The only recipe you need to make your own Swedish cinnamon buns

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.

Swedish cinnamon buns
Cinnamon buns. Photo: Fredrik Broman/Image Bank Sweden


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)

* Ground cardamom

Many supermarkets only stock cardamom pods so you might need to grind your own. 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. 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.

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 180°C (360°F, gas 4, fan 160°C). 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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Swedish recipe of the week: coleslaw with cinnamon

If you have some leftover cinnamon from last week's cinnamon bun day, food writer John Duxbury shares his take on this classic salad, adding his own Swedish twist to it.

Swedish recipe of the week: coleslaw with cinnamon
The finished and garnished coleslaw. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Swedes tend to eat a lot of raw vegetables so it is not surprising that coleslaw makes a regular appearance at mealtimes in Sweden. Adding cinnamon may seem a little strange, but a small amount adds a little interest. It goes well with robust foods such as with venison burgers.

Serves: 4-5

Level: Very easy

Preparation: 5 minutes (Plus 20 minutes for the cabbage to marinate)
Takes 25 minutes
300 g (12 oz) white cabbage (about half a cabbage)
1 medium cabbage
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon
5 tbsp mayonnaise
Freshly chopped herbs to garnish

1. Remove the core of the cabbage and any blemished leaves.

2. Finely chop the cabbage into long thin strips. (You can do this with a julienne slicer fitted to a food processor if you have one.)

3. Peel and thinly slice the carrot.

4. Mix the cabbage, carrot, lemon juice, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and toss thoroughly. Leave to stand for about 20 minutes.

5. Tip the cabbage and carrot mixture into a colander and drain thoroughly.

6. Add the mayonnaise and mix thoroughly.

7. Garnish with a light coating of cinnamon and some chopped herbs.


– Don't add too much cinnamon. It needs to add interest without being overpowering.

– Don't be tempted to use reduce fat mayonnaise. We were, but the coleslaw wasn't nearly as nice as it somehow seemed to make it greasier. The amount of saturated fat in one portion is, in any case, fairly small, at under 2 grams, so we didn't feel too guilty eating coleslaw made with ordinary mayonnaise!

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of the Swedish Food website.