Cinnamon whirls

Cinnamon whirls
  • Serves icon Serves 8
  • Time icon Takes 35 minutes to make, 8 minutes to bake, plus proving

These fragrant Scandinavian cinnamon whirls are similar in taste to kanelbullar (Swedish) or snegle (Danish) with generous amounts of sweet cinnamon in the filling. They’re super-tempting and moreish – definitely one to try with your fika, which is a very important coffee break in Sweden.


  • 500ml milk
  • 150g butter, cut into pieces, plus extra for greasing
  • 800g strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Handful of sugar cubes, lightly crushed

For the filling

  • 75g butter
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 75g golden caster sugar


  1. Measure the milk into a glass or plastic jug and add the butter. Microwave on high for 2 minutes until warm. (Alternatively, put the milk and butter into a saucepan and put over a medium heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is warm.) Set aside.
  2. Put the flour into a large bowl and add the salt, yeast and caster sugar. Pour the warm milk and butter into the flour mixture. Start mixing with a wooden spoon, then use your hands to mix the dough until it gradually forms a ball and leaves the sides of the bowl clean.
  3. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and tip the dough out onto it. Stretch and pull the dough for 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with a greased piece of cling film and set aside.
  4. Make the filling. Weigh out 25g butter, put it in a small plastic or glass dish and microwave on high for 30 seconds to melt. (Or melt in a pan over a medium heat.) Put the rest of the butter in a bowl with the cinnamon, caster sugar and melted butter, and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  5. Take a large sheet of baking paper and put it onto a clean work surface. Sprinkle with flour, then take a rolling pin and lightly sprinkle it with flour. Uncover the dough and roll out on the baking paper to a large rectangle (about 30cm x 40cm).
  6. Using a palette knife or flat-bladed knife, spread the cinnamon butter all over the dough, right up to the edges. Lift up the paper along the longest edge of the dough: as you lift, the dough should roll over. Keep lifting the paper until the cinnamon swirl is completely rolled, like a big Swiss roll.
  7. Cut the cinnamon swirl into 2cm thick slices – you should make 18 slices. Ease a knife under each piece, then lie on its side in a muffin case so you can see the swirled effect. Transfer to lined, deep-hole muffin trays. (If you don’t have any muffin cases, put the cinnamon swirls directly into a non-stick, deep muffin tray.)
  8. Crack the egg into a bowl and mix with a fork. Brush over the cinnamon buns, then sprinkle with the crushed sugar cubes. Cover the whirls with a greased piece of cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for about 20 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7. Discard the cling film and bake the cinnamon swirls for 8 minutes, or until risen and golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before eating.


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