Swedish Orange Sweet Buns

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Swedish Orange Sweet Buns made with a buttery, cardamom dough layered with fragrant orange sugar, then knotted, topped with crunchy Swedish pearl sugar and baked until they’re golden brown. 

Featured Image for post Swedish Orange Sweet Buns

Today’s posted is sponsored by Red Star Yeast. I used Red Star Platinum yeast to make these fabulous Swedish Orange Sweet Buns.

Swedish sweet buns are less sweet than American sweet rolls. They’re typically not covered with icing, but decorated with pearl sugar. When I bought the Belgian pearl sugar for the Liege Waffles, I also bought a box of Swedish pearl sugar, and was intrigued by the recipe for Swedish Cinnamon Rolls on the back of the box.

Collage of layering the orange sugar for Swedish Orange Sweet Buns

Most of the recipes online for Swedish Cinnamon Rolls (Kanelbullar) had cardamom in the dough. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices to add to sweet doughs, and I like to pair it with citrus. So instead of making cinnamon rolls, I decided to make orange rolls.

One of the online recipes baked the rolls at 450°, but the Red Star Yeast website recommends 350°F for sweet breads high in sugar (more than 1/2 cup sugar per 4 cups of flour). If you ever have a question about a recipe you’re making using yeast, the Red Star Yeast website is a great resource.

Collage showing shaping Swedish Orange Sweet Buns

To get these sweet rolls just right, I did a lot of research. I made three batches, and tried out three different techniques for shaping the rolls.

There were lots of great videos that teach how to shape the rolls, but I liked the technique used in this video best. If you want a simpler technique, you can roll them up like a snail shell and tuck the end underneath.

Don’t worry about shaping the rolls perfectly. With the pretty cut edges and twists, your rolls are going to bake up beautifully even if every roll isn’t a perfect knot.

Swedish Orange Sweet Buns made with a buttery, cardamom dough layered with fragrant orange sugar, then knotted, topped with Swedish pearl sugar and baked until they\'re golden brown.

You could omit the pearl sugar and top the rolls with powdered sugar or a glaze, but I loved the addition of Swedish pearl sugar. It adds a sweet crunch to the roll. The Swedish pearl sugar is much smaller than Belgium pearl sugar, so be careful which one you buy.  (I bought the wrong sugar the first time I made the Liege Waffles.)

I got my pearl sugar locally at Orson Gygi, but it’s also available on Amazon.

Swedish Orange Sweet Buns made with a buttery, cardamom dough layered with fragrant orange sugar, then knotted, topped with Swedish pearl sugar and baked until they\'re golden brown.

These Swedish Orange Sweet Buns make the house smell amazing while they’re baking. Using Red Star Quick Rise or Platinum Yeast speeds up the rising time, so you don’t have to get up quite as early for your family to wake up to fabulous, fresh, hot pastries in the morning.

I hope you’ll give these a try. They really are fun to make.

Featured Image for post Swedish Orange Sweet Buns
Yield: 12 buns

Swedish Orange Sweet Buns

Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) Red Star Quick Rise or Platinum Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Zest from 1 large orange
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Swedish pearl sugar


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, cardamom, and salt.
  2. In saucepan or microwave safe dish, heat milk and butter until warm (120° - 130°).
  3. Add liquids to flour mixture. Blend at low speed until moistened. Add eggs; beat 3 minutes at medium speed.
  4. Switch to the dough hook and mix in the remaining flour a little at a time, to make a soft, slightly sticky dough, add more or less flour as needed. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 45 minutes.
  5. While the dough is resting, make the orange sugar filling by mixing the sugar with the orange zest.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°.
  7. Punch down the dough and let it rest 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 18-inch x 12-inch; rectangle. Spread the butter evenly over the bottom 2/3 of the dough with a rubber spatula or your fingers. Sprinkle the orange sugar evenly over the butter. Fold the dough into thirds like a letter.
  8. Cut dough in to twelve strips, each 6-inch by 1-inch wide with a pizza cutter or dough scraper.
  9. Cut each piece 3/4 of the way up horizontally and twist the two ends. Tie the ends in to a knot. (Alternative ways to shape: #1 Twist each strip then wrap each twist around two fingers and tuck the end through the middle of the circle to the bottom. #2 Hold one end of each strip and twist it several times. Start with one end and roll it up like a snail shell and tuck the end underneath.)
  10. Place each bun on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double, about 30 minutes.
  11. Brush with the beaten egg, and sprinkle with pearl sugar
  12. Bake about 20 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool on the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast, but all opinions expressed are always my own.  You can also find Red Star Yeast on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

More sweet roll recipes you might like:

Apple Crisp Sweet Roll Coffee Cakes

Apple Crisp Sweet Roll Coffee Cakes

Honey Oatmeal Sweet Rolls

Honey Oatmeal Sweet Rolls

Blueberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Glaze, Sally’s Baking Addiction
Almond Sweet Rolls, Crazy for Crust
Lemon Cinnamon Rolls, Completely Delicious

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