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How to Make Swedish Cinnamon Buns

How to Make Swedish Cinnamon Buns

Try the classic Swedish cinnamon bun today, and immerse yourself in the traditional Swedish coffee ceremony called “fika”.

The cinnamon bun is a pivotal player in the part of the day which in Sweden has been known as ”Fika Time” for as long as anyone can remember. ”Fika” is traditionally a shorter or longer coffee break together with friends, family or colleagues – and fika time, in general, is in very high regard all across Sweden. Still considered an almost holy ritual even in the workplace, it is essentially the Swedish equivalence of the Japanese tea ceremony.

There are two traditional methods to making Swedish cinnamon buns. One is where you roll up the dough, cut it into pieces, flip them on their side and then bake them after a second rising. The other version is where you take the rolled out dough, stretch and twist it, then form knots that you give a second rise and bake. Both are great, but I find the twisted one to look a little more fancy, so that’s the one we’re doing here.

How to Make Swedish Cinnamon Buns

Prepare the Dough:

  1. Activating the Yeast: Warm the butter and milk in a saucepan until lukewarm (not hot). For fresh yeast, crumble it into a mixing bowl and then stir in the warm milk mixture until dissolved. If using dried yeast, sprinkle it into the specified amount of warm water and let it activate according to package instructions before adding to the milk mixture.
  2. Mixing Dry Ingredients: In the bowl containing the activated yeast, add sugar, salt, cardamom, and half of the flour. Stir until just combined. Gradually add the remaining flour, continuing to mix until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This can be done by hand or with a dough hook in a stand mixer.
  3. First Rise: Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 30 minutes.

Prepare the Filling:

  1. Creating the Filling: While the dough is rising, prepare the filling by combining softened butter, sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix until it forms a uniform paste.

Shape and Second Rise:

  1. Rolling Out: Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it out onto a floured surface. Roll it into a 22 x 15-inch rectangle.
  2. Applying Filling: Spread the cinnamon filling evenly across the rolled-out dough. Fold the dough into thirds, like folding a letter, then gently roll it out again to a rectangle about 15 x 8 inches.
  3. Forming Buns: Slice the dough into 2-inch-wide strips. Take each strip and twist it several times, stretching slightly. Then, wrap the dough around two fingers twice and knot it, tucking the end underneath.
  4. Second Rise: Place the shaped buns on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving space between them. Cover with a kitchen towel and let them rise for another 30 minutes until puffy.


  1. Preheating: your oven to 430°F (225°C) during the second rise.
  2. Glazing and Baking: Beat one egg and brush the tops of the buns. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe Notes:

  • Fresh to dried yeast conversion: Replace 1.75 oz fresh yeast with 2¼ teaspoons (one packet) of dried yeast.
  • Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature to help the dough rise properly.
  • Avoid overworking the dough after the first rise to keep the buns light and airy.
  • Adjust the amount of filling according to taste; too much can leak out during baking.
  • Allow buns to cool slightly on a wire rack after baking for best texture.

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Swedish Cinnamon Buns

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4.9 from 11 reviews

  • Author: Kalle Bergman
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 12 large buns 1x


Try the classic Swedish cinnamon bun today, and immerse yourself in the traditional Swedish coffee ceremony called “fika”.


Units Scale

For the Dough:

  • 1.75 oz (50g) fresh yeast OR 0.67 oz (19g or approximately 2.25 tsp) active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 3 oz (85g) unsalted organic butter
  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 2 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 free-range egg (for glazing)
  • Coarse sugar (for topping)

For the Filling:

  • 6 oz (170g) unsalted organic butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (130g) sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom


Prepare the Dough:

  • Activate Yeast: If using fresh yeast, break it into a large mixing bowl. Warm the butter and milk until lukewarm, then pour over yeast to dissolve. If using dry yeast, mix it directly with warm (not hot) milk and butter mixture, ensuring the temperature is around 105°F (40°C) to activate it.
  • Mix Ingredients: Add sugar, salt, cardamom, and gradually incorporate the flour until the dough is smooth and non-sticky. Use hands or a mixer with dough hooks.
  • First Rise: Cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for 30-60 minutes in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size.

Make the Filling:

  • Prepare Filling: Combine softened butter, sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon until well mixed.

Shape the Buns:

  • Roll Out the Dough: Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough into a 22 x 15-inch rectangle. Distribute small dollops of the filling across the dough, then spread them out evenly.
  • Fold and Roll Again: Fold the left third of the rectangle towards the center, then fold the right third over it, like folding a letter. Lightly roll with a rolling pin to flatten any large bubbles, then extend the dough slightly to form a 15 x 8-inch rectangle.
  • Form the Twisted Buns: Cut the dough into 2 x 8-inch strips using a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Take one strip at a time, twist it several times, extending it as you go until it’s nearly doubled in length. Wrap the twisted strip around two fingers twice, then loop and knot the dough, securing the end underneath.
  • Second Rising: Transfer each formed bun onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow adequate space between each for expansion. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise again for 30 minutes, until they puff up.
  • Second Rise: Place the slices, cut side up, on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise again for 45-60 minutes until puffy.


  • Prepare for Baking: Beat the egg lightly and brush over the tops of the buns. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  • Bake: Preheat your oven to 430°F (225°C) and bake for 10-14 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire baking sheet and let cool for 5 minutes.


  • When converting fresh yeast to dry, use about 1/3 the amount since dry yeast is more concentrated.
  • Warmth is crucial for yeast activation; too hot can kill the yeast, too cold won’t activate it.
  • For dry yeast, allow the mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes until frothy before adding to flour.
  • Ensure the dough is kept in a warm, draft-free place for successful rising.
  • Don’t over-flour your work surface; too much can make the dough tough.
  • Ensure the filling is spread evenly for consistent flavor in every bite.
  • Be gentle with the dough when twisting to avoid tearing.
  • The second rise is crucial for the buns to develop their final size and texture before baking.
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Rising Time: 90 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Baking
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Swedish
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