Solskinnsboller – Norwegian Sun Buns (Solboller)

Silvia

If you’ve been to a Norwegian bakery you’ve probably been overwhelmed by all the delicious cardamom and cinnamon buns on offer. There are traditional kanelboller, cardamom rolls, twisted kanelsnurrer, and of course the classic skolebrød. How are you to choose just one?

Lately I’ve found myself most often reaching for solskinnsboller, or “sunshine buns” in English, also called solboller, or “sun buns.” Solskinnsboller are made with a sweet cardamom dough, rolled with cinnamon and sugar, filled in the center with vanilla custard, and drizzled with icing on top. Norwegians make many different kinds of custard buns, but solskinnsboller are some of the most popular Norwegian custard buns.

Solskinnsboller - Norwegian Sun Buns (Solboller)

A solskinnsbolle is essentially a hybrid of a kanelbolle and skolebrød, without the coconut. In fact to make these, I used my kanelboller recipe and then added the vanilla custard and icing glaze from my skolebrød recipe.

Solskinnsboller might look intimidating to make because there are a lot of steps, but actually I think these are some of the easier Norwegian buns to make, because they’re pretty hard to mess up. This is also why I like ordering them at bakeries. Kanelboller are more hit or miss, as sometimes they can be a bit dry if baked for too long, while skolebrød sometimes doesn’t have enough cardamom flavor in the dough. But the vanilla custard in solskinnsboller keeps them from tasting too dry, and the cinnamon sugar swirl packs a lot of flavor into the dough. Win win!

Some Norwegians also call these buns solboller, but you don’t want to confuse them with the solboller northern Norwegians eat when the sun returns after the polar night. Those solboller are more like doughnuts than buns (and maybe I’ll share a recipe for them one day as well).

grinding cardamom seeds

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.

kneading kanelboller dough
cooling vanilla custard for verdens beste

Make sure you put the plastic wrap directly onto the vanilla custard while it cools so that you don’t get a hard shell on top.

rolling out dough for kanelboller cinnamon rolls

When you spread the cinnamon sugar filling on the dough, make sure to keep a couple inches free on both the top and the bottom. This will make it easier to make a well in the middle of the bun for the vanilla custard, as the dough in the center of the roll won’t be full of butter and sugar.

rolling cinnamon rolls Norwegian kanelboller and/or solskinnsboller

I like to slice the buns quite thin, which gives a bit of a crispier solbolle.

slicing cinnamon rolls for Norwegian kanelboller or solskinnsboller
making solskinnsboller

When making the wells in the center of the rolls for the vanilla custard, make sure to press the dough down firmly, as the dough will puff up a bit again on the second rise. Also be sure the the bottom is in fact covered in dough – you don’t want to just make a hole through the whole roll, as then the custard will fall through.

piping vanilla cream into solskinnsboller
drizzling icing on solskinnsboller

Like skolebrød, I used to make solskinnsboller when I worked in the bakery section of a supermarket during my first year in Norway, and sometimes I would intentionally mess one up so that I could eat it. They’re just so irresistible! My kitchen still smells heavenly after baking these this morning. In fact it might be time for another one of these little sunshine cream buns…

Norwegian solskinnsboller (solboller)

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

Solskinnsboller - Norwegian Sun Buns (Solboller)

Solskinnsboller – Norwegian Sun Buns (Solboller)

Solskinnsboller are made with a sweet cardamom dough, rolled with cinnamon, butter and sugar, filled in the center with vanilla custard, and drizzled with icing on top.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Norwegian
Keyword: buns, cinnamon
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Author: Silvia

Equipment

  • 1 Rolling Pin
  • 1 small plastic bag for piping glaze
  • 1 piping bag (optional)

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 cups milk
  • 14 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1.75 oz fresh yeast (or 2 tbsp instant yeast, 2.5 tbsp active dry yeast)
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 6 cups flour

Vanilla custard

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 2.5 tbsp flour
  • 1.5 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 vanilla pod

Cinnamon filling

  • 11 tbsp butter (softened)
  • 6 tbsp sugar (white or brown)
  • 1.5 tbsp cinnamon

Decoration

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)

Instructions

Dough

  • Heat the milk, butter, and powdered sugar in a saucepan. Cool until just a bit warmer than lukewarm.
  • Pour the milk mixture into a mixing bowl and add the cardamom and yeast (if using dry yeast follow instructions on the packet, as you may need to proof it before proceeding). Stir until dissolved and then slowly add the flour. You may need more or less flour. Add enough so that you can knead the dough into a nice ball without being too sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes, then cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about an hour, possibly longer if using dry yeast).

Vanilla custard

  • Heat the milk and half of the sugar in a saucepan. Split open the vanilla pod with a knife and carefully scrape out the seeds and add them to the milk.
  • Mix together the rest of the sugar and the flour and corn starch in a bowl. Add the egg yolks and egg and whisk together until smooth.
  • Once the milk mixture starts to bubble pour about half of it into the bowl with the egg mixture, whisking quickly the entire time. Then return the saucepan to the heat and pour the egg and milk mixture from the bowl back into the saucepan, whisking the whole time. Let the custard cook for 2 minutes, whisking the entire time. By the end it should be quite thick and harder to whisk.
  • After 2 minutes remove the custard from the heat and pour into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, placing it directly touching the top of the custard. Let the custard cool while the dough finishes rising.

Filling

  • Mix together the butter, sugar and cinnamon. If the butter is still hard you can pop it in the microwave for a few seconds so it's easy to spread.
  • Roll out the dough into a large square. Spread the cinnamon butter mixture across all of the square, leaving a few centimeters (couple of inches) at the top and bottom of the square.
  • Roll the rectangle from the bottom up into a long cylinder. Use a knife to cut (~1 inch) slices out of the cylinder. This should make about 22 buns. Set the buns spaced apart on baking sheets.
  • Press down a large well in each bun. Be sure to press the dough all the way down and make a bigger well than you'll actually need, as the dough will puff back up a bit.
  • Use a piping bag or spoon to place vanilla custard in the well of each bun (about 1- 2 tbsp of custard). Cover and let rise again for 30 minutes.

Baking & Decoration

  • Preheat oven to 445°F (230°C). Whisk egg and carefully brush each bun with the egg wash (you can also skip this step). Bake the solskinnsboller for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Cool buns on a wire rack. When the buns are fully cooled, mix together powdered sugar and water until you get a thick glaze. You can also add a couple spoons of the leftover egg whites (from the vanilla custard) to make the glaze extra white.
  • Add the glaze to a small plastic bag and cut the tip off. Drizzle the buns with the glaze.

Video

2 Comments

  • Küchenrückwand

    June 25, 2023 at 12:42 pm

    5 stars
    I visit your website again and again and have already tried a few recipes that turned out super delicious. Great website with great recipes.

  • Rachel

    October 29, 2023 at 10:11 pm

    5 stars
    These were my favorite in Norway and they turned out great at home! I used 1 tbsp vanilla extract instead of a vanilla pod and the custard tasted great.

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