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Kanelbulle Recipe (Swedish Cinnamon Buns)

Kanelbulle Recipe (Swedish Cinnamon Buns)

Kanelbulle is a Swedish sweet cinnamon bun prepared using flour, cinnamon, sugar and butter. The dish is known by several other names, such as cinnamon roll, cinnamon bun, cinnamon swirl, cinnamon Danish and cinnamon snail.

In Denmark, it is referred to as kanelsnegl; in Norway, it is called kanelbolle, skillingsbolle or kanelsnurr; in Finland, it is known by the name of korvapuusti; in Iceland, it is known as kanilsnúður; and in Estonia it is known as kaneelirull. However, in Austria and Germany, it is known as Zimtschnecke.

As well as Sweden, it is generally consumed in Northern Europe (mostly in the Nordic countries, but also in Austria and Germany) and North America.

Origin & Cultural Significance

It is believed that Sri Lankan cinnamon was introduced to Europe by Roman spice traders. Eventually, Sweden started to add the exotic spice to its pastries, with the kanelbulle being one of the results. Since 1999, October 4 has been acknowledged as Cinnamon Roll Day (Kanelbullens dag). Classic Swedish kanelbulle dough is also known to have cardamom (powder or buds), providing it with a typical flavour.

Swedish Kanelbulle

Swedish Kanelbulle Recipe

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes


For Kanelbullar dough:

  • Active dry yeast - 1 & 1/2 tsp
  • Milk, warm - 1 cup
  • All-purpose flour - 3 cups
  • Sugar - 1/4 cup
  • Ground cardamom - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Butter, unsalted and softened - 4 tbsp

For filling:

  • Butter, unsalted and softened - 5 tbsp
  • White sugar - 1/4 cup
  • Brown sugar - 3 tbsp
  • Cinnamon powder - 1 tbsp

For finishing:

  • Egg, beaten - 1
  • Pearl sugar - 2 tbsp


  1. Begin by preparing the kanelbullar dough.
  2. Take a bowl and add warm milk with yeast to it. Combine both ingredients well and set aside until it becomes foamy.
  3. Take a stand-mixer bowl and add all the dry ingredients for the dough in it: flour, salt, sugar, and ground cardamom. Mix well.
  4. After the yeast is prepared, add it and the softened butter to a bowl.
  5. Mix the ingredients with the paddle attachment until they form a dough.
  6. Change into the hook attachment and keep mixing until a smooth dough forms.
  7. Once done, shape the dough into a ball. Brush a bowl with a little bit of oil and keep the dough in it.
  8. Place it aside for about 20 minutes, making sure to keep it covered with a clean kitchen cloth.
  9. It’s time to make the filling. Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients for the filling in it: butter, cinnamon powder, brown sugar and white sugar.
  10. Mix thoroughly and set aside for the dough.
  11. Next is the formation of Swedish cinnamon buns. Place the prepared dough on a flat surface, and with the help of a rolling pin, flatten it into a rectangular shape of about 45 x 35 cm.
  12. Add the cinnamon stuffing evenly on top with the help of an angled spatula. Leave about half an inch of the dough (on both long sides) without the cinnamon filling.
  13. Roll the dough into a log starting from the long side.
  14. Begin creating a kanelbulle by cutting the log into 15 parts (about 3 centimetres for every kanelbulle).
  15. Keep each roll on a baking tray that is lined with a baking sheet, and make sure to leave sufficient space between them.
  16. Cover the roll with a kitchen towel and place aside for about 90 minutes, or until the kanelbulle have nearly doubled in size.
  17. Preheat your oven to 200 °C (375 °F).
  18. Uncover the tray and brush every roll with the beaten egg. Dust it with pearl sugar.
  19. Set the tray in the centre of the oven for 17-20 minutes, and wait until they darken a little in colour.
  20. Set aside for 5 minutes, then allow to cool before serving! 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 92mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 4g

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