Swedish Cinnamon Buns

On Wednesday the 4th October it’s “Kanelbullens Dag” or “The Day of the Cinnamon Bun”. Yes, here in Sweden we love our swirls filled with a buttery cinnamon filling and topped with pearl sugar and maybe some almond flakes for those who’s feeling extra fancy. We love them so much they even got their own day.

With fall-falling and the arrival of colder, darker days a newly baked, lukewarm bun and a glass of milk is the perfect remedy to fill you with warmth and joy. When I smell the fragrant aromas from cinnamon, cardamom and baked bough it brings back so many sweet memories. Memories from my childhood; memories filled with me, my granny who I used to bake with, a messy kitchen and just a lot of flour and cinnamon. The two of us were often baking at my family’s little cottage in the countryside. We measured, kneaded, rolled and baked. I was standing on a little stool because I was too short to reach up to the counter top. There was flour all over the kitchen; but what does it matter when you’re having fun and you’re ending up with the most delicious buns. And when we were finished with the bun making we continued with cookies. My grandmother was a true baker with a tremendous sweet tooth. Oh I miss her and her enormous love and enthusiasm. When I grow old I will also be a bun-making-granny baking cinnamon buns with my grandchildren.

Before I throw the recipe at you I would like to share some easy but oh so important tips that will improve your buns drastically.

  • Use a lot of cardamom in the dough and use a lot of cinnamon in the filling because that what makes these buns so outstanding and irresistible.
  • Replace the cinnamon for vanilla if you fancy. Vanilla buns are just as irresistible as the traditional cinnamon bun.
  • Don’t rush the baking; use cold water and let the dough rise in its own pace. I recommend at least two hours resting time before you roll out the dough and at least one hour proofing before baking the buns in the oven.

And a huge thanks to my old study buddy Per who’s the one behind this amazing recipe.

Make sure to go all in on cinnamon buns tomorrow! Happy Kandelbullens Dag everyone!


Swedish Cinnamon Buns

There aren’t many things that beats a lukewarm, newly baked cinnamon bun served with a glass of cold milk.


500 g cold water
70 g fresh yeast
200 g caster sugar
200 g room tempered butter
1 egg
1150 g strong wheat flour + extra for kneading and rolling
22 g cardamom seeds
15 g salt

150 g room tempered butter
250 g almond paste (a mixture of equally parts almond flour and powder sugar combined with a tiny amount of water or egg white, Swedish mandelmassa)
50 g water
50 g caster sugar
Cinnamon/cardamom or vanilla

1 egg
15 g water
1 pinch of salt
Pearl sugar
Almond flakes if desired
Oven: 250 °C (220 °C if using a fan oven)


Dough. Grind the cardamom pods in a pestel of mortar or in a spice grinder. Add yeast to a big mixing bowl and add cold water, stir until all the yeast is dissolved. Add sugar, the room tempered butter cut in cubes, egg, cardamom and flour and work the dough in a stand mixer with the dough hook attached for about 10 minutes. If you’re kneading the dough by add another 10 minutes of work (hello elbow grease!). Add the salt and knead the dough for another minute before letting it proof, in room temperature, until doubled in size (the leavening time might vary depending on how cold water you use and the temperature in the room, but give it at least 2 hours).

Filling. Combine room tempered butter, sugar, almond paste and water into a paste. Add cinnamon, vanilla or cardamom to taste (or why not combine 2 of the spices?). Add a tiny pinch of salt.

Baking and topping. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes. Divide it into 2 equally big pieces. Work with one piece of dough at the time and roll it out into a thin rectangle. Spread half of the filling over the dough; make sure the filling goes all the way out to the edge. You can then shape the buns into swirls or knots. Swirls are the easiest; just tightly roll the dough into a long log and cut it into 2 cm slices. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper or use bun cases. If you want knots you have to fold the dough in thirds. Give the folded dough a light roll with the rolling pin and cut it into long strips (1-2 cm wide, I usually aim for 60 g strips, but if you want bigger buns just go ahead and make the strips wider). Then twist the strips by twining the ends in different directions. Twist the twinned strip twice around your middle- and index finger and tuck in the end underneath. Repeat the process with the other piece of dough and the remaining filling. Let the buns rest until doubled in size, this will probably 1-2 hours. Whisk together the egg with a tiny pinch of salt and a splash of water. Brush the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar (and almond flakes). Bake in the middle of the oven for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.

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