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Swedish Cinnamon Buns Recipe (Easy Kanelbullar Recipe)

Swedish Cinnamon Buns or Kanelbullar are buns with multiple layers of soft and fluffy bread and aromatic sweet buttery filling in between.

Why You will love this Swedish Cinnamon Buns Recipe

This Cinnamon buns recipe will help you to make the best Swedish cinnamon buns that are soft and fluffy, and is full of delicious aroma, in an easy and fast method.

kanelbullar recipe

The cinnamon buns made with this easy recipe are

  • Soft,airy and fluffy with light crispy crust
  • Comfortingly flavored with cinnamon and cardamom
  • Shaped beautifully with those swirly layers
  • top and bottom of the rolls are wonderfully caramelized with that golden brown color.
This Swedish Cinnamon Buns Recipe or Kanelbullar Recipe is actually adapted from the Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe.

The recipe is very similar and the difference is in the method of proofing ,shaping and the frosting. Quick Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe is by far, one of the most popular recipes on the blog and for a good reason. It uses a faster “One Rise Method of proofing”..so that you can make the cinnamon rolls in a fast and easy method.So it might be a good idea to hop over to the post and watch the VIDEO

What Makes Swedish Cinnamon Buns Different From American Cinnamon Rolls

Swedish cinnamon buns or kanelbullar are very similar to American cinnamon rolls.

  • The first difference is the addition of cardamom. Cardamom, a spice originally found in India, can be described as warm, comforting and aromatic.
  • Another difference is that Swedish Cinnamon Buns doesn’t use any frosting or icing.
  • Swedish cinnamon buns usually have pearl sugar as topping.

Ingredients to make Easy Cinnamon Buns

To make the bread dough

  1. All purpose flour/Bread flour: 3 cups (loosely packed)or 390g
  2. Warm Milk 1/2 Cup or 120 ml; If you don’t want to add milk, you can use plain water instead.
  3. Warm Water 1/2 cup or 120ml
  4. Unsalted Butter (softened)1/4 Cup or 57g
  5. Sugar 2 and 1/2 tbsp or 32g
  6. Salt 1 tsp or 6 g
  7. Yeast (instant /active dried yeast) 1tsp or 3 g

For the filling

  1. Soft Brown sugar (packed cup)1/2 cup or 90g
  2. Unsalted Butter(softened) 1/4 cup or 57g
  3. Cinnamon powder 2 tsp or 5g
  4. Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp or 2g

For the glaze (optional)

  1. Water : 1/4 cup / 60 ml
  2. Sugar (Brown or white) :5 tbsp or 60g
swedish cinnamon buns

How to Make Swedish Cinnamon Buns

Making kanelbullar or Cinnamon buns is so easy.

We can make them in FOUR SIMPLE STEPS

1.Prepare the bread dough

Into a bowl add the warm milk and water, sugar,salt,yeast and softened butter and combine everything together.

Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature and the milk and water should be preferably warm(not hot).It should be ideally around 100 F or the warmth of the milk should be like a baby food,we should not be able to feel the hot but a comfortable warmth.

Yeast cells will die if it is in high temperature(130 F and above) and it’s action will slow down in a cold environment(less than 70 F).

kanelbullar ingredients

Then add in the flour into this mixture and combine them together to form a shaggy mass of dough.

kanelbullar ingredients

If you are kneading the dough in a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment to knead the dough.

If you are kneading the dough by hands, transfer the dough on to a clean work surface and knead the dough for a few minutes(6-8 minutes)until it form a smooth dough.

The dough may feel sticky in the beginning, thats ok,(that’s the way it should be); you may be tempted to add more flour but don’t do that.The dough will come together in about 5 minutes of kneading.

Swedish cinnamon buns dough

Shape it into a ball ; then flatten it a little and then cover it with a bowl or kitchen towel and let the dough rest on the counter for thirty minutes.This will let the dough sit for a few minutes so that the gluten stands will relax.

This resting will prevent our dough from enormous rebounding back of the dough while rolling it into a thin rectangular sheet.

2.Divide and Shape the Swedish Cinnamon buns

So for the next step of shaping the rolls, first we need to roll the dough into thin sheet (1/ 4th inch thickness).

Pat, stretch and roll out the dough to 50-55cm x 25-30 cm rectangle.

Imagine we divide the dough lengthwise into 3 parts.I roughly made marking on top of the dough.

Spread very soft butter over the 2/3 rd of the surface.

Combine sugar and spices in a bowl.

The mix of brown sugar and spices cinnamon and cardamom gives a special aroma to the Swedish cinnamon buns.

Then sprinkle on the filling mixture as evenly as possible.

how to make kanelbullar

Then use those marks as a guide to gently fold the dough in thirds onto itself, so that it looks like a closed business letter. Turn the dough so the seam is in front of you and the open ends are to your right and left.

There are two ways you can roll these cinnamon buns, the traditional way of rolling the dough into a log and slicing then baking or by cutting strips of dough, twirling the dough and creating a knot like roll, which we do here.

Trim the edge of the dough slightly so the rectangle is even, then using a very sharp knife or pastry wheel, slice the dough lengthwise into 3 centimeter wide strips. I divided it into 10 equal dough strips.

how to shape kanelbullar

Again divide each strip into two,almost all the way but leaving one end joined.

how to shape cinnamon buns

How to roll swedish cinnamon buns?

It is easy to roll and shape kanelbullar.

Take one strip of dough and hold one end of it with your hands.

Then twist the two ends slightly and then twirl and form a knot.

Watch the video and you will find it easy to shape kanelbullar.

how to roll kanelbullar
  • While shaping, keep in your mind not to roll them tightly as they need some room for them to expand while proofing and while baking.
  • Make sure the ends are pinched together or otherwise they will unwind while baking.

If they are rolled tightly, the rolls will have pointed center as the center will rise up as it doesn’t have enough space to expand side ways.

How to roll Swedish cinnamon buns

Transfer to a baking pan (I have used half sheet baking pan), lined with a parchment paper.

3.Proof the Swedish Cinnamon Buns

Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rise until puffy ; around 60 minutes. 

Proofing time may get prolonged if the ambient temperature is cold.

The action of Yeast is slow in colder environment.

So it may take unto 90 minutes for the dough to really puff up if your place is cold.

how to make kanelbullar

4.Bake the Cinnamon Buns

Brush the top of shaped and proofed cinnamon buns with egg wash.

I prepared the egg wash by lightly beating one egg in a bowl.

Sprinkle the top with some pearl sugar(optional).You can also use granulated sugar instead of pearl sugar.

swedish buns

Then bake them @ 420 F or 215 C for 14-16 minutes.

As these cinnamon buns have multiple layers of dough, steam can easily pass all through the buns.And so kanelbulle will get baked fast.Baking at high temperature for lesser time makes the Swedish buns or kanelbulle super soft and fluffy.

Let the cinnamon buns cool down for 2-3 minutes.Slather on top with some sugar syrup ,while the rolls are still warm.

glaze kanelbullar

Watch the video to see how easy it is to make Swedish Cinnamon Buns or Kanelbullar.

How to make the sugar syrup for glaze

It is so easy to make this sugar syrup to use as glaze kanelbulle.

Into a saucepan add the 60 g or 5tbsp sugar and 60ml or 1/4 cup water.

Boil and simmer until it gets a syrup consistency.

Remove from heat and let it cool down.

More Easy Bread Recipes

Quick soft and fluffy Dinner Rolls Recipe

Easy No Knead Dinner Rolls

Homemade Cinnamon Swirl bread

How to make Soft and fluffy Star bread

You may also like this version of Boxed cinnamon buns made in a super easy method

How to store Swedish cinnamon rolls

These homemade cinnamon rolls can be kept at room temperature for upto 3 days.Cover the tray with foil or store them in an airtight container.

Will the cinnamon buns stay soft and fluffy when kept at room temperature

These cinnamon rolls remain soft the next 2-3 days when kept at room temperature in an airtight container.

I recommend you to rewarm the rolls for a few seconds in the microwave or for 7-10 minutes in a 350 F preheated oven(just before serving) to get that “fresh out of the oven” taste and softness to rolls.

Do this Swedish buns need to be refrigerated?

If you plan to keep the cinnamon buns for more than three days, then it is better to store them in an airtight container and keep in refrigerator.If stored in the fridge, the rolls will last a few days longer.

Can I make the Swedish Kanelbullar ahead of time and bake on the day morning

Yes you can make them ahead.

How to refrigerate the dough and bake the Swedish Kanelbullar in the morning

Prepare the dough as in step 1; Cover and place in the fridge to rise overnight (slow cold rise). On the next day, take the dough out, bring it to room temperature(let the dough sit for 20-25 minutes at room temperature) and then roll out the dough, fill, shape, rise and bake the rolls. 

Can I shape the Swedish Kanelbullar and then refrigerate them

Yes,You can shape the rolls and then store it in refrigerator and then proof and bake them the next day morning.

How to refrigerate the uncooked Swedish buns, day before and bake in the morning.

After shaping the cinnamon rolls,place them on the baking tray or baking pan.

In this way,If you are making them ahead of time, don’t let them rise at room temperature right now like you normally would for the recipe!

Instead,cover the pan with lightly greased plastic film and immediately pop them in the refrigerator.They can stay in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. The longer we keep them in fridge,the more are chances that the filling may liquify and seep out of the rolls .Minor leaking happened to me every time i tried this method.But don’t get panic,The rolls will be baked properly.

The next day morning or when you want to bake the rolls , remove the tray from fridge ONE HOUR prior to the time you will start baking them. Let them rest in a warm, draft free location for 40 minutes, then start preheating oven to 350 F.. Once oven is heated, bake rolls for approximately 20 minutes (or until lightly browned).

swedish cardamom buns

Can I store the baked Swedish Sweet rolls in refrigerator 

Yes you can store the baked cinnamon rolls in fridge for upto 5 days.I have done this several times and i love this method.

Take them out of the fridge, and rewarm the rolls for a few seconds in the microwave or for 7-10 minutes in a 350 F preheated oven(just before serving) to get that “fresh out of the oven” taste and softness to rolls, just before serving.

How to freeze baked Swedish cinnamon knots

Wrap the rolls tightly in plastic freezer wrap or aluminum foil and store in the freezer. If you prefer, place the cinnamon buns inside of a heavy-duty freezer bag and squeeze out the excess air before sealing. The freezer will preserve the cinnamon rolls indefinitely if kept at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. For best quality, however, keep the cinnamon rolls in the freezer for no longer than 2 to 3 months.

This is the most convenient and easiest method of freezing cinnamon rolls. Everything is taken care of already and you just rewarm the rolls in the microwave or the oven as you are ready to eat them.

How to reheat Scandinavian cinnamon rolls

We can reheat the cinnamon rolls using oven which takes more time than reheating the cinnamon rolls microwave oven which is faster.

How to reheat cinnamon rolls in a convection oven

Rewarming the cinnamon rolls in an overtakes more time.But this is the ideal way to reheat your cinnamon rolls and have them all ready for consumption in minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees
  • Spray the cinnamon buns with some water and Place them on a baking sheet.
  • Place in oven and have them reheat for 7-10 minutes (depending on the size of the rolls and also how cold they are)
  • If you are taking them out of the freezer, you might have to keep them in the oven a bit longer.
  • Take out, allow to cool and then enjoy.

How to reheat cinnamon rolls in a microwave oven

The microwave is another good option to reheat the cinnamon rolls. In under a minute, you can enjoy your sweet treat, all nice and warm.

Note: While the microwave is still a recommended option;We need to keep in our mind that reheating the rolls in microwave oven, can make the rolls soggy, so don’t over do them.

  • Place rolls on a microwave safe plate.
  • Zap the rolls for about 15-20 seconds or until fully warmed up.
  • Make sure you do not microwave them too long as they can get soggy.
  • Take out and enjoy.
kanelbullar

What type of yeast can be used for making cinnamon buns? 

You can use both active dried yeast or instant yeast to make this quick homemade cinnamon buns.

1 teaspoon instant (bread machine) yeast = 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast.

If you are using active dried yeast, add the active dried yeast into the liquid mixture, just as we added instant yeast in the video.Then wait for the yeast to get dissolved into the liquid mixture and to get activated, before adding the flour.The liquid mixture will become slightly foamy in about 10 minutes of adding yeast; then proceed with the recipe by adding flour.

Can I add egg in this cinnamon buns recipe

Yes ,you can add egg in this quick cinnamon bun recipe.Add 1 egg and reduce the amount of water by 55 ml .So in this cinnamon buns recipe ,if you want to add 1 egg ,use only 64ml of water.

Can I freeze the shaped unbaked cinnamon rolls

Yes,you can .I have not tried this method of freezing until i write this blog post.But i tried this method and here are my insights

.After dividing the rolls into 12 equal pieces and placing them on a baking dish; i covered the pan with a plastic film and then took directly to the freezer (before proofing).

When i wanted to bake the cinnamon rolls,took the pan out of the freezer.I let the rolls come to room temperature and then puff up or rise.It took me around 2 hours 15 minutes for the rolls to rise(but I should say ,I was not satisfied by the amount of rise)

There was a considerable amount of leakage from the rolls too 🙁

Then i baked the cinnamon rolls in a 350F preheated oven for 20 minutes.But the rolls were not done.So i baked for another 4 more minutes and they came out well baked.There was pooling of butter and sugar in side the pan when i took it out of the oven.But then i noticed that the butter got absorbed by the cinnamon rolls when it is cooled.

Anyway,the rolls tasted absolutely delicious; though they were not as light and airy as the freshly baked ones.

Freezing the cinnamon rolls and then baking is also a great option.

Freezing the unbaked rolls may result in a poor rise, and the filling is likely to leak out and pool in the bottom of the pan as the sugar melts. Instead, freeze the baked cinnamon rolls after they’re fully cooled, without any icing. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to one month.” -King Arthur Flour

My cinnamon rolls came out drier and denser than expected…Where have i gone wrong

The 3 main reasons that may cause the rolls to come out dry and/or dense, is

  1. Adding too much flour, 
  2. Over-baking or 
  3. under-proofing the dough.  

So make sure the consistency of the final dough is very soft and smooth, be sure to check the expiry date of your yeast ,bake until the rolls are perfectly baked and make sure the dough got doubled in size during proofing before proceeding.

kanelbullar recipe

Swedish Cinnamon Buns Recipe (Easy Kanelbullar Recipe)

Swedish Cinnamon Buns or Kanelbullar are buns with multiple layers of soft and fluffy bread and aromatic sweet buttery filling in between.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Proofing Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Scandanavian, Swedish
Servings 10 Swedish Cinnamon Buns or kanelbullar

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowl https://amzn.to/3wMN3PD
  • Baking Tray https://amzn.to/3apVsAX

Ingredients
  

For Bread Dough

  • 390 g All purpose flour/Bread flour or 3 cups (loosely packed)
  • 120 ml Warm Milk or 1/2 Cup (If you don’t want to add milk, you can use plain water instead)
  • 120 ml Warm Water or 1/2 cup
  • 57 g Unsalted Butter (softened) 1/4 cup
  • 32 g Sugar 2 1/2 tbsp
  • 6 g Salt 1 tsp
  • 3 g Yeast (instant /active dried yeast) 1 tsp

For the Filling

  • 90 g Soft Brown sugar (packed cup)1/2 cup
  • 57 g Unsalted Butter(softened) 1/4 cup
  • 5 g Cinnamon powder 2 tsp
  • 2 g Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp

For Glaze(optional)

  • 60 ml Water 1/4 cup
  • 60 g Sugar (Brown or white 5 tbsp

Instructions
 

PREPARE THE BREAD DOUGH

  • Into a bowl add the warm milk and water, sugar,salt,yeast and softened butter and combine everything together.
    Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature and the milk and water should be preferably warm(not hot).It should be ideally around 100 F.
    Yeast cells will die if it is in high temperature(130 F and above) and it’s action will slow down in a cold environment(less than 70 F).
    kanelbullar ingredients
  • Then add in the flour into this mixture and combine them together to form a shaggy mass of dough.
    swedish cinnamon buns ingredients
  • If you are kneading the dough in a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment to knead the dough.
    If you are kneading the dough by hands, transfer the dough on to a clean work surface and knead the dough for a few minutes(6-8 minutes)until it form a smooth dough.
  • Shape it into a ball ; then flatten the top a little to form a disc shape and then cover it with a bowl or kitchen towel and let the dough rest on the counter for thirty minutes.This will let the dough sit for a few minutes so that the gluten stands will relax.

DIVIDE AND SHAPE CINNAMON BUNS

  • So for the next step of shaping the rolls, first we need to roll the dough into thin sheet (1/ 4th inch thickness).
    how to make kanelbullar
  • Pat, stretch and roll out the dough to 50-55cm x 25-30 cm rectangle.
    Imagine we divide the dough lengthwise into 3 parts.I roughly made marking on top of the dough.
  • Spread very soft butter over the 2/3 rd of the surface.
  • Mix sugar and spices in a bowl.
    The mix of brown sugar and spices cinnamon and cardamom gives a special aroma to the Swedish cinnamon buns.
  • Then sprinkle on the filling mixture as evenly as possible.
  • Then use those marks as a guide to gently fold the dough in thirds onto itself, so that it looks like a closed business letter.
    how to shape kanelbullar
  • Using a very sharp knife or pastry wheel, slice the dough lengthwise into 3 centimeter wide strips. I divided it into 10 equal dough strips.
  • Again divide each strip into two,almost all the way but leaving one end joined.
    how to shape cinnamon buns
  • How to roll swedish cinnamon buns?
    It is easy to roll and shape kanelbullar.
    Take one strip of dough and hold one end of it with your hands.
    how to roll kanelbullar
  • Then twist the two ends slightly and then twirl and form a knot.
    Watch the video and you will find it easy to shape kanelbullar.
    how to shape cinnamon buns
  • While shaping, keep in your mind not to roll them tightly as they need some room for them to expand while proofing and while baking.
    Make sure the ends are pinched together or otherwise they will unwind while baking.
  • Transfer to a baking pan (I have used half sheet baking pan), lined with a parchment paper.

PROOF THE SWEDISH CINNAMON BUNS

  • Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rise until puffy ; around 60 minutes. 
    In colder environment it may take longer, around 90 minutes.

BAKE THE KANELBULLAR

  • Brush the top of shaped and proofed cinnamon buns with egg wash.
    I prepared the egg wash by lightly beating one egg in a bowl.
    Sprinkle the top with some pearl sugar(optional).You can also use granulated sugar instead of pearl sugar.
    baking kanelbullar
  • Then bake them @ 420 F or 215 C for 14-16 minutes.
    Swedish cinnamon buns or Kanelbullar are best to have while they are fresh and warm out of of the oven.So have have them fresh with some hot coffe or tea.
    Enjoy!
    swedish cinnamon buns
  • Let the cinnamon buns cool down for 2-3 minutes.Slather on top with some sugar syrup ,while the rolls are still warm.

Video

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