Cinnamon buns


Freshly baked Swedish style cinnamon rolls on a cooling rack

Kanelbullar are Sweden's most popular buns! They are sold by every supermarket, bakery and cafe right across Sweden. In my travels I have tasted hundreds, so I can promise you that I have not tasted a better cinnamon bun anywhere! Sure some have been equally good, but none better! The dough is light and buttery and the filling is sweet and delicately spiced. They really are Swedelicious! John Duxbury


Recipe summary for Swedish style cinnamon rolls


• The key to light buns is to add soft butter to the dough very gradually during step 3 and to add as little flour as possibly during step 4.
• The filling and glaze is much more a matter of personal taste. Some prefer twice as much cinnamon and others prefer to leave the buns unglazed. (If you don't glaze the buns, sprinkle them with pearl sugar before baking them.) 
• This recipe is based on using a standmixer, such as a kMix or a KitchenAid, with a dough hook. Making these buns completely by hand can get messy and the dough will need kneading for twice as long as in the recipe below!

Grinding cardamom

• Most supermarkets only stock cardamom pods, so you will probably need to grind your own: lightly crush the pods to remove the seeds and then grind the seeds for 3 or 4 minutes.

Fresh Swedish yeast for sweet dough

• Swedes normally use jäst för söta degar (yeast for sweet dough), but this recipe is based on using "instant" fast action yeast as it is more readily available and on blind-tests most people can't tell the difference.
• If you decide to use jäst för söta degar you will need 35 grams. To read more about yeast in Sweden click here.

A box of pearl sugar

• Pearl sugar, sometimes called sugar nibs, can be bought online or in specialist shops. If you can't find any you can use demerara sugar (light brown cane sugar) instead. Alternatively, use almond flakes (slivers).
• The rolls freeze well and are wonderful reheated for a leisurely breakfast (5 minutes in warm oven if already defrosted, 10 minutes from frozen).

An advert for Kanelbullens Dag by a baker in Göteborg

• Join in the Swedish custom and bake some for Kanelbullens Dag (Cinnamon Bun Day) on 4th October. Swedish bakers expect to sell three times as many kanelbullar on Kanelbullens Dag as on a normal day. And they sell a lot normally!

Stage 1: Making the dough

450+ g   strong white flour (all-purpose flour)
80 g   caster (superfine) sugar
7 g   fast action dried yeast
5 g (½ tbsp) freshly ground cardamom
3 g (½ tsp) salt
250 g*   whole milk (3-5% fat content)
1   egg, lightly whisked
100 g   butter, softened and cut into small cubes

*Bakers now measure all quantities in grams

1. Add the flour, sugar, dried yeast and ground cardamom to the bowl of a standmixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix thoroughly, then stir in the salt.

2. Add the milk and whisked egg to a pan and heat gently until lukewarm, 35-40ºC (95-105ºF). Add to the spiced flour and mix to form a rough dough.

3. On speed 2 (kMix) or 3 (KitchenAid), slowly add the softened butter, a cube at a time, taking 2 or 3 minutes to add all the butter.

4. Continue to knead on speed 2 or 3, slowly adding additional flour, a tablespoon at a time, until you have a nice soft dough. The idea is to add as little flour as possible until the dough is still a little sticky to the touch, but does not stick to your hands when you handle it. The exact amount to be added depends on the flour, but you will normally need to add 3 or 4 tablespoons of flour. (If you add too much your buns will turn out too dry.) Once you have added enough flour, continue to knead for a further 3 minutes.

Dough after first rising

5. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap), a shower cap or a cloth and leave in a warm draught-free place until it has doubled in size, about an hour at 24°C (75°F).

Stage 2: Filling and rolling

80 g butter, very soft
1 tsp plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla sugar
40 g demerara sugar (light brown cane) sugar)*
40 g granulated sugar

*Or use just 80 g of either granulated sugar or demerara sugar

6. Line two baking trays with parchment paper and set aside. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, flatten into a rough rectangle and then roll out until approximately 50 cm x 40 cm (20" x 16").

Cinnamon mixture spread on dough

7. For the filling mix the butter, flour, cinnamon and sugars together and then spread evenly over the dough.

Swedish style cinnamon rolls on a baking tray

8. Roll the dough up to create a 50 cm (20") long sausage and then cut into 16 rounds. Place onto the prepared baking trays, keeping them well apart, and cover with a kitchen towel. Allow to rise until almost doubled, about 45-60 minutes.

9. Preheat the oven to 250ºC (475ºF, gas 9, fan 220ºC) at least 30 minutes before baking the buns.

Stage 3: Baking and glazing 

1 egg
1 tsp milk
50 g water
45 g granulated sugar
¼ tsp vanilla paste, optional
1-3 tbsp* pearl sugar

*Depending on your personal preference.

10. Whisk the egg and milk together, brush the cinnamon rolls with egg wash and then bake for about 8 minutes, until golden brown.*

11. Meanwhile heat the water, sugar and vanilla paste to boiling, stirring constantly until all the sugar has dissolved.

12. When the cinnamon buns are baked, transfer them to a cooling rack, glaze with the sugar syrup and then sprinkle with pearl sugar.

*If you don't intend to glaze the rolls, sprinkle on the pearl sugar before baking them.


printer copy sb  printer version.pdf

Phone and tablet h32  phone & tablet version.pdf

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