Swedish Cinnamon Rolls


Total Time:

2 hours 15 minutes



Guess who’s heading to Sweden in a little over a month and planning to eat their body weight in Swedish Cinnamon Rolls aka Kanelbullar?!? Me!

Swedish Cinnamon Rolls from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

I’ll be hitting the road with Volvo in a little over a month to explore the food culture through Western Sweden. Talk about the most epic road trip of all times. My sister will be joining me and we’ll be cruising around the countryside in search of the best things to eat and drink! We’ll be fishing, exploring, searching for epic eats and drinks and winning the award for best daughters of the year! Why you ask? Because Volvo has an amazing overseas delivery program, which means you can buy a Volvo, and then go pick it up in Sweden for FREE and get a spiffy vacation out of it! Genius right? We’re going some serious research for my dad who is buying a Volvo this summer… hence the daughter of the year award!

Sweden is home to an incredible food scene and I’m ready to explore! While we all know that Swedish Meatballs are basically the best things on earth (and don’t you worry, I’ll find some and bring home an epic recipe) – there is so much more to the culinary scene in that part of the world! Word on the street is that Lingonberry Jam is all over the place, kind of like our equivalent to ketchup – bring it on, I’m ready!! Pickled herring and fish in general is a huge part of Swedish cuisine. Lucky for me, I’m bringing my sister and between to two of us, we are all about the fish! Everyone keeps telling me about the Swedish Pancakes, and all I know is that I don’t know much about them but intend on fixing that the minute I land!

It’s hard to pick just one thing that I’m looking forward to for this trip… especially because I’ll be partaking in so many fun food filled activities while there! I mean, we’ll be visiting a fish auction early one morning (hello, snapchat!), exploring the food truck scene in Gothenburg, tasting a variety of cheeses made in the country, going on a crayfish seafood safari (which is a huge part of traditional feasting!), and eating these Swedish Cinnamon Rolls by the dozen. I’m ready to relax at an outdoor café, sip on a coffee and eat 3 or 4 of these Kanelbullar a day! Seems like we should all be starting our days off with that routine! So while I get ready for my trip, I’ll leave you with a recipe for Kanelbullar that I pulled out of the recipe archives from my Omi!

And if you’ve been to Sweden and have any can’t miss moments on the Western coast – feel free to shout it out in the comments below! P.S. here’s a quick and easy video on how to form these rolls!

Swedish Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins


  • 1 package yeast 2 ¼ teaspoons
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 vanilla pod halved and scraped
  • 1 egg plus 1 yolk reserve extra egg white
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the filling

  • 1/3 cup butter softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. warm milk
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon

Powdered Sugar for dusting


    • Stir yeast, 2 tablespoons water, and 1 teaspoon sugar together in small bowl and set aside until foamy; about 5 minutes.
    • In small saucepan heat 1 cup almond milk, 6 tablespoons butter, and vanilla pod until butter just melts; remove from heat and cool mixture to 110 degrees. When mixture is cool, remove vanilla pod and add yeast mixture.
    • In large mixing bowl whisk egg, yolk, sugar, cardamom, and salt until well combined. Add milk-yeast mixture and stir until well combined. Slowly stir in the all-purpose flour and knead until soft silky dough forms; shape into a ball.
    • Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to a clean bowl and roll dough ball in oil. Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and rise to double; about 2 hours.
    • Prepare the filling: combine softened butter, sugars, warm milk, and cinnamon; blend until it’s an even paste.
    • Divide dough into 2 sections. Roll each section into a 12 x 9 inch rectangle. Spread half the butter-sugar mixture over each square.
    • Watch video above to get step by step directions on how to shape/form the rolls. Place rolls on a sil-pat lined baking sheet and let rest for 20 minutes.
    • Whisk together reserved egg white and a few tablespoons of water. Brush tops of rolls with wash and bake in 350 degree oven about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on rack.

    Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking

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    Recipe Rating


    1. Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes)

      Congrats on your trip to Sweden. That sounds so amazing. And thank you for leaving these absolutely perfect treats behind!

    2. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

      These are so gorgeous!! Definitely need to try to make these at home. Yum!

    3. Penny

      I am from ystad in south of Sweden and if you are going there you have to have a fika at fritidsbarnen right by the ocean and have the best kanelbulle in Sweden !!

      • Gaby

        1/3 cup! there was a typo in my recipe formatting!

    4. Peggy

      Where do you find the video of how to shape these wonderful looking cinnamon rolls? I can’t seem to find it.

    5. June @ How to Philosophize with Cake

      Man I would love to travel to Sweden hahah…it sounds awesome 🙂 These look delish–I made a larger kringel once, these sound similar.

    6. monika

      I can’t wait to follow along in your adventure!!! Sounds delicious and fun!

    7. danielle northern

      Can you sub regular milk for the almond milk? And also pod vanilla for extract? If so how much?
      Thank you

      • Gaby

        yes you can use any kind of milk you want! and I’d use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract!

    8. todd wagner

      I can’t wait to follow along throughout the journey!! I’ve always wanted to visit Sweden. And these cinnamon rolls…I can’t stop staring at them!

    9. Links & Things | spice it upspice it up

      […] Swedish Cinnamon Rolls -> impressive. […]

    10. Banjaxed

      Just a word of caution on this recipe, if you’re heading to Sweden thinking that kanelbullar (cinnamon rolls) will taste like in this recipe you might be very disappointed. Cinnamon rolls in Sweden do not usually have vanilla, egg, or almond milk in them and the filling usually consists of just butter, cinnamon and sugar – nothing else. This recipe is a bit more authentic: https://sweden.se/culture-traditions/cinnamon-buns/ . I’m sure your recipe above is delicious but I don’t want you to go to Sweden and be disappointed in your kanelbullar because they are the best thing to come out of Sweden since IKEA :).

    11. Nadja

      I tired this recipe out this morning and it was delicious! I used 1/2 bread flour and 1/2 all purpose and used 1/4 cup granulated sugar and it turned out fantastic. Thank-you!

    12. Dee in CT

      I would like to make these but I need to know if the almond milk used is the sweetened or unsweetened variety?

    13. Today is Swedish cinnamon bun day (Kanelbullens Dag)! | Eating The World

      […] Here are recipes for classic Swedish Cinnamon bun from Kokblog,  Swedishfood, Salt & Wind, and What’s Gaby Cooking. If you want a little twist, Nami Nami has a recipe for a Finnish Cinnamon Bun […]

    14. Weekend Links – The Calm Collective

      […] As a tribute to my heritage, I’m thinking I’ll make these for breakfast on Christmas for the […]

    15. Judy D Jewell

      Where’s the video? I can see that the two squares need to be cut in thin strips and wrapped to form a two bite roll., or maybe three bites but the video is missing.

      • Gaby

        it’s still there – there’s a link at the bottom of my post before the recipe and it will take you to a page where you can watch a step by step

    16. Elias

      I did these but about half the filling oozed out onto the sheet while baking :/ How is that prevented?

    17. Joan

      I’m assuming that you meant to say to spread the filling and then fold over and roll out again to the rectangular shape again right? I did that and all the filling splays out…how do you work around that? Thanks!