23 January 2020

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar / www.delightfulrepast.com

Swedish Cinnamon Buns came to my attention through Ron at Lost in a Pot, where you'll find lots of Swedish recipes. Then I read dozens of recipes for the buns. Then, of course, I went all Frank Sinatra and "did it my way!" 

My recipe uses my by-hand make-ahead method, whereas Ron mixes his kanelbullar dough in an Ankarsrum Assistent Original (that's not a typo, it's Swedish), a completely different type of mixer I first heard of a few years ago when writing a magazine article. 

I baked a half batch (12) one day, and a half batch the next, using a different shaping method, which I think makes a prettier bun for me. But I'll tell you how to do it both ways in the recipe directions. (Sorry I didn't take photos of the prettier buns.) 

My research indicates that even some "real" Swedish people making "real" Kanelbullar make a big roll and cut it into slices just like American cinnamon rolls. So I think what makes them Swedish is the use of cardamom in the dough. I don't know. And Ron says Kanelbullar never have icing, which makes me very happy!

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar / www.delightfulrepast.com


As you might expect, I skip the traditional sprinkling of pearl sugar as I don't like to eat it and I think the buns are prettier without it. But those who do use the pearl sugar differ in when they put it on the buns; some after the egg wash before baking; others after a brushing of sugar syrup after baking. You decide.

The "authentic" Swedish Kanelbullar experience probably includes a cup of coffee or a glass of milk, but my inauthentic experience includes tea. What will you have with your Kanelbullar?

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar / www.delightfulrepast.com

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar


(Makes 24)

The Cardamom Dough

3 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (16.25 ounces/461 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) milk, microwaved 1 to 2 minutes in 2-cup glass measure until hot but not boiling
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/grams) unsalted butter, cut into about 6 slices and added to heated milk

1 large egg, room temperature

The Cinnamon Filling

1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

The Egg Wash

1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon water


1 Start the dough the day before. In large bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, cardamom and salt. In 2-cup glass measure, microwave milk until hot but not boiling, about 2 minutes in my microwave; stir in pieces of butter to melt. Add warm liquid and egg to flour mixture, and stir until thoroughly combined and smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup of the reserved flour to form a soft dough.

2 Leave the dough in the bowl. Using the remaining 3/4 cup of flour, flour one hand and sprinkle some of the flour over the dough. Lightly squish the dough around in the bowl with one hand (not really kneading!), adding a little of the reserved flour at a time. If baking all 24 buns, proceed with Step 3a. If baking 12 one day and 12 the next, see Step 3b. 

3a Gently shape the dough into a smooth ball (it will be sticky). Place in lightly oiled bowl (I use a 2-quart glass measure); lightly oil surface. Cover with oiled plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. 

3b Divide the dough into two equal (about 16 ounces/454 grams) pieces and shape each into a smooth ball (they will be sticky). Place each in a lightly oiled 4-cup lidded Pyrex bowl; lightly oil surface. Cover with oiled plastic wrap or lid. Refrigerate overnight.

4 Next day, make the filling (full or half batch) by creaming together filling ingredients; let cold dough (full or half batch) stand at room temperature for an hour or so to warm up a bit before shaping. Punch down the dough by pressing down in center and folding in edges; cover and let relax in bowl for 20 minutes. Line 1 or 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar / www.delightfulrepast.com

5a Full batch: Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, and roll out to 18x12-inch (46x30 cm) rectangle. Spread the cinnamon filling evenly over one long half of the dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Fold the plain half over the half with the filling to make an 18x6-inch (46x15 cm) rectangle.

5b Half batch: Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, and roll out to 9x12-inch (23x30 cm) rectangle. Spread a half batch of the cinnamon filling evenly over one short half of the dough, leaving ½-inch border. Fold the plain half over the half with the filling to make a 9x6-inch (23x15 cm) rectangle.

6 Using a straight edge and sharp knife or plastic pizza wheel, cut the filled dough into 24 (or 12, if half batch) 6x3/4-inch (15x2 cm) strips. Twist and tie the buns (or make a simple spiral), and place them on the lined baking sheet(s), spaced so as to not touch once they rise. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour or so.

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar / www.delightfulrepast.com


How to Twist and Tie the Buns: Holding onto one end of a strip, twist it several times, coil the twisted strip around your index finger twice, and tuck the end down through the opening in the center. OR just make a simple spiral of the twisted strip and tuck the end under the bun. That's what I did for my second batch, and I think it makes a prettier bun!

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar / www.delightfulrepast.com


7 Preheat oven to 450F/230C/Gas8. In small bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Brush the risen rolls with the egg wash just before baking. As soon as you put the pan in the oven, reduce heat to 400F/205C/Gas6. Bake for about 15 minutes, until deep golden brown.

Swedish Cinnamon Buns - Kanelbullar / www.delightfulrepast.com


PS I absolutely love my Nordic Ware Commercial Half Sheet Pan and Nordic Ware Half Sheet Cover. That perfectly fitting cover comes in handy for so many things, including covering rising buns without using plastic wrap or a kitchen towel.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

42 comments:

Angie's Recipes said...

They are a favourite! Yours look authentic and so tasty!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

There you are! Well the cardamom buns may replace cinnamon buns, but I’ll add some Irish icing just to broker the deal! And butter makes it better, of course.

Vee said...

They look wonderful and sound even better. I have never had cardamon in supply so if I bake these for my Swedish sisters-in-law, I shall have to scout that out. We will be drinking coffee with ours. I really like the pan and cover. Off to check it out.

Jeanie said...

I'd love to see the pretty buns, because these look pretty pretty to me! And delicious too!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Angie, thank you. I like them so much better than big ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sully. Love the butter, yes, but you'll have to add your own icing!

Jeff the Chef said...

I love Ron''s site! I didn't realize he had such a fancy mixer, though. Your rolls came out so beautifully. I bet they're delicious.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Vee. That pan and cover changed my life several years ago now. I now have two of them, and they are real workhorses in the kitchen and great for taking food to a picnic.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Jeanie. It's pretty hard for a cinnamon bun to not be at least a little pretty!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jeff, thank you. Yes, Ron really seems to have fun in the kitchen, and he loves that fancy mixer!

Tamago said...

Oh your Kanelbullar looks so good! I like no-icing part. I like cinnamon buns but often the icing is too much. I would enjoy them with coffee or tea :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Tamago. Always happy to find another no-icing fan!

ellen b. said...

Those rolls look fabulous! What a good idea the cover for a sheet pan is. Very clever.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Ellen. They are delicious. And that sheet pan with cover is THE best thing!

My name is Erika. said...

These looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Jean I love that these aren't too sugary. Funny I should find this recipe today. I just stopped by a local bakery thinking of simple non-sugary buns. Good for me they were closed for the day. I'll just have to give these a go. I like my Christmas buns at Christmas and usually do not indulge at other times. Today was a fluke but here we are! I'll let you know if I follow through on these. First I need to have guests invited to feed them to!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Erika!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sue, thanks. I hope you'll invite those guests and give these a try. Sometimes if I'm not having guests, I just freeze my treats for the next time we have guests.

Pauline Wiles said...

Yes, tea for me please. I'm not quite sure I have the patience or prowess to attempt these, but I did enjoy the behind-the-scenes of getting that lovely shape.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Pauline. There are a number of things I'll never do, like mountain climbing, that I nevertheless enjoy reading about. But you could *do* this!

Victoria Zigler said...

I love cinnamon buns! I haven't had one since becoming vegan, but I have a recipe for a veganized version, which I plan to try at some point. You made me want to make that happen very soon.

Oh, and mine would probably be tea too. Maybe hot chocolate, but I find having hot chocolate and a sweet pastry at the same time a bit much, so have always had tea with my pastries in the past.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I agree, Victoria. The bun and hot chocolate might be a tasty combination, but the sweet chocolate and sweet pastry at the same time is a bit much! Let's have tea!

Cocoa and Lavender said...

I have several recipes for kanelbullar but none with as directions as meticulous as yours. Jean, you give me hope that I could pull these off!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

David, thank you so much! I do hope you'll try them soon. I know you'll have such fun with them!

TONY said...

I like the look of these Jean. I like the taste of cinnamon too. Are they similar to Danish pastries? I like raisins and sometimes nuts in a Danish pastry. I have not come across the Swedish version before. The Scandinavian countries are great on pastries. Tony

Richard Sheppard said...

Ah, this is another one that I'll keep in mind for when the time is right (guests, of course)! Looks so tasty, I want one now.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Tony. As you can see here at my Danish Dough recipe, https://www.delightfulrepast.com/2014/10/cinnamon-nut-coffee-cake-easy-danish.html, the Danish dough has a lot more butter than the Swedish. They're different, but I like both.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Richard. Do let me know if you make them. I know you'll like them!

RON said...

Hi, Jean what a great pot on one of my favorite fika (tea time) treats. Also, thanks for the link back to Lost in a Pot.
As for the shape of the kanelbullar, you see both bun stills here in Sweden but tied in a knot is most common. The tying of the knot is a very good way to hold the bun together when they bake, but I've done rolled as well. The pearl sugar is most often seen, but when making them yourself totally optional. There are also other varieties of bullar (buns) as well, such as Vaniljbullar (vanilla bun) and Saffransbullar (saffron bun). Both are the same shape but with variations in the ingredients. For the vanilla bun, you omit the cardamom and use "vanilla sugar" instead of regular sugar for the bun dough and omit the cinnamon and use "vanilla sugar" in place of regular sugar for the filling. For the saffron bun, you omit the cardamom and add a pinch (à 1/2 g) of powdered saffron to the dough and use the vanilla filling. Thanks again for making such a lovely and adored Swedish treat.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Ron, thank you so much! I really enjoyed these and definitely want to make them again. Have to--must work on my "knot" technique! The variations sound tasty, too, but I'll probably stick with the cinnamon version. Next Swedish thing I want to try that I read about on your blog is the Amalia Lundberg Applekaka.

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

They sound heavenly and I love the method !! They look beautiful, Jean. I’d sure love one for breakfast tomorrow morning.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Kitty! I sure wish I'd frozen a few of them. Oh well, I'll just have to make another batch!

Phil in the Kitchen said...

They look seriously good. I'm a big fan of cardamom in baking. Although I don't use much sugar these days, I must admit that I like the way pearl sugar looks on buns like these. I think it must remind me of the way cakes looked in the windows of expensive shops when I was much younger.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Phil. Yes, seriously good! You could always put the pearl sugar on for looks, then scrape it off for eating. There's nothing quite as pretty as a well-arranged display of cakes and pastries!

Miz Helen said...

Your Cinnamon Buns will be a very special treat that we will love! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Miz Helen! Always enjoy Full Plate Thursday.

Abbe@This is How I Cook said...

Love this version of cinnamon buns. I've tried cardamom buns but I love the combination of both! And for the record, I think they are very pretty!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Abbe, thanks so much! It's hard for a cinnamon bun to not be at least a little pretty! :D

Lowcarb team member said...

Isn't cinnamon amazing …
These look good :)

All the best Jan

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Jan. It really is THE most important of the sweet spices, I think.

April J Harris said...

I think the buns you did photograph look lovely, Jean! I'm not sure how they can be prettier. They sound absolutely delicious too. I wasn't familiar with Kanelbuller and I really enjoyed learning about them. I'd have mine with a cup of coffee! Thank you for sharing these lovely treats with the Hearth and Soul Link Party. I hope your week is going well.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, April! They really are tasty, a sweet treat that's not TOO sweet. Hope you'll try them.

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