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Kanelboller, Chapter I: A recipe for the Norwegian cinnamon bun

A quick and simple recipe for what is quite possibly Norway’s favorite baked good.
Kanelboller, Chapter I: A recipe for the Norwegian cinnamon bun

Norway’s most ubiquitous baked good is quite possibly the kanelbolle: a Norwegian take on the cinnamon bun. It’s not miles away from the American version, just a little less sweet and a little more cinnamony. Note that a “proper” kanelbolle should have a different twirl than this simplified version—more about that when I learn how to do it in a future issue.

The Recipe



  • 10 tbsp butter (150 g)
  • 2 c whole milk (5 dl)
  • 2 packages rapid-rise yeast (50 g)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ c sugar (1 ¼ dl/100 g)
  • 1 egg + 1 for brushing
  • 6 ⅓ c flour (15 dl)
  • 2 tsp cardamom (optional)


  • 4 tbsp butter (200 g), softened
  • ¾ c sugar
  • 3 tbsp ground cinnamon

The Steps

  1. Set oven to 480° F (250° C).
  2. For dough: Melt butter in a bowl and add milk. Heat until it reaches body temperature.
  3. Add yeast to a large brown and stir in butter/milk mixture.
  4. Stir in salt, sugar, 1 egg, cardamom, and the majority of the flour. (Save a little for rolling out the dough.) Work until the dough is flexible and slightly loose.
  5. Cover bowl with Saran wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes in a warm spot.
  6. For filling: Mix butter, sugar, and cinnamon.
  7. Divide dough into 2 parts and roll each out until they’re approximately 8x18 inches (20x45 cm) in diameter.
  8. Spread filling evenly, then roll dough lengthwise. Cut into ¾-inch (2 cm) rolls.
  9. Put rolls on a parchment-paper-covered baking sheet. Cover with Saran wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes.
  10. Brush with a whisked egg and bake on the middle rack for about 7-8 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Kanelboller are traditionally served with coffee—they go particularly well with the French Press variety.