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Swedish Cardamom Coffee Cake

Makes 2 loaves

© by Shari Scheske

Jewel Peterson Ouradnik at Grandma’s Swedish Bakery in Door County, Wisconsin makes this cardamom coffee cake from her mother’s original recipe.


  • Milk 2 cups
  • Butter ½ cup
  • Salt 2 tsp
  • Sugar ½ cup
  • Active Dry Yeast 1 Tbs
  • Eggs 2 large
  • Flour 5 cups*
  • Oil to coat dough
  • Ground Cardamom 1½ Tbs
  • Heavy Cream or Half & Half  3 Tbs

Cardamom Sugar

  • Sugar ¼ cup
  • Ground Cardamom ½ tsp

Cook It

  1. Warm the milk and butter together in saucepan until butter is softened and not too hot. In a mixing bowl combine milk/butter mixture, salt, sugar and yeast. Set aside until yeast is dissolved.
  2. Add the eggs and half the flour and beat well. Gradually add the remaining flour and continue mixing for at least 10 minutes in a mixer or until the dough is sticky and pulls away from side of the bowl.
  3. Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth and not sticky. Place into an oiled bowl and oil the top of the dough so it doesn’t dry out. Cover with a towel and put in warm place until dough doubles in size.
  4. Turn the dough onto lightly floured board and press into a square shape. Sprinkle with ground cardamom and fold top half over bottom half so that cardamom is between the dough layers.
  5. Roll the dough back to a square. Cut in two; then cut each section vertically into 3 even strands but keep joined at the very top, start point of the braid. Gently stretch each strand and braid the dough into an even braid. Scrunch to 10 inches on a greased cookie sheet. Allow to rise until double in size.
  6. Baste with cream and with sprinkle cardamom sugar. Bake at 350˚F for 35-45 minutes until golden brown and a light touch in the centre leaves no indentation.

Note: The coffee cake freeze well. Defrost, slice, wrap in foil and put in oven at 250˚F for 15 minutes; serve warm. It’s as yummy as the day you made it!

*You may need up to 1 cup more, added during the kneading stage if the dough is too sticky.