The 4th of October is one of those wonderful Swedish holidays devoted to food, more specifically today it’s cinnamon bun day (kanelbullens dag in Swedish). Cinnamon buns are a symbol of Sweden, even more than the Dalahorse I’d dare say. They’re sold everywhere and their smell is definitely something you’ll remember long after you come back from your trip to Sweden. You’ll smell cinnamon the very moment you land in Sweden, and you’ll have your last one at the gate waiting for your flight back – the Stockholm airport is the only airport in the world that smells of cinnamon, as a friend put it yesterday.
Up to last year I was mistakenly believing that kanelbullar are all about cinnamon, but I was wrong. There is another key ingredient, a little more subtle but equally important spice, that is cardamom. I didn’t include cardamom in the first batch of cinnamon buns I baked last year because I didn’t have any, and I believed that anyway what was important was the actual cinnamon. Big mistake. Cardamom is featured in all recipes and it’s there for a reason: it’s the combination of cardamom (in the dough) and cinnamon (in the filling) that makes kanelbullar so distinctive and special.
I baked them again yesterday evening, so that today we can celebrate with home baked cinnamon buns to go with our coffee at fika time.
Just like last year, the cinnamon bun baking action was teamwork: I invited a couple of friends over and we joined forces to make our own Swedish sweets. We used cardamom this time, and the result was just what I had hoped for!
The recipe we used is the one from the website Sweden.se. The only change we made was in the quantity of the filling, which we tripled because we wanted our buns to be extra buttery. And instead of spreading the softened butter and sprinkling cinnamon and sugar over, we combined butter, sugar and cinnamon into a spread. Some were so rich and filled that the melted cinnamon butter in the oven overflew and stained them here and there. They were meant to be yummy, not to look professionally made.
Despite the occasional cinnamon butter overflows, they came out so pretty I couldn’t help taking tons of pictures of them.
Happy cinnamon bun day everyone!