Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Rolls) Recipe

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you know that I absolutely love all things cinnamon buns. I’ve made a dozen recipes and alterations but I always go back to the classic Scandinavian cinnamon buns thats also flavoured with cardamom. This time, I wanted to try a new shape that I normally don’t go for. These buns are  made from long strips of dough which are then formed into knots. To be honest, I didn’t do so well and struggled a bit forming the knots. The longer I held it, the dough started to warm up and get sticky. Hence, they might not be the prettiest looking. However, I still loved the flavour and texture. For those of you who might not want the hassle of forming these knots, you can make a roll and slice it off as you would a normal cinnamon bun.


These small buns are perfect for Fika with your afternoon coffee, or simply as a go-to snack whenever you’re feeling peckish. I don’t know about you, but I can eat 3 of these in one sitting no problem. It’s not the healthiest of snacks, considering there’s quite a bit of butter and sugar, but then again, most great buns have those two in abundance. I love exploring and baking Scandinavian pastries and buns. I have an e-book I’ve got with recipes of breads, buns and cookies from the likes of Denmark, Finland and Sweden. I’ve been ignoring the book but maybe it’s time I have  proper look and try out several recipes from it. Until then, here’s a recipe for Kanelbullar.



Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Buns) Recipe



Brioche Dough

  • 7g (1 envelope/2 ¼ tsp) easy bake yeast
  • 40g (~4 tbsp.) white sugar
  • 550g (~4 ¼ cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 240ml (~1 cup) whole milk, warm
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 80g (~6 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes


  • 110g (~8 tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g (½ cup) light brown sugar
  • 3 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cardamom
  • pinch of salt


  • 118g (~½ cup) water
  • 100g (½ cup) light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cardamom


  • Pearl sugar/sliced almonds to garnish




  1. Dough: In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, flour, sugar and salt. Mix briefly to combine
  2. In a smaller bowl, whisk eggs with warm milk until well incorporated. Combine liquid to the dry mixture and mix on low speed with dough hook for 3 minutes. The dough should come together. It’s completely normal for it to look a tad bit dry. It will be softer after the addition of butter.
  3. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix for another 5 minutes.
  4. Once dough is smooth, reduce speed to low and add butter a little at a time. Wait until each addition is fully incorporated to the dough before adding the next piece.
  5. Once the butter is incorporated, knead the dough on low for a further 3 minutes. You’d want the dough to be very soft and smooth.
  6. Grease a clean bowl and transfer the dough into it. Cover with a clean kitchen towl and leave to proof until doubled in size.
  7. Filling: As dough is proofing, prepare the filling. Using a medium sized bowl, mix all the filling ingredients and use a spatula or a whisk to mix everything together until well combined. Set aside until needed.
  8. Shaping: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 14×20 inch rectangle. It should be around ¼ inch thick. Spread the butter sugar filling over the dough’s surface.
  9. Like folding a letter, fold the dough in thirds onto itself. Fold the left side into the middle and the right side over the folded left side. Turn the dough so that the open sides are on your left and right. Briefly roll out your dough once more with your rolling pin just so the layers stick together.
  10. With a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut 1-inch wide strips. You should end up with around 16. To form a knotted roll, loop the two times rope over your first two fingers then fold it under to tie it into a knot.
  11. Place knotted roll on a parchment lined baking tray. Repeat with the other strips. Let rolls rise for 30 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, pre-heat oven at 180 C/350 F Fan.
  12. After the second proofing, place baking tray in the oven and bake buns for around 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  13. Syrup: As the buns are baking, make the syrup. Simple put all the ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat on medium high until brown sugar has dissolved. Once it boils, immediately take it off the heat and set aside.
  14. Once buns are out of the oven, immediately brush over the whole surface with syrup and sprinkle on pearl sugar or almonds if you are using. Let cool for around 10 minutes before eating. Store in an airtight container. You can leave it at room temperature for around 3 days. To reheat, place in an oven at 160C/300F for 5 minutes.


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