Monday, 2 December 2013

Kanel Snegle and Kanelbullar - Swedish Cinnamon Snails and Rolls

Let me start my Christmas recipes with the awesome Cinnamon Rolls! This month’s bread for our group We Knead to Bake is the Kanel Snegle (Cinnamon Snails) or Kanelbullar (Cinnamon Buns) which is the Swedish version (and probably the original version) of the popular American Cinnamon Rolls. The Swedish version are and not sticky like their American counterparts and are also less sweet. They’re are delightfully aromatic, soft and moist, and perfect with a cup of tea/ coffee whether for breakfast or in the evening. Recipe from here

The Swedish Kanel Snegle/ Kanelbullar is less about sugar and more about the spices in it – cardamom in the dough and cinnamon inside the Snails/ Buns. Whether you call them Snails or Rolls (coiled shape) or Buns (twisted and rolled up) depends on how you shape them. 

When I got the recipe for these buns, I kept thinking why they sound so familiar. After about a month of thinking, it dawned on me when I was actually baking it. These are sold in IKEA. Ikea-Sweden-does it ring a bell? Those of you who shop at Ikea must have had a bite into these buns. I know it is mass marketed and I am not supposed to love it. But I feel that these places help popularize food outside the country. But now I can bake these right at home. And I have a batch in my freezer to heat up as and when I get the cinnamon-sugar craving.


For the Starter
Warm Milk 1 cup
Instant Yeast 2 tsp
All Purpose Flour 2 cups (260 gms)

For the Dough
All the Starter
All Purpose Flour 2 cups (260 gms)
Salt 1.5 tsp
Cardamom Powder 3/4 tsp (or 6 to 8 pods powdered)
Lemon Zest of 1 lemon
Caster Sugar 1/3 cup
Butter at room temperature 60 gms 

For the Filling
Butter at room temperature 75 gms 
Light Brown Sugar, loosely packed 1/2 cup (or 1/3 cup caster sugar)
Cinnamon 2 tsp

For the Topping
Milk 1/4 cup (or use egg wash)
Pearl sugar or large sugar crystals (I did not have it, so I did not use)

Method of Preparation

For Starter

1. Mix together all the ingredients for the Starter into a sticky dough, in a large bowl. 

2. Place the Starter dough in an oiled bowl and loosely cover it and then refrigerate it.  Remember the dough will rise quite a bit so use a container that has enough room for this. 

Making the dough

1. The next day, about 30 minutes before you are ready to start on the dough, take the Starter out and leave it at room temperature. 

2. Tear the Starter to large pieces and drop into the processor bowl.  

3. Now sift together the flour, cardamom and salt into a bowl. Add this, the lemon zest and sugar to the bowl and run the processor till well mixed.

4. Now add the soft butter and knead well until you have a smooth and elastic dough. If your dough feels dry, add a little milk or if it feels wet then add a little flour till you have the required consistency of dough. I added about 2 tbsp of milk.

5. Now turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and then roll it out into a approximately rectangle about 20” by 12” in size. 

6. Make the filling by mixing/ creaming together the soft butter, brown sugar and cinnamon with a fork or spoon into a spreadable paste. 

7. Depending on which shape you are going to make your Cinnamon Buns, spread the filling either all over your dough rectangle, or over half of it.

8. Either tightly roll the dough jelly/ Swiss roll style and cut it into 20 equal pieces with a sharp knife. Place these, cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet leaving space between them, or in white cupcake cases. 

9. Otherwise fold the dough over in half and cut into 20 long strips with a sharp knife, twist and shape them as desired. Place these, cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet leaving space between them, or in white cupcake cases.

10. Let them rise for about 10 to 15 minutes till they look a little puffy but not swollen up. 

11. Brush the Snails/ Buns with milk (or egg wash) and sprinkle with pearl sugar, large sugar crystals or brown sugar (whatever you have on hand).

12. Bake them at 200C (400F) for about 15 minutes till they’re cooked, golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. If they’re browning too quickly, turn down the temperature by about 20C (65F) and bake them till done. Do check after 10 min. My twisted noes were done in about 13 min. The swiss roll type ones took 15 min. 

13. Let them cool on wire racks. You can serve them warm or at room temperature. 

14. You can freeze these Kanel Snegle for whenever you feel like having one. 

This recipe makes about 20 Kanel Snegle/ Kanelbullar


  1. Want to finish now.super snails love the aromatic bake.

  2. looks very very cute roshi. did ya freeze them?

    1. Yes Anu, made the whole batch and froze about half of it. I tried one of the frozen ones. tasted great