Friday, 2 July 2010

Kanelbullar (Cinnamon Bun) Recipe

The buns, just out of the oven - they're a bit wonky and are without pearl sugar, but taste pretty good.

Well, I've now had two attempts at making Kanelbullar (Cinnamon Buns) and although I'm certainly no expert, I'm getting a bit better at making them. Tweaking is part of the fun of cooking for me and I think by attempt #3, I might just be there. And hopefully by then I'll have found some pearl sugar, which is a vital visual element for these buns but not so easy to come by in Melbourne town.

Rolling out the pastry

My recipe comes from the book "Swedish Culinary Classics" by Carl Jan Granqvist & Lena Katarina Swanberg, released by The Swedish Institute. Here's the spiel that comes with their recipe:

Kanelbullar are a classic at Swedish coffee parties. During the golden age of home baking, such parties turned into orgies of sweet yeast breads, small cookies, cookies with fillings, pastries and cakes. This tradition lives on in Sweden. If you are invited to someone's home for coffee, you always get a cinnamon bun, a cookie or a piece of cake with it. And at cafes, dainty little cookies continue to compete with all those supersized American muffins.

Kanelbullar (Cinnamon Bun) Recipe

Makes 25 buns
35g yeast
100g sugar
300ml milk
1 egg
120g butter
1tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cardamon
750g wheat flour

100g butter
50g sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon

1 egg
2 tbsp water
pearl sugar

Crumble the yeast in a bowl and stir in a few tablespoons of milk. Melt the butter and pour the milk on it. Add the rest of the ingredients and kneed the dough in a dough mixer for 10-15 minutes. Let the dough rise while covered at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough so it is about 3mm thick and 30cm wide. Spread the room temperature buter on top. Make a mixture of sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the dough. Roll the dough the long way and cut the roll into about 25 slices. Place them with the cut edge upwards in paper moulds. Place on a baking sheet and let rise under a towel for about 60 minutes or until the buns have doubled in size.

Beat together the egg and water, brush the mixture carefully on the buns and sprinkle pearl sugar on top. Bake in the oven at 220 degrees celsius for 5-6 minutes. Allow to cool on a rack.

  • I used dry yeast, so I halved the amount listed above. Next time I'm going to try fresh yeast, which you can buy from bakeries.
  • You don't need a bread machine/dough mixer but it makes it a bit easier.
  • I made bigger buns this time so only got about half the number, but they turned out less dry than my first batch of 25. When they rise they get pretty big, but if you pat them down a bit the size is more manageable. If you make them bigger like me, you'll need to adjust the cooking time - up to double the time in the recipe.
  • I also laid them out a bit differently - the swirl wasn't facing up but to the side, just for something different.
If you've got any tips/tricks on making these buns, I'd love to know!


  1. let me know if you can't find pearl sugar and i will send you some :)

  2. i think i've seen pearl sugar at the essential ingredient!

  3. They look great! And delicious too. I have an awesome recipe for Austrian apfelstrudel if you'd like to try that next? And for the record, I don't really like big American muffins. I'm totally a pastry girl!

  4. oh my! laura just made some of these and they're tasty hair!! :)

  5. Hej!

    It is kanelbullar day today! Well yesterday now that I see the clock...

    Greetings from the faraway North.


    p.s. If you would like a traditional kanelbullar recipe you may email me.


Nice to hear from you!

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