Delicious and beautiful twisted, chocolate buns

Many people have heard of cardomom bullar from Sweden. For those of you who like them, here is a simple recipe for twisted chocolate buns using the same technique. Chocolate is frequently easier to find than cardomom.  

Twisted chocolate buns

Jane Mason
This is a wonderful, versatile recipe. If you prefer, you can use a filling made with cinnamon or ground nuts, or poppy seeds. The shaping techniqe is the same one that is used to make cardamom or cinnamon bullar from the Nordic countries.
Prep Time 6 hrs
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Breakfast, coffee, tea
Cuisine Unknown
Servings 12


  • baking tray
  • pizza cutter or sharp knife
  • Dough scraper or spatula


Ingredients for the dough

  • 600 g Good quality strong (bread) white flour
  • 350 g Full fat milk Heated to boiling point and let cool right down to room temperature. Always heat more than you need because it has a habit of disappearing when it's heated so measuer 400 grams, heat and cool it, and then measure out the 350 you need. You will find, it's all of the milk you heated up.
  • 6 g Dry yeast Or 3 g instant yeast, 12 g fresh yeast
  • 100 g Sugar
  • 12 g Salt
  • 100 g Butter at room temperature

Ingredients for the filling

  • 100 g Dark chocolate
  • 100 g Unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 pinch salt

Ingredients for the egg wash

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Cold water
  • 1 pinch Each of salt and sugar


Make a pre dough

  • Measure the flour into a big bowl and make a well. Sprinkle the yeast and the sugar into the well and add 100 grams of milk. Flick a little flour over the water to close the well and cover with a tea towel. Let it rest for one hour.

Make the dough

  • Add the rest of the milk, and the salt.
  • Knead for ten minutes either by hand or by machine on the lowest setting, and then add and the butter. Knead again for 10 minutes until the butter is completely incorporated and the dough gets shiny and is elastic.
  • Pop the dough back in the bowl, cover, and let rise for 2-4 hours or over night in the fridge, until it has doubled in bulk.
  • While the dough is resting, melt the butter and chocolate (filling) together and then stir in the cocoa, icing sugar, salt and cinnamon if using. Cover and leave it. It should be easily spreadable.

Shape the buns

  • Generously flour your work surface and pull the dough out of the bowl and on to the work surface. Flour the top of the dough lightly and roll it into a rectangle. The short side should be around 30 cm and it should be about 0.5 cm thick.
  • Take the filling out of the bowl and spread it all over the dough rectangle. Be patient and spread it all the way to the very edges.
  • Fold the dough up along the long side of the rectangle into thirds, as if you were folding a piece of paper for an envelope.
  • Using a scraper or a pizza cutter (knife is a worst case scenario) cut the dough into sections about 2 cm wide.
  • Form these into twists, stretching them as you do.
  • Pick up a twist and pinching one end between your thumb and the third finger of your NON WORKING hand. Now put your index finger and your ring finger next to the middle finger so you have a little group made of fingers, thumb and dough. The only one left out is the little finger. Pick up the other end of the twist with your working hand and wrap it three times around the group. Hold your thumb away from the group (and the dough) as soon as the dough is securely wrapped around your three fingers.
  • When the dough has come around for the third time, take it past your thumb and loop it around your thumb. Then bring end of the dough up over the strands of dough that are facing you and thread it between your ring and third fingers, all the way over to the back of the wrapped dough. Tuck it under the dough at the backand remove the whole thing from your fingers. Bunch it up nicely if it has become wonky and place it on a baking tray you have covered with non stick baking parchment. It takes some practice…..
  • Cover with a tea towel and let rise 45 minutes.
  • Pre heat the oven to 225 degrees C.
  • Glaze the buns with the egg wash and then pop them into the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Check them 5 minutes and cover them with a piece of parchment paper if they are getting too brown.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack (that’s wishful thinking because they are terrific when they are warm).
Keyword Buns, Chocolate, Holiday baking, Sweet bread

If you enjoy baking buns, why not buy The Book of Buns and enjoy some bun challenges every few weeks.

Jane Mason's second book has inspired a facebook group.  Join us and bake your way through the Book of Buns in the company of others!

To learn more about bread, click here to take a face to face or Zoom baking class or click here to take one of our e-learning classes. You will enjoy really fun, informative sessions. We look forward to welcoming you! You could give the gift of a bread class by buying one of our gift vouchers today. They have no sell by date and can be used on our face to face or virtual, Zoom classes. It’s great to be able to give the gift of a learning experience to someone special anywhere in the world!

8 Replies to “Delicious and beautiful twisted, chocolate buns”

  1. Thanks for this exciting recipe. Can’t wait to try them. Just waiting for the last prove. Found the strips difficult to twirl and
    wrap around my fingers because the chocolate mixture went solid and broke apart. Is that normal?

    1. Hi Charlie, sorry for the delay in answering this. The chocolate mixture shold not really go solid but it does get messy twisting them and twisting them does take practice. The amazing thing is that no matter how odd they look in dough form, they always bake beautifully!

  2. So they’re out. The egg wash made them go very brown. Must admit they look a bit messy but taste yummy. I left them in the oven for 20 minutes and they were still a bit raw in the middle even though the outside is crusty. Could this be due to me having a very wet dough?

    1. Dear Charlie

      I don’t think it is to do with the dough being wet because it is. Buns can be tricky because they are usually sweet and then with the glaze they caramalise quickly in the oven. Depending on your heat source, they all bake a bit differently. You can tap a bun to listen for hollowness – it’s don’t if it sounds hollow and if not, put them back in for another 5 minutes. Always watch buns the first time you bake them – until you get to know your oven – andif they are getting too brown, cover them with a sheet of parchment paper or tin foil (paper better) and that stops the browning process, allowing them to bake through without getting too too dark. I am so glad they tasted good! I love them. You can do the same technique and dough and put anything in the middle – butter, sugar and cinnamon; nutella; honey butter; anything you can imagine!

  3. Water or milk? Ingredients list say milk then method describes water! Mine will be half and half. I’m sure it will be fine

  4. Something not right here. My dough is really stiff and everyone else’s is really wet!
    250g of liquid to 600g of flour? Am I missing something
    Hey Ho. It’s going in the fridge overnight. See you tomorrow.

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