Tag Archives: cinnamon buns

15 Facts About Cinnamon Buns

September 20, 2016 | Leave a comment

15 Things You Need to know about Cinnamon Buns

This year, as every year, we are celebrating the official Cinnamon Bun day. A national holiday in Sweden (not really, but it should be) – it falls every year on October the 4th and is celebrated by eating cinnamon buns en masse.

For many Scandis, us included – every day is cinnamon bun day. There’s always a reason for a cinnamon bun. It is, as you may know, also referred to as an edible hug. No? Just us then. Because that’s how we feel about it. It is as comforting and warming as a hug from your best friend, a stranger or your dog. Whichever of those you prefer.

As Scandinavians we feel it is our duty to educate those less knowledgeable about this harmonic symbiosis of flour, butter, sugar and cinnamon. This is lesson 1, based on our post from last year (read it here) – we’ll keep it simple.

Cinnamon Buns – Cinnamon  Swirls – Kanelbulle – Kanelsnegle – Skillingsbolle
  1. The cinnamon bun’s origin is a hotly debated topic. The Swedes claim it originated there in the 1920s. Usually, we won’t shy away from a debate, but in this case – it doesn’t matter where it is from. We love it too much. It is a love-child of Scandinavia.
  2. Cinnamon bun day has been celebrated since 1999, and the bun itself didn’t really become popular until the 1950s.
  3. A Nordic cinnamon bun is typically made with a bit of ground cardamom in the dough – this is what differentiates it from other cinnamon buns, such as the over-the-top sticky sweet buns you often see in north America.  with a bit of ground cardamom, which sets them apart from other cinnamon buns on this lovely planet of ours.
  4. A real cinnamon bun (a Scandi one) does not have icing on the top. In Norway, a sprinkle of normal granulated sugar – in Sweden those lovely big-ish sugar crystals called Pearl Sugar.
    kanelbullar cinnamon buns
  5. A typical Swede eats 316 cinnamon buns per year – in our central London cafe we sell about 60 cinnamon buns per day (and we all smell faintly of cinnamon..mm!).
  6. That is roughly 21600 per year.
  7.  If you stack all these buns, the total height would be 648 meters, or roughly the height of the Shanghai Tower, the 2nd tallest building in the world with 632 meters. Only Burj Al Kalifa would be taller, with its 830 meters. (Eat more buns, people!)

    cinnamon bun lenght

    Or, you can bake a really really long one to share.

  8. In Norway (and highly likely elsewhere in Scandinavia too) there are various very important cinnamon bun competitions held every year, where readers of the local newspaper nominate and vote for the best cinnamon bun in town. It is prestigious and competitive, and taken very, very serious.
  9. The same place refers to its cinnamon buns as Skillingsboller – ‘schilling buns’ – referring to the cost of one back in the day.
    cinnamon buns skillingsboller
  10. In Denmark, they are often called ‘cinnamon snails’ – Kanelsnegl’, and in Finland, ‘slapped ear’ – Korvapuusti. Maybe because if someone did slap your ear, a cinnamon bun would be a suitable treat to comfort you in your pain and distress.
  11. Cinnamon buns are made a variety of different ways. You can swirl them and pop them into a little paper case to keep all the buttery sugary gooeyness; do a simple swirl and bake, cut side up, or do a thinner swirl baked cut sides out. We love them all.
  12. The cinnamon bun is perfect – it doesn’t need meddling with. Still, some people make things as the below – a bacon cinnamon bun roll sandwich. Proceed at your own responsibility; we take no responsibility for whatever may come from consuming this (delicious?) concoction.
    Cinnamon roll with bacon
  13. There are two kinds of cinnamon; Ceylon and Cassia. Ceylon is also referred to as sweet cinnamon – or true cinnamon and is the most popular one. It is a bit more expensive than the other, but the taste is miles better. Get it if you can – otherwise your buns won’t be as good.
  14. Cinnamon also contains a substance called coumarin – which can damage the liver if consumed in larger quantities. The Scandinavian countries regularly relish in this fact, purely so they can put a scare cinnamon headline out, such as;
    ‘How to avoid cinnamon-poisoning’
    ‘Be careful with cinnamon’
    ‘Cinnamon buns can damage your liver’But fear not – you would have to eat approximately 10 cinnamon buns per day for an extended period of time to notice anything.
  15. It is Scandifically proven that it is impossible to resist a fresh cinnamon bun still warm from the oven. Try it. Sprinkle with almonds for a nutty taste..mmmm!

    Cinnamon Twists Bronte Aurell ScandiKitchen

    Phoro credit: Peter Cassidy, for Ryland Peters.

Enjoy Bun Day on the 4th October – we want to see your buns, so don’t forget to send us a picture to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk and we’ll post the best ones on facebook and instagram. Prizes for the best looking buns.

Fancy making your own? Check out our recipe for the world’s best cinnamon buns and head to our webshop to buy our cinnamon bun baking kit, containing the essential ingredients you need for a Scandi cinnamon bun.

Like this post? Share it on Facebook to spread the cinnamon-bun-love – button below.

How to make… Cinnamon buns / Kanelbullar

July 17, 2014 | 4 Comments

Kanelbullar, we call them. Cinnamon buns. Those delightful soft rolls, perfect for a Fika afternoon cup of coffee or as a snack treat in your lunch box.

This recipe makes about 36 buns of medium size – or 18 buns and two longer ‘Kanellängd’ (longer versions for slicing).

There are as many recipes for cinnamon buns in Sweden as there are people who bake them. We like this one: it’s simple, it’s straightforward and it just works.

Over time, as you get a feel for the dough, you’ll develop your own version that only you can recreate. Try different fillings, spices and nuts.


50g fresh yeast

500ml whole milk, luke warm

150g very soft butter (melted also fine)

85g caster sugar

1000 g plain bread flour (or between 800-1000g, depending on the flour)  – we always use Swedish Vetemjol flour for perfect results.

1⁄2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 egg

150g butter (soft, spreadable)

4-5tsp ground cinnamon

120g sugar

1/2 egg for brushing

100g of pearl sugar for decoration (or finely chopped nuts)

Heat the milk to 36-41 degrees and add in a bowl with the yeast, stir until dissolved. Add the butter, sugar, salt, cardamom, egg and enough flour to make the dough combine. You’ll need about 700-800g of flour – but add a little at the time, keeping the mixer on continuously (using the dough hook). Keep the rest of the flour back  for kneading. Work the dough until it almost stops sticking and has a shiny surface – about 6-7 minutes with a mixer, longer by hand (add more flour if you need to). The dough should only just reach the point of not being sticky.

Leave to rise until it’s doubled in size (30-40 mins). Work through with more flour until dough stops sticking and can be shaped, then cut the dough in half and roll out the first piece in a rectangular shape (around 45cm x 35cm). Spread a generous amount of butter evenly, then dust over the cinnamon and sugar. Roll the piece lengthways so you end up with a long, tight thin roll.

Cut the roll in two pieces and place on lined baking trays with plenty of room to rise. To cut the ‘Kanellängd’, use a pair of clean scissors and cut sliced almost all the way through (but not quite) as illustrated in the photos below – and then alternative each piece to the side and press down gently until you have done both pieces.  Leave the cinnamon lengths to rise for 20 minutes.

photo 3-1     photo 4-1      photo 1-1

To make buns with the rest of the the dough:

Repeat the roll-out process, again ending with a rectangular piece of dough around 35 x 45 cm big. Spread the other half of the butter, add cinnamon and sugar and roll tightly lengthways until you have a long roll. Cut the roll into 18 pieces and place each swirl on a lined tray.  Leave to rise for 20 minutes.

Turn the oven to 220 degrees (a bit less if using a fan oven).

Brush all buns gently with remaining egg (you may need a bit more egg) and sprinkle a bit of pearl sugar on each bun. Bake at 220°C for about 8-10 minutes (turn the heat down a bit midway if you feel they’re getting too brown) for the buns – but for the longer rolls, turn the heat down slightly and bake nearer the bottom of the oven for around 20 minutes – take care not to burn them. As this dough contains sugar,t he buns can go dark brown in a split second so keep an eye on them.

As soon as the buns come out of the oven, cool down under a damp, clean tea towel to stop them going dry. If you prefer a stickier surface, brush with a light sugar syrup or even syrup as soon as they are baked.

The buns freeze well (freeze as soon as they have cooled).

photo 2-4

Celebrate Bun Week with us 21-27 July 2014

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Next week  (21-27 July 2014) is bun week at the cafe. Here’s the voucher you need in order for you to get your mitts on a free cinnamon bun on the mornings.

Print the voucher or smart phone it – but you do need mention the offer and show voucher when you order.

Please do read the t&c, too.

See you next week.


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