Because today is October 4th, which can only mean one thing – it’s National Cinnamon Bun Day.
In springtime, everyone talks about the semla, a delicious wheat bun spiced with cardamom, filled with almond paste and topped with lashings of cream. But now it’s October 4th and that can only mean one thing – it’s National Cinnamon Bun Day.
Walk into any bakery or convenience store in Sweden and you will find baskets teeming with cinnamon swirls, or ‘kanelbullar’ as they are called in these parts.
While popular every day of the year, on October 4th the bountiful buns sell like, well, hot cakes.
Somewhat surprisingly, the tradition of National Cinnamon Bun Day isn’t all that old.
In 1999 staff at Sweden’s Hembakningsrådet (‘Home Baking Council’) scratched their collective heads and tried to think of ways to celebrate the organization’s fortieth anniversary. Perfectly gauging the tastes of a nation, the Council announced the introduction of an annual feast day.
“We found that the cinnamon bun was the best symbol for Swedish home baking. I don’t think there are any Swedes who don’t like them,” project manager Birgit Nilsson Bergström told The Local back in 2007.
The sense of security associated with the buns may also go some way towards explaining their enduring popularity.
“I think we remember them from the time when we were children. Cinnamon buns have been baked at home for the last four or five generations,” she said.
Swedish bakers first began putting their cinnamon buns in the oven at the beginning of the 1920s. But it was not until the 1950s that the popular pastry really made its way into the home.
The bun really knew it had arrived when a recipe was published in early editions of Vår Kokbok (‘Our Cookbook’), a tome considered required reading in the decade of the ideal housewife.
Topped with a sprinkling of cinnamon and nib sugar, the bun initially appeared in many shapes and sizes.
But according to cinnamon bun expert Gunvor Fröberg, formerly of Gothenburg University, most bun-baking women cut out the fancy stuff in the 1960s as they began spending more time in the workplace.
As the years rolled on and time became an ever more precious commodity, the no-nonsense swirl established itself as the cinnamon bun of choice for the masses.