culinary review

Swedish Cinnamon Rolls – Kanel bullar

Last Modified: 10/12/09
First Published: 10/11/09
Views: 5997
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Views: 5997

Cinnamon rolls are a great treat to have with coffee or tea, anytime of year, however it's specially nice to have during the colder months of the year. Cinnamon buns do vary slightly between various recipes – for example, American recipes usually make large buns which have a very sweet topping. The Scandinavian version of cinnamon buns on the other hand is usually smaller, a tad less sweet, flavored with cardamom and topped with some pearl sugar or sliced almonds. The cinnamon roll is actually so popular that October 4th has been named the official Cinnamon Bun Day.

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General Info
Servings: 24
Total Cost: $4.11
Cost Per Serving: $0.17
Total Calories: 5,793
Calories/Serving: 241
Milk, Whole 1 1/4 Cup 300.00 Grams $0.30 188
Cardamom, Ground 1 Tablespoon 5.90 Grams $0.43 18
Sugar, White Granulated 2/3 Cups 132.00 Grams $0.17 511
Salt, Table 1/2 Teaspoon 3.00 Grams $0.00 0
Yeast, Instant, Fast Rising (2 packages) * 14.00 Grams $0.50 0
Flour, White Unbleached All Purpose 4 1/2 Cups 19.13 Ounces $0.63 2,048
Butter, Unsalted (for dough) * 150.00 Grams $0.67 1,071
Butter, Unsalted (for spread) * 200.00 Grams $0.89 1,429
Sugar, White Granulated (for spread) 2/3 Cups 132.00 Grams $0.17 511
Cinnamon, Ground 1 Tablespoon 6.80 Grams $0.34 18

The method of making cinnamon rolls is quite simple, and the flavor could easily be varied depending on what you have on hand. If for example you have some berries, then combine them with some cornstarch and sprinkle on after the butter mixture. Thinly sliced apples and pears are also options as well as nutella instead of the butter cinnamon spread. The possibilities are endless!

Here is a Swedish recipe that produces very buttery, tasty cinnamon rolls which would be great to freeze in order to take out on one of those days when you need something special with your coffee, or when you have unexpected visitors.

For the wheat dough:
1 1/4 cup milk (3 dl)
1 tablespoon cardamom
2/3 cup sugar (1 1/2 dl)
½ teaspoon salt
2 packages of yeast (50 g fresh)
4 1/2 - 5 cups flour (11-12 dl)
150 g of butter, room temperature
For the butter filling:
200 g butter, soft
1/3 cup sugar (1 dl)
1 tablespoon cinnamon


Heat milk slightly or let come to room temperature. Crush the cardamom in a mortel if you have one. Cut the room temperature butter in small cubes. Combine the milk, cardamom, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl. In a separate measurement container mix the flour and the yeast. Start adding the flour mixture into the milk mixture, a little at a time. Once you have incorporated all of the flour, or as much as you see fit, make sure the dough is well distributed, then cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about one hour.

In the meantime, combine the butter, sugar and cinnamon for the filling until smooth. Set aside.

When the dough has risen, divide it in two parts. On a floured surface, roll out one part of the dough into a ½ – 1 inch thick rectangle. Spread half of the butter-cinnamon mixture on evenly, all the way out  to the edges. Then start rolling from one end until you meet the other end. Cut with a knife this roll into about 12 pieces (about 1 inch each). Place each piece on a paper muffin tin and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the other batch. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 45 minutes – 1 hour.

Brush each bun with an egg wash. If you have pearl sugar, or if you prefer sliced almonds, then place on top of each bun, if not simply do the egg wash. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Let cool on baking rack. Once the rolls come out of the oven and cool slightly, you can always dip the tops in  granulated sugar for some extra crunch and sweetness.