Monday, April 5, 2010

Swedish Cinnamon Buns “Bullar”

I have to say Swedish Bullar is one of my favorite desserts.  It is very similar to a Cinnamon roll but not as sweet. The “bulle” is probably the most popular afternoon coffee snack in Sweden. We call these afternoon coffee breaks “fika.”  I like the definition of “fika” in Wikipedia “Fika, is both a verb and a noun in Swedish and has a broad definition. Essentially, it refers to a break from one’s activities in order to drink coffee or other drinks with friends, family or acquaintances. This tradition of a coffee break with a snack is central to Swedish culture, and Swedes are one of the world’s top coffee consumers.”  This is very true. Also while reading in Wikipedia I found out that the cinnamon roll is thought to have been invented in Sweden where it takes the name kanelbulle (literally: “cinnamon bun”).  And it is so popular that there is even a cinnamon roll day on October 4th in Sweden. Well you ask me how are these different from American cinnamon rolls?  I think American cinnamon rolls are a lot more sweet. We use cardamom and the buns are also baked in a very hot oven for just a few minutes. This makes them light and fluffy, with a nice brown surface yet not dry or over baked.  They are always baked in individual paper cups not muffin cups but bun cups that are slightly lower.  And last but not least there is no frosting or glaze.  Instead on Swedish bullar you use pearl sugar, which you can get in Ikea.

Let me know how it goes.

Swedish Cinnamon Buns “Bullar”


3 packages of dry yeast
1 cup of butter
2 cups of milk
½ tsp of salt
½ cup of sugar
5 -5 ½ cups of flour
2 tsp cardamom


Spreadable butter

Melt the butter and mix it with the milk in a pot.  Using a thermometer heat it until approx. 115 F and then pour it into a bowl. Add sugar and salt, stir. Mix the flour and the yeast together before pouring into the bowl and mix it with the rest.

Work the dough until it is smooth.  Put it aside and let it rise under cover in the bowl for 30-40 min.

After it has doubled in size divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll out each part until it is 1/4″ thick. Try to make it fairly square. Brush dough with the butter. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top of the butter to your taste. Roll up into a cylinder shape and cut each cylinder crosswise into 10-12 pieces. Put each piece into a muffin cup and place them in a warm place and let it rise again under cover for about 30 minutes. Brush the buns with an egg wash and then sprinkle with “pearl-sugar” (you can buy that at IKEA). Bake the buns in the middle of the oven for 7-10 minutes 475 F (225 C). Makes about 48 buns.  These freeze well and are great warm.

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49 Responses to “Swedish Cinnamon Buns “Bullar””

  1. 1

    Mike — April 5, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

    I’m heading right over to take a fika now at the coffee shop. I’ve put on two pounds reading your blog!

    • Delishhh replied: — April 5th, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

      Mike, thanks for visiting, hopefully we can do fika soon.

  2. 2

    Penny — April 6, 2010 @ 5:23 am

    Hi Ewa! I love this recipe and it solves aproblem I had….my brother gave me a box of pearl sugar for Christmas and I had no recipes to use it. Thanks! Love your blog!

    • Delishhh replied: — April 7th, 2010 @ 9:18 am

      Penny, Glad you can use your Pearl Sugar. Let me know how they turn out. Thanks for visiting.

  3. 3

    Biz — April 6, 2010 @ 7:37 am

    Wow, those do look delicious! I might prefer yours over my cinnamon rolls as yours aren’t as sweet.

    Happy Tuesday! :D

    • Delishhh replied: — April 7th, 2010 @ 9:20 am

      Hi, Thanks for visting. If you ever decide to do these let me know how it goes.

  4. 4

    Traci — April 6, 2010 @ 9:32 pm

    You are right. This does look delicious and I’m going to try it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Delishhh replied: — April 7th, 2010 @ 9:24 am

      Traci, they are delishhh! Let me know when you try them out.

  5. 5

    Katarina — April 7, 2010 @ 11:24 am

    Hej Ewa,
    Min dotter o jag bakade just dina bullar. Tack för jättebra recept, dom blev så goda!
    Katarina i San Diego, USA (grrringo)

    • Delishhh replied: — April 7th, 2010 @ 8:08 pm

      Katarina, Vad skoj att det blev bra. Tack för att du kom och hälsade på.

  6. 6

    The Redhead Riter — April 10, 2010 @ 7:37 pm

    They look beautifully delicious.

    • Delishhh replied: — April 12th, 2010 @ 9:13 am

      Hi, Thanks for visiting. I just went to your site and your chokolate cake looks so good. I have to save that recipe and try it out.

  7. 7

    Jean Nelson — July 17, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

    Hi…I love your pictures of the Swedish Cinnamon Bullar. I have been looking all over the internet for Bullar recipes and I have a question. Your recipe call for 1-1/2 to 2 cups of butter. I have printed out about 5 recipes and they all call for 1/2 cup butter. Everything else is about the same. I was really afraid to try your recipe for that reason. I did make some lovely Swedish Bullar and did use the pearl sugar…love it! Does that much butter really work? Should I try it? The taste of the ones I made were “Delishhh” but maybe a tiny bit doughy. I think maybe my cardamon was not as fresh as it should have been, but all things considered, definitely will make again and again. Thanks for your help.
    Oh, is there anywhere we can buy those special baking cups with the low sides or do you just use cupcake papers?

    • Delishhh replied: — August 17th, 2010 @ 10:35 pm

      Jean, I am so sorry for the late reply on this, but we move on the 16th of July and just now i am getting organized and back into it all. After i got your email i was looking at my old recipes and you were right. I must have had a typo or something else, i have no idea how i got so much butter in there. But THANK YOU for finding it. I have fixed it now so you should be good to go. As far as the baking cups you might want to try Ikea. But otherwise I just use regular cupcake papers. Another thing i do is put them all in a pan together and folks just break them apart, or you don’t have to use paper at all if you have a cupcake pan. And here is a secret for you – go to Ikea and get the prepaid mix, it is really good. So IF you ever need an emergency batch of Swedish Cinnamon Rolls those you can make quickly. I always have a box stashed in my pantry just in case. Thanks for stopping by and sorry for the late reply.

  8. 8

    Saffron Buns “Lussekatter” — Delishhh — December 14, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

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    Brioche Cinnabun — Delishhh — January 15, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

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  10. 10

    I Had A Sleepover in IKEA | The Science of Style — December 4, 2011 @ 4:08 am

    [...] up to the restaurant to be pumped full of bullar (Swedish buns), biscuits, and cocoa – we then picked bedlinen (to keep) to go make our [...]

  11. 11

    cooking rookie — February 6, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

    It’s been only a few days since I made these buns and my bf had 12 of them only to himself and they are almost gone. He’s definitely a huge fan :-) . I could not try them, because I am on a detox (no sugar, flour, butter,etc; cinnamon is probably the only ingredient of these buns that I can eat now :-) ). But I have half of the dough waiting for me in the freezer, and I will make a second batch for myself when the detox is over. For now, big thanks from my boyfriend, Ewa!

  12. 12

    Feb 9: Ethiopian « Thursday Night Dinners — February 10, 2012 @ 7:39 am

    [...] to complement all the spices in our meal.  I fell in love with cardamom early in life, via the baking of my Swedish grandmother.  I was well into my 20s before I realized that people other than Swedes use cardamom, and that it [...]

  13. 13

    cooking rookie — April 5, 2012 @ 11:44 am

    I made them again, this time with Nutella. Yum, yum!

  14. 14

    Clara Edman — April 16, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

    I read your recipe. Pretty close to mine. One note; that coffee break in the afternoon I call “High Coffee”. Usually the cinnamon rolls are served with a variety of cookies and “cakes”. Cakes in Sweden is not anything like the elaborate affairs we are used to but more of pound cakes variety in different flavors. No icing or other toppings. Consider serving this on a daily basis which they do for those who are at home. I also happened to have a great aunt who served fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast! Breakfast was served early in the morning, not brunch time. I don’t think she got up at crack of dawn to make them. Crack of dawn where she lived could be anywhere from 2.00 am to 8.00 am depending on what time of the year it was.

    • Delishhh replied: — April 18th, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

      Clara – thank you so much for your comment. I was born and raised in Sweden and never heard of High Coffee – what is the term in Swedish?

  15. 15

    One of My Favorite Sweets: The Cinnamon Bun | Sweet and Savoring — September 3, 2012 @ 5:43 am

    [...] of any bulle, nor have I yet made them myself (gotta get over that fear of failure thing!), but here’s a recipe I found from someone who sounds like she knows what she’s talking [...]

  16. 16

    Clara Edman — September 15, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

    Your recipe is close to mine, but I don’t add salt. Also instead of making them into “rolls” I make them into knots. After I rolled the dough out and rolled into a long “snake” I cut it into about 2″ pieces and then cut each piece into 3 sections – two slices, not quite through, and 1 slice in between the two in the opposite direction, then I twist the piece into a knot. No need for paper cups. I just line the baking sheet with parchment paper and place my “knots” on top of it. No cleaning up of baking sheets and the rolls come right off. I bake them at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. I usually get about 30-40 buns or rolls. I do freeze them for a perfect morning breakfast snack or what ever. I had a great aunt who always served fresh rolls first thing in the morning. Very yummy.
    I do believe in cardamon. I never measure how much, just dump in what looks right to me. I can never have enough of cardamom or cinnamon.

    • Delishhh replied: — September 17th, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

      Clara – thank you for stopping by, i bet your ‘bread’ version is amazing, and yes so much easier and not have to deal with paper cups. I might have to try your version next time.

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