Swedish Cinnamon Buns

Swedish Cinnamon Buns

Colm Tohill, a baker with 25 years’ experience, showed us his ultimate Swedish cinnamon buns recipe for making this Christmas the one.

Cinnamon buns are the best pastry to have around the house over the festive season. A delicious snack, comforting dessert or incredible breakfast for Christmas Day – they are a truly versatile and worthwhile bake.

The dough is soft and chewy and the filling sweet, festive and buttery. The flaked almonds and pearl sugar adds a lovely crunch to its perfectly golden exterior, too. Unlike American cinnamon buns, these are twisted and tied into knots, and come without the addition of icing.

As with most breads, the temperature of the ingredients is key to proving the dough to perfection. Cooking the buns to 87°C will also ensure that they are perfectly moist and chewy inside, so keep your Thermapen on hand to create the perfect buns.

Swedish Cinnamon Buns

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Recipe by Thermapen Course: Sweet treatDifficulty: More challenging
Prep time




Key temperature



  • For the dough
  • 400 g plain white flour

  • 50 g granulated sugar

  • 1 tsp ground cardamom

  • 7 g sachet instant yeast

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 240 ml milk

  • 56 g unsalted butter

  • For the filling
  • 50 g butter, at room temperature (approximately 20°C)

  • 75 g light brown sugar

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon powder

  • To finish
  • 1 egg, for glazing

  • Pearl sugar

  • Flaked almonds


  • Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  • Place all of the dry ingredients into a mixer.
  • Warm the milk and melt the butter in the milk. Allow it to cool slightly so it’s lukewarm. Take a temperature reading using your Thermapen. The ideal temperature is 26°C.
  • Add the milk and butter to the dry ingredients and mix on slow speed for around 8 minutes. Take the dough from the mixer and place in an oiled bowl. Cover and leave to prove until doubled in size. This should take around an hour.
  • Place the ingredients for the filling into a bowl and mix with a fork to create a smooth paste. set aside at room temperature.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured worktop and roll into a square measuring 35cm x 35cm. Spread the filling evenly over the surface of the dough with a pallet knife. Fold into thirds, like a letter, and roll out again to measure 35cm x 20cm. Cut into 2cm strips, approximately 20cm long.
  • Twist the strips by gently holding each end and twisting and pulling gently until almost doubled in length. Wrap the dough twice around two fingers and knot the dough by slipping the end of the strip through the gap and bringing it underneath. Place the twisted dough, with the loose facing piece downwards, on a tray with silicone paper. Repeat with the remaining strips. Cover and leave for a second prove at room temperature for around 1 hour.
  • When ready, gently glaze each bun and sprinkle with pearl sugar and flaked almonds.
  • Place in the oven until they have reached an internal temperature of 87°C. This should take around 15-18 minutes.

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