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Cinnamon buns – Kanelbullar

Cinnamon buns –  Well-loved Swedish classic Kanelbullar.

Kanelbullar, are classic bakes of Swedish culture. These cinnamon treats are a must when it comes to coffee parties in Sweden and are sold at every café in Sweden.

Every Swedish café is enchanted with the delicious sweet aroma of freshly baked kanelbullar. A lady once said “If you want to sell a house; make sure it smells of cinnamon buns, so it feels cozy” That is an interesting and intelligent idea.

Cinnamon buns - Kanelbullar

I was totally sold to the idea of baking Kanelbullar with a layer of almond paste along with cinnamon. Truly; There are few more ideas playing in the mind right now  — Cardamom, pistachios, vanilla sugar, hazelnut paste, chocolate, walnuts, caramel, even fruit jams/ preserves.

If I may make you imagine the flavour, texture and aroma—Think about the fresh baked warmth and aroma when the baking tray comes out of the oven. As you bite into the crust of bun, you will feel the soft interior coated with absolute flavoursome almond paste. The cinnamon and sugar play together on your taste buds as you gulp in the bite.

Cinnamon buns - Kanelbullar

Last year I had baked cinnamon wreath for Christmas month recipe. You can check the recipe here.

The biggest difficulty in making cinnamon buns that represents Swedish Kanelbullar  is that they are normally finished off with some pärlsocker (pearl sugar), also called sugar nibs. I did not find it………

So decided to make my own, (you can simply skip this step )or try this recipe- —  In a small saucepan, over very low flame combine 1/4th  cup granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon of water. Stir until you can see no more loose sugar and lumps or clusters start forming. Allow to cool completely and break carefully into small pieces. Keep in an airtight container in a dry place.


you can also break sugar cubes into small pieces and use them.

Cinnamon buns - Kanelbullar

Kanelbullar are not as sweet and sticky as the typical cinnamon rolls. I enjoyed fresh Kanelbullar with my coffee with less guilt today.  Here are few points to read before you start with the recipe.

1. This yeast dough for making Kanelbullar is rich and contains milk, and butter which gives it a wonderfully rich flavor with a soft and tender crumb. Make sure that the butter is room temperature and add it gradually while kneading, so it can be easily incorporated into the dough.

2. You may notice as you add the butter that the dough falls apart. Don’t worry, just keep mixing and it will come back together into a soft and silky ball of dough (takes about 5 to 10 minutes of kneading)

Fat provides a rich mouth-feel that we perceive as moistness; it also creates a barrier that helps prevent moisture from escaping. In addition, fat coats gluten and keeps it from bonding too strongly, producing a delicate crumb.

3. If you feel that the dough is loose and sticky, Sprinkling on some flour while rolling and shaping —both under and on top of the dough—will help mitigate the extreme stickiness.

4. However, if you prefer the dough to be more firm (specially while spreading the cinnamon almond mix), you can chill the dough in the fridge before you start to roll. It really does result in a neater, evenly spread, more held-together roll.

5. Keep in mind, though, that when you use cold, refrigerated dough…You’ll need to allow the rolls to rise a little longer before you put them in the oven for baking.

6. There are several ways to shape the buns, but I am sharing this extremely helpful visual guide which creates some of the most beautiful buns ever. Hope this is of help – twisting the strips and shaping them into a snail-shell shape

Cinnamon buns - Kanelbullar

7. You can freeze the rolls, unrisen, on to a baking tray. Cover them tightly with both plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Then you’ll just need to remove them, allow them to thaw and rise, and continue the baking and icing process.

You can also freeze the rolls, baked. Later, you can thaw them out, warm them for just a few minutes in the oven.

Cinnamon buns - Kanelbullar


For the buns:

1.  3 cups of maida

2.  1/4th cup of granulated sugar

3.  2 teaspoons instant dry yeast

4.  1 cup lukewarm milk

5.  1/4th  cup 60 gm of butter room temperature

6. ½ teaspoon salt

For the filling:

1.  40 gm butter room temperature

2.  1/2  cup light brown sugar

3.  1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

4.  1/2 cup of almond paste (marzipan) room temperature

5.  Little milk to brush the buns before baking

6.  Pearl sugar, chopped almonds, or granulated sugar, to sprinkle on top before baking (optional)


Place flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer using a dough hook attachment to the mixer. Add milk to the flour mixture and mix on low speed until dough comes together, 2-3 minutes. Continue kneading on low-medium speed until dough is soft and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the soft butter, continuing to knead the dough for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until it feels soft and silky.

Place dough in a large bowl brushed with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place or on the counter for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size. Keep in mind that rising will be slower in cold weather.

To make the filling: In a small bowl, combine soft butter, almond paste, sugar, and cinnamon and mix until you have a smooth paste.

Shaping the dough :  On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into approximately 14×14-inch square. Spread cinnamon almond paste mixture onto half of the surface, making a very thin layer. Fold dough into half, then roll again into a rough rectangle.

Facing the long edge, cut dough into roughly 2cm wide and 20cm long strips. Twist each strip several times, slightly stretch with tender hands. Grab one end of the twisted strip and coil the dough around, then over the top. Coil dough again and tuck the loose end in at the bottom.

Arrange buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper,  keeping as much space between them as possible. Cover and let rest for half an hour or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, set the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350*F  (180*C).

Brush buns with milk, sprinkle with sugar and almond flakes, and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow buns to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


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