12 buns
Calories 386kcal
Author Janice


For the bread dough

  • 313 mL whole milk (3.25 % fat) 1 1/4 cups
  • 8 grams active dry yeast 1 packet
  • 375 grams all-purpose flour 3 cups
  • 156 grams whole wheat flour 1 1/4 cups
  • 3 tsp cardamom pods ground with a mortar & pestle to give 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp fine kosher salt
  • 100 grams granulated sugar 1/2 cup
  • 1 large egg
  • 58 grams unsalted butter 1/4 cup, softened
  • whole milk (3.25 % fat) to brush on buns before baking

For the filling

  • 115 grams unsalted butter softened
  • 100 grams muscovado sugar 1/2 cup, or you can use brown sugar
  • 3 tsp cardamom pods ground with a mortar & pestle to give 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder

For the syrup glaze

  • 125 mL water 1/2 cup
  • 100 grams granulated sugar 1/2 cup
  • 3 tsp cardamom pods ground with a mortar & pestle to give 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3 tbsp ground coffee beans
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste


Make the dough

  • Heat the milk to 110ºF (43ºC), then stir in the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes to bubble and proof.
  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flours, cardamom, salt, and granulated sugar. Mix well.
  • After the yeast has proofed and is foamy, whisk in the egg, then pour this mixture into the mixer bowl. Drop in the butter too. Mix with the paddle on medium–low until the dough comes together and all the ingredients are well mixed and hydrated.
  • Switch to the dough hook. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes until the dough forms a ball.
  • Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the microwave (turned off, door closed) for about an hour until doubled in size.

Make the filling

  • Cream together the butter with the muscavado, cardamom, and espresso powder. Set aside.

Assemble and bake the buns

  • Transfer the risen dough to a lightly floured surface (don't use too much flour!). Roll it out to a 12x16 inch rectangle.
  • Spread the filling mixture evenly over the entire surface of the rectangle. Fold in half, lengthwise, then cut into 12 strips.
  • Working with 1 strip at a time, twist and twirl the strip on itself into a spiral, then wrap it around your hand and pull the end through to knot it (see video).
  • Transfer shaped buns to two large parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover with towels and let rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Make the glaze and bake the buns

  • Just before baking, brush the buns with a little whole milk to moisten them. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until they are a deep golden brown.
  • While the buns are baking, make the syrup by combining the water, sugar, cardamom, and freshly ground coffee. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the mixture steep for 10 minutes, then strain into a heatproof bowl or glass. Mix in the vanilla bean paste.
  • As soon as the buns are baked, remove the pans from the oven. Immediately brush the buns with the syrup. Give every bun a coat of glaze, then coat them again.
  • Let the buns cool, then serve immediately


  • Vanilla bean paste is an item that you can find in some specialty stores. I like the vanilla bean paste from Nielson Massey, available on Amazon
Tried this recipe?Mention @kitchenhealssoul or tag #kitchenhealssoul!


Calories: 386kcal


cardamom, coffee, new, Turkish coffee

15 Responses to Sweet Turkish coffee cardamom buns

  1. Shareba April 20, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

    I’m a baggy sweatpants & Netflix loving woman myself, so I hear what you’re saying. Comfort gets me through the week! That being said, I’m continually impressed with how you’re working so hard to improve your blog, and you are trying new things. Give yourself more credit!

    • Janice April 22, 2016 at 11:20 am #

      Thanks, Shareba! I really appreciate the support! We should start a baggy sweatpants & Netflix addiction support group 😉

  2. Nathalie April 21, 2016 at 9:14 am #

    Je ne laisse malheureusement pas souvent de commentaire, c’est le premier ici et pourtant je te suis avec attention depuis un bon moment. Manque de temps, j’ose pas… C’est assez nul quand on sait le travail que tout ça représente parce que c’est important de dire quand on aime.
    Enfin, là impossible de rester silencieuse, ça donne trop envie ces petites choses.
    Et puis la vidéo c’est vraiment chouette. BRAVO!!!
    Bref j’adore venir ici 😉

    • Janice April 22, 2016 at 11:26 am #

      Bonjour Nathalie! Merci pour ton commentaire. Je ne sais pas vraiment comment tourner des vidéos, ni comment les monter et faire tout le “post-processing” qui suit, mais j’essaye quand même! Et ça me fait peur chaque fois que je commence, mais c’est aussi vraiment le fun. Je suis super contente que tu as aimé ma petite vidéo! Ça me rassure que je ne perds pas mon temps 😉 Je vais continuer d’essayer pleines de nouvelles choses pour mieux illustrer les recettes! Merci & bon week-end!

  3. MDIVADOMESTICA April 22, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Mmmmmm…..the smell of cardamom baking in the oven. Heavenly.

  4. Alexandra | Occasionally Eggs April 22, 2016 at 11:42 am #

    What a wonderful combination! I think these sound perfect. I am all about comfortable clothes too, and anything that resembles a tent is something I want to wear. Pants are for suckers. I also always put a little elastic around the button if I have to wear jeans or pants to make everything a little comfier. Way to step out of your comfort zone with this recipe, though! Isn’t knotting the buns fun?

  5. Hannah @ Outinvancouver April 22, 2016 at 11:50 am #

    These look so delicious and cute. I am doing a no sweets month at the moment (only until May, so almost there!!) but once I eat sweets again, this is the first thing I am going to try! And then I will eat the whole batch myself probably 🙂

  6. Cassie @ Crumb Kitchen April 23, 2016 at 6:58 am #

    These look fantastic, Janice! So ornate. I love that you included a video in there, that’s super helpful.

    Also, regarding comfort: I FEEL YOU. Sweatpants all the way! Don’t worry too much about ‘singledom’ as you call it. I just found someone who does the same thing haha, and that works. 😉

  7. Jacque November 14, 2019 at 7:09 am #

    These are special! It’s my first experience with cardamom and I adore this lovely spice. My house smells wonderful, husband and houseguests impressed. I have made them twice in a week. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.


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