Hazelnut, Apple & Chocolate Buns


It sounds a bit goofy and it’s mainly a PR-stunt but we actually have an official Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden. It’s on the 4th of October. I don’t usually buy in to these things. All these Hug-a-Vegetarian-day/Eat-a-salty-pretzel-day/Jump-on-one-leg-with-a-blindfold-day … They are mostly just awkward. But for some reason I found myself in the kitchen baking buns on the evening of the 3rd October. Let’s call it a coincidence.

I wanted to bake a mash-up between a Swedish bun and the most amazing Hazelnut & Chocolate Babka that we tried in Tel Aviv earlier this year. So I started with the cardamom bun recipe from our first book, doubled the portions (I don’t bake buns often, so I want them to last), changed the proportions a bit and then added the most luscious filling I could think of: Mapled hazelnut butter, freshly ground cardamom, grated apples and dark chocolate. The combination was insane! The good kind of insane. I almost felt like Archimedes there for a while, screaming “Eureka!” as I ran naked into the living room to tell Luise about the flavours of the filling. Thinking back, I might not have screamed Eureka and I definitely wasn’t naked. But the filling was fantastic. And still is.

Decadent, sweet, rich, whole grain buns with a fresh apple twist. They are good. You should try them. And you don’t need a fake-Cinnamon Bun Day to do so. Just a rainy autumn Sunday.


It will take a few hours to bake buns but the reward is sweet. I didn’t finish until there was hardly any light outside, hence the dark and slightly blurry photos. We normally bake with spelt flours instead of all-purpose, but this time we were out of light spelt so I went with a nice, organic all-purpose flour that we had at home. I mixed it with some dark spelt to still give it a bit of a wholegrain touch. I must admit that result was softer and better than when I use 100% spelt. But that is of course an option, if you prefer.



Tying them into knots is the trickiest part. My mother makes the most perfect knots. I never manage to make them as pretty or regular shaped (as you can see from the photo below), but I decided a long time ago to call mine rustic and not worry too much about them perfect. You can either cut them once or twice, I show both examples in the photo on the left. Cutting them twice makes more intricate knots and prettier buns, but they are also a bit more difficult to shape as they are so thin. If you don’t want to do knots, you can also roll the dough into a log, with the filling inside, and cut it into simple rolls.


Vegans can replace the butter with coconut oil and glaze the buns with plant milk instead of egg. I have never succeeded to make a gluten free version of buns as they need the gluten to hold together when they are tied into knots. If you make a good gluten free version, I’d love to hear your tricks.


Hazelnut, Apple & Chocolate Buns
Makes around 30 buns

I have baked these using Swedish ingredients. Dried yeast and flours might be different depending on where you are from, so I recommend double checking the yeast vs flour amount to similar recipes in your own country just to make sure.

5 tsp fast-action dried yeast (or 50 g fresh yeast)
2 tsp cardamom seeds, freshly ground
a pinch of sea salt
125 g / 4,5 oz unsalted butter
500 ml / 2 cups soy milk (or milk of your choice)
160 ml / 2/3 cup clear honey or maple syrup
500 g /4 cups organic all-purpose flour
250 g / 2 cups wholegrain spelt flour

180 g / 2/3 cup hazelnut butter
4 tbsp maple syrup

2 large eating apples, grated, excess moisture squeezed out
1⁄2 tbsp cardamom seeds, freshly ground
100 g / 3,5 oz dark chocolate (70-80%), grated

1 beaten egg, to glaze 
A handful of hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Stir the yeast, cardamom and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the milk and honey and heat until the temperature is about 40°C (100°F). Pour over the yeast and stir until dissolved.

Sift the flours together and add about two-thirds of it to the yeast and milk mixture. Mix to a dough. Gradually knead in enough of the remaining flour just until soft and no longer sticky. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until double in bulk. While the dough is rising, mix together hazelnut butter and maple syrup for the filling.

Divide the dough into two equal portions (unless you have a huge worktop, in which case you can roll the whole dough at once.). On a floured surface, roll and stretch the first dough to a rectangle, about 50 x 40 cm (20 x 16 in) wide and about 5 mm (1⁄4 in) thick. Spread half of the hazelnut butter evenly across the dough and sprinkle half of the apple shreds, half of the cardamom and the chocolate. Carefully lift one third of the dough (closest to you) and fold it two-thirds of the way up, then fold down the top third. Now you should have a rectangle that is roughly 50 x 13 cm (20 x 5 in). Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into roughly 3 cm (11⁄4 in) wide strips.
Take each strip and carefully (so the filling doesn’t fall out) stretch and twist them three times and tie into loose knot-shaped buns, with the ends tucked into the middle. Put on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover with kitchen towel, and leave to rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the second dough the same way as the first. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7). Brush the buns with a beaten egg, sprinkle with chopped nuts and bake for 10–12 minutes, until golden.

Don’t forget to eat the first one fresh from the oven!



  • Pam
    I have made a sourdough starter and would like to use it for this recipe. Can I replace it with the yeast here? 🧐
  • martina
    Hello! Have you ever try making these buns with Sourdough? How should be replaced?
  • Nicole
    Just made these beauties, but the dough came out way too wet for some strange reason. I had to keep adding flour and even then, once I rolled out the (risen) dough, it was still super sticky. So I had to roll it into a log and cut the rolls, instead of making these beautiful twisted buns. I am a but disappointed but hope they will still taste nice once they are baked.
  • Sarafina
    I loved this recipe! Thank you for sharing. I used vegan butter and omitted the egg wash , but they still turned out beautiful and so delicious! I will definitely make these again.
  • Tea
    I realize this post hasn't gotten much attention from you in terms of replying to comments, so I won't get my hopes up, but still I gotta ask.. I made these, and I spent half a day researching how to tie those buns (for anyone confused on the method, like I was, just google a bit; try "forming Swedish cardamom buns" or smth). I learned no less than 3(!) different ways and they all turned out great, I never thought I could ever create something so beautiful. But during the 2nd rise, all of the dough melded together and I lost all those pretty seams and folds, it all just blurred into 1 smooth bun! How can I prevent that?! Can I skip the 2nd rise? Should I make the dough drier/harder? But then so would the buns be, and I don't want that. I used your recipe but used all whole spelt, and loved the result. They were pillowy soft, and the dough quite delicate. I made half using my go-to dough for wholemeal hamburger brioche buns, with a similar dough, but with more butter and some eggs; that rendered a tougher bun (I have no idea why), and the dough was sturdier and so melded just a bit less than with your recipe, but still almost all of the very pretty patterns were gone. Thanks for your answer! I look forward to experimenting more with these (like using walnut butter&apples, sans choc). And I recommend to everyone to just throw chocolate in their food processor while they are making the hazelnut butter, to avoid the pain that is grating the chocolate.
  • Rebecca pike
    Hi! This looks fantastic. I'm looking to make a number of breakfast dishes for my wedding weekend next week and wondered if you think this would be okay to be made in advance and then frozen or stored in the fridge and cooked 3 or 4 days later? Thanks! Rebecca
  • Charlotte
    I just made the vegan version, they are perfect a little less glazing on the top but the taste of cardamon is soooo good! They rised perfectly and are not too sweet which is perfect! Thanks a lot for all these recipes!
  • Lucia
    Hi, thanks for your deliscious recipes. I'm from Italy but I always follow your blog, it's an incredible insspiration for me! I'd like to make these lovely buns but what about using walnuts butter instead of the hazelnut one? Let me know, thank you again Lucia!
  • Daniella
    Hi! What do you mean when you recommend double checking the yeast vs flour amount to similar recipes in your own country? Can't I just follow the measurements laid out by you? Thanks, Daniella
  • Daniella
    Hello! Can it be made with only Spelt Flour? Thanks!
  • I love baked goods that are flavored with cinnamon. This means that I must try making this. Still, your pictures looked great and tempting. More power GKS! :)
  • I think the knots you've tied are perfect just as they are! :) Do you have any suggestions for vegan substitutes in this recipe?
  • Natalie
    Baked these for the family - and they were gone very quickly. Delicious, I made them gluten free by substituting for 500-600g organic Dove's farm Gluten Free plain flour, and 250g of Dhal (chickpea) flour, with 2tsp of Xanthan gum. Worked wonderfully, many thanks.
  • Brittany
    EEEK! Mine didn't rise at all. I am not a baker so I don't know what I did wrong. Haha. I baked the version from your first book and followed it to a T but it ended up sticky, thick and the tester bites gave me "wheat belly", haha. But it tasted amaze-balls anyway! Unfortunately I had to discard it. I don't have the confidence or the ingredients to do it again. :( These photos look stunning by the way! B xx
  • Palmyre
    Hey, I've been following your blog for a while now, and it's the same amazement every time I see another picture of your recipe. So I tried to reproduce those little wonders at home, and my attempt... was a big failure. Make no mistake, I followed the recipe and it was delicious... but looked terrible. I just can't figure out how to do the knotting of the bun. Since I'm think I'm not the only one, I wondered if you could make a little video showing how to do this tricky part?
    • Hi, yes it can be a bit tricky to knot the buns. Good idea about the video! We will definitely consider doing one in the future. /David
  • I am living in Sweden at the moment and I have seen plenty of cinnamon rolls and buns, but those look really, really really good. Wow… I love this blog.
  • Woah. These sound amazing, and even looks so good! Thank you for the recipe, I will soon try this :)
  • Kathy-Lee
    Those buns look amazing! Your blog is amazing as well and I can't stop recommending it to friends of mine, whenever I had them over and we shared an awesome meal together, which was inspired by your beautiful recipes. And I'm also really greatful because of the fact, that when I started to learn how to cook and bake with the help of recipes, and especially from your blog, I learned cooking and baking with the healthy focus in mind. Since then my lifestyle is based on eating something, which will not only fill my energy levels for the day, but also nourish me, while tasting hella amazing! I also have to admit, that since I tumbled over your blog two years ago, I more and more got interested into the swedish culture (and food of course too hehe). And though I'm not a big fan of sweet buns, these little cuties really got my attention, and eventhough I'm also a bit chocolate sensitive! (it's something I got from my mother, our bowels go crazy when we eat chocolate, we can't consume it too often) I may or may not brag about the fact, that where I live, I even found a chocolate bar with 90% cacao. It's taste is really intense, which I like, but I can only eat it sometimes. Still I try to incoporate it into my diet, because it is said, that chocolate has good amount of nutrition, when it's high in cacao and only has little amount of sugar in it, and should be healthy for the heart. I can't wait for a sunday to enjoy those buns... Greetings Kathy-Lee
  • Filiz
    Hi guys! I first want to say that i adore your web site and insta account. Your recipes are so inspireing me cause i love the different spices as much as you are:) Today i make these buns and i cant wait for the results:)! Hope your fine in Australia and have fun with your cute family. Loves Filiz
  • Stella
    I tasted it this evening, a great combinaison of wonderful flavors ! We love it ! Stella
  • WOW!! You had me at first glance! These look so good!!! I want one now:P
  • Never made something so darn delicious! Thanks for the recipe.
  • Marie
    Just made these and they are out of the world delicious. Didn't have any hazelnutbutter so I made them with cacao butter and cacao powder instead and they are so insanely tasty. I've eaten two for dessert already now and can't wait to wake up tomorrow and eat one more! :)
  • apple and chocolate are my fav... in this both are used so i'll must try this recipe... visit this http://www.benefitsofyogurt.net/benefits-of-yogurt-on-hair
  • So in love with this recipe, especially the filling! I belong to those people who could eat Nordic cinnamon buns every day of the week. Pure comfort.
  • I can't wait to try these :)
  • I made a glutenfree version of these buns and I'd like to share my recipe with you... Replace the spelt flour / all-purpose flour with: 375 g buckwheat flour 375 g brown rice flour 37 g psyllium-seed husks powder (the whole husks don't work in the same way) all other ingredients stay the same as in the recipe above: 5 tsp fast-action dried yeast (or 50 g fresh yeast) 2 tsp cardamom seeds, freshly ground a pinch of sea salt 125 g unsalted butter 500 ml milk of your choice 160 ml clear honey or maple syrup It is possible to tied the dough into knots (psyllium is a excellent substitute for gluten) but I made some rolls... Enjoy!
  • We made them last night, my wife and I, and we used almond butter instead of hazelnut (we had almonds, and popped them in the food processor...perfect) and they are fantastic. Just what we need on a dreary week in London with our morning coffee. I think the addition of cardamon is perfect, and probably with the hazelnuts, give it an almost nutella effect.

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