Swedish Cinnamon Buns

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5 from 7 reviews

Soft and deliciously spiced Swedish Cinnamon Buns for the perfect breakfast or afternoon tea treat. Recipe with step-by-step photos.


For the Dough

For the Cinnamon Filling

For the Egg Wash

To decorate


You will need approx. 3 hours to make the Swedish Cinnamon Buns

To Make the Dough

  1. Measure the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
  2. Lightly mix the ingredients together using the dough hook.
  3. Add the egg to the bowl.
  4. Slowly pour in the warm milk, and continue mixing until everything comes together into a rough dough.
  5. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Once the butter has been fully incorporated into the dough, add the next tablespoon of butter.
  6. Once all of the butter has been added, continue kneading the dough on medium speed for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. The dough is ready when it is soft and smooth, and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. The dough will be somewhat sticky from the butter and egg.

First Proofing Period

  1. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl.
  2. Place the dough inside the bowl.
  3. Cover the dough with a clean tea towel, plastic wrap, or a reusable bowl cover.
  4. Leave the dough somewhere warm for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size (see Kitchen Notes below).

For the Cinnamon Filling

  1. Just before the dough has finished the first proofing period, make the filling by beating together the ingredients.

To Roll out the Dough

  1. Once the dough has doubled in size, gently remove the dough from the bowl. The dough will deflate as you handle it.
  2. Roll out the dough into a rectangle shape measuring approximately 40 x 30 cm/16 x 12 inches.
  3. Use a small palette knife to evenly spread the filling all over the dough.
  4. Fold over one-third of the dough towards the centre, and overlap with the other third of the dough.
  5. Use a rolling pin to gently flatten the dough and smooth out any air bubbles. Aim to have a rectangle shape measuring approximately 30 x 15 cm/12 x 6 inches.
  6. Cut the dough into strips measuring 2 cm/0.75 inches wide. How many strips you cut will depend on how wide you have rolled your dough, but you should get about 12-15 strips. 

To Shape the Cinnamon Buns

  1. Take one strip of dough and twist it gently with both hands, slightly stretching the dough as you do so.
  2. For right-handers: start wrapping the twisted dough around three of your fingers in your left hand.
  3. Finish the knot by tucking the end of the dough into the centre of the bun on top. Please see diagram in blog post.

Second Proofing Period

  1. Line a large baking pan with baking paper.
  2. Arrange the shaped buns on the lined baking pan. Space the buns apart generously.
  3. Place the pan somewhere warm for about 30 minutes, or until the buns have risen and puffed up slightly.
  4. During this time, preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F (without fan) with a metal baking tray on the middle shelf.

Bake the Cinnamon Buns

  1. Gently brush each bun with some egg wash.
  2. Sprinkle each bun with pearl sugar.
  3. Place the pan of buns on the preheated baking tray.
  4. Bake the buns for about 20 minutes, or until the buns are lightly golden. Check the buns at about 10 minutes, and if they are browning too quickly, cover them with a loose sheet of foil for the rest of the baking time.
  5. The buns are cooked if an internal thermometer reads 85°C/185°F.
  6. Gently remove the buns to a wire rack, and leave them to cool completely.

Kitchen Notes

To start the Swedish Cinnamon Buns the night before, make the dough as per the recipe, until they have finished their first proofing period. Without touching or deflating the dough, cover the bowl with a tea towel, plastic wrap or reusable bowl cover. Place the bowl in the fridge to continue proofing overnight. The dough will rise slightly more overnight in the fridge. The next day, proceed with the rest of the recipe. As the dough will be cold, the buns may require a bit more time for the second proofing period. 

* This recipe works best with strong white bread flour.
* For Swiss readers: I use Zopfmehl (or farine pour tresse) when making bread and enriched dough.

* Please note that there is a difference between instant yeast (also called instant dried yeast or fast-action dried yeast) and dried yeast (also called active dry yeast). If you are not sure what type of yeast you have, please check the packaging for instructions on how to use the yeast.
* With instant yeast, you can add it directly to the flour mixture without having to activate it first.
* With dried yeast, you will need to activate it first (usually in some warm liquid).
* If you are using fresh yeast, you will need about half a block (40 g fresh yeast = 14 g instant dried yeast). Crumble the fresh yeast into the warm milk, and stir to dissolve the yeast.

Dough needs a warm environment for the yeast to activate and cause the dough to rise. If you don’t have a warm place in your home, try one of the following ideas:
* In the oven with the oven light switched on (works only for some ovens).
* In the oven with a tray of boiling water on the bottom shelf.
* In the oven or a steamer oven at a low temperature of about 25-40°C (77-104°F).

These buns are best eaten on the same day they are baked. Any leftovers should be stored in a ziplock freezer bag to keep them soft, and for up to 1-2 days.

All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.