Friday, 4 October 2013

Kanelbullar - Swedish cinnamon rolls

Happy Cinnamon Roll day!

Anne of Green Gables was so glad to live in a world where there are Octobers". Personally, I am so glad to live in a world where there are cinnamon rolls. October 4th is National Cinnamon roll day (Kanelbullens dag) in Sweden and I am all for celebrating it. 

Scandinavian cinnamon rolls are quite different to American ones - less doughy and without the sticky glaze. In my book that simply justifies eating two of them in one sitting.

This recipe is cobbled together from various Internet sources and with feedback from a Swedish friend. Not sure how authentic it is, but I do know the results are pretty amazing.

A note on cinnamon. I used ground cinnamon made from Cassia in this recipe - it is much more aromatic and intense than the kind normally sold in the UK - a little goes a long way. It can be found in the ethnic aisle in supermarkets or online.

For the dough
Makes 15-20 depending on size
250ml | 1 cup + 1 tbsp whole milk
1 envelopes active dry yeast (8g)
70g | heaped 1/3 cup light brown sugar
75g | 2.6 oz unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
420g | 3 1/3 cups bread flour
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

For the filling
60g | 2oz unsalted butter, softened
50g | 1/4 cup light brown (or caster) sugar
1-2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional)

1 egg, lightly beaten with 1tbsp milk
pearl sugar or sliced almonds


  1. Heat the milk until it's hand hot. Put the flour, sugar, yeast, spices and salt (keep away from yeast) in a large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer). Make a well in the centre and add the milk. Mix together with a spoon or in a mixer. Slowly add the cubed butter and mix together.
  2. Knead the dough by hand for about 10 minutes until glossy and elastic (or 5 minutes with dough hook in a stand mixer).
  3. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rise for about an hour.
  4. Mix the ingredients for the filling together so that you have a spreadable paste.
  5. Gently knead the dough to knock it down and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes. Divide the dough into two and roll each into a rectangle. Spread the filling evenly over the dough leaving a an empty margin all around.
  6. Roll the dough up (Swiss roll style) starting on the long side. Trim the edges then cut into even slices. Line a tray with baking paper and place the rolls on it, spaced apart. Loosely cover the tray with a plastic bag and let them rise for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 225C | 440 F. Lightly whisk an egg with a splash of milk and brush over the rolls. Top with pearl sugar or sliced almonds. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Note: I shaped some of the rolls as Korvapuusti  (Finnish cinnamon buns - means slapped ear). Follow the link for instructions.

I am linking this to the Great British bake along at Bakers Anonymous and submitting it to the Yeastspotting gallery.

Comment With:
The Choice is Yours!


  1. Yum these look amazing!! I made myself some Cinnamon pumpkin buns too really love them:))

  2. I love how profressional these look! I think I'm going to have to try to make every recipe on your blog, there are so many amazing and delicious looking foods on your blog!

  3. Those look delicious and could easily grace a baker's window.

  4. I liked the other cinnamon roll recipe you had but these look even better if thats possible