Sweet Cardamom, Rhubarb and Streusel Buns

, from Issue #50. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Sweet Cardamom, Rhubarb and Streusel Buns

It’s hard to just eat one of these fragrant, melt-in-the-mouth buns. Treat your friends and serve them warm from the oven for a special weekend brunch. Sometimes I make a double batch of the rhubarb and serve it alongside for even more deliciousness!


3 cups plain flour
3 tablespoons caster sugar
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 x 7 gram sachet instant dry yeast
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup milk, warm
¼ cup melted butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 medium stalks red rhubarb, sliced 1 cm thick
1/3 cup caster sugar

1/3 cup plain flour
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons caster sugar
40 grams butter, diced
50 grams cream cheese cut into 12 pieces
1 egg, beaten


Dough: Combine all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Whisk the milk, butter, egg and vanilla together and gradually beat in to form a soft dough. Continue to beat for 5 minutes until soft and satiny. If the dough is quite wet, add a little more flour, but it is better to have dough that is a little too soft than dry. Scrape into a large lightly buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Rhubarb: Combine the rhubarb and sugar in a medium saucepan and set aside for 15 minutes for the juices to develop. Cook over a medium low heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently towards the end of cooking to prevent it catching on the base of the pan. You want a very thick rhubarb jam. Spread the jam on a large plate and place in the fridge if you need to cool it quickly, or make a few days ahead of time.

Streusel: Put the flour, cinnamon, sugar and butter in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips to make fine breadcrumbs. Chill until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

To assemble: Divide the dough into 12 even pieces. Form each piece of dough into a flat disc in the palm of your hand. Put one tablespoon of the rhubarb jam in the middle of the disc and top with a piece of cream cheese. Pull the dough around itself so the jam is completely covered with the dough and forms a neat, tight ball. Place seam side down on a lined baking tray. Cover loosely with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for 20 minutes.

Brush the buns with beaten egg and sprinkle generously with the streusel. Bake for about 18 minutes until the buns are golden brown. The buns are best eaten warm or at room temperature on the day of making. Makes 12

Cook’s tip: This makes more streusel than required. Freeze the leftovers for another batch.