Swedish Vanilla Buns

Swedish Vanilla Buns (Vaniljbullar) are sweet, enriched, yeasted buns flavoured with cardamom, filled with an enticing creme patisserie and then delicately dusted with sugar.  Light as a feather and mouthwateringly delicious.

These Swedish custard buns set themselves apart from any other.  Although they don’t quite have the same classic status as Cinnamon & Cardamom Buns, they are still popular with young and old in Sweden.

Louise at Nordic Kitchen Stories has introduced the tangzhong method into this recipe. 

What on earth is the tangzhong method you ask?, you ask.

"Well, it has its origins in Japan", says Louise. "A yeasted bread technique that involves cooking a portion of flour into a thick roux prior, to then add to the dough ingredients, resulting in soft, fluffy bread, that stays fresh a little longer."

She adds:

"If you follow the simple steps below, I guarantee you, you’ll have delicious, light and extremely more-ish buns to share with your family and friends."



Text, recipe and photo: Louise Hurst, Nordic Kitchen Stories


Swedish Vanilla Buns



75 ml Water

75 ml milk

25 g strong white bread flour


30 g fresh yeast or 14g fast action yeast

250 ml milk

3 g sea salt

595 g strong white bread flour

2 tsp freshly ground cardamom

40 g caster sugar

110 g butter room temperature

1 egg extra for glazing


Creme patisserie

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

395 g whole milk

100 g caster sugar

5 egg yolks medium

50 g cornflour

15 g unsalted butter room temperature



melted butter for brushing

caster sugar




Place all three ingredients in a small saucepan. Whisk together with a balloon whisk, on a medium heat until it thickens and bubbles. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl and cover. Once it’s cooled to room temperature, it’s ready to use.

Creme patisserie

Pour the milk into a saucepan and set to a low heat. In a bowl beat the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla bean paste and cornflour until pale and fluffy.

When the milk has come to a simmer, pour over the egg mixture, whisking as you pour.

Now pour the mixture back into the saucepan on a medium-heat, beating continuously. The mixture will thicken substantially. Pour into a clean bowl and whisk in the butter. Place a parchment disc directly on the surface of the custard to stop a skin forming. Cool completely before using. 


Pour the milk into a small saucepan and heat to 38°C, remove from the heat and add the fresh yeast, whisk to incorporate (if using fast action yeast add it to the flour). Place the flour, tangzhong, cardamom, sugar and salt in the bowl of a free standing mixer with the dough hook attached. Add the milk mixture and egg with the motor running. Mix until a dough forms on a slow speed.  Once the dough has come together add the butter, increase the pace to medium/high and work the dough for another 5-8 minutes or until it feels shiny and smooth.

Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a tea towel and let it rest for 20-30 minutes to rest.

Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Roll the dough into a long sausage and then divide into 16 even sized pieces. Roll each piece with a cupped hand into a bun shape. Then take a rolling pan and roll out into a flat disc. Repeat with the other buns. Place onto a lined baking tray. Prove for 35-40 minutes or until well risen.

Preheat the oven to 200C fan.

Now take the creme patisserie and whisk with a balloon or a hand electric whisk, beat until smooth. Place the creme patisserie in a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle.

Once the buns have risen, carefully insert the nozzle into the centre of the bun and pipe some of the creme pat into the bun then finish with a swirl on the top. Brush with beaten egg and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Once the buns have cooled, bush with melted butter and roll them in caster sugar. Devour!


Louise's tips!

"I often make the dough the day before and prove in the fridge.  When you are ready to bake the next day, follow from stage 3.  Because the dough is cold they will take longer to rise on the second proving."

"In order to speed proving up you can place the buns in the oven, SWITCHED OFF, with a bowl of freshly boiled water, don’t cover them."

Find more delicious recipes on Nordic Kitchen Stories' website.

Read more

Pastry Parcels with Västerbottensost Cheese

Pastry Parcels with Västerbottensost Cheese



Oven Pancake

Oven Pancake