Norwegian cardamom rolls “sjokoladeboller”

Norwegian cardamom rolls sjokoladeboller are irresistible yeast buns with chocolate chips. They are incredibly popular in Norway, I’d dare to say as much as cinnamon buns in Sweden. Just add a big cup of black coffee…

These Norwegian cardamom rolls with chocolate chips are the best thing to get at a gas station during a Norwegian road trip! But don't worry, you can also easily make them at home and enjoy the flavour of cardamom and chocolate chips in these delicious yeast buns from Norway.

Sjokoladeboller are one of the most popular yeast buns in Norway. You can find them everywhere, but my favourite come from gas stations! Any time I’d be on the road in Norway, I’d get those at every fuel stop. Gas station sjokoladeboller are a true guilty pleasure on a Norwegian road trip. Just like stocking on Kvikk Lunsj bars are my guilty pleasure at every grocery haul in Norway, but that’s another story.

I spent six months studying in Oslo in 2009 and baking sjokoladeboller was an activity we international students had to check off our list of very Norwegian things to do. I wasn’t much of a baker back then, so I remember that I just helped shape up the dough balls. The recipe is not that difficult, anyway, and I remember that the buns we baked were as good as the gas station ones, in the end.

Norwegian chocolate chip buns with cardamom.

Cardamom buns versus chocolate balls?

Sjokoladeboller are just one variation of hveteboller (wheat buns). If they feature chocolate chips, they’ll be the chocolate ones, but you can also get them plain or with raisins. It goes without saying that the chocolate chip ones are my favourite. But there’s more to their appeal. Chocolate chips are just one of the key flavours, but I’d dare to say not the dominant one.

Cardamom is what makes these Norwegian yeast buns so special. Cardamom was not a flavour I was familiar with during my Oslo days. I clearly remember not being able to place the peculiar flavour that these Norwegian buns had. Yet they tasted special, and I only learned years later why. It was the cardamom. And the fact that it was not so obviously stated in their name made it all feel like it was some sort of secret ingredient.

Sjokoladeboller literally translates as chocolate buns. 5 years after my Oslo days I moved to Sweden and I remember that when I first heard of chokladbollar I thought I had found the Swedish version of the Norwegian cardamom rolls. I am not ashamed to say it was disappointment I felt when I was offered a Swedish chokladboll and discovered it was not a yeast roll but a no-bake butter and oats praline, instead.

Turns out that Norwegian boller translates in Swedish as bullar, meaning buns. Not bollar, which means balls. The Swedish treats that go by a pretty similar name are in fact chocolate balls, and very much not chocolate buns as I was hoping they’d be. Here’s my chocolate ball recipe, so you can get an idea. They are delicious, but they were not the Norwegian cardamom rolls I longed to taste.

Norwegian cardamom roll divided in half.

Homemade Norwegian cardamom rolls

Turns out Sweden doesn’t quite have an equivalent of sjokoladeboller. Sure Sweden also makes large use of cardamom in its pastry tradition. Did you know that there’s not only cinnamon in the Swedish cinnamon buns? Sweden even has their own cardamom buns – kardemummabullar – but they’re made with coarsely ground cardamom and usually have pearl sugar rather than chocolate chips.

The bottom line? If I wanted to have my Norwegian cardamom buns I had 2 options:

  • drive 4 hours to the nearest Norwegian gas station, or
  • make them myself, like back in the good old Oslo days with my flatmates.

Memory Lane defeated Road Trip that day.

Norwegian chocolate chip rolls with cardamom.Norwegian cardamom rolls with chocolate chips.

Norwegian cardamom rolls recipe

For the cardamom roll recipe I have turned to one of Norway’s most popular food blogs, Trines Matblogg. An Oslo friend swore all of Norway follows her recipes, so I deemed her as the most trusted source. Just like the Swedes when they embark in their baking adventures, judging from Trine’s recipe even Norwegians don’t go easy on bake day. What I mean is they bake for an army! Insane amounts! The average Scandinavian home baker either has a lot of children or a very big freezer, but I have neither of those. So I decided to halve the original recipe and go for a more modest yield.

If you want to train your Norwegian skills or have a larger party, feel free to follow the original sjokoladeboller recipe. Otherwise stick along and gather the following ingredients:

  • 450 g flour
  • 250 ml milk
  • 75 g sugar
  • 12,5 g fresh yeast
  • 1/2 tsp finely ground cardamom
  • 75 g softened butter

The original recipe also calls for an egg in the dough, plus eggwash to brush on the buns prior to baking. I decided to tweak my recipe and make my Norwegian cardamom rolls eggless!

Oven tray with 9 baked yeast balls.

How to make sjokoladeboller

  • Warm the milk to lukewarm (about 20°C). Crumble the fresh yeast in the milk and stir to dissolve.
  • Combine the flour, sugar and finely ground cardamom in a mixing bowl. Pour in the milk and yeast mixture. Mix with an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook for 10 minutes. After that, add the softened butter little by little, always mixing to incorporate.
  • At the very end stop the mixer and add the chocolate chips. Stir them in with a rubber spatula. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 1 1/2 hour.

Yeast dough with chocolate chips in a white bowl.

  • After the first rise, take the dough out of the bowl. Divide it into 9 smaller balls aiming for the same weight. It is easy to weigh the dough and divide its weight by 9.
  • Place the 9 balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, gently flattening their bottom. Let proof for 45 minutes.
  • Gently brush some cold milk on top of each ball. Alternatively you can use eggwash for a shinier finish.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven at 225°C (440°F) for 12 minutes.

Brushing milk over unbaked wheat bun.

Enjoy the Norwegian cardamom rolls either warm from the oven, or cooled to room temperature. While many people love when the yeast flavour is enhanced by a higher serving temperature, I enjoy my cardamom buns most when they have completely cooled. Nothing beats the crunch of a chocolate chip, when you bite into one.

Norway appreciation time!

Life brought me to Sweden, but I will always have a big love for neighbouring Norway. Along with my recipes I like to throw in a couple travel posts on this blog from time to time. So here’s a collection of posts dedicated to my favourite country, to inspire your Norwegian wanderlust. Grab a sjokoladebolle and enjoy a travel post.

Norwegian chocolate chip rolls with cardamom.
5 from 10 votes
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Norwegian cardamom rolls sjokoladeboller

A classic Norwegian recipe to make sweet yeast buns with cardamom and chocolate chips.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Norwegian, Scandinavian
Keyword cardamom rolls, chocolate chip buns, yeast buns
Prep Time 15 minutes
Resting time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 659 kcal
Author Eva | Electric Blue Food

Ingredients

  • 450 g flour
  • 250 ml milk + 3 tbsp, divided
  • 75 g sugar
  • 13 g fresh yeast or dry yeast equivalent
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom finely ground
  • 75 g butter softened, cubed
  • 75 g chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Warm the milk to lukewarm (about 20°C). Crumble the fresh yeast in the milk and stir to dissolve.

  2. Combine the flour, sugar and finely ground cardamom in a mixing bowl. Pour in the milk and yeast mixture. Mix with an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook for 10 minutes.

  3. Add the softened butter little by little, always mixing to incorporate.

  4. Stop the mixer and add the chocolate chips. Stir them in with a rubber spatula. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 1 1/2 hour.

  5. After the first rise, take the dough out of the bowl. Divide it into 9 smaller balls aiming for the same weight. It is easy to weigh the dough and divide its weight by 9.

  6. Place the 9 balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, gently flattening their bottom. Let proof for 45 minutes.

  7. Gently brush 3 tbsp milk on top of each ball to moisten them before baking. Alternatively you can use eggwash, which will give the buns a shinier finish.

  8. Bake in the pre-heated oven at 225°C (440°F) for 12 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Enjoy the Norwegian cardamom rolls either warm from the oven, or cooled to room temperature. While many people love when the yeast flavour is enhanced by a higher serving temperature, I enjoy my cardamom buns most when they have completely cooled. Nothing beats the crunch of a chocolate chip, when you bite into one.

Nutrition Facts
Norwegian cardamom rolls sjokoladeboller
Amount Per Serving
Calories 659 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 47mg16%
Sodium 164mg7%
Potassium 222mg6%
Carbohydrates 108g36%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 22g24%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 570IU11%
Calcium 92mg9%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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22 Comments

  1. HEATHER PERINE November 3, 2020 at 15:57

    5 stars
    I love baking bread and love finding unique recipes that are basically taking a trip when you make them. And these buns are totally that! I can’t wait to try these! I haven’t been to Norway but it’s on my must travel list 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Eva November 7, 2020 at 17:06

      Hi Heather! Well these buns are definitely a little flavour trip to Norway! Hope you’ll get a chance to visit that beautiful country when travelling will be normal again.

      Reply
  2. Kathryn Donangelo November 3, 2020 at 17:15

    5 stars
    These rolls are so perfect for breakfast or dessert. We all loved them and the Fall flavor they have. The chocolate chips that were added have just the right amount of chocolatey goodness. So happy with this recipe. Thank you

    Reply
    1. Eva November 7, 2020 at 17:07

      Hi Kathryn! I’m really happy to hear those were a success in your home!

      Reply
  3. Valerie Skinner November 3, 2020 at 20:58

    5 stars
    I’m slowly learning about Swedish food and I’m obsessed with it! These rolls look absolutely delicious and the addition of chocolate chips sound divine. I can’t wait to make them for my holiday brunches.

    Reply
    1. Eva November 7, 2020 at 17:08

      Scandinavian food is not as famous as it should be, I love the fact that you are interested in it!

      Reply
  4. Colleen November 4, 2020 at 01:37

    5 stars
    I just had to make these rolls as soon as I saw the post and they turned out amazing. Light and fluffy, and the cardamom is such an unexpected but perfect ingredient. Will be making these again. Thanks you!

    Reply
    1. Eva November 7, 2020 at 17:08

      Hi Colleen! I’m so happy to read that, glad to be spreading the love for these Norwegian buns!

      Reply
  5. Marta November 4, 2020 at 03:23

    5 stars
    I love that you highlighted cardamom. The contrasting flavor between it and the chocolate is divine. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Eva November 7, 2020 at 17:09

      Thank you Marta, your opinion really matters to me!

      Reply
  6. Tracy November 5, 2020 at 06:51

    It’s funny because when I saw the Norwegian name I thought, yummy, chokladbollar! As you say, not the same thing at all! These look and sound lovely!

    Reply
    1. Eva November 7, 2020 at 17:09

      Yeah right? The confusion is totally legit!

      Reply
  7. Anna November 5, 2020 at 11:59

    5 stars
    I adore anything with cardamom, so this recipe is right up my alley! The rolls look so incredibly fluffy and delicious, they would make a perfect company with a warm cuppa!

    Reply
    1. Eva November 7, 2020 at 17:10

      Hi Anna! Oh they definitely do! I usually pair them with coffee, but any hot drink is these rolls’ best friend!

      Reply
  8. Tammy November 6, 2020 at 19:10

    5 stars
    Ahhh I love cardamom…it’s such a comforting spice! This is a wonderful holiday recipe to hold on to for Christmas! I cannot wait to try them 🙂

    Reply
    1. Eva November 7, 2020 at 17:10

      Hi Tammy! You’re right, cardamom definitely has a holiday quality about it!

      Reply
  9. Marisa F. Stewart November 8, 2020 at 15:03

    5 stars
    We love to bake yeast bread and enjoy trying breads from different countries. These buns certainly are unique. I haven’t done much with cardamon and bread but these little rolls with chocolate are too cute to resist. They are on my baking schedule this week. You can’t go wrong with yeast bread and chocolate.

    Reply
    1. Eva November 24, 2020 at 09:38

      Grazie Marisa! I hope you had fun baking these!

      Reply
  10. Amanda November 8, 2020 at 23:36

    5 stars
    These rolls came out so good! I love the spice of the cardamom with the chocolate — they were made for each other. I’m already looking forward to making these rolls again!

    Reply
    1. Eva November 24, 2020 at 09:38

      Thanks Amanda! Cardamom is incredible, it pairs so great with chocolate and coffee like no other spice!

      Reply
  11. Farrukh Aziz November 11, 2020 at 08:23

    5 stars
    Do you know the reason why I will make this gorgeous cute delicious rolls again ? Because, my son demanded to make them again as cardamom is his favorite spice flavor he loves the most, it turned out great and kids loved them! Thank you for sharing this unique recipe Eva! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Eva November 24, 2020 at 09:39

      Thank you Farrukh! Knowing that your kid loved them makes me so happy!

      Reply

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