Go Back
+ servings
These Swedish cinnamon buns are made with cardamom and active dry yeast.

Swedish Cinnamon Buns

This Swedish Cinnamon Buns recipe is what Scandinavian dreams are made of. 

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Scandinavian, Swedish
Keyword swedish cinnamon buns
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 12


The Dough

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 packet instant dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp softened butter salted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3-4 cups bread flour

The Filling

  • 1/2 cup (or one stick) of softened butter salted
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom

The Topping

  • 1 large egg
  • Swedish pearl sugar

Optional Powdered Sugar Topping

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Optional Cinnamon Cardamom Glaze

  • 2 Tbsp melted butter salted
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp half & half
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom


The Dough

  1. To begin, get out your KitchenAid mixer and attach the dough hook. In the bowl, add in 1 packet of instant dry yeast and 1 cup of warm milk. Mix the milk and dough with the hook on low speed for just a few seconds to get the two incorporated.

  2. Next, add in the sugar, salt, softened butter, and egg and mix on medium speed. Then, add in the cardamom and mix again on medium speed. After that, add in the bread flour one cup at a time. 

  3. After adding three cups of bread flour, touch the dough to test its consistency. If it is still sticking to your fingers, then start to add more bread flour in ¼ cup at a time until no dough is on the sides of your KitchenAid mixer bowl and until you can handle it without it sticking to your hands.

  4. Once the dough is ready, remove it from the dough hook and the bowl and place it on a clean, lightly-floured (with bread flour) surface. Knead the dough into a ball. Next, lightly grease a large mixing bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with a cloth napkin and let rise for one hour. 

  5. Once your dough has risen, remove it from the mixing bowl and place it again on a clean, lightly-floured surface. Roll the dough into a square that is about 1 foot by 1 foot. 

The Filling

  1. Once you have your square, pop one stick of butter in the microwave to soften it, then using a silicone pastry brush apply the butter to the dough evenly.

  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar, and cardamom using a fork, breaking up the chunks of brown sugar as you mix the ingredients together. Then, use a spoon to sprinkle the mixture on top of the butter, covering the surface of the dough entirely.

  3. Once the filling has been added, it’s time to fold the dough. The dough should be folded in thirds, like a business letter. In other words, fold one side in towards the middle about halfway and then fold the other side on top of it.

  4. With the dough folded properly, you now want to roll it out into a rectangle that’s about 15-16” long and 7-8” inches high. Next, you’ll want to cut the dough into strips (the short way, not the long way.) Use a tape measure to divide the dough equally into 12 parts. 

Shaping the Dough Into Twists

  1. Take a strip of dough and hold both ends of it in either hand. Gently tug on the dough to lengthen it. Then, begin twisting the dough, letting gravity control the motion as you slowly swing the strip in the air.

  2. Next, wrap the twisted dough around one of your hands (at this point you should still be holding on to both ends of the strip.) After wrapping it around your hand one to two times, take the loose end and tuck it into the middle of the circle. Voilà!

  3. Once you have twisted all of the cinnamon buns, place them on a clean counter and cover with a cloth napkin. Let rise again for another hour. When the hour is almost up, set your oven to 325 degrees.

The Topping

  1. After the buns are done rising, transfer them to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Then, crack one large egg into a small bowl and scramble it with a fork. Using a rubber pastry brush, paint the egg onto the top of each bun.

  2. Use a spoon to sprinkle each bun with Swedish pearl sugar. 

  3. Every oven is different, so it’s hard to pin down exactly how long you will need to bake these buns for. It should range from anywhere between 15-25 minutes. 

Optional Powdered Sugar Topping

  1. If you opt to sprinkle your kanelbullar with powdered sugar, then measure out one cup of it and strain it through a sieve into a medium-sized bowl. Then, do the same thing with 1 tsp of ground cinnamon.

  2. Use a whisk to combine the sugar and the cinnamon. Then, pour the powdered cinnamon sugar into a flour sifter to softly distribute the mixture on top of the buns!

Optional Cinnamon Cardamom Glaze

  1. In a small bowl, melt the butter. Then, add the powdered sugar, half & half, ground cinnamon, and ground cardamom. Use a whisk to combine all of the ingredients. 

  2. Then, use a spoon to slowly drizzle the icing on top of the buns!