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Cinnamon Rolls: A Classic Scandinavian Dessert

When it comes to Scandinavian desserts, nothing is more well-known or well-loved than homemade cinnamon rolls. This famous pastry has deep roots in Scandinavian history, particularly in Sweden, where they have a whole day dedicated to its celebration.

Generally, however, cinnamon rolls are well-loved around different Scandinavian territories. They bear various names in each of these countries but remain mostly similar. For example, in Norway, they’re called kanelboller, while in Sweden they’re kanelbulle.

Whichever way people call them, the Scandinavian dessert always consists of the same ingredients: flour, sugar, eggs, butter, cinnamon, and cardamom. During its creation after the First World War, these ingredients were expensive and hard to find, which is why their popularity only grew during the 1950s.

Now, you can find homemade cinnamon rolls almost anywhere in the world. Other than that, it’s still great to know the dessert’s humble beginnings, and you can trace it down to an important Swedish tradition known as fika.

What Is Fika?

Fika directly translates to “a coffee and cake break,” but its cultural meaning to Swedes runs much deeper than that. They usually regard it as an attitude or state of mind, and it’s considered an essential part of Swedish culture. It’s given such high regard that companies include the practice in their employees’ contracts.

Most Swedes consider fika to be an essential part of the day as it gives them opportunities to nurture their relationships with friends and colleagues. You can’t call it fika if you’re only taking coffee and cake at your desk by yourself. A key part of this tradition is having people around you to share it with.

What Do You Eat during Fika?

These days, it doesn’t matter what kind of cake or pastry you eat during fika. More attention is given to the actual act of slowing down to pause on a busy day. However, it’s most common and considered authentic to have something fresh and homemade during this time.

A truly Swedish experience of fika, however, would consist of coffee and homemade cinnamon rolls. To them, the freshly baked pastries are the ultimate symbol of Swedish homestyle cooking, and nothing beats the wonderful aroma it gives fresh out of the oven.

Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden

The love for this widely popular dessert is so strong in Sweden that their Home Baking Council, a group of local baking ingredient producers, declared October 4 as Cinnamon Bun Day.

This consideration came after the Swedish economy saw a rise in their market, enabling more people to afford the ingredients until it became a staple in every domestic baker’s household. Homemade cinnamon rolls soon turned into a clear favorite, especially among the people during their fika gatherings.


Eventually, this sweet and buttery pastry made its way to countries like Norway, where the people started baking their own versions. Now, almost every bread bakery in the world offers this mouth-watering treat. No matter what kind they are, they all remain to be the same cinnamon-spiced buttery pastry with the sweet mouth-watering syrup we all know and love.

Ana’s Norwegian Bakeri offers these delicious rolls and other Norwegian baked goods like raisin rolls, sweet cardamom rolls, and different kinds of pastries. You only need to check out our website to order today!

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