Swedish cinnamon buns

cinnamon buns kanelbullar

Here it is. The best recipe (according to me) of Swedish cinnamon buns (kanlebullar). When I went to the US a few years ago I saw similar buns, but they were covered in frosting on top of them. In Sweden, the most common thing is to sprinkle some pearl sugar on top of them. With this recipe you can do that, but if you love cardamom as much as I do, you can try the cardamum and sugar mix and dip the buns in it after baking them. I found this recipe, and I gave it a try. It was delicious. I still bake with pearl sugar most of times because they are easier to store if you don’t eat them the same day. But if you know that all are going to be eaten up soon after baking, try to dip them in the sugary mix. If you choose the pearl sugar, just sprinkle on the buns before baking (after egg).

The original recipe of the dough is perfect, but I have changed a few things in the filling. I want it sweet, so I add some brown sugar to it, and I also add some breadcrumbs. The brown sugar is a tips from a blog My kitchen stories, and I dont remember where I read about the breadcrumbs.

Good luck with you baking! I can promise you that you will love these! If you like them and want to try a similar recipe; try my vanilla buns.

Recipe for 20-24 sugar and cardemom coated cinnamon buns (Swedish kanelbullar)

  • 50 g fresh yeast
  • 4 dl milk
  • 2 tsp grinded cardamom seeds
  • 150 g salted butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 dl sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 10-12 dl flour
  • 1 egg
  • 200 g salted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 dl sugar
  • 0.5 dl brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg for coating
  • (Pearl sugar for classic cinnamon buns)
  • 1 dl water
  • 0.5 dl sugar
  • 0.5 tbsp grinded cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 0.5 dl sugar


Crumble the yeast in a bowl and grind cardamom seeds finely with a pestle in a mortar.

Heat milk together with cardamom seeds until it is 37 degrees C (just increase amount of ground cardamom if you don’t have the seeds at home). Pour the milk and cardamom mixture over the yeast and dissolve the yeast. Add the butter (soft but not melted). Then stir in sugar, ground cardamom, salt and egg.

Stir in most of the flour. Be careful not to pour everything at once. When the dough releases the edges, you don’t need to add more flour. Too much flour means dry buns. Work the dough for at least 10 minutes until you have a smooth and fine dough. Let it rise under a baking towel for at least 60 minutes.


Prepare the filling while you are waiting for the dough to rise. Mix butter, sugar, brown sugar, breadcrumbs and cinnamon until you get a creamy filling. Line 2 trays with 10-12 muffins cases each or use parchment paper.

Making of the cinnamon buns:

Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll out one dough at a time into the shape of a rectangle. Spread half of the filling on the rectangle. Now you have to choose what shape you are going to make:


Make a roll of the rectangle. Cut 10-12 equal pieces and put them in the prepared mufinns cases.


Fold the rectangle in the middle and cut the folded rectangle into 10-12 strips. Swirl/twist the strip and roll like a snail and place in the muffin cases.

Braided (My favourite, and you can find an instruction video on Instagram):

Your rectangle should be around 30 -35 cm wide. Fold the rectangle twice, once from the upper part towards the middle, and then from the lower part. You should now have three layers of dough. Cut into 10-12 pieces (3 cm wide). Cut every piece in three long strings (1 cm wide), but  let the top of the piece stay together. Braide the strings. Roll the braid and place in the muffins case. Let the end of the braid be on the bottom of the bun. It sounds difficult, but it’s easy when you make them!

Do the same with the second dough. Let the buns rise for another 40 minutes, covered with a towel. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Beat one egg (add some drops of water and a pinch of salt for easier application) and use a brush to cover the buns (sprinkle pearl sugar if you don’t want the cardamom topping). Bake them in the middle of the oven until golden brown.


Mix water and sugar in a glass. Also mix cardamom and sugar in a bowl.

Brush the buns with the sugar mixture and sprinkle the sugar and cardamom on them (or dip the bun in the sugar and cardamom mixture). Enjoy!

Variation ideas for these cookies

I once saw a recipe with small apple pieces on top if the filling, before shaping the buns. Sounded so nice, but haven’t tried yet. Let me know if you try, and I will let you know if I get to try it.

Otherwise just add pearl sugar instead of sugar mix on top (before baking) or try my vanilla buns!

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