Stiff Peaks

An indulgent journey into baking

Classics: Kanelbullar

Yeah, so I was supposed to write about these a few weeks ago, but I made a criminal mistake and left my carefully measured out sugar on the table, instead of in the dough. I’m finally over that trauma, and it’s time to embrace some Swedish delicacies. Namely the Cinnamon Bun (Kanelbullar). Today I’ll be delivering some Nordic Bakery heaven.

Recipe Location

(Nordic Bakery: Kanelbullar)


  • 568ml (1 pint) lukewarm whole milk
  • 180g unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1tsp cardamom seeds (ground)
  • 14g instant yeast (2 sachets or 45g of fresh yeast)
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1kg plain flour

Cinnamon butter filling

  • 100g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 200g dark brown soft sugar
  • 3tbsp ground cinnamon


  • 85g caster sugar
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 100ml water


  • saucepan
  • baking parchment
  • 2 large baking trays
  • oven preheated to 190ยบ celsius


Paul Hollywood would say I’m cheating for this recipe. Since I’ve inherited my freestanding mixer, I’ve always been a little reluctant using it for making dough, because of how easy it is to overwork the mixture. But, this enriched dough is going to be somewhat sticky, so I’m going to try it out.

Begin by putting the sugar, cardamom and yeast into your mixer (with a dough hook attachment) or large bowl. Weigh out your flour and set it aside for later. Melt your butter either in the same pan as the milk you will be warming, or in the microwave. Once your milk is lukewarm and butter liquid, pour these ingredients into the mixer. Add in the egg and combine. With your mixer on a low speed, slowly add in your flour, one large spoonful at a time. The dough should begin to come together. Once it’s clinging to the dough hook more than the side of the bowl, turn up the speed and mix for around 5 minutes.

When the dough is looking smooth, remove it from the mixer and place into a clean large bowl and cover with a tea-towel for around 1 hour until doubled in size.

After an hour, knock down the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a shape roughly 30cm by 80cm and a little under 1cm thick. Combine your filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix together until you have an amazing cinnamony-buttery paste. Spread this all over your dough, leaving a few centimeters on each edge.

Begin rolling the longest edge towards you so that you end up with a sausage shape nearest you. Try and keep the roll tight as you do this, and keep the shape as even as you can make it. Once you have your cinnamon sausage, you have 2 options on how to proceed. You could either create the classic Nordic Bakery shaped cinnamon bun (as described in the original recipe) or you could create spiral discs. With spirals you simply cut 1-2 cm thick discs evenly along the sausage, and sit them on individual flattened muffin cases. Whichever method you opt for, transfer them to your prepped lined baking trays and cover with a clean tea-towel for 30-60 minutes until doubled in size.

Your Kanelbullar are now ready to go into the oven. Place your buns in the oven for around 20-25 minutes depending on the quality of your oven, or until they gain a dark golden coat. While they’re in the oven, you should prepare your delicious sugar syrup. Place the sugar, water and lemon juice all in a saucepan and heat until bubbling. Once bubbling, continue stirring and reduce the temperature so that it simmers away for around 15 minutes. The longer you leave it, the thicker it will become.

Take your Kanelbullar out of the oven (if they turned out anything like mine, they’ll be monstrous, but that’s fine!) and place them on a wire rack to cool. While they’re still warm, paint on your sugar syrup glaze. You may want to put some baking parchment down beneath the wire racks to catch any drips, as this stuff is STICKY.

Allow to cool, then devour.