Kanelsnurrer – Norwegian Twisted Cinnamon Buns


Scandinavians sure love their cinnamon buns, so it’s no surprise they have so many different variations of them. In Norway you’ll find kanelboller, skillingsboller, kanel i svingene, and kanelsnurrer – also called kanelknuter. These names are often used interchangeably, but kanelsnurrer and kanelknuter are usually slightly smaller buns twisted into a knot.

The twists actually make kanelsnurrer extra delicious, because there’s cinnamon sugar butter folded into each twist. Plus I just love the texture of these.

kanelsnurrer Norwegian cinnamon buns cooling on wire rack

Bergen is actually famous for its skillingsoller, so I may have broken a law or two by baking kanelsnurrer here instead – please don’t tell anyone in Bergen.

This is the classic version of kanelsnurrer, made with a buttery cardamom dough and filled with cinnamon, brown sugar and butter. They’re simple but oh so tasty. You can use a stand mixer to make these, or you can knead them by hand.


If you’re using a mixer, dissolve the yeast in cold milk instead of warm, as the dough heats up quite a bit in the mixer, which apparently can kill the yeast. But if you’re making these by hand you’ll want to dissolve the yeast in lukewarm milk. In Norway we usually use fresh yeast for baking, but you can also use instant dry yeast instead.

You can use ground cardamom for this recipe, but if you have a mortar and pestal I highly recommend grinding cardamom seeds instead, as freshly ground seeds are much more flavorful. If you only have ground cardamom, I would double the amount in the recipe.

 It’s best to wait to add the butter until you’ve already kneaded the dough for a bit, as the fats affect the gluten. It’s definitely messier to add the butter later, but you’ll get a nicer dough! You can also add another handful or two of flour after adding the butter if the dough is too greasy to continue kneading.

And be sure to knead the dough long enough, until it’s nice and elastic. Put on some music and enjoy the process!

I roll out the dough and shape it before letting it rise. This makes the kanelsnurrer easier to shape. Then you can let them rise for about two hours, until about doubled in size (they will likely rise faster in a warmer room). When you poke them gently with your finger the dough should fully bounce back.

spreading cinnamon sugar on cinnamon bun dough

I like my kanelsnurrer on the smaller side, so I cut the dough into about 16 – 20 pieces. If you want larger buns you can cut the dough into thicker strips.

I’ve seen many different ways of forming the knots, and I don’t think your technique here matters too much. Just make sure that you twist the dough a lot before making the knot. To form the knots, I twist each strip of dough and then I hold out two of my fingers and wrap the twist twice around my fingers and then push the end through the hole in the middle. See the video below if you’re confused.

twisting kanelsnurrer cinnamon knots
twisting kanelsnurrer cinnamon knots

After brushing the kanelsnurrer with egg, I like to sprinkle them with pearl sugar, but this is optional. Norwegian pearl sugar is clear, but you could use Swedish pearl sugar instead, which is white. Or you could use demerara sugar, or whatever coarse sugar you have on hand.

brushing kanelsnurrer with egg wash

Be careful not to over bake these, as then the buns can become dry. I bake mine for exactly 12 minutes – until the tops are golden brown and the bottoms light brown. The exact time will depend on your oven and how large you make the kanelsnurrer.

These are best served warm! These also freeze well, and then if you pop them back in the oven they’ll taste freshly baked again. I also sometimes simply defrost them in the microwave and then toast them.

Norwegian kanelsnurrer cinnamon knots

You can switch the recipe from US measurements to metric by clicking from “US Customary” to “Metric” under Ingredients.

kanelsnurrer Norwegian cinnamon buns

Kanelsnurrer – Norwegian Twisted Cinnamon Buns

These kanelsnurrer, or kanelknuter, are made with a buttery cardamom dough and filled with cinnamon sugar before being twisted into a knot. All the twists make these extra tasty, with cinnamon butter around every bend.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Norwegian, Scandinavian
Keyword: buns, cinnamon
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 16 buns
Author: Silvia


  • Rolling Pin


  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp instant yeast (or 25 g fresh yeast)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 9 tbsp butter

Cinnamon filling

  • 5 tbsp butter (room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar

Egg wash

  • 1 egg (whisked)
  • pearl (or demerara) sugar for sprinkling


  • If you're making these by hand, heat milk until it's lukewarm. If using a stand mixer, keep the milk cold. Stir in the yeast, sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon until dissolved.
  • Add the flour and salt and stir well. You can do this in a mixer or by hand. Stir until the dough releases from the bowl and then continue to knead (by hand or with the dough hook on the mixer) for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Add the butter to the dough and continue to knead for another 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Roll the dough out into a large square on a floured surface.
  • Mix together the butter, cinnamon and sugar for the filling. If the butter is hard you can heat it up a bit so it's easier to spread. Spread the mixture out in an even layer covering the entire square of dough.
  • Fold the dough in half and then roll out the rectangle again so that it's wider (not longer).
  • Use a pizza or pastry wheel to cut the rectangle into about 16 strips. Twist each strip and then tie into a knot (see video).
  • Set the kanelsnurrer on baking paper on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap or a cloth. Let the buns rise for about 2 hours, or until the dough fully bounces back when poked with your finger.
  • Preheat oven (upper and lower heat) to 390°F (200°C). Carefully brush the kanelsnurrer with whisked egg and sprinkle with pearl (or demerara) sugar.
  • Bake the buns in the middle of the oven for about 12 – 15 minutes. Be very careful not to over bake, as the buns will become dry. The buns are done when they're golden on top and light brown under.
  • Cool on a wire rack.



  • Abby

    March 8, 2023 at 10:19 am

    5 stars
    I see in your video that you put an egg in the batter, but I don’t see it listed in your ingredients (only the egg for the egg wash is there). I just tried making this, and my dough easily broke and wasn’t as elastic as yours… could this be why? Should I put an egg in the main dough next time?
    Either way – thanks for this (and for putting in the measurement units for both US and Metric)

    1. Silvia

      March 8, 2023 at 11:11 am

      Yes, adding an egg will make the dough a bit easier to work with! Though if the dough easily broke it’s probably because you didn’t knead it or let it rise long enough. Try letting the dough rise in a warm place and make sure it has roughly doubled in size before rolling it out. If it doesn’t rise properly it could also be a yeast issue (I find fresh yeast most reliable, but it’s difficult to get in the US).

  • Stefanie

    August 12, 2023 at 6:37 pm

    5 stars
    Ich im Juli zum ersten mal in Norwegen und hab die köstlichen Teilchen dort gegessen.
    Nun bin ich auf Dein Rezept gestoßen und backe es schon zum dritten Mal!
    Ich bin begeistert!

  • Monica

    December 2, 2023 at 2:11 pm

    5 stars
    Sono stata in Norvegia quest’estate e mi sono totalmente innamorata dei kanelsnurren!! Al ritorno dovevo assolutamente provare a farli! 😊😊
    Questa ricetta è meravigliosa, ha portato un po’ di Norvegia dentro casa, davvero buonissimi!! Ricetta perfetta!
    Grazie di cuore. ❤️

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