If you’ve ever visited an Ikea you’ll notice the food part is a little strange. They serve hotdogs, pizza and chips, ice-cream and a whole lot of cinnamon buns. Why cinnamon buns? I always wondered. Then I found out that Swedes manage almost a cinnamon bun-a-day with a national consumption of three hundred and sixty-one cinnamon buns per year, per person? That’s why Ikea serves them! They are the national treat. Of course, Ikea bows to American tastes by omitting the cardamom, raisins and slathering on white fondant. By contrast authentic Swedish cinnamon buns have cardamom (but you can leave it out), pearl sugar on top (and no fondant). These are also lighter, more feathery buns and are made with less butter, less sugar, no eggs and no vanilla. They are: wonderful. I cross checked about 35 recipes until I got the gist and made my kanelbullar (kanel=cinnamon; bullar=buns) just perfect. I couldn’t find pearl sugar on time so I made my buns with coarse sugar. Gorgeous. If you love cinnamon buns but would like the try them in a Swedish rendition (overall not gooey and sticky but lighter, sweet and moist and stopping short of decadence), this is the recipe! By the way, if you haven’t figured it out, I live about four blocks from Ikea. I swear I smell the scent of their cinnamon buns daily! This is a lovely holiday sort of baking.

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