Cardamom Bread: Your New Favorite Bread Machine Recipe (2024)

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Sneak Preview: This crazy-good Cardamom Bread (aka Swedish Cardamom Bread or Pulla Bread) is a rich and sweet yeast bread mixed in a bread machine and then shaped into a braid by hand. After a final rise, bake it in your oven for a delicate and delicious crust. It’s a winner!

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Secret ingredients have a magical attraction for me. I want to be part of the inner circle that knows what it takes to make a recipe memorable and irresistibly tasty.

This recipe for Bread Machine Cardamom Bread (also known as Pulla Bread) is a sweet and rich yeast bread with a magic ingredient: cardamom!

You may not have that spice in your kitchen now, but after you try this bread, you’ll never be without it again.

Happy Bakers Speak Up

“What a perfect bread! It is delicious in every way. The cardamom adds such a unique, warm flavor. It may look complicated, but it isn’t, so I urge you to give it a try and be amazed!” NANCY N.

What Does Cardamom Bread Taste Like?

It is a soft bread (all-purpose flour is your first clue) with a sweetness that goes great with a cup of tea or coffee. The crust is glazed with milk to add color and serves to glue down the sugar sprinkled over the top.

Serve this instead of cinnamon rolls for a special occasion, holiday, or company. It may be unexpected, but your family and friends will love the subtle cardamom seasoning even if they can’t identify it. Of course, the braid makes a spectacular presentation.

Slice thickly and serve with lemon or orange curd, your favorite jelly, or room-temperature butter.

What Is Cardamom Powder?

It is an aromatic spice originating from a green cardamom pod. The powder has a sweet, intense flavor and aroma that’s difficult to describe. It looks like a pale-colored cinnamon powder, but its taste is different and exotic.

There are other types of cardamom, but the powder is what you most commonly see in the spice aisle at your local supermarket.

Where do I buy cardamom?

If you’re like me, you don’t want to pay $4-5+ for a spice to use in only one recipe–especially an experiment. I suggest buying a small amount where spices are sold in bulk.

This is an excellent idea if you live in a metroplex area with stores like Central Market, Whole Foods, or Winco.

If you live in a less populated area, you may not have that luxury. In which case, trust me, cardamom is worth the money. (Check Amazon if you can’t find it at the grocery store.)

You’ll find other uses for cardamom if you are a baker. Check out my Banana Whole Wheat Bread recipe that alsocalls for cardamom. It isone of my all-timefavorites.

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What can I substitute for cardamom?

You might be tempted to substitute cinnamon. Of course, you could,and it will probably be delicious.

But I promise, if you try the cardamom, people will rave. They will ask you about that mysterious flavor. Then, more than likely, they will come back for another slice. It is THAT good!

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Ingredients and Substitutions

  • FLOUR: I always keep unbleached flour in the house, which I use. Bleached all-purpose flour will work, too.
    • Speaking of flour, I recommend you weigh it, if possible. It is so much better than any dipping method. Investing in digital scales and using them will improve your baking if you make a lot of bread. Promise!
  • YEAST: Anytime you use a bread machine, instant yeast or bread machine yeast makes it easy. But if you only have active dry yeast in the house, you can use it instead. No need to dissolve it these days. Use it in the same amount and in the same way as instant yeast. It is often slower to activate, but it will happen.
  • MILK: I prefer whole milk. Substitute low-fat or fat-free milk, but your bread won’t be as rich. By the way, there is no need to heat the milk. The friction of the blades will heat your ingredients in a hurry.
  • CARDAMOM: It’s the distinctive ingredient in this recipe. You could leave it out or substitute cinnamon, but I don’t recommend it.
  • SUGAR TOPPING: I use regular granulated sugar. Many people use sanding sugar (larger particles) on top. Suit yourself.

How To Shape the Dough into a Braid

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Remove the bread to a wire rack to cool before slicing.

FAQs About Cardamom Bread

If I don’t want to braid this loaf, what else can I do?

If braiding intimidates you or you don’t want to mess with it, place the three balls side-by-side into a 9 x 5-inch bread pan. Let it rise, glaze it with milk, sprinkle it with sugar, and bake as directed.

Can I bake this bread in a bread machine?

If you prefer to bake this bread in the bread machine, set the machine for a regular bread cycle that mixes, kneads, and bakes. You won’t get the beautiful braided shape, the lovely texture, or a thin and tender crust. But hopefully, it will taste just as good.

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Parting thoughts: This is one of my favorite bread recipes on this website. You will love it. If you have leftovers, I recommend slicing this loaf (after a day or two old) and making sweet melba toasts with cinnamon and sugar. They are irresistible and make a great gift.

Recipe Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

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Yield: 12 slices

Cardamom Bread Recipe (aka Swedish Cardamom Bread) for a Bread Machine

Cardamom Breadis a sweet yeast bread recipe designed for mixing and kneading in a bread machine. Cardamom is the ingredient that makes this recipe stand apart from the others.

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Prep time: 2 hours hours 45 minutes minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes minutes

Total time: 3 hours hours 15 minutes minutes


  • ¾ cup (170 g) milk cool
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon table or sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 large (50 g) egg
  • ¼ cup (57 g) butter chopped
  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast


  • 2 tablespoons milk


  • Add 3/4 cup (170 g) milk, 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon (½ teaspoon) table or sea salt, 3/4 teaspoon (¾ teaspoon) cardamom, 1 large (50 g) egg, 1/4 cup (57 g) butter, 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose unbleached flour, and 2 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast to the bread machine pan in the order given. Select the DOUGH cycle.

  • Open the lid after a minute and check to ensure the paddles are engaged and working correctly. The dough should start to clump.

    If the dough looks like pancake batter or is dry and crumbly, you may have inadvertently mismeasured an ingredient, or perhaps there is a mistake in the recipe. Add flour, one tablespoon at a time if the dough is too wet. Add liquid if the dough is too dry (wait a couple of minutes between each addition).

  • Recheck your dough again after 15-18 minutes. The dough should stick to the sides, then pull away cleanly. See the video to watch this in action. Note how shiny and elastic the dough is.

    If you aren’t sure if your dough looks right, read more about this surprising secret that will help you make fabulous bread every time.

  • When the DOUGH cycle is completed, the dough should be smooth, elastic, and risen to double the original size. Remove the dough from the pan to a lightly floured surface.

  • Divide into 3 balls and let the dough relax for about 10 minutes.

  • Roll each ball into a long rope approximately 14 inches long. Braid these shapes, pinching ends under, securely. Place the braid on a prepared cookie sheet

  • If this method doesn’t work for you, divide the dough into two or three balls. Use your fingers to pull the dough to the bottom and pinch to seal. Place the balls smooth side up next to each other into a 9 x 5-inch bread pan.

  • Set aside to rise again until the braid is not quite double the original size.

  • Brush the 2 tablespoons milk over the braid and carefully sprinkle with a light coating of sugar.

  • Bake in a preheated oven at 375˚F (190˚C) for 20 to 25 minutes. Cover with foil for the last 10 minutes, if necessary, to prevent over-browning. Move from the cookie sheet to a cooling rack.


Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:

  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer: Add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on LOW to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Then, using a dough hook, turn the speed to 2 or 3. Continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand: Combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Kneading will likely take 10-20 minutes, depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate the dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: If you only have active dry yeast, use 1/4 teaspoon more than called for in the recipe. It no longer needs to be dissolved first, but you can if you prefer.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 144mg | Potassium: 83mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 163IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a

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Cardamom Bread: Your New Favorite Bread Machine Recipe (2024)


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