Cardamom Cinnamon Knots


These cardamom cinnamon knots are unreal and we have Circus Bakery in Paris to thank for them.

The first time I had one of their cardamom cinnamon knots (or buns, as they call them) I nearly applied for a job in hopes that they were looking for a large hipped scrub woman (not that they have some strange inappropriate requirement like that, but rather it’s that I have large hips).

Their buns are made with sourdough and I sadly haven’t perfected those to where I’m overjoyed with them, yet. I’m simply just joyed by them. But I will share that recipe as soon as it’s perfected. Till then I adapted a lovely recipe I found on Epicurious by Kat Boytsova.

The recipe by Kat Boytsova is more of a brioche style bun. And as you’ve noticed by the photos, no frosting, just a glaze. So perhaps it’s a sticky bun. The names! They is so confusing! Bottom line, bun sweet, bun good!

This definitely isn’t an easy recipe. It does get easier after the first go. The size and airiness of your buns (hehehe your buns, she said) is largely dependent on how long you proof the buns. I do an overnight proof and it really does make them much lighter than a traditional 2-4 hour proof. Getting your yeast started can be tricky, fair warning. The very first time I made these buns my quick read thermometer was off and the milk was much hotter than the 105 temp and I killed the yeast. If you’re a bread maker you’ll know if it’s all dead or can be revived with a bit of sugar. If you’re not a bread maker, toss it, start fresh, and be careful.

These definitely aren’t as sweet as traditional American cinnamon rolls, but you can always re-glaze the buns with the sugar syrup if you’d like them sweeter.

I love these buns on a chilly morning with a cup of adrak di cha, and then just sitting outside and watching the world.

Who doesn’t love a delicious fancy bake? Try these:

Cardamom Cinnamon Knots

Course: DessertCuisine: French, Punjabi FusionDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time






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  • For Knots:
  • 2 cup whole milk

  • 2 tbsp active dry yeast

  • 2 large egg

  • 2 large egg yolk

  • 7.5 cups (950 g) all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

  • 2.5 tsp (5 g) ground cardamom

  • 2 tsp kosher salt

  • 12 tbsp room temperature unsalted butter, plus more for bowl

  • For the Filling and Assembly:
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 6 tbsp ground cinnamon

  • 3 cups (packed) brown sugar, divided

  • 1 cup water

  • All-purpose flour (for surface)

Equipment/Specialty Items


  • For the Dough:
  • Heat the milk in a small saucepan over low heat until just warm. Thermometer should read 105 degrees.
  • Pour milk into stand mixer bowl.
  • Whisk in yeast and let sit until bubbly and frothy, 10–15 minutes. You should see a layer of foam on the surface; this means that the yeast is active. If your milk is too hot – it will kill the yeast and do nothing. The foam should look like a thinner version of the foam you’d see on a latte.
  • Add eggs, egg yolks, flour, granulated sugar, cardamom, and salt to yeast mixture.
  • Mix with dough hook on low speed until combined.
  • Increase speed to medium and continue to mix until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. This means break up any flour pockets, as small as they may be, and if you lift the ball of dough 6 inches from the base of the bowl it should just stretch till it hits the bottom of the bowl without breaking.
  • Gradually add 1 tbsp of butter at a time, making sure the previous tbsp is incorporated before adding in more.
  • Once all the butter has been added, continue to mix until the dough is shiny and supple. Approximately 10-15 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, and let sit at room temperature until doubled in size, approximately 1.5 hrs.
  • Punch dough down (press down the dough removing the majority of the air, but do no compress into a hard packed ball).
  • Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  • For the Filling and Assembly:
  • Mix butter, cinnamon, and 1 cup of brown sugar in a medium bowl.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Keep half out and put half back in the fridge till you’re ready to roll it. It’s much easier to work with if you keep the dough chilled.
  • Roll each half into a 1/4″ thick rectangle, about 16″x12″.
  • Transfer each rectangle onto parchment paper and chill until dough is firm, 30–60 minutes.
  • Remove dough from fridge and spread butter mixture on 2/3’s of each piece of dough.
  • Fold the non buttered 1/3 over on to the buttered side. This should leave you with a 1/3 of buttered dough exposed.
  • Fold remaining 1/3 buttered dough over on to the double layer. This will enclose all of the buttered dough.
  • Roll each rectangle back to a 12″x8″ rectangle that is about 1/2″ thick.
  • Making the knots:
  • With a pizza cutter slice (each piece of of dough) lengthwise into eight 1″ thick strips.
  • Take one strip at a time and using your palms twist each end in opposite directions, until an even spiral.
  • Once spiraled take the strip and while holding one end wrap the strip of dough TIGHTLY around your fingers. Tuck and press in the loose ends so they don’t come apart in baking. Don’t stretch the dough while doing this.
  • Place the knots on baking sheets. Make sure to leave a few inches in between them. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let them sit at room temperature until doubled in size. Approximately 60 minutes.
  • Place racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat over to 325 degrees.
  • Bake cinnamon buns until they’re a deep golden brown, 25–30 minutes.
  • Bring remaining brown sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Brush syrup over hot buns.
  • Serve or store in an air tight container.

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Nutrition Facts

16 servings per container


  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 19.4g 30%
    • Saturated Fat 11.6g 56%
  • Cholesterol 98mg 33%
  • Sodium 323mg 14%
  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Potassium 198mg 6%
  • Total Carbohydrate 88.2g 30%
    • Dietary Fiber 3.3g 12%
    • Sugars 40.8g
  • Protein 8.9g 16%
  • Calcium 8%
  • Iron 29%
  • Vitamin D 83%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Join the Conversation

  1. Cuisinier says:

    Didn’t you leave out the step to rise first before refrigerating overnight? Circus lets its dough have a first rise before refrigeration. I think that step is missing.

    1. Priya Author says:

      Hi Cuisinier,

      Thanks for catching my mistake! I did forget to write in a step – thank goodness I write these things down on paper just in case. Thanks again!!

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