Swedish Kanelbullar (cinnamon buns) with spelt flour

Swedish Kanelbullar (cinnamon buns) with spelt flour

I am sharing a recipe to make at home for my spelt flour version of the traditional Swedish Kanelbullar (cinnamon buns). Kanelbullar is among the most famous Swedish treats for FIKA or Swedish coffee breaks.  Kanelbullar/cinnamon buns are in every coffee shop, bakery, cafe and supermarket. These Swedish buns can also be made with cardamom called Kardemummabullar. It's really hard to choose which ones I like best. I thought I would start off by sharing the cinnamon version. I am no expert at the twisting and rolling technique. I have only been practising for 3 weeks and not 30 years like most Swedes. But even if my form and knotting need more practice they still taste great. Spelt flour dough is trickier to form but these buns are absolutely delicious. I think it's more about taste than perfection. So try this at home, don't be scared if your knotting and twist they will bake fine.

Takes = prep. 15 minutes, rest for 90 mins
Bakes = 12-15 mins
Makes = 13-15 buns

Ingredients My Spelt Dough Recipe from my cinnamon scrolls

  • Dry yeast – 7g ( about 2 tsp) fresh 25g
  • White Spelt flour – 535g (about 3 cups + 3/4 cups apprx.) + extra for kneading
  • Warm milk (oat milk works well) – 300ml (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • Large Egg (beaten) – 2 (leave a little for the egg wash)
  • Melted unsalted butter (cooled) – 50g ( about 3 tbsp)
  • Ground Cinnamon (optional) – 1-2 tsp
  • Fine salt – 1 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp

Cinnamon Filling

  • Cinnamon – 1 tablespoon
  • Cardamom (optional)  – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Softened Unsalted Butter – 60g (1/4 cup)
  • Light brown sugar – 100g (about 1/2 cup)

Glaze and Pearl Sugar (optional)

  • Pearl Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Water  – 60 ml (1/4 cup)
  • Sugar (Brown or white) 5 tbsp or 60g


  1. WHISK – flours, yeast, sugar and cinnamon.
  2. GENTLY melt the butter and the milk in a small saucepan or in the microwave. Cool slightly, then pour over the flour.
  3. USING your dough hook add the beaten egg and combine on a low speed for 3-5 minutes, until the dough forms and has pulled away from the sides. You may need to stop the mixer halfway to scrape the sides. The dough will be softer than bread dough. If you find the mix a little dry add a little more warm milk. If the dough is too sticky and wet add a little more flour. You will find that the dough should be sticky and stringy. Place the dough into a greased medium size bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and rest to prove and double in size. This will take about45-6omins depending on the season and the temperature of your kitchen. Keep away from a draft. I have been resting mine in my microwave oven but not switched on.
  4. While you're waiting make the filling mix. Whisk together soft butter, spices and sugar in a small bowl then set aside.
  5. AFTER the dough has risen, knead it gently on your floured surface, then roll it out to form a rough rectangle (30 x 40cm).
  6. SPREAD the filling on the dough leaving a 2cm border around the outside edge.
  7. Fold over the top towards you. Cut 3cm strips with a pizza wheel, pastry wheel or knife. Move fast before the dough sticks too much. I prefer to cut one at a time. Grab the dough and twist it in your hands, fold the last strip over the top of the bundle and then tuck it under. Don't worry if it's not perfect, they still taste amazing. Or twist on the bench then scroll up like a snail then tuck the tail under. Brush the tops with the leftover egg, and add a little water to loosen if needed. Then sprinkle Swedish-style pearl sugar or raw sugar on top, and rest again covered with plastic or tea towels for 20-30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven while the buns are resting. 200˚C fan, 225˚C static. Adjust your oven to suit the baking. Some ovens run hot and some are a little cooler. Bake the buns for 12-15 minutes. My oven is super fast so they take only 10 minutes. Tip add a little ramekin of water to the base of your oven for steam.
  9. To make the sugar syrup glaze, gently heat the water and sugar in the microwave or in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolve, boil for a few minutes then set aside to cool slightly.
  10. Once golden rest for 5 minutes if you can wait before serving. Brush with the sugar syrup if you would like (although they still taste great without this).
  11. Store in a sealed container. They are best consumed on the day of baking. However, freshen up the next day in the oven or microwave. They freeze well in a sealed container.

Kanelbullar Fun Facts

According to this article below from Visit Sweden, Swedes average eating 316 cinnamon buns a year, that's almost one bun a day. Wow!

The kanelbulle (single bun) bullar means more than one.

The cinnamon bun became popular in the 1950s. But it was first created after the First World War. The ultimate symbol of a Swedish home is the smell of freshly baking cinnamon buns.

Cinnamon rolls and where to get the best ones
Cinnamon rolls and where to get the best ones