BB&W Recipe Exchange

Traditional Swedish Pastries for Christmas

Chef Bob, a contributor to the blog, passed away two years ago. In his memory, we will be sharing some of his recipes. RIP to Chef Bob.

Swedish Cinnamon Rolls

Every Christmas my Mom and Grandmother would spend hours in the kitchen making these. Ahhhh the memories, the sweet scent of cinnamon and cardamom in the house, I’m trying not to lose these recipes therefore I’m sharing them here. Please try these! They’re awesome!


2 eggs

3/4 c. water

1 Tbsp. yeast

4 c. flour

1 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 c. butter

1/2 tsp. cardamom ground

3-4 Tbsp. butter, melted



pearl sugar for garnish


With two risings, this recipe takes a while, but boy, it’s worth it. Pour the coffee!

Yield: 24 rolls

In a small bowl, beat eggs, then add 3/4 c. warm water (just warm enough for a baby’s bottle). Stir in yeast. Set aside for a few minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, and cardamom. Cut 1/2 c. butter into small pieces and cut into the flour mixture. When the yeast mixture is foamy, add it into the dry ingredients. When the dough is smooth and elastic, prepare a large bowl by spraying with nonstick. Place the dough into the prepared bowl and flip it over so that both sides pick up a thin film of nonstick.

Let rise until doubled, about 45 min. – 1 hour.

Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll out the dough to a rectangle about 1/8 in. thick. Brush with butter. Liberally spread with cinnamon and sugar. Roll up tightly lengthwise. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into twelve slices. Place each slice on a baking sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Brush each roll with butter and sprinkle with pearl sugar. (optional, my Mom never did this it didn’t need it.) Let stand about 30 min.

Bake at 350°F for 30 min. Serve with a hot cup of good coffee. A traditional Swedish sweet yeasty bread coiled around cinnamon-sugar filling, the Scandinavian version of the sticky bun, only not so sticky

Pannkaker or Swedish Pancakes

Thin as a crepe, and 3 times more tasty!


4 eggs

2 1/2 c flour

2 1/2 c milk

2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp butter

Swedes would correct me that this is more of a snack or a lunch. All I know is my kids would eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if we could keep enough milk in the house to make them!

Note: This makes a very delicate pancake, liable to shred to pieces when you try to flip it. It’s basically as close as you can get to fried milk! I find I have the best luck with a low heat, dipping my fingers in ice water and grabbing the curling-up edge and flipping it that way. My husband uses a wide, thin spatula.

Sift together flour and salt. Add 1 1/3 c. milk. Blend well. One egg plus 1/2 c. milk at a time, add remaining eggs and milk, blending thoroughly after every egg. Add small amount of butter, if desired.

Heat crepe pan or 6″ skillet, grease with butter. Pour in about 1/3 c. batter for each cake, turning pan to spread the batter evenly. Cook until top of cake just dries, flip and cook for 30 seconds to a minute.

(The batter should be thin. Swedish pancakes are large, thin, flat rollable cakes, like French crepes.)

Serve with sugar syrup, jam, or powdered sugar.

Pepparkakor Bona Fide Swedish Ginger Cookies


7 oz butter (14 Tbsp.)

1 c. white sugar

1/2 c. syrup (golden cane sugar syrup)

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves

2 tsp. ground ginger

2 tsp. baking soda

3 1/3 Tbsp. water

1 egg

3 1/3 – 3 3/4 c. flour


Melt with butter with sugar, syrup, and spices. Heat it up carefully until the butter has melted. Let it cool off. Dissolve baking soda water and add it to the butter mixture. Add egg, flour. Wrap the dough in foil, refrigerate overnight.

On floured surface, roll out the dough very thin. If you can hold up to the light, it’s almost translucent. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Bake on greased tray at 350° F 6 – 8 min. Keep under observation, they burn very easily. Let the cookies cool off on the cookie tray. These are very crispy cookies. Share and enjoy! My mom’s recipe.

Vörtbröd Christmas beer bread


2 c. small beer

1 3/4 oz. yeast

2 tsp. salt

7 c. ragsikt (sifted rye flour)(approximate)

1 3/4 oz. butter

1/2 c. dark syrup (molasses)

1 Tbsp. orange peel

1 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. ginger

2/3 c. raisins


Warm beer to 100 degrees F. (Small beer is beer made with the same wort after dark, strongly flavored beer is made. Any mild beer will do.) Stir yeast into small amount of liquid. Mix beer, yeast, salt, and a scant 1/2 cup of flour. Knead. Work in enough of the flour to make a smooth, elastic dough. Allow to rise until doubled. Bring butter, molasses, spices to a boil. Cool. Pour into dough. Add raisins. Rise 30 min. Knead. Divide into two pieces. Shape into tins. Rise 30 min. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 min. This is a fairly dense bread, but is moist, with rich flavor.

Makes two loaves of Vortbrod. Here’s a good article on what a small beer is.

Saffransbullar – Saffron Braids

Before baking. I don’t use the currants, neither did my Mom. Notice the bright yellow color. That’s the saffron.


These are about what to expect when cooked. Brushing with egg wash.


1/8 teaspoon saffron

1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons butter

2 1/2 cups milk

2 tablespoons active dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

7 cups flour

One beaten egg


Crush saffron in a small bowl with a little bit of sugar.

Melt butter in a small pot and add milk. Heat until warm (you should not burn you finger when checking temperature)

Measure out yeast in a large bowl and mix in a couple tablespoons of the butter and milk mixture until the yeast dissolves. Mix in the rest of the milk and butter. Add in sugar and salt.

Add in almost all of the flour (you want to reserve some for rolling later) and mix and knead it together for about 10 minutes. Knead until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.

Dust a little flour on top of the dough, cover and let rise for 30-45 minutes.

Knead dough on floured surface.

Roll into classic saffransbullar shapes. The most common is the “S” shape, but feel free to get creative. My Mom always did a braid, and a braided ring. Cut the risen dough into three pieces and roll into rods. Start braiding, squeezing the ends under the bottom.

Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Cover with clean tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes, brush with the beaten egg to get shiny braids.

Bake at 400 F for 8-10 minutes.

Serve with a hot cup of good coffee, and softened butter. You won’t be able to stop eating this!

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