What’s for Supper baking special – Swedish cinnamon rolls or “Kanelbullar”

I grew up in Denmark and Sweden, surrounded on the periphery by women who were all brilliant home cooks and bakers. My grandmother and all her sisters had learnt from their mum, Ida in their home in Swedish Lapland, and a couple of them had been sent to “house keeping school” and one trained as a baker and Patissière.

The Kanelbullar, literally meaning cinnamon buns, which we bake daily for the café and teach in our Bread making for Beginners class are without a doubt our signature bake. People come just for them, and often buy more to take home. The recipe is a fairly standard sweet, yeast risen dough so there is egg, butter and milk in the dough, making it soft and marshmallowy, and there is more butter and sugar as a filling, as well as cinnamon and cardamom.

We always use fresh yeast in the school and café but dried works well too.

I recommend Quick action yeast over the granules which need sponging.

Yeast                         Melted butter+milk            Flour+salt+sugar          Risen dough


Cinnamon buns – small batch making 6 large cinnamon buns

12g fresh/3.5g quick action yeast (half a sachet)

50g butter

125ml milk

1/2 egg – mainly yolk if you can manage to control it

40g caster sugar

A large pinch of salt

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

250g plain flour 


40g soft, unsalted butter

25g caster sugar

1 tablespoons ground cinnamon

To top before baking:

1/2 egg, lightly beaten with a fork

Confectioner’s sugar or normal sugar mixed with a little ground cardamom

  1. Melt the butter, add the milk and bring to luke-warm temperature. 
  2. Pour it into the dry ingredients, add half or your half egg!
  3. Stir using a wooden spoon or dough paddle. Work it as best you can but it will be a very wet dough. Cover and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
  4. Mix the ingredients for the filling.
  5. Tip the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Dust lightly with flour. Roll out to a strip of 8 x 15cm or so.
  6. Spread the filling over the dough. Fold over lengthways to a narrow long strip
  7. Cut into 2 cm wide strips. Twist the strips to and bring it around itself to form a lovely knot shape where you bring one end up through the open centre to secure the know., Place on baking parchment-covered baking sheets or in paper cases. Leave to prove for 45 minutes. The buns should have doubled in size and be slack and soft.


Brush with egg and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar (or caster sugar mixed with ground cardamom). Place in the top third of a pre-heated oven and bake for 9-10 minutes or until golden

Enjoy with your cup of morning coffee…and eat them all today, or freeze. Fresh home baked bread goes stale very quickly.

What’s for Supper tomorrow…

Back to Italy for one of my all-time favourite dishes; Saltimbocca alla Romana. Effortless elegance – thin escalopes of veal, chicken or fillet of pork, Prosciutto, sage and that favourite ingredient of mine: Marsala! What’s not to like…