RECIPE: How to make your own Swedish cinnamon buns

The Local Sweden
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RECIPE: How to make your own Swedish cinnamon buns
Are you celebrating Cinnamon Bun Day this year? Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix

Swedes dedicate October 4th every year to cinnamon buns – and what better way to take part of the holiday than to make your own? Here is one of The Local’s favourite recipes.



Makes: 12 buns

Time needed: 45 minutes (+ 2 hours rising time)



250 ml (1 cup) whole milk (3-4%)

100 g (3½ oz) unsalted butter (1 tbsp less than ½ cup)

1 egg

500 g (4 cups) strong white flour (bread flour)

½ tsp ground cardamom*

50 g (1/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar

1 tsp salt

7 g (1/4 oz) fast action dried yeast (1 packet “instant” yeast – or if you're in Sweden and can easily get hold of it, 25g fresh yeast)

Ground cardamom (or grind your own cardamom – simply add 1 teaspoon of green cardamom pods to a mortar, lightly crush the pods with the pestle to remove the seeds and then grind the seeds until you can’t be bothered any more)



150 g (3/4 cup) light brown sugar

3 tbsp ground cinnamon

60 g (1/4) unsalted butter, very soft


1 egg, lightly beaten

3 tbsp pearl sugar (pearl sugar, sometimes called sugar nibs, can be bought online or in specialist shops, and in supermarkets if you're in Sweden. If you can’t find any, don’t worry, you can use demerara or natural sugar crystals instead. Alternatively, try small flakes (slices) or almonds)



1. To make the dough, place milk and butter into a saucepan over medium/low heat and cook until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly and, once lukewarm, mix in the egg. If you're using fresh yeast, add it before you add the egg and let it melt.

2. Place the flour, cardamom, sugar and salt into a large bowl and mix together.

3. Add the dried yeast and mix thoroughly.

4. Add the liquid mixture and mix to form a rough dough. Tip out onto the worksurface and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

5. Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with cling film or a kitchen towel. Place somewhere warm and allow to rise until doubled in size (takes about an hour).

6. Line two baking trays with parchment paper and set aside. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured worksurface, flatten into a rough rectangle and then roll out until approximately 25 cm x 35 cm (10” x 14”).

7. For the filling mix the sugar, cinnamon and butter together to form a smooth paste. Using a spatula or spoon, spread the filling evenly across the dough.

8. Roll the dough along the long edge into a sausage. Using a serrated knife, cut into twelve rounds. Place on to prepared baking trays and cover with a kitchen towel. Allow to rise until almost doubled (about 45-60 minutes).

9. Whilst proving, preheat the oven to 180C (360F, gas 4, fan 160C). When ready to bake, brush the buns with a little beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar, then bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

10. Your cinnamon buns are ready to be served and enjoyed! We think these delicious buns are best served still warm and with a glass of cold milk to go with. 


- The cinnamon buns freeze well and are wonderful reheated and enjoyed for a leisurely breakfast. They taste remarkably better if heated in the oven, rather than the microwave which tends to leave them slightly soggy. 

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, editor and founder of Swedish Food. Additional research by Mimmi Nilsson.


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