Ask most Swedes to name a baked goodie that epitomizes their homeland and they will choose cinnamon buns. There is a national fixation on the treat. Cinnamon buns are the cornerstone of Swedish baking, so much that even children sell them for good causes. Marcus has more of a savory tooth than sweet, but one of his favorite foods growing up were his mother and grandmother’s cinnamon buns.
Leave it the Swedes to invent a holiday for their favorite pastry. On October 4th, as with other modern Swedish traditions (think St. Lucia and Waffle Day), the focus is on food. Cinnamon buns are a national institution in Sweden, but it wasn’t until 1999 that Kanelbullens Dag (Cinnamon Bun Day) began as a way for Hembakningsrådet (the Home Baking Council) to commemorate their 40th anniversary. American-style cinnamon buns are tucked into the same pan, rising and baking together then coated with a sweet glaze. A true Swedish Kannelbulle is baked individually in a paper muffin liner. Each bun rises and spills up and over the liner like a popover. They are often seasoned with cardamom as well as cinnamon, and are typically decorated with pearl sugar.
If I don’t have time to bake, we’ll celebrate Kanelbullens Dag in my family with a trip to my favorite Scandinavian bakery and I’ll load up on their big doughy buns. Laced with heady spices they pair perfectly with coffee or hot cider. Although with the holidays not too far off, perhaps it isn’t too soon to break out the glögg.
Glad Kannelbullens Dag!