Swedish buns , known as 'Kanelbullar' (kanelbulle, singular), have become a culinary treasure rooted in Swedish tradition. Emerging in the 1920s, these braided cinnamon buns were initially considered a luxury, as exotic spices like cardamom and cinnamon were in short supply. With the economic boom of the 1950s, cinnamon and cardamom buns established themselves as highly appreciated delicacies in Swedish hearts and homes.

These intricately braided Swedish buns capture the warm essence of South Indian cardamom. Cinnamon and cardamom stand out as the most popular fillings , adorned with Swedish pearl sugar in cinnamon ones and a touch of sugar with cardamom in those with this spice. Discover the magic of this Swedish tradition and unleash your culinary skills with this classic 'Kanelbullar' recipe. Every bite is a journey into the history and flavor of Sweden! (which if you are as big a fan of the cinnamon flavor as I am, you will love!)


For the mass:

  • 475 g bread flour
  • 50g sugar
  • 7 g dry yeast
  • 6 g of salt
  • 3 g ground cardamom
  • 240 ml whole milk
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 1 XL egg (50 grams), at room temperature

For the cinnamon filling*:

  • 55 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • 14 g of baking flour
  • 4 g ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt

For finishing:

  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 15 ml of water
  • Swedish pearl sugar (optional), for dusting (or brown sugar)

*If you want to make them with cardamom instead of cinnamon, or make a few of each, see the recipe for the cardamom filling below.


  1. Preparation of the dough:

    • Combine 190 grams of flour, granulated sugar, yeast, salt and cardamom in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment.
    • Heat milk and butter until the butter melts and the mixture reaches between 50°C and 55°C. Add this liquid mixture to the flour mixture that you have in the bowl of the robot, and beat until combined.
    • Add the egg and beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Gradually add the remaining 285 grams of flour, beating until combined and scraping down the bowl.
    • Switch to the dough hook and beat on medium-low speed until smooth, elastic dough, 6 to 10 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and shape it into a round.
    • Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rest in a warm place until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
    • After the time has passed, take it out of the bowl, degas it by squeezing it with your knuckles and flatten it into a 25x15 centimeter rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Prepare the Cinnamon Filling (The day before, just before preparing the buns): Mix the butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl until you obtain a homogeneous mixture.

  3. Fill and cut the Buns:

    • Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes.
    • Roll out the dough into a 65x25 centimeter rectangle on a floured surface. (If you want to make some cinnamon buns and some cardamom buns, divide the dough in half and use only one of them now).
    • Apply the chosen filling, spreading it over the entire surface of the dough, and then fold it into thirds like a letter (making two folds).
    • Cut into 2 cm strips lengthwise (obtaining long "three-story" strips, that is: dough-filling-dough-filling-dough), and form knots with each strip.
    1. Knot Formation: Hold the bottom end of the strip between the index finger, middle finger and thumb of one hand. Wrap the strip three times around the fingers of that same hand, slightly overlapping the dough.

    2. Securing the Knot: Place the thumb of the same hand over the overlapping strands of dough to secure them. Then, wrap the remaining end of the dough perpendicularly, between your index and middle fingers, and around the overlapping dough strands to form a knot-like shape.

    3. Finishing the Knot: Tuck the loose end under the bottom of the finished bun as you remove your fingers. This step will ensure that the knot stays in place during cooking.

    Repeat this process with the remaining strips, placing them on the prepared trays, lined with parchment paper.

  4. Let them rest, covered with plastic wrap or a cotton cloth, until they double in size and retain their identity when pressed, 1 to 1½ hours.

    5. Preheating and Coverage:

      • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
      • Beat an egg with 15 grams of water and brush it over the buns.
      • Sprinkle with Swedish pearl sugar or the reserved cardamom mixture.
      • Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes (but watch them after 15 minutes). As you will have quite a few buns, you may require two bakes, or place several trays at different heights of the oven (if this is the case, rotate them halfway through baking so that they cook at the same time).
      • Sprinkle with more pearl sugar or the reserved cardamom mixture when removing from the oven.
      • Let cool on the trays for 5 minutes and then serve hot.
      • Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

    Do you want to make the buns with cardamom filling?

    Swedish cardamom buns, instead of cinnamon, are also very traditional. If you want, you can make some with the filling above, or some with this cardamom filling.

    Cardamom filling:

    • 100g sugar
    • 7 g ground cardamom
    • 57 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 16 ge bread flour
    • ¼ tsp salt


    1. Mix granulated sugar and cardamom seeds in a small bowl; Reserve 50 grams of this mixture in another small bowl.
    2. Stir butter, flour and salt into remaining cardamom mixture until combined.


    • When spreading the filling on the dough, it is important to evenly cover the entire surface to obtain an even flavor.
    • It is very important to preheat the oven to ensure uniform and golden cooking. The dough should go into the oven once it is hot.
    • Consider incorporating dried fruits, such as raisins or cranberries, into the cinnamon or cardamom filling to add a juicy, fruity touch. Alternatively, you can mix chopped nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, into the filling for a crunchy texture and even more indulgent flavor.


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