Kanelbulle (Cinnamon whirls, swirls or buns)

Posted on August 24, 2010


Kanelbulle are amazing, it was love at first bite. I knew from that second I had to learn how to make them. I badgered my very lovely friend Bridget for her recipe, then foolishly lost it. You wouldn’t think that losing a recipe would be such a disaster, in hindsight I should have just asked her for it again, but my Swedish spelling is terrible & I couldn’t quite remember what they were called. I googled everything, every bad dyslexic variation I could think of, of a name that sounded a bit like a swedish version of “cannon ball” in my memory. I searched Swedish cinnamon cakes, buns, whirl, swirls. I eventually end up with a recipe for one of everything. This is a tweaked variation of a recipe for cinnamon whirls I found in Delicious. Magazine. In case your like me, when you read the word yeast your head fills with an overwhelming sense of “Oh here we go” these are surprisingly well-behaved & incredibly rewarding, so well worth the time & faff involved.

Makes 16-18 depending on how neat you are
500ml Whole milk
225g Butter
600g Strong white bread flour
200g Plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
7g Fast-action dried yeast
175g Golden caster sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 Egg
10g Pearl sugar

1x Large baking sheet (16 x 14 inches) & 18 muffin cases
Pre-heat your oven to 220˚C (425˚F or gas mark 7)

Melt 150g of butter with the milk in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Once the butter has completely dissolved place the pan to one side. Place flour, salt, yeast & 100g of the sugar in large bowl. Make a small well in the middle & pour in the warm milk mixture, stir throughly with a wooden spoon. Slowly but surely a ball of dough will form in the middle. Turnout on to a lightly floured work surface. This is where the kneading begins which is a very good place for things to go wrong. If you are a confident baker then press on & knead for 10 mins until the dough is shiny & elastic. If you are a little more uncertain of kneading, BBC Good Food have produced a great “How to…” video. For the terminally impatient, like me, I would strongly recommend setting a timer for 10 mins as it’s always a lot longer than you’d think. Once the kneading is complete place the dough under a lightly greased piece of cling film, this stop it drying out whilst you make the filing.

Cream together the remaining sugar & butter with the cinnamon until you have something resembling the consistency of buttercream icing. Flour the surface well then roll out the dough into a large rectangle which is roughly 1cm deep, spread the cinnamon mix all over right to the edges. I tend to find the next bit is easier if you start with a perfectly straight edge, cut a little off one of the longest sides so it’s level. Place a palette knife along the edge & gently fold it over, pressing down slightly so it doesn’t ping back. Now just keep rolling as you would a swiss roll. Delicious recommend using baking paper but I found this more of a hindrance than a help, if you use sufficient flour & check the dough as you roll it shouldn’t stick.

Cut your roll into 2 cm slices, I like to reshape them slightly after they’ve been cut so they are more round. Place them cut side up in a muffin case, Delicious advise using a muffin tray but I didn’t find this necessary the swirls hold their shape well without the need for extra support. Beat an egg in a tea-cup or small bowl. Using a pastry brush coat each swirl then sprinkle over the pearl sugar. Place your swirls on a baking sheet, cover with lightly greased cling film & pop them in a warm spot to rise for 20 mins. Warm, to be more exacting is as close to 27˚C as possible. Once the rising is complete bake them in the preheated oven for 8 mins until the tops are golden & the house smells of cinnamon. A word to the wise, shut the windows before you start baking, it turns out wasps are very fond of Kanelbulle my kitchen turned into some form of wasp pop-up disco-tech by the time I finished. Delicious recommend that you give them 20 mins to cool before you start eating, but they are amazing warm so I’d suggest ignoring that advice. If you don’t feel up to eating them all in 1 day, which is actually easier done then you might think, Bridget advises you freeze them on the day of baking & reheat them when needed as the don’t keep well.

NB. If you still need a further excuse to treat yourself, Kanelbullens dag (Cinammon Roll day) is celebrated on the 4th October.