Cinnamon rolls from scratch? Here you go – a cinnamon buns recipe that’s very forgiving! Swedish Cinnamon Buns (Kanelbullar), an authentic Swedish treat that you can easily make in the comfort of your home. Enjoy them for breakfast, snack or dessert!
(*This post contains some affiliate links)
There is no way you will miss these babies when you’re in Sweden. You find them in coffee shops, bakeries, supermarkets, petrol stations… you name it.
Despite being called ‘cinnamon buns’, cinnamon is not the only spice that you will taste in these rolls. The dough itself contains cardamom, not cinnamon, and the actual cinnamon powder is ONLY in the filling.
HOW TO MAKE SWEDISH CINNAMON BUNS (KANELBULLAR)
CAN I USE BREAD FLOUR FOR THIS CINNAMON BUNS RECIPE?
Absolutely. Using bread flour makes the buns a bit more ‘chewy’. If that’s your preference, then stick with that.
For me however, I have been using all-purpose flour since we moved to Frankfurt, and I’m actually liking it more.
WHAT CAN I USE AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR PEARL SUGAR?
If you cannot find pearl sugar, I think you should just skip it.
The thing with pearl sugar is they’re not really that sweet (in my opinion), but they do look pretty. So, if you just want a bit of white decoration on top, just sprinkle some powdered sugar when serving – but go easy on it. Do not make it too sweet.
TIPS WHEN MAKING CINNAMON ROLLS FROM SCRATCH –
- Don’t take longer than 20 minutes for the first proofing of the dough or it will be too wet. The slight resistance that you get because of the short proofing time is actually helpful when you start rolling the dough.
- Keep the roll tight because this helps in ensuring that it sticks together when you cut them into portions.
- Do not expect the buns to double in size after the second proofing. Once they are slightly ‘puffy’, then you’re good to go.
- When using all-purpose flour, add a bit of steam in your oven by spraying some water once you’ve placed the tray in the middle of your oven. I find that this makes the buns rise ‘beautifully’ — and most important of all, it makes them softer.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH SWEDISH CINNAMON BUNS?
We love having these treats for ‘fika’ (coffee break) — they go so well with coffee, tea, or even wine (well, definitely after dinner, not for ‘fika’!). YUM!
WANT TO SEE MORE SWEDISH RECIPES? CHECK OUT Classic Swedish Recipes You Must Try!
FOR OTHER NORDIC BREAD RECIPES, CHECK OUT THESE POSTS –
OR IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MORE BREAKFAST (OR BRUNCH) IDEAS, CHECK OUT MY BREAKFAST COLLECTION!
NOTE: This post was initially published in February 2017. Although I have added measurements in cups in the recipe, the recipe was not changed from the original post.
Swedish Cinnamon Buns (Kanelbullar)
- 1 & 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup milk, warm
- 450 grams all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 75 grams butter (about 5 tbsp), unsalted & room temperature
- 100 grams butter (about 7 tbsp), unsalted & room temperature
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 3 tbsp brown sugar, heaping
- 1 tbsp cinnamon powder
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 tbsp pearl sugar
- Combine warm milk with yeast. Mix and set aside until it foams up.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, salt, sugar and cardamom powder. Mix.
- Once yeast mixture is ready, add to the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix.
- Add butter. Mix. (Since I'm doing this manually, I normally start using my hands at this point).
- Knead the dough until it becomes smooth. This is not a sticky dough, so it is so easy to handle. (It normally takes me 20 minutes of manual kneading to get a smooth ball of dough).
- Place the ball of dough into a clean bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, combine butter, sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon powder. If your butter is not soft enough, it might be better to use a hand mixer, otherwise, a rubber spatula would work for mixing as well.
Assembling the Buns:
- Flatten the dough into a board by using a rolling pin (about 45 cm x 35 cm). Make sure the dough is even in thinness. If the edges on the long side are too uneven, trim them with a sharp knife of dough cutter. Do not worry if the short ends are uneven, you would trim these sides later on.
- Spread the cinnamon filling evenly on the dough. Keep about ½ inch of the dough (on both long sides) without the cinnamon filling.
- Roll the dough tightly into a log (roll from the long side). Trim the remaining uneven sides.
- Cut the log into smaller and equal portions – about 3 cm each portion. (This recipe normally yields 14 to 16 buns).
- Place each bun into a baking tray with a baking sheet. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside for 1 to 1 ½ hours (until the dough has become slightly puffy). Remember to give the buns enough space in between since they will expand once cooked.
- When the buns are ready, preheat the oven to 200°C (375°F).
- Brush the buns with the beaten egg. Sprinkle each bun with pearl sugar.
- Place baking tray in the middle of the oven for 17 to 20 minutes.
- Serve. Sprinkle more pearl sugar, if desired.