Monthly Archives: July 2008

Swedish cinnamon buns (Kanelbullar)


Swedish cinnamon buns (kanelbullar)These are my absolute favourite when it comes to buns – they look pretty and taste heavenly, and are delicious with an ice-cold glass of milk, or a strong caffeinated brew. In Sweden they drink coffee so strong it’s sometimes like molten tar, but a good, strong brew offsets the fragrant spices in the buns, and complements the sweetness of the filling and the loaf/ pearl sugar sprinkled on top.

I tasted these for the first in a coffee shop in Haga, Gothenburg’s arty quarter, brimming with little shops and cafes. Anyway, I managed to find a fab recipe in a Swedish cookbook, which I’ve modified slightly.

Swedish Cinnamon Buns
Makes about 30 buns

50g fresh yeast (or equivalent of dried active yeast, according to the pack instructions)
1-1.2kg flour (or slightly more depending on moistness of dough)
100ml white syrup (or golden syrup)
100g butter
400ml milk
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp freshly ground cardamom seeds

120g butter, softened to room temperature
4-6 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp freshly ground cardamom seeds

To brush & decorate

1 egg, beaten
Pearl/ loaf sugar

32 bun/ large muffin cases


If you’re using a block of fresh yeast, crumble this into a large bowl, or if you’re using re-hydrated dried active yeast, pour the mixture into said bowl. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the milk and heat gently until hot to the touch. Add this to the yeast and mix well, then add the syryp and stir until dissolved.

Add the flour and salt a little at a time and mix well until the dough comes away from the side of the bowl. You may need to add additional flour at your own discretion if the dough is still a little sticky after the addition of the amount of flour the recipe calls for. Cover with a cloth and leave to rise for about 30 mins in a draught-free spot.

After 30 minutes, punch the air out the risen dough and knead for about 15 minutes until shiny and elastic. Divide into two balls and roll out into rectangles about 5mm thick. Make the filling and spread onto the rectangles with the back of a spoon. Roll these up lengthways, then cut into 16 segments per roll and place in the bun papers which you will have lined up on baking sheets. Leave these to rise for a further 30 mins (however, this step is not essential if in a hurry).

Brush with the egg and sprinkle with the loaf sugar. Bake for about 6-8 minutes at 250 degrees Celsius until buns are golden brown on top.