The Best Swedish Cinnamon Buns
A fluffy knot of fragrant cinnamon and cardamom, these Swedish Cinnamon Buns are the cousin of the famous cinnamon rolls; they contain less sugar but as much fluff!
This Swedish Cinnamon Buns recipe comes from my sweet Estonian friend, Kristelle. She is cracking at baking; she can make everything and always tries new stuff. A dangerous friend for someone on a diet, I must say. She told me this recipe was used back in Estonia but in a bigger version, similar to Babka. They make these massive cinnamon knot cakes up there, but it will be small ones down here today. These buns are flagrant and easy to make; nothing compares to a freshly baked cinnamon bun! Plus, the kids enjoy them!
These spectacular buns are believed to have come from Sweden in the 1920s. They called them, Kanelbullar and usually use cardamom powder in there too, which gives it a fun kick but could be too much for the inexperienced palate of kids. So for this recipe, we’ve chosen to cut the cardamom out but feel free to add a bit if your family is adventurous.
American vs. Swedish
The main difference is its form, the American version being rolled up and this version knotted and twisted. Also, the New World version usually contains a glaze or cream cheese topping. In this case, just a few pearled sugars decorate the buns.
Who doesn’t like the pungent cinnamon smell? Cinnamon has been around for such a long time. It goes back to Medieval Europe, but its origins go back to Sri Lanka. Today, it’s used in many ways, from stews and drinks to sweets. A kid’s favourite, although intensely flavoured, it works well with them. The general rule says you can keep powdered cinnamon in the pantry for up to 2 years. So make sure your cinnamon is still good before attacking this recipe because it’s the highlight. Furthermore, the wooden spice has health benefits, from preventing type 2 diabetes to digestive issues. If you want to know more, check out this link!
These little puffy buns are easy to make on top of being dreamy and having your kid roll them up! Plus, the smell they bring to the house would make anyone flip! This recipe contains way less sugar than the American version and no glaze or cheese frost on top. Simply pearl sugar bits as decoration.
You could serve them in high muffin liners if you want them to puff more vertically. We’ve made them without any, and they grew sideways; good either way! If they are not intended for kids, or your kids are adventurous, you could add some more cardamom powder in there too! The recipe contains some, but if you dig cardamom, add a bit more! The original recipe is half cinnamon/half cardamom.
These can be frozen before cooking, whether the dough or the rolled buns. However, I would add a few extra minutes in the oven if you do so. This way, you will surely get fresh and fluffy buns whenever you wish!
Other Dessert Ideas
- Ultimate Passion Fruit Mousse
- Heart Strawberry & White Chocolate Cookies
- Easy Chocolate Sausages (Nut-free)
Kristelle is from Estonia, a mom of three lovely kids and an avid baker! She is the cake maker in our mama group, always giving her best, even if it means staying up all night! Follow her on Instagram, but be aware of its dangerously delicious content!
Thank you for sharing your recipe with Little Nomads Recipes! You are a pearl!
- 500 g flour
- 250 ml warm milk no more than 37°C (95F°)
- 100 g white sugar
- 90 g unsalted butter
- 25 g fresh yeast
- 1 egg
- 1 pinch salt
- pearl sugar decoration
- 90 g unsalted butter
- 90 g brown sugar
- 3 tbsp cinnamon powder
- ½ tbsp cardamom powder *optional
- Start by warming the milk at no more than 37°C (95F°).
- Add the warm milk to the yeast, sugar and salt in a small bowl, and whisk a bit.
- Mix the flour, butter and milk with your hands in a big bowl until it doesn't stick to the sides anymore.
- Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, add the filling ingredients and mix well until homogenous.
- Roll the dough with a rolling pin in a large square approximately 1 mm thick.
- With a flat spatula, cover the dough with the filling.
- Fold the dough into two and cut the side to make a straight rectangle.
- Cut into 12 equal stripes of approx 4 cm.
- Twist each stripe until it looks like a big rope, and turn it on itself to make a knot (watch video).
- Add the fresh knotted buns to a grease muffin tray or filled with liners, and let them rest for 15 minutes.
- Mix the egg wash and brush it over each bun.
- Add the pearl sugar on top.
- Cook in the oven at 200°C (400F°) for 15 minutes or until golden.