recipe: swedish cinnamon star bread


Swedish Cinnamon Star Bread

Recipe by Daphne Xu

Photos by Fiona Gasaway

Recipe adapted from Delphine Fortin, author of Del’s Cooking Twist

Deceptively simple yet incredibly eye-pleasing, this recipe for Swedish Cinnamon Star Bread comes from an adaption of the various recipes from across the world on twisted cinnamon pastries. This bread is best served during the winter months, alongside an espresso and steamed milk to balance the notes of yeast, cinnamon, and sugar. The recipe calls for ingredients foundational for any saccharine bun recipe, and many may already be in your pantry. A trick of the trade: when twisting the two pieces of dough together to form one edge of the star, pull upwards and away from each other and give only one firm pinch to form a seam. This allows the star to look as effortless as possible. Preparing four layers of dough on top of a sweet cinnamon filling requires a bit of patience, but the end result is worth it. Finished with a brush of egg wash, the Swedish Cinnamon Star Bread will leave your kitchen smelling of sweet cinnamon for days, and your mouth watering at the sight of this pastry.

Serves: 8-10

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes


For the dough:

  • 3¾ cups flour

  • ⅓ cup sugar

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • ¾ cup milk

  • 16g dry yeast

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 2 tbsp butter, softened at room temperature

  • 1 egg white (to brush)

For the filling:

  • ½ cup (100g) sugar

  • ⅓-1/2 cup (100g) butter, softened at room temperature

  • 4 tbsp ground cinnamon


  1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, warm up the milk and then add the yeast to let it activate for fifteen minutes.
  2. Once the yeast and milk have rested for fifteen minutes, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir them together and then add the egg yolks and softened butter.
  3. As the ingredients begin to come together, begin kneading with your hands or with a stand-mixer to form the dough into a smooth ball. If the dough feels too dry, add a bit of milk.
  4. Once the dough forms into a smooth ball, place it into an oiled bowl and allow it to rise for about one hour until it has doubled in size.
  5. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling by combining the sugar, softened butter, and cinnamon together. Set aside when finished.
  6. Once the dough has risen, gently lift it out of the bowl and divide it into four equal balls. Knead each ball separately and then roll each one out into a circle that is approximately 10 inches in diameter. Do not worry if the edges are not neat; they will be trimmed afterwards.
  7. Spread 1/3 of the filling on the circle, leaving a one-inch border. Repeat the process two more times so that all of the filling is used and a layer of filling sits in between each circle.
  8. There will be four layers of dough and three layers of filling. Once the last ball has been rolled out and placed on top of the others, use a plate that is approximately 10 inches in diameter to outline a circle on top of the dough, and then trim the excess off.
  9. Place a cup approximately 3 inches in diameter at the center of the circle to use as a guide. From here, cut the circle first into fourths, then eighths, and then sixteenths. Remember to leave the inner circle intact.
  10. Take two of the strips and twist them away from each other twice. Repeat this eight times.
  11. Brush the pastry with egg wash and bake at 350°F for fifteen to twenty minutes until golden brown around the edges. Allow the pastry to cool, and then enjoy.