29 May 2024
Kanelbullens Dag: Cinnamon Bun Day
Community Expat Cookbook Swedish Culture

Kanelbullens Dag: Cinnamon Bun Day

So we need more excuses to eat cinnamon buns, right? Luckily the 4th October is Kanelbullens Dagor Cinnamon Bun Day. It’s not a venerable old tradition, since it’s only been around since 1999, but it is a way to justify sinking your teeth into one of Sweden’s most popular delicacies.

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The tradition was actually invented by Hembakningsrådet, Sweden’s Home Baking Council, as a way to celebrate their 40th anniversary. The autumn harvests traditionally meant a time for baking and these humble pastries had become Swedish icons by the late 90s. They had first become popular after the Second World War, when flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon became more affordable for bakers. And when Vår Kokbok, ‘Our Cookbook’, a household name in Swedish kitchens, published a recipe for kanelbullar in the 1950s, its status was guaranteed. A whole day dedicated to it was a natural step.

Your Living City has already posted a great recipe for making your own cinnamon buns here (see above). What I’ve published below is a rival recipe, the ex-pat’s recipe of soft dough filled with luscious cinnamon butter and then smothered with cream cheese icing. I recommend you make both and decided whether you’ve gone native or are happy with a non-Swedish bun!


The Expat’s Cinnamon Bun

(Each ingredient should be at room temperature when you start)

Ingredients for the dough

275g milk

60g butter, melted

2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

125g white sugar

775g strong flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, room temperature


Ingredients for the filling

200g brown sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

75g butter, softened

Ingredients for the icing

50g cream cheese, softened

50g butter, softened

100g icing sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles and then remove from heat. Add the butter and stir until melted; let cool until lukewarm.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the milk mixture. Add the sugar, half the flour, salt and eggs; stir well to combine. Add the remaining flour gradually, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, which will take about 8 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume. This will take about 1 hour.
  4. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 40 x 55 cm rectangle. Spread with the 75g butter. In a small bowl combine the cinnamon and brown sugar and sprinkle over the rectangle. Roll up the dough into a log and seal the seam.
  5. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces; place the pieces in a greased 9×13 inch baking pan, or 12 inch deep dish pizza pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C)
  6. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, which will take about 15 minutes. Turn the baking dish over onto a serving dish, so all the buttery syrup seeps back into the buns.
  7. Beat together all the frosting ingredients. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

Article by Farrah Gillani

Original Images by Peter Guthrie and callme_crochet

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