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11 October 2019

cakes and desserts

Kanelbullar or cinnamon rolls: the perfect homemade recipe

by Kristel Cescotto

Juliet tells Romeo: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.
I believe the same applies to kanelbullar, whether you call them with their original Scandinavian name or with the most mainstream of cinnamon rolls the result does not change. And if it is true that the words we pronounce shape our actions, it is equally true that they elevate salivation to heavenly peaks, even just thinking of them.

“Kanelbullar” is the Swedish word with which they are named in their native homeland the now generally known as cinnamon rolls, the soft cardamom brioche rolls stuffed with butter and cinnamon. They came to light in the Nineteenth century, but it is only the post-war Twenties when the kanelbullars begin to become the undisputed protagonists of the Scandinavian pastry shop windows.
Today you can find them as protagonists of every book about hygge – and, surely, you will have happened to see them in the windows of the Bistro or in the Swedish shop of Ikea under the name of Kafferep / Cinnamon buns. But I assure you that the traditional recipe that we tell you today beats every frozen shortcut.

I found it in a beautiful book, full of aromas and flavors: Fika & Hygge by Brontë Aurell. Leafing through it warms the soul more than a tea sipped at the window watching out the snow come down, more than a giant cashmere sweater that wraps you while you admire the northern lights, more than a hug shared with the heart and before the arms.


INGREDIENTS (for  15 cinnamon rolls)

For the dough:

  • 12 g of dry yeast
  • 250 ml of whole milk
  • 80 g of butter
  • 40 g of whole cane sugar
  • 400 g of 00 flour
  • 1 teaspoon of cardamom (powder or mortar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • a teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the filling and coverage:

  • 80 g of butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom
  • 80 g of caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup


  1. Heat the milk, just a bit. Dissolve in the yeast stirring slowly, let it rest for a quarter of an hour. Meanwhile, melt the butter and let it cool.
  2. Pour the milk with the yeast in a large bowl (or in the mixing bowl), add the sugar and mix well until it has melted, then add the butter.
  3. Start adding the flour together with the cardamom, a little at a time, kneading. Finally add the salt and half the beaten egg, knead for a few minutes. You will obtain a strung dough, quite sticky and soft (silence the inner voice that invites you to add more flour).
  4. Cover the bowl with a sheet of foil and let rise for 1 hour in the warmth (in winter it is best to set in the oven at 30° C).
  5. Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the butter in a bowl, add the flour, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla extract and sugar. Work all the ingredients well until they are perfectly blended.
  6. Once the dough has risen, place it on a lightly floured pastry board and roll it out with a rolling pin: you will have to get a rectangle about 30 cm wide and 60 cm high enough. Spread the butter and spices cream on the dough, then fold the rectangle taking the shorter edge up and folding it towards you, forming a square.
  7. Place parchment papera on a baking sheet. Cut 15 strips about 2 cm wide each. Still working on the top, take one strip at a time and gently twist it as if to create a helix, then roll it up on itself, proceeding in the round, until it forms a spiral. Place the two ends of the dough under the spiral to prevent it from opening. Place all the kanelbullars on the baking sheet, as far apart as you can (during cooking they will be joined a little, but if you prefer, you can use two trays and distance them better).
  8. Brush the cinnamon rolls with the remaining half of the beaten egg, then let rise another 30 minutes on the baking sheet.
  9. Preheat the oven to 200 ° C. Bake and cook for a quarter of an hour, until the kanelbullar are golden brown to perfection.
    Remove the pan from the oven and brush the cinnamon rolls with the warmed maple syrup, then immediately cover the cinnamon spirals with a damp cloth, to prevent them from losing their peculiar softness. After 5 minutes, remove the cloth and let it cool. Enjoy them.

Would you like to enjoy a kanelbullar but you’re intolerant to eggs? We have also thought of you: click here to discover the recipe of cinnamon rolls without eggs!


Photos: Sara Cartelli


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Kristel Cescotto

Omnia vincit amor

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Kristel Cescotto


Once upon a time there was a 30 years old girl, and she has not the slightest idea what it would be at 32: one, no one but for sure no one hundred thousand. Daughter, sister, friend, mom of a dog, woman of an amazing man. Thinker fulltime, practices the Universal Love. Always looking for which direction take to and who to be doing it. Thank God everything flows. Panta Rei. And in the end, as in a beautiful garden Bahai, she will be delighted by lighting… and she lived happily ever after.

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