Kanel Snegle (cinnamon swirls)

Kanel Snegle

Kanel Snegle

Kanel snegle – what I always picked when I, as a child, was lucky enough to get free choice at the bakery on a Sunday morning.

It is one of many traditional Danish pastries – butter filled, crisp on the outside and soft, sweet and cinnamony on the inside.

Irresistible to be honest and still my first choice today when I am lucky enough to be in Denmark….

Recipe is from Froeken Jensen’s Bagebog – classic Danish cookbook based on recipes from the 1900’s.

Kanel Snegle

250g flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

2 tbs sugar

150g butter

75ml milk

25g fresh yeast (or 2 sachets dry yeast)

Butter/Cinnamon Spread

75g butter

50g icing sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

To make the dough

  • Mix flour, salt, cardamom and sugar together
  • Add the butter to the floury mix – and combine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
  • In a small saucepan heat the milk gently until it is luke warm then remove from heat source
  • Dissolve the fresh yeast in the luke warm milk with a wooden spoon
  • Add the milk to the flour and combine the two; knead until the dough forms a soft ball – slightly sticky and shiny
  • Place the kneaded dough ball in a clean bowl and cover with a tea towel
  • Leave the bowl in a warm place to rise for 20-30 minutes
  • Pre-heat oven to 225C

To make the spread

  • Ensure butter is room temperature
  • In a bowl, combine butter, cinnamon and icing sugar and keep stirring until a sweet, cinnamon butter is created

Creating the swirls

  • Once the dough has risen, roll it into a rectangular shape on a floured surface
  • With a big spoon, a spatula or other easy tool, cover the dough with the cinnamon spread
  • Loosely roll the dough into a sausage shape – roll it by length
  • With a sharp knife, cut slices of the dough (about two cm thick), and place these on a lined baking tray
  • Once the tray is full, cover with a tea towel and place in a warm place for 15 minutes
  • Once completely risen, brush with egg or cream to create a golden colour, and place in the pre-heated oven
  • Bake for about 12 minutes
  • Once brown and cooked remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack
  • When cooler, decorate with icing (icing sugar and a little water mixed together)
  • Enjoy them when still slightly warm – that is when they are at their best!

Spreading cinnamon butterReady to riseWorking hardDSC_0025

Kanel Snegle

Kanel Snegle

A Tea and Chocolate Lovers Hot Cross Buns

“Hot cross buns, hot cross buns, one a penny, two a penny….”

In Denmark we don’t serve hot cross buns, and before I moved to the UK and had children I had therefore never tasted one. I will never forget though, the first time I smelt one being toasted….talk about a wakening of the senses! Hot spices and bread – yum! However, the currants….not for me. Really. Not good.

So I figured there must be a way to combine my love of spices, particularly cardamom and cinnamon, with my biggest love of all – chocolate – to create a gloriously tasting twist of a hot cross bun! It worked – recipe below. Happy days!

We made them this morning and took them with us to a friend’s house – it was a well received tray!

A bit of history before you crack on (thanks to Wikipedia):

In many historically Christian countries, these buns are eaten hot or toasted on Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of the Crucifixion. It is believed that buns marked with a cross were eaten by Saxons in honour of the goddess Eostre with the cross thought to have symbolised the four quarters of the moon.

According to cookery writer Elizabeth David, Protestant English monarchs saw the buns as a dangerous hold-over of Catholic belief in England, being baked from the dough used in making the communion wafer. Protestant England attempted to ban the sale of the buns by bakers but they were too popular, and instead Elizabeth I passed a law permitting bakeries to sell them, but only at Easter and Christmas.

Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns (makes about 30 small buns)

330ml milk, warmed
1 tea bag – pg tips, earl grey – your choice!
20g fresh yeast (or 1 sachet dried)
75g caster sugar
600g plain flour (plus extra for kneading)
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
80g butter
1 egg
100g dark chocolate chips
Good handful raisins

For the Cross

40g plain flour
2 tsp caster sugar
Enough water to make a thick, smooth paste (3-5 tbsp)


For the Glaze

1 tbsp water
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp powdered gelatine (can be omitted but then boil the mixture slightly longer to thicken naturally)
  • Add milk and tea bag to a saucepan and warm until luke warm then take off heat
  • Remove the tea bag and whisk in the yeast and sugar and combine until dissolved
  • Sift flour, spices and salt into a separate bowl, throw in the butter and chop into it with a knife until you have a crumble like texture
  • Pour in the lukewarm milk and add the egg – stir to make a soft dough
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and give it a good kneading – add the raisins and chocolate chips (watch the little helpers here….almost all of my raisins and chocolate ended up in tummies not the buns!)
  • Return to the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave somewhere warm to rise for about an hour
  • Tip out of the bowl once risen and give another knead. Cut the dough into small pieces and shape into balls
  • Lay these in whichever shape you like – traditionally a round one – on a lined baking tray
  • Leave the balls to rise for about 15 minutes – pre-heat oven to 200C
  • To make the “cross” combine flour, sugar and water and stir in the water to make a smooth paste. Put this into a piping bag (or a plastic bag with a small hole cut in a corner) and pipe your crosses onto the buns
  • Bake them in the oven for 15 minutes
  • To make the glaze – combine sugar, water and gelatine in a saucepan and simmer for a few minutes until dissolved – do not boil
  • Remove your finished buns from the oven, place on a wire rack and brush the glaze over the top
  • ENJOY!!!!! (Your house will smell divine too…)

 Cheeky Chap – eating my raisins! 

Rye #6 – Sticky Cinnamon Buns

Despite the ability to post on rye recipes probably for ever, this will be the last recipe in the series for now! To be honest, this one is the guilty pleasure of the series and really I am posting it to show that you can adapt any recipe and add rye, without killing the flavour.

I adore cinnamon rolls. They are very much part of the Danish culture and my preferred pick from the Bakers on a Sunday morning (when in Denmark!) They go hand in hand with celebrations, treats, coffee…. any excuse to indulge slightly.

The classic ones are very buttery, puff pastry like, with a lot of cinnamon and usually icing sugar on top. These are not what I would call classic Danish cinnamon rolls, in fact, when I presented them to the children they sort of wrinkled their noses a bit – even if young they know their cinnamon rolls! However, within the first bit there was silence….and with the last bite…finger licking. Always signs of a good snack! I adapted my normal recipe – here – quite substantially.

Hope you enjoy – have to admit – despite the rye flour addition, these are still what I would classify as a naughty food! 🙂 Crunchy on the outside, soft and sweet on the inside!

PS – Apologies – the pictures did not turn out well, bad day for photography, thank goodness the flavours did!


300ml lukewarm milk
100g melted butter
80g caster sugar
20g fresh yeast – (or 3/4 tsp dried yeast)
1 tsp ground cardamom – if you cannot find, crush cardamom seeds in a pestle and mortar
1 egg
300g plain flour 
250g rye flour


75g soft butter
120g light brown soft sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon


100 ml water
85g caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
  •  To make the dough, lightly warm the milk and butter in a saucepan
  • Once the butter has melted, pour the liquid into a bowl and let cool to finger warm
  • Add the sugar, yeast, cinnamon and egg and whisk to combine, ensuring the yeast dissolves
  • While stiring, slowly add the flours until you have a dough ball that may still be slightly sticky. Transfer this to a clean bowl and cover with a tea towel – let rise for about an hour in a warm place. If your house is cold – a good trick is to turn your oven on 20-30C and leave the bowl in there, with the door slightly ajar. This works really well so long as you do not let it get any warmer than that!
  • While the dough is proving, combine butter, sugar and cinnamon to create the filling – yum! This is so tasty! In the pictures the filling looks grainy; my butter was too cold. Warmer butter will create a soft spread which is easier to work with. The end result is the same though so don’t worry either way.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and knead a few times on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough to a rectangular shape, leaving it a good 5mm thick.
  • With a spatula or big spoon, spread the filling onto the dough ensuring all is covered
  • Roll the rectangle dough up from the long end, until a sausage is formed!
  • Cut the rolls – in a triangle if you want as I did or simply thick slices are also fine. You want to cut them quite thick as this creates a more impressive finished product! 5cm probably. If you cut a triangle, stand on lined baking sheet. If slices, lie them down.
  • Leave on the lined baking sheets for about an hour to rise – covered with a tea towel
  • Pre-heat oven to 200C and bake the buns until golden – 20-25 minutes
  • While the buns bake make your glaze – add all ingredients in a saucepan and cook for about 15 minutes – it will still be watery but slightly thicker than when you started. If you want a thick glaze, let cook for longer and just check as you go – and stop cooking when it reaches the consistency you like
  • Remove the buns from the oven, place on a wire rack – lay something underneath as it gets messy – and drizzle the glaze over them. Use it all…go large!
  • Enjoy….

Dough will be slightly sticky 

Very tasty dough….

Dough will double in size once left in a warm place

Roll and fill

 Place on baking tray and leave in a warm place to rise again

The dough puffs up and the buns sink slightly

Sticky, warm and irresistible!

The scent of Christmas – Mulled Wine

This morning, as we were all rubbing our eyes and waking up slowly, my daughter said “Mummy, there was a smell in the house last night, and it is here again – what is that smell? It is like oranges, like lemons, cinnamon…what are you making?”

I loved it, it really made me smile – I answered “It is the smell of Christmas”….

The truth is, it is the smell of Christmas! As she was falling asleep I was baking ginger bread houses and in the morning, as she was waking, I was peeling oranges and lemons for a big batch of mulled wine.

The aromas in our house at the moment are soul warming. They hit you as you open the front door – Christmas tree,

 cloves in oranges in windows,

 ginger bread and vanilla biscuits,

 my grandfather’s Emmenthal cheese biscuits

warm roasted chestnuts

– it is like all the food we have been cooking over the past few days have taken over and are seeping into every fabric in the house, under our skin and bringing out smiles and joy. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

The winner of Christmas Scent for me though has got to be Mulled Wine. It stays in the kitchen for days and combines all the flavours I adore – bay leaf, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, orange and lemon, star aniseed, port wine, red wine….yum!

Here is my version (a mix of a family recipe and Jamie Oliver’s)- I will write down the ingredients you will need FOR 2 BOTTLES OF RED WINE – double, triple or more…up as needed! Hope you will like it – it is full of spice and flavour and has quite a kick!

Mulled Wine

100g caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
Juices and peel of an orange
1 orange, sliced
Peel of a lemon
2 star aniseed
5 whole cloves
5 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 vanilla pod – sliced open
2 tsp of each – ground cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg
Tea bags (can be bought in tea shops)
2 bottles of red wine
2 glasses of port wine
1 handful of raisins – soak in port wine for 12 hours
1 handful of sliced almonds


  • Place your raisins in a mug and cover with port wine – leave for 12 hours
  • Make a little spiced parcel by filling a tea bag with a tsp of each – ground cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg as well as the whole cloves, cardamom and 1 star aniseed – tie it shut

  • Put both kinds of sugar, orange and lemon peel, orange juice, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, vanilla pod, 1 star aniseed and a tsp of each – ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large pot

  • Add red wine to cover the sugar – not a lot needed –  and bring to a boil
  • Stir until sugar dissolves and let boil until a thick syrup is formed – this shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes
  • Once thick – and the scent in your kitchen will be to die for right now – turn down the heat low and add the remaining red wine, port and orange slices

  • Let it warm through – never boiling (this “kills” the alcohol) – until ready to serve
  • About 10 minutes before serving, throw in the soaked raisins and sliced almonds
  • Serve with a spoon – to allow everyone to spoon out the flavoured nuts and raisins!
  • YUM!

Sunday Morning Pastry

Perfect for a lazy Sunday breakfast, a lovely brunch or as a treat in the lunch box! Let the children crack the eggs, knead the dough, fill the pastry and mix the spread  – and whatever else you do – don’t forget to let them lick the spoons (unless you want to do that yourself!)


250g all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2 table spoons sugar
150g butter
75 ml milk
25g fresh yeast – if not avaliable – 1 sachet dried yeast.

Mix flour, salt and sugar – crumble in the butter. Make the milk luke warm in a pot or microwave and dissolve the yeast in it, pour this mixture into the flour and knead together. You should end up with a silky smooth doughball. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Almond Horns

100g ground almonds, 80g sugar, 1 egg white

Mix the ingredients leaving a little egg white behind. Once dough (above) has risen, roll into two circles – cut each into 8 triangles. (This is great for young children and maths by the way!!) A teaspoon full mixture is placed onto each triangle – at the wide end – and the horn rolled together. Leave to rise for 30 minutes, brush with remainder of egg white and bake for 20-25 minutes at 225C.

Cinnamon Swirls

75g soft butter, 50g icing sugar, 3 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix ingredients to a smooth paste. Once risen, roll dough (above) into a thin rectangular shape – spread the paste onto the dough. Roll the dough together loosely – length wise – and cut the roll into finger thick slices. Place these on a lined baking tray and leave to rise for 10 minutes before brushing with egg or cream. Bake for 12 minutes at 225C.

Top Tip

The dough is incredibly versatile and can be used in many ways:

  • Soft, sweet rolls – simply roll dough into golf ball sized balls and place on baking tray. In oven for 20 minutes at 225C.
  • For a chocolately treat – put a few pieces of chocolate into the triangle shaped dough and roll together. In oven for 20 minutes at 225C.
  • Substitute almond mixture with ham and cheese to make savoury horns. In oven for 20-25 minutes at 225C.