Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon rollsOne of my favorite things to pair with my coffee are these Swedish cinnamon rolls. I don’t like the cinnamon rolls that are drenched in sugary icing, especially for breakfast, so these cinnamon rolls are made without the icing. They are loaded with yummy sugary cinnamon flavor, and go perfect with coffee in the morning or afternoon tea. Be careful not to over-bake the cinnamon rolls, or they might come out too dry! I really want to visit Sweden one day…I found out they have coffee breaks (called “fikas”) really often, and cinnamon rolls (called kandelbullar) are one of their specialties. It seems like I would be in heaven over there! I love having something a little sweet to eat with my coffee in the mornings.

How was YOUR weekend? We went down to the beach and watched the air show put on every year during “Fleet Week” here in San Francisco. It was so much fun to watch!

Off to study pharm chem… XoXo

4.7 from 3 reviews
Cinnamon Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Type: Breakfast
Serves: 12
  • 5 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp for brushing
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup sugar + ¼ cup for filling
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom (sub allspice)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 egg and 2 tbsp water for egg wash
  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat until melted.
  2. Add milk and turn heat to medium. Heat until small bubbles barely start to form, then remove from heat.
  3. Stir in sugar, salt, and cardamom/allspice. Let stand until lukewarm. cinnamon roll batter
  4. Stir in yeast and let stand for 7 minutes to activate the yeast.
  5. Transfer to a standalone mixer with hook attachment (or you can stir and knead by hand if you don't have one) and add 1 cup of flour.
  6. Stir on low speed until flour is blended, then add second cup of flour while mixing.
  7. Continue to knead with dough hook on low speed for 10 minutes. Dough should be stretchy.
  8. Cover with a slightly damp towel and place in a warmed oven or warm place in your house. Let the dough rise until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  9. Roll out dough on a floured surface to 8x12 inch rectangle.
  10. Melt 1 tbsp butter and brush all of the butter over the dough.
  11. Mix ¼ cup sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon together and sprinkle over buttered dough. cinnamon and sugar cinnamon rolls
  12. Roll dough so that the 18 inch side is horizontal in front of you.
  13. Slice 12 cinnamon rolls off with knife and place in paper baking cups or on parchment paper on a baking sheet. cinnamon roll dough
  14. Cover with a towel and let rise another 45 minutes.
  15. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  16. Beat the egg and water together and brush over the cinnamon rolls.
  17. Sprinkle the tops with more sugar and place in the oven.
  18. Bake for 8 minutes (careful not to over-bake or they will be too dry). cinnamon roll paper cup
  19. Remove from oven and let cool before serving. cinnamon rolls
    cinnamon roll coffee
    cinnamon rolls
Makes 12 cinnamon rolls


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  1. Christine @ Cooking Crusade says:

    Oh yum! I’ve seen so many delicious looking cinnamon rolls on blogs for years now and have been dying to try them for so long. Yours look soo perfect for tea time and it looks like a very straightforward recipe, I will have to give it a go finally 🙂

  2. Laura says:

    These look so lovely, I wish I had one with my coffee right now. I love cinnamon, I still remember the first time I had it on toast, it was addicted to it for months afterwards, eating it everyday!

    x Laura

  3. Erika says:

    Omg I LOVE THESE!!! They look so cute and perfect and delicate and I’m not a big fan of the icing either!! I eat it, of course, but I always feel gross after. These look so amazing, I’m pinning right now and can’t wait to make!

  4. Laura Dembowski says:

    What a unique spin on the classic cinnamon roll. I love that this lets the roll shine rather than the glaze or frosting. Because when there’s tons of frosting, you don’t even notice the roll.

  5. Loni says:

    While I was in Sweden we had fika ALL THE TIME. My roll recipe was one of my favorites I brought home, much like this one, only the quantities of cinnamon and cardamom are switched (so I guess they become cardamom rolls).

    There is another shape variation, too, which I really like. After I roll out the dough and sprinkle the cardamom sugar on top, I fold it in half onto itself, then cut about inch or so strips (so they’re like looong, cardamom sandwiches). I hold the ends of each strip, twisting it until it coils in on itself, and tucking the ends under before placing it in the paper baking cup.

    And, if you’re lucky enough to have access to a grocer who sells Swedish pearl sugar (a coarse white sugar that looks kind of like styrofoam bits by itself, but is really pretty on rolls), that is the best for sprinkling!

  6. Katie @ Oh Shine On says:

    I added the yeast when the recipe called for it, but nothing happened and I don’t think it activated? I let it stand for 5-10 minutes, then just decided to add in the flour. Did something happen or did I not do it correctly?

    • Kristianne says:

      Hi Katie! If the milk is still too hot you may have killed the yeast. They should get puffy if activated right (the top will look “foamy”). Sometimes it takes longer, about 10 minutes… Give it a go anyway maybe it will still be fine!! Good luck

  7. Peggy says:

    These cinnamon rolls look amazing – even without the icing (which I always find makes them too sweet!) Gonna have to bust these out for brunch one weekend =)

  8. Christine says:

    SO great to see cinnamon rolls or kanelbullar as we call them, on a non-Swedish blog 🙂 We even have a day dedicated to them, 4th of October is known in Sweden as the Cinnamon roll Day.
    I wouldn’t say we eat these for breakfast though, but we do have them during fika (coffe break). A very important part of our day, no matter if we are at work or at home 🙂
    They’re are not that difficult to make, so for those of you that haven’t tried them yet, please do!
    I like to vary my fillings, last time I made kanelbullar I filled them with panfried apples and grated marzipan.
    Chocolate spread or chopped chocolate in any flavour is equally delicious, and for the time around advent and Christmas I like to flavour the dough with saffron and make a filling with orange and white chocolate.

    Keep on baking! We have a lot of nice baked goods in Sweden.

    P.S. If you visit my blog and find something that looks good, please let me know and I will translate the recipe for you.

  9. kitchenriffs says:

    These look terrific! I love cinnamon rolls, but I’ve never been crazy about that gooey topping. A little is fine – quite good, in fact – but not that heavy coating that too many cinnamon rolls have. And these might be even better – no sticky hands!

  10. Carrie says:

    I made these for my husband to take to work today. 8 minutes didn’t seem long enough and I should have gone with my gut….made the mistake of not checking before he went out the door and they were so doughy 🙁 I am crossing my fingers that the ones I sent kept cooking en route…the leftovers went back in the oven for a couple more minutes. Despite that, they were easy, delicious, and not too sweet.

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