SWEDISH CINNAMON BUNS – a treat for Shrove Tuesday

Hi there,

I have a wonderful treat for you today. Annika Perry, who is a wonderfully reflective writer, has shared with us her story and her recipe for Cinnamon Buns.

I chose to post this today because today is Shrove or Fat Tuesday. It is a day that it is traditional to enjoy sweets before the long fast of Lent begins. Annika’s Cinnamon Buns certainly fit the bill for a wonderful sweet treat.

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-J.R.R. Tolkien


There are three women gathered in the kitchen as the ingredients are placed on the counter. My mother and I as well as the presence of my departed Mormor (maternal grandmother). After all it’s her recipe and as the master baker she wouldn’t miss out on the event. It is not a light spiritual awareness of her being rather a profound sensation of her conversation, laughter and no doubt frustration at our slower preparation!

The warmest place in my grandparents’ house was one of the cellar rooms. Eradicate all the images the word creates in your mind of a damp, dark and dusty confine rather my Mormor’s baking cellar room sparkled with light and delicious fragrances dancing on the sun beams. The positive and cheerful energy pulsated through the cracks of the doors. One entered with quiet cautious steps; knowing one was always welcome but not wanting to disturb a critical moment. After all, I didn’t want to miss out on a cake or slice of freshly homemade bread!

With awe I watched as Mormor threw the ingredients into the large bowl! No need for scales or measuring jug as from years of experience her hands and eyes knew exactly what to add. As one large cinnamon bun dough was left to prove she’d quickly knead the already risen dough for bread, her hands working in perfect synchronicity with one ball under each palm, both gently pummeled to shape. A shape recognised today as the well-known round flatbread she helped to create and a popular and top-seller in shops along the West Coast of Sweden. With smugness I was privy to the tastiest Hönökaka bread around, always fresh from the oven!

Retrieving the dough for the cinnamon buns it would be time to join in the fun! Standing on a tiny footstool I’d work my smaller piece of dough, feeling its heat radiating, dipping my head slightly to inhale the scent. With my little red-handled wooden rolling pin I’d roll vigorously enjoying the squeak of my utensil. Looking to my right, I’d follow my Mormor’s unspoken directions. A tad bit more flour on the board, a forty-five degree turn of the dough. More rolling, checking and at last the desired thinness was achieved.

Once we’d sprinkled the filling liberally and my Mormor rolled this up she’d quickly cut them to shape and place them on a tray. A tray that vanished as if by magic into the furthest recess of the wall, the puff of heat of the wood-fired oven stroking my cheeks, the glimpse of the fiery interior awe-inspiring!

I am blessed that my memories of those precious moments together are rekindled every time I bake; I hope the love and soul my Mormor put into her baking are replicated in my culinary creations and will be for you too! 


Ingredients (for approx. 50 buns)

For Dough:

• 125 g butter
• 1250 g plain flour
• 750 millilitre milk and water; 400 litre milk, 350 millilitres water
• 300 g sugar
• 75 g fresh yeast

For filling:

• 100 g butter, softened for spreading
• Raisins, strewn over
• Cinnamon, sprinkled evenly over

For top & sides:

• Glaze with one egg and some milk, whisked


• Preheat the oven to 180˚C / 350˚F
• Pour the liquid in a pan and add the butter. Gently heat.
• Add some of this fluid to the yeast. Stir until smooth.
• Mix flour and sugar in a bowl then slowly add the heated mixture.
• Add the yeast.

Leave in warm space to prove for thirty minutes

• Knead the dough then split into two.
• Roll dough until evenly thin large square/rectangle.
• Spread on the melted butter, sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and raisins.
• Roll up neatly then cut into smaller chunks.
• Place these end up on a greased baking tray and glaze all over
• Bake in oven 15-18 minutes until golden.


It has been my pleasure to introduce you to Annika and I hope you have enjoyed meeting her. You can learn more about Annika and her writing at http://annikaperry.com.

93 responses to “SWEDISH CINNAMON BUNS – a treat for Shrove Tuesday”

  1. Bernadette, it’s an honour and joy to be on your lovely blog and to share my grandmother’s Swedish Cinammon Buns recipe! 😀 Thank you so much! 🙏 It brought back a lot of wonderful memories as I thought about those early bakes with my mother and grandmother. Wishing you and eveyone a special Shrove Tuesday! xx

    • Thank you, Angie! 😀 They are SO tasty and I remember my Mormor stopping me once as it was about to eat a sixth bun in a row! Lovely to meet you here and look forward to checking out your bakes … I’ve already spotted some Dutch Doughnuts which look delicious!

  2. Thank you, Bernadette, for giving us this lovely treat today, I am hungry already. 🙂

    Annika, it is beautiful how you describe your experience of baking these wonderful buns and the flatbread with your Mormor and mother. It sounds like being transported into a special world that touches so many senses.
    Your contentment and awe comes through clearly. I can imagine you on a footstool with your little rolling pin with red handles.
    A delicious and heartwarming story and my tummy is grumbling looking at the pictures.

    Thank you

    • Haha! 😀 Miriam, I feel responsible for your hunger pangs and hope you have an opportunity to soon do some baking yourself! Wow! Thank you so much for your wonderful thoughts about my writing and I love that you feel transported to a special world. Indeed it was and although many years ago the memory is as powerful and immediate as ever! I’m smiling how you picked up on the red-handled rolling pin as this is special to me. I still have it and my son used it on a regular basis when he was younger! The wonder and magic of baking is that one becomes totally absorbed in the moment as well as spending very precious one to one time with those closest to us. Happy Baking, my friend! Xx

    • Thank you, Robbie and I have my Mormor to thank for the recipe! 😀 Chelsea Buns are delicious and very popular here in England although I’ve never tried to bake any! Maybe I should … they are one of my husband’s favourites! They would not come close to your superb baking magic! 😀

  3. Wow, I just closed my eyes and inhaled, and I’m pretty sure I caught the aroma of those gorgeous cinnamon buns! Mmmmmm The story is so beautifully written, and another great memory of baking with grandmothers. Just lovely!

    • Bless! Terrie, thank you so much for your wonderful comment and I’m smiling as you inhale the aroma of the bake! 😀 It always adds a cosy snug feeling of homeliness to a house! It means a lot you enjoyed my writing and I totally agree, baking with grandmothers is extra special and memories that always stay with us.

  4. What a wonderful memory of baking with your grandmother, Annika. These cinnamon rolls look fabulous and my mother and grandmother made them the same way. Must make a batch!

    • That’s the thing with reading baking posts – one wants to go and replicate the bake straight away! 😀😀 Darlene, I love that you’ve made these just the same way and with your mother and grandmother! Precious memories and I often think of my Mormor and her strength of spirit and love surrounds me, giving me a real lift and reminding me to enjoy the wonder of life!

    • Thank you so much, Carol! It was a joy to share my memory of the bake and I am thankful to Bernadette for asking me here and ensuring I relived these precious times! It means a lot that you can feel the love in the story, behind the buns, as always it was much more that jus the actions of baking! Enjoy making your own cinnamon buns and inhale the delicious aroma! 😀

    • Jenna, thank you so much for your lovely comment and I’m glad you liked my recollections of this bake. I wonder if the tantilising aroma of the cinnamon buns has made its way across the Atlantic to you yet?! 😀

    • Pat, your kind and thoughtful comment warms my heart – thank you so much! Love adds that lightness and something extra to the buns! haha! Chatting about a bake like this will make one hungry – think I better get a new batch on!

  5. So fun to see Annika here, Bernadette, learn something about her childhood memories, and get such a delicious recipe. What a “sweet” post in every meaning of the word. Thanks for the recipe, Annika, and for sharing a bit of your history. It’s clear to me why you chose to share this treat. <3 <3

    • Diana, I’m smiling at the ‘sweetness’ of my post in every meaning of the word — we need some of that more than ever! It meant a lot to revisit my memories of this bake (and many more memories too as a result) and even though I tried to think of other recipe options there never really was any other one that touched my heart and soul so much! Thank you for your wonderful and warm comment, Diana and wishing you a lovely weekend. xx

    • Thank you so much, Brad! They say the heart of a family home is in the kitchen and this was certainly the case with my maternal grandparents… even if the baking was in the cellar room! It means a lot that you enjoyed the depth of my story and bake.

  6. Hi Bernadette, thanks for featuring Annika and her lovely baking memory and recipe with us. Those cinnamon buns look delicious!
    ~Lauren 💗

    • Lauren, thank you and it has been a pleasure to share my recipe and very special for me to revisit and share this memory … and so many more keep coming to mind! The buns are delicious and wish we could all have a coffee/tea party together and bring our various bakes! 😀

  7. Delicious… this word kept reverberating around me as I was reading this lovely post Annika. It is the presence of your grandma that adds a touch of love and it did reach my heart. Such memories of delightful moments need to be shared. Thank you dear ladies for the recipe of cinnamon buns.

    • Bless! Balroop, thank you so much and I’m touched how you see into the heart of my memory … the presence of my grandmother. She was the epitome of kindness, love, family and friend. In difficult times I often find myself drawn to memories of her for strength and guidance.

      Aww .. I’m smiling how you find the word delicious all-pervasive in this post … just as it is when baking. Here is to treasuring precious memories, to sharing with others. X

  8. I greatly enjoyed Annika’s wonderful food memory of baking with her mother and grandmother. I was right there in the kitchen with them. And of course, I can’t resist a good cinnamon bun!

  9. My grandmother’s cinnamon rolls were legendary. I enjoyed reading your family’s recipe. there are many differences in the preparation, but both are made with love. Yours look delicious!

    • Thank you so much, Cheryl! How true that the key component is always love and it is wonderful that there are so many variations to the same bake! I bet your grandmother’s cinnamon buns did not last long … I love how you describe them as ‘legendary’! Happy Baking, my friend … and revisiting precious memories! ❤️

  10. What a fun and delicious post, Bernadette! I love cinnamon bun. When I go shopping in the mall, I used to get a fresh cinnamon fun, the size of four regular bun, just eat and window shop. Thank you for this recipe, Annika. It makes me hungry.

  11. Lovely post Bernadette. I wish I could have a few of these Annika -they sound delicious, and I’m sure I can actually smell them baking! Unfortunately I have to rely on the local supermarket for mine which are OK – but they do have icing and a cherry on the top. It was great to hear your story of how three generations shared the pleasure of being together and creating these little masterpieces. It must have seemed a pity to have to eat them!

    PS Do you do deliveries? If so put me down for some!

    • Awww … Mike, I love how you describe these as ‘little masterpieces’ – probably words I would have used for my Mormor’s kanelbullar – but mine are not too bad! Nope, no cherry or icing here although there should be ‘pearl sugar’ (the larger round balls of sugar) which is readily available in Sweden but not sold in the UK!

      haha! It’s not a pity to eat them at all … apart from the fact that they disappear too fast! 😀 Now, deliveries would be an idea.

      Bernadette, you are not far off the mark as at one stage I did consider opening a garden cafe during the summer months for teas/coffees and home baking – it is such a wonderful retreat within nature and a place people without gardens etc would especially enjoy to visit. In the end the amount of red tape necessary put me off the idea … back to writing, then!! 😀

  12. A wonderful story of love – of family and cooking and buns!! Bernadette, you hosted such a special blogger and woman here. Thank you!

    • You are right, Annika is very special. I have been very fortunate to meet a lot of special people, such as you and Annika, with this blog.

    • Awww … likewise, my friends! You are both such warm, kind and generous women yourselves … love is at the centre of all our lives, especially in cooking and baking, uniting family and friends! ❤️

  13. I really like cinnamon, and it’s wonderful in baked things. These buns are a real treat! Such a nice post — thanks.

    • Nothing like a delicious cinnamon bun to put a smile on a person’s face and warmth in their belly. Thanks so much and have a great weekend.

    • Me too … I’m finding excuses to use more cinnamon and let’s say I am more generous with cinnamon on these buns than the actual recipe! Just so delicious. It was a joy to share both the story and recipe and Bernadette has a winning formula with her blog!😀

  14. Wow, Love these cinnamon rolls. I need a cup of coffee, and a cinnamon roll and my day would be perfect. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • Ribana, thank you so much for reading and so glad you also like cinamon buns.😀 Lovely to ‘meet’ here and just came back from your wonderful blog … so many recipes and bakes I want to try out!

  15. Thanks Bernadette for featuring Annika. I agree with what Brad said. This is a lovely story of family and connection through baking – and ultimately bonding together. These are memories you won’t forget, and will always warm the soul 💕

    • Mabel, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! 😀 It’s great you enjoyed reading about the very special bake and also the comments – these discussions and connections are the foundations here. I enjoyed sharing my story and it brought back a flood of emotional memories for me … all positive but that haven’t been at the forefront of my mind recently. I have Bernadette to thank for that – we all truly enrich each other’s lives! ❤️

  16. I am a fan of Annika’s blog and even more so cinnamon buns. Yum, this recipe looks delicious and the story of Mormor’s cellar kitchen will stay with me for some time. I wish I could get fresh yeast here in Australia. The bakers don’t sell it anymore and the dried yeast doesn’t seem to have the same result.

    • Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on Annika’s wonderful story and recipe. I am sorry, I am such a neophyte baker that I didn’t even realize you could buy live yeast!

    • Amanda, bless you! It means so much how my story of this memory resonates with you and will stay with you for some time. A most precious time for me, as you realise!

      How true that dried yeast just does not work so well in bakes and luckily the bakers still sell it here to the general public although they say there is not much call for it. In Sweden it is widely available in the main supermarkets etc. I’ve never heard of fresh compressed yeast … what do the main bakers use for their own bakes? Dried yeast?

      Thank you so much for reading and your lovely comment, Amanda. Hope you are keeping well. xx

      • I don’t know what the bakeries use now, Annika. Thank for asking. I will definitely ask next time I buy some rolls. Many but not all have started to get frozen dough – nowhere near as fresh. It really does make a difference to the outcome of the bread.

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. If you like this recipe, please give it to your friends.

%d bloggers like this: