Enjoy these delightful Swedish cinnamon rolls at home with my easy-to-make Kanelbullar recipe, as flavorful and cinnamony as my favorite cinnamon roll recipe.
A buttery brioche dough filled with a mixture of butter and brown sugar-flavored with cinnamon and sweet cardamom, all wrapped up in a swirl of goodness.
Why you'll love this recipe
Enjoy Swedish baking with these delightful Swedish cinnamon rolls, also known as kanelbullar or kanelbulle with this easy-to-make-at-home recipe that will take you away with every bite.
Traditional Swedish kanelbullar are made from a soft, pillowy brioche dough, flavored with cinnamon or cardamom, filled with a mixture of brown sugar and rolled into a spiral or in a knot, giving it its original shape.
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Ingredients you need
*You will find the quantities and instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page.
Cardamom bread dough :
- Flour: All-purpose flour and bread flour are commonly used for brioche dough.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter that has been softened or melted and cooled.
- Sugar: Fine white granulated sugar, which you can substitute with flavored sugar, such as brown sugar or coconut sugar.
- Yeast: 1 packet of active dry yeast (or instant yeast) or fresh yeast (about 20-25 g for 1 packet of dry yeast).
- Milk: Use warm dairy milk at about 77°F / 25°C, whole milk or 2% milk, which you can replace with water or vegetable milk.
- Salt: A pinch of table salt is essential.
- Cardamom: Use ground cardamom to flavor the dough, if you don't have any you can do without.
- Pearl sugar: You can replace the pearl sugar with a layer of icing sugar after baking or chocolate chips.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter that must be melted.
- Sugar: Preferably use flavored sugar such as dark brown sugar or light brown sugar.
- Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon spice to flavor the cinnamon filling.
- Vanilla: Liquid vanilla, optional, to flavor the filling.
How to make Swedish Cinnamon Buns
- Rehydrate the active instant yeast in the warm milk with the cardamom ground, mix and let rest for 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the all purpose flour, granulated sugar and salt, then add the softened butter and the milk containing the yeast.
- Knead the dough for 6 - 8 minutes at medium speed until you obtain a smooth and soft dough.
- Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let the dough rise for about 1.5 to 2 hours at room temperature. The dough should doubled in size.
- Melt butter and place in a small bowl with vanilla extract, sugar and cinnamon ground.
- Mix with a tablespoon until smooth.
- Set aside until you are ready to assemble the Swedish cinnamon buns.
- Flatten the risen dough with your hands, then roll the dough with a rolling pin into a large rectangle on a lightly floured surface or a sheet of parchment paper.
- Spread the cinnamon filling over the entire surface using a tablespoon or an offset spatula.
- Fold the dough in 3 (in a wallet shape) and roll out the dough again to a thickness of about 4-5 mm.
- Slice the dough into strips of widthwise with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife.
- Turn the dough on itself and roll it up to form a snail or a knot.
- Move the kanelbullar onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
- Let the cinnamon buns rise again covered with a tea towel for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C.
- Apply a layer of egg wash with a pastry brush to the cinnamon rolls.
- Then sprinkle a little pearl sugar on top of the Swedish buns.
- And bake for about 10-15 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Let the buns cool down a bit before letting them cool on a cooling rack.
- Enjoy your kanelbulllar while they are still a little warm.
At room temperature: Store your kanelbullar Swedish cinnamon buns preferably in a storage box with a lid. You can slightly reheat them in the microwave to give them a bit of softness.
How to freeze? placed in a conservation bag, you can keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow cinnamon bun come back to room temperature or use the defrost function of your microwave.
Make ahead of time and let them rise in the fridge: If you want swedish cinnamon buns for breakfast, you can make them 1 day ahead of time and let them rise overnight in the fridge at the last minute - they'll be even better.
Tips for this recipe
- Let the dough grow overnight in the fridge, it will be better and easier to handle. You can also use your oven set to 113°F/45°C to speed up the rising time.
- Active dry yeast and instant yeast: I usually use instant yeast and although it doesn't need to be activated in a warm liquid, I always do it as a matter of habit. But you can also put your instant yeast directly into the flour, avoiding direct contact with the salt.
- Be careful not to overcook the buns or they will be too dry in the mouth and lose their softness.
Replace filling: with Nutella spread, melted chocolate, jam or even with pastry cream and chocolate chips.
Vegan option: Use vegan milk or water, vegan butter and you can have a vegan cinnamon rolls recipe.
Roll in a spiral like American cinnamon rolls: Cut the strips a little larger and roll them on themselves - it's even easier.
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