I’ve long been trying to perfect a vegan cinnamon bun, or “kanelboller” or “kanelsnurrer” as they go by in Norwegian. Luckily it’s not hard to veganize them, as they don’t need eggs nor dairy, and omitting these ingredients will not affect neither the flavor nor the consistency.
Nothing makes me as happy as when Cinnamon Bun day comes around every year on October 4th. As if we really need another excuse to whip up a batch of these gorgeous creations… but when in Rome…
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about cinnamon buns, you can find my previous posts (and recipes) here, here and here. I will therefore not go into the well known love us Scandinavians have for cinnamon and baked goods in general in this post again. I of course welcome any questions in the comment section!
I regard these delightful, fluffy and flavorful pastries a vital part of the Norwegian (and Scandinavian) diet, and there are few things I find as enjoyable to eat. Equally suitable for breakfast, an afternoon snack or even a post-dinner evening delight (us Norwegians drink coffee at all hours of the day), they serve as a decadent, yet familiar pastry on Scandinavian tables. I think it’s safe to say that if you don’t get served pastries made from some type of yeasty cinnamon flavored dough when you’re visiting a Norwegian home, it would be an unusual experience – they are that widespread and popular!
In Norway we have a saying called “kjært barn har mange navn”, which loosely translates to “a dear/special child has many names”, and this is true about the cinnamon bun. It goes by “kanelboller”, “kanelsnurrer”, “kanelknuter” or “kanel i svingene” (cinnamon in the turns) interchangeably and there are as many recipes for them as there are inhabitants in Norway, I believe. I have to say I’ve rarely met one I didn’t like, so you can safely attempt this recipe and expect decent results!
In this recipe I also have added ground cardamom to the dough in addition to the cinnamon spread, I find that this adds an even more authentic touch to the buns and I hope you’ll agree with me. Fluffy and light, you may not want to share this batch with anyone (and I won’t tell).
Wishing you a happy Cinnamon Bun Day and a fun time baking!
NORVEGAN CARDAMOM SCENTED CINNAMON BUNS
Makes about 18 buns
1 packet (2 1/2 tsp) dry instant yeast
1 stick (113g) vegan butter, melted
1/2 cups (about 350ml) plant based milk (I used almond)
about 4 cups (500 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (120) grams granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
Cinnamon sugar spread:
heaping 1/4 cup (or about 4-5 5 tbsp) brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
about 1/4 cup melted vegan butter
In a small pot, melt the butter on low heat, then add in the plant based milk. Carefully heat mixture up till about 110-120 Fahrenheit, make sure it’s not too hot or you will kill the yeast.
Pour the butter-milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast in with a little bit of the sugar. Let stand about 5 minutes until you see the yeast starting to foam or bubble. If it doesn’t, it means your yeast is dead and you’ll have to do it over.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients; flour, sugar, cardamom, and salt.
Fit your stand mixer with the dough hook and on low-medium speed, start adding the flour mixture gradually. Beat on medium for about 5-10 minutes until you see a smooth, firm dough forming and that should leave the edges of the bowl (you may or may not need to add a little more flour).
Shape into a firm ball and leave in bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
In the mean time, combine the sugar and cinnamon for the spread, and melt the butter.
Punch down the dough, then using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a square that measures about 20 inches (50 centimeter) on every side.
Brush the dough with the melted butter and spread the cinnamon sugar evenly across the dough.
Fold 1/3 of the squared dough towards the middle and the other 1/3 against the middle slightly overlapping the edges of the first fold and roll out again to a smooth square. With a dough cutter, cut the dough diagonally into about 1 inch strips (2 1/2 cm).
For a visual tutorial on how to form the cinnamon knots/buns, check out this link.
Place the finished buns on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover with a towel and let rise again for about 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (225 degrees Celcius).
Bake the cinnamon buns for about 10 minutes until golden up top.
Enjoy with a strong cup of black coffee with good friends and family!