Kanelbullar – Swedish Cinnamon Buns. Step-by-Step recipe

Kanelbullar – Swedish Cinnamon Buns:┬áThese rich, sweet buns redolent of cinnamon and cardamom are easy to make.

The particular way they are folded and twisted means that the buttery, sugary filling doesn’t leak out, creating a black, impossible-to-clean crust on your baking tray.

We’ve provided step-by-step photos of the folding technique. Once folded, these buns can be frozen and then kept in an air tight container for a few months until you are ready to bake them yourself.

Make them yourself for a decadent weekend breakfast treat, or for afternoon tea.


180 grams butter
500mls milk, warm
1 kg of plain flour
3 1/2 teaspoons of dry yeast
100g caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
150 grams butter
100g sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 egg
pearl sugar or just demarera sugar.


  1. In a small bowl or jug, sprinkle the dry yeast onto the warm milk and allow to froth and expand, for about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter, sugar, flour, salt and cardamom. Mix the warm milk and yeast mixture into this until it forms a cohesive and silky dough, about 12 minutes of hand mixing or 5-6 minutes with a dough hook on a stand mixer.
  3. Cover the dough and place in a warm spot to rise for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Melt the butter in a separate bowl or pot.
  5. Once dough has expanded, flour your work surface liberally and scrape the dough onto it.
  6. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celcius.
  7. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 8 mm thick.
  8. Spread the butter all over the surface of the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar until you have used it all and covered it completely.
  9. Follow the picture guide for how to fold and shape the dough. Basically you fold the large rectangle into thirds and cut strips about 3 cm wide and split the strip half way. Twist these “legs” inwards and then twist upwards like antlers. Cross the legs and tuck the ends under the crossed part but on top of the unsplit end of the strip. It’s so much easier to explain in pictures, so see our detailed visual guide before.
  10. Place the kanelbullar at least 4cm apart on a lined baking tray.
  11. Beat the egg and brush this over the top of each bun, and scatter with hail or demarera sugar for decoration.
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy to the touch in the center.




Unbaked buns can be frozen on a tray and then placed in an airtight container or zip lock bag once hard. They can be cooked from frozen. When you turn on the oven and set the temperature, place the buns on their baking tray in the oven as it warms. From this method, the buns will generally take 15-20 minutes to cook from the time the oven is at 170 degrees.


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