Swedish Cinnamon Bun Braid

Traditional Swedish sticky cinnamon bun braid, aka Kanelfläta, is a delicious sweet bread best enjoyed with a cup of coffee.

History of the Swedish Cinnamon Bun Braid

This cinnamon bun braid is a delicious sweet bread filled with a buttery cinnamon filling and topped with pearl sugar. There’s no Swedish coffee break (fika) without one of these. And if there’s one thing they do better than us (besides IKEA, maternity leave, health insurance, education, time-off… to name a few) is that they know how to take a coffee break.

Fika is all about slowing down, something we (as a culture) don’t know much about. It’s taking a moment to sit and contemplate on your own.

So, when Phaidon approached me to share a recipe from Magnus Nilsson’s The Nordic Baking Book, I couldn’t wait to share this one with you.

Magnus Nilsson is an acclaimed Swedish chef, famous for his restaurant Fäviken. He’s written a couple of cookbooks and you may have seen him on The Mind of A Chef and Chef’s Table.

His new cookbook, The Nordic Baking Book, is basically the Nordic Baking Bible, with over 400 pages and traditional family recipes. I honestly didn’t know what to bake first, as everything sounded amazing.

Nordics are famous for many things, but in this case their sweet buns are probably top of the list for me. Ever since the word HYGGE became a thing, Kanelbullars and Kanelflatas have been become my favorite afternoon treats to cozy up when I need it the most.

Swedish Cinnamon Knot

Swedish cinnamon knot

This shape is quick to make and gives a neat and tidy-looking bun. Roll the dough out into a rectangle of 40x60cm or 15 1/2″ x 23 1/2″. Spread half of it with the filling. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling. Place the seams towards you. With a sharp knife, cut ribbons 30cm/12″ long and 1/5cm or 3/4″ wide. Pick a ribbon up and twist it a few laps. Hold the end between your index and middle finger and roll the ribbon around the finger – imagine you are making a ball of yarn, but instead it’s a ball of dough. It’s fine to stretch the dough a little so that the ball is really quite tight. When you are running out of ribbon, you pull the ball off your two fingers and tuck the end of the ribbon into that hole after having pulled it one lap around the ball. This is to secure the dough in place.

Today, I’m sharing the recipe straight from the cookbook for you to enjoy! If you make it, please share it with me on instagram using #yogaofcooking so I can see your creations.

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cinnamon bun braid, kanelflata

Cinnamon Bun Braid

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  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 2 breads


Traditional Swedish sticky cinnamon bun braid, aka Kanelfläta, is a delicious sweet bread best enjoyed with a cup of coffee.


  • 1 quantity of the Sweet Wheat Bun Dough, recipe follows
  • Egg Wash

For the Sweet Wheat Bun Dough 2

  • 1 1/4  cup milk + 1 tbsp
  • 1 stick + 2 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp finely ground cardamom seeds, optional
  • 2 oz fresh yeast, or 1/2 oz dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 1/2 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting

For the Filling

  • 1 3/4 sticks very soft butter
  • 2 tbsp ground cassia cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar

To Decorate

  • pear sugar, optional


For the Sweet When Buns

  1. Combine the milk, butter and any spices (if using) in a small pan and heat until the butter has melted. Leave to cool down to just above room temperature and dissolve the yeast into the milk.
  2. Transfer the mix to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the egg, sugar, salt and flour and knead for about 10 minutes, or until very smooth, shiny and elastic. The dough should come clean off the sides of the bowl.
  3. Cover with bowl with a clean dish towel and leave to rise for 30-40 minutes, or until doubled in size.*
  4. Preheat the oven to 400F.

For the filling:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

To make the braid:

  1. Roll the dough into a rectangle 15 1/2 x 12 inches. Spread the filling on the middle third of the rectangle. With a shape knife, make cuts sideways forming ribbons around the filling.
  2. Braid the cut ribbons to cover the filling.
  3. Transfer the braid to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Brush the braid lightly with egg wash and sprinkle pearl sugar.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden, then remove from the oven and cool on wire racks.


* if using dry yeast, this process takes about 1-2 hours.

  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Category: snack, dessert
  • Cuisine: Nordic

Looking for cozy recipes? Check these out!

This recipe has been shared with permission from the publisher.

I received a copy of The Nordic Baking Book for my use and review. All opinions are 100% my own.

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  1. I need to give this a try Rosana! I’m not good at making pretty baked goods but this sounds easy enough. It is just gorgeous!

    1. Hi Ana! It’s pretty easy to make! And you’re going to love it! If you want to make just 1, cut the recipe in half. That’s what I did! Xoxo

  2. Hey hi Rosana

    Great recipe! I wonder if you can tell me the measurements in grams or how much a cup measure to in grams, as I’m not very good with cups measurement and mostly ruin the recipe. Don’t want to do that.

    Thank you 😊

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