Cinnamon buns or Kanelbulle, the taste of Sweden! Ever since my first stay in Stockholm, this has been my favourite pastry. They are super simple to make and the perfect addition to your weekend breakfast. They are also a staple of a proper Swedish ‘Fika’. But, to be honest, they are good any time of the day, even in the middle of the night.
While in Stockholm in the early 2000s, I lived on cinnamon buns. Before heading to work, I’d buy 2 or 3 buns and devour them before lunch. They were the reason I gained weight for the first time in my life; they tasted oh so good.
One night, I went to a club where they baked and sold cinnamon buns right inside the venue. Suburban Kids with Biblical Names and other Swedish Pop bands were playing, and I felt blessed. So, even today when I am baking cinnamon buns, I have to listen to Swedish Indie Pop. I firmly believe that the right soundtrack is the secret ingredient. I added a playlist at the end of this post for you to listen to while baking.
Swedish Cinnamon Buns
For the dough
100 g unsalted butter
350 ml milk
20 g fresh yeast (2 tsp dry yeast)
560 g flour
50 g sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the filling
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
50g brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons ground cardamom
pinch of salt
For the topping
1 beaten egg
(pearl) sugar or sliced almonds
Step 1: Prepare the Dough
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the milk. Leave on the stove on medium heat until the milk is warmed through.
Crumble the yeast into a small bowl and add a few tablespoons of the warmed up butter and milk. Let is sit for a while.
Combine the flour, sugar, cardamom and salt in a large bowl and add the yeast mixture as well as the remaining milk. Stir with a wooden spoon until it has a doughy consistency.
Start kneading the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. If the dough feels too sticky, knead in some more flour. Roll your dough into a ball and leave it to rise in the bowl for approximately an hour.
Step 2: Prepare the Filling
Make sure the butter has reached room temperature and combine it with the sugar, cinnamon and cardamom.
Step 3: Assemble & Braid
Prepare two baking trays and cover them with baking sheets.
After the dough has rested and risen to double its size, give it another good knead and divide it in half. Roll the dough into a rectangle.
Spread half of the filling over half of the dough and roll it up into a large sausage and cut the roll into 2cm wide pieces.
In order to make the braids pictures above, instead of rolling up the dough, fold it over and cut it up in two finger wide strips. Slice those strips in half, leaving approximately one centimetre attached at the top. Twist the two halves and nestle them on top of the attached bit. Don’t aim for perfection, but embrace the messy!
Step 4: Final Preparations & Baking
Put your buns onto the baking trays, cover them with your clean kitchen towel and let them rise for another 45 minutes. In the meantime preheat your oven to 180°C.
Fresh cinnamon buns always taste best. But if you store them in an airtight container or a linen bag, they will be alright for the following 2-3 days.
Cinnamon Bun Soundtrack
Here it is, the ultimate cinnamon bun baking soundtrack. Dancing around in the kitchen is compulsory!