The other day at work there was a morning meeting where they served breakfast. I can totally understand croissants being served and just about accept the pain au chocolate but I simply can not wrap my  Scandinavian rye-head around the fact that cinnamon rolls/swirls are served for breakfast. They’re sweet? They won’t fill you up? Back home they would belong to the mandatory 11am coffee break. There are many things the Brits do better than the Swedes (Sunday roast- need I say anything else?) but cinnamon rolls is not one of them. Swedish cinnamon buns are made from a wheat dough with cardamon, not puff pastry like over here. They take time and love to make but oh, it is so worth every minute of it when you get to enjoy them with a cup of coffee (or cold milk).

This recipe is from the former kitchen manager at the Swedish church here in London, Sonny Larsson. His cinnamon buns (kanelbullar) are the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve been around folks, I’ve had plenty of buns in my lifetime!

50g fresh yeast
500ml milk (37 degrees)
0,5tsp salt
150ml sugar
1,5tsp ground cardamon
0,5 egg
900g plain flour
190g soft butter

Mix the yeast with the milk and stir until the yeast has dissolved. Add egg, salt, sugar, cardamon and then flour, bit by bit. Mix in the soft butter. If necessary (too sticky) use more flour and work the dough for about 5 minutes. Let it prove until the dough swells over the edge of the bowl.

Split the dough in half and knead. Roll out (My photo below is more round than square, that dough just didn’t want to be square!) and mix soft butter, sugar and cinnamon to spread on. Then follow the photos below. Let them prove for a few minutes on the baking tray before brushing the buns with an egg and milk mix. Then, to make them traditional Swedish, you sprinkle pearl sugar on top of them. Now that can’t be bought in your normal supermarket but it can be found at TotallySwedish ( in Marylebone and Barnes.

Stick them in the oven for 7-8 min, 200 degrees.