Discover Sweden – how to make Swedish Cinnamon Buns (kanelbullar)

Swedish cinnamon buns differ from their American counterparts in several ways – the inclusion of cardamom, the wonderful looping and knotting to form them, and the simple glaze that traditionally uses Swedish pearl sugar. This is a small batch recipe that I made for family – feel free to double it!

Ingredients

Group 1 – Activating Yeast

  • 1 1/2 tsp surebake yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water (or milk)

Group 2 – Making Dough

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tablespoons rice bran oil (or 1/4 cup melted butter)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons water

Group 3 – Filling

  • 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup buttery nuttelex (or butter, or margarine)
  • Few drops vanilla

Group 4 – Glaze (optional but traditional)

  • 1 egg + 1 Tbsp water + Swedish Pearl Sugar to decorate.

Allergy: free from dairy*, soy, nuts, egg*.

Note: We differed from traditional recipes by not using dairy or egg but I have included these in the recipe notes so that families can make their own choices.

Directions

  1. Combine Group 1 (yeast, sugar, warm water) in a bowl. Wait about 10 minutes until frothy and giving a yeasty smell (indicating that the yeast has activated). In winter, I use a metal bowl and sit it in a sink of hot water.
  2. Add Group 2 to Group 1. Into the bowl, add the flour, cardamom, salt, rice bran oil, and sugar. Combine. Add the 3 Tbsp of water. You will now be able to use fingers to mould into dough.
  3. Fold and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Cover and place in a warm place until doubled in size. Tip: in winter, I do some kneading for the share joy of it and then place in the breadmaker on a dough setting!
  4. Use Group 3 to make the filling. Combine brown sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, nuttelex/butter, and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  5. Folding and shaping:
    • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and form it into a large rectangle. Evenly spread the filling over it.
    • Lift the top edge of the dough and fold the top 1/3 down to the middle; lift the bottom edge of the dough and lift up to the middle.
    • Roll the dough again into a large rectangle.
    • Cut the dough into 6 strips.
    • Pick up a strip, stretch and twist lightly, loop twice around the three middle fingers of your other hand, then once over the loop, and coil with the bottom tucked in.
  6. Place the knotted cinnamon buns onto a baking sheet and place in a warm place. Allow them time to rise until almost doubled in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180’C / 350’F.
  8. While the oven is heating, make up the egg wash if desired. Whisk the egg and water, then lightly brush over the scrolls. Sprinkle with crunchy Swedish pearl sugar.
  9. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information

Based on 6 servings.

Average Quantity
per Serving
Energy1692.7 kJ (404kcal)
Protein4.8 g
Fat, total17.9 g
– saturated4.1 g
Carbohydrate55.2 g
– sugars24.1 g

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