Homemade Cinnamon Rolls (Scandinavian Style)

These Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Are Sweet And Delicious!

Looking to make some tasty homemade cinnamon rolls? These soft cinnamon rolls are doughy yet dense, perfectly sweet, loaded with cinnamon, and finished off with a delicious simple icing drizzled on top.

These rolls make a great breakfast, the perfect day snack, or a small and simple dessert after dinner. Basically, you can eat these cinnamon rolls any time!

homemade cinnamon bun on white table with icing
Homemade cinnamon rolls with their fresh icing glaze!

We’re big fans of a classic cinnamon rolls. These sweet treats are Scandinavian by origin – and we know a thing or two about all things Scandinavia.

Lisa actually lived in Denmark for a number of years and Eric travelled through the region multiple times over the same time frame.

This homemade cinnamon roll recipe always reminds us of sitting in a cozy cafe in Copenhagen with a coffee in hand and not a care in the world.

cinnamon buns with white icing on counter top
Look at those cinnamon rolls – they don’t last long. Trust us.

If you want to make these cinnamon rolls, they seem like quite a bit of work but they are actually not that difficult.

The most important thing to remember is to use yeast that is still good and hasn’t expired. And to bring some patience since the cinnamon rolls just taste so much better when they get sufficient time to rise!

How to Make Homemade Cinnamon Rolls (Step-by-Step)

If this homemade cinnamon roll recipe feels a little much to take on, here are some step-by-step photos to show you what things should look like as you go!

silver bowl of yeast and milk for cinnamon buns
Mixing the milk with yeast and sugar…

Start-off by heating the milk in the microwave or on a pot on the stove. It should be slightly warmer than lukewarm, but not hot nor boiling!

Add the yeast and sugar and use a whisk to mix everything together until the yeast has dissolved.

egg and butter in mixing bowl
The you add some more ingredients…

Now add the egg, butter, cardamom (if you have any), and salt into the mixture. Use the spiral dough hooks of your hand mixer to mix everything.

ball of homemade cinnamon bun dough in mixing bowl
Your dough ball should look something like this…

Then you add in the flour in small increments and keep mixing for a few minutes until your dough forms a ball and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl anymore.

Cover the bowl with the dough and place it in a warm spot without a draft so the dough can rise. Let the dough rise for around 30-45 minutes until its size has significantly increased.

brown mixture of sugar and cinnamon in mixing bowl for cinnamon buns
In the meantime, you can prepare the filling for the cinnamon rolls.

Towards the end of the waiting period, you can prepare the cinnamon roll filling. For this, mix soft butter, cinnamon and brown sugar with the normal hooks of your hand mixer until it looks like in the photo above.

cinnamon roll dough with cinnamon and sugar spread out
After you spread the cinnamon/butter mixture, this is what the sough should look like!

Once the dough has risen, add some flour onto a smooth surface and thinly roll out the dough into a rectangle. For 15 cinnamon rolls, one side should be approx. 18 inches long and the dough should be approx. 1/8 inch thick.

These are just estimates but having a tape measure nearby honestly helps to make the cinnamon rolls all roughly the same size.

Now it’s time to evenly spread the filling on top of the dough using a spatula or a spoon. It’s important to gentle and patient when doing this step so that the dough doesn’t rip. With soft butter this step is significantly easier.

rolled cinnamon roll dough on cooking counter
Roll the dough and measure out the cuts!

Once you’ve spread out all the filling, start rolling one of the long sides of the dough into a sausage. Cut off the uneven ends.

Then measure and cut the dough into even pieces that are approx. 1 1/4 inches wide.

cut pieces of cinnamon roll dough on parchment paper
The pieces might get a little smooshed after cutting – you’ll fix this soon!

Then carefully place the cut pieces onto the parchement paper on a baking sheet…

flattened cinnamon roll dough on white parchment paper
After flattening the dough, they’ll look like this!

Now press down slighty on the rolls with one hand to flatten the dough a bit. Once you’ve done this, let the rolls rest for another 20 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Also prepare the egg wash by cracking an egg into a small bowl and whisking it with a fork until it is uniform in color.

raw cinnamon rolls on parchment paper with egg wash
Before they go into the oven, the cinnamon rolls are brush with egg.

After the 20 minutes are up, brush the rested cinnamon buns with the egg wash and bake them in the oven for approximately 15 minutes.

cooked homemade cinnamon rolls without icing
Fresh cinnamon rolls out of the oven with no icing… yet.

In the photo above you can see what the cinnamon rolls should look like when you take them out of the oven. Remove them from the baking sheet and place them on a cooling rack.

homemade cinnamon rolls with icing on white counter
Time for cinnamon bun icing!

While the rolls are cooling, prepare the glaze by whisking powedered sugar and water together. Drizzle the icing over the cinnamon rolls once they have cooled – and you’re done!

As for storing these rolls, we’ve honestly never had a fresh batch last more than 2 or 3 days. On day three, you can pop them in a microwave for about 10 seconds and they’ll taste like they came out of the oven again. Enjoy!

homemade cinnamon rolls with icing on white counter

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls (Scandinavian Style)

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Inspired by Scandinavian baking, this version of homemade cinnamon rolls are similar to what you'd find in a bakery in Denmark! These sweet and delicious rolls are glazed with a simple icing making them perfect for a small breakfast, after-dinner dessert, or snack to go with tea or coffee.

Ingredients

The Dough

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups white flour

The Filling

  • 1/3 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar

The Egg Wash

  • 1 small egg

The Cinnamon Roll Glaze

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons water

Instructions

  1. Heat the milk in a pot or in the microwave until it is slightly warm (but not hot or boiling!). Whisk the yeast and the sugar into the milk until the yeast has dissolved. Add the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the egg, butter, cardamom, and salt into the mixture. Mix everything together using the spiral dough hooks of your electric hand mixer. Slowly add in the flour in small increments and keep mixing for around 5 minutes until the dough forms a ball and doesn't stick to the side of the bowl anymore. The dough should be slightly sticky but not wet. If it's too moist, add a tiny bit more flour.
  3. Cover the bowl which holds the ball of dough and let it sit in a warm spot until the dough has risen/increased in size (approximately 30 minutes, but it could be longer!).
  4. In the meantime, prepare the filling by mixing the butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar together into a medium-sized bowl with the normal hooks of your electric mixer. It's important that the butter is soft, but it should not be melted. Ideally, you use a bowl with a mixing cover for this since the cinnamon can make this step slightly messy.
  5. Next, add some flour onto a smooth surface and thinly roll out the dough into a rectangle. If you want to make 15 cinnamon rolls, one side should be approx. 18 inches long and approx. 1/8 inch thick. Evenly spread the filling on top of the dough using a spatula or a spoon. Be gentle and patient when doing this step so that you don't accidentally rip the dough.
  6. Start rolling the dough from one of the long edges until it forms a long, tight, sausage. Cut off the uneven ends, then cut the dough into even pieces approx. 1 1/4 inches wide. Carefully place the cinnamon rolls on a baking sheet and press down slightly to flatten them. Let the rolls rest for 20 more minutes.
  7. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and also prepare the egg wash by whisking one egg in a small bowl with a fork until it is uniform in color.
  8. Once the 20 minutes are up, brush the rested cinnamon buns with the egg wash and bake them in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. Since every oven is different, your cook time might vary slightly. The rolls should still be slightly soft but cooked. Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven and place them on a cooling rack.
  9. While the rolls are cooling, prepare the glaze by whisking powdered sugar and water together. It's best to add the ingredients a little bit at a time until you reach the desired amount and consistency. It should be quite sticky.
  10. Once the cinnamon rolls have sufficiently cooled, drizzle the glaze on top (you can get creative here) and allow the glaze to harden. Enjoy!

Notes

  • It's important that the milk that you whisk the yeast in is not too hot. Otherwise, your dough might not rise at all.
  • It's also important to use yeast that hasn't expired. This might also prevent the dough from rising.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 176Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 143mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 4g

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice. The exact values can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

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