Nick Malgieri
Nick Malgieri

Norwegian Cinnamon Rolls

These simple sugar-and-cinnamon-filled rolls are popular throughout Scandinavia, but this Norwegian version is especially good and also quite easy to prepare.

Makes twenty-four 3 to 4-inch spiral rolls


1 1/4 cups milk
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
(spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Egg wash: 1 egg well beaten with a pinch of salt

Pearl sugar for sprinkling the rolls before baking

Two cookie sheets or jelly roll pans lined with parchment or foil

  1. For the dough, warm the milk in a small saucepan over low heat until it is just lukewarm, about 110 degrees. Pour the milk into the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk in the yeast by hand. Whisk in the butter, sugar, and cardamom.
  2. Use a large rubber spatula to stir in the flour. Place the bowl on the mixer with the paddle attachment and beat the dough on lowest speed for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Beat the dough on medium speed for 2 more minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.
  4. Scrape the dough into a buttered bowl and turn the dough over so that the top is buttered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Scrape the risen dough out onto a floured work surface and lightly flour the dough. Press the dough into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough to a rectangle that is 12 x 18 inches.
  6. For the filling, use a pastry brush to paint the dough with the melted butter. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and evenly sprinkle on the buttered dough.
  7. Roll up the dough jelly-roll style from one of the 18-inch ends, being careful not to stretch the dough in the length at the same time. Cut the dough into 24 3/4-inch slices.
  8. Arrange the spirals of dough, cut sides up, on the prepared pans, keeping them about 2 inches apart in all directions. Press in on the edges of the spirals if necessary to make sure that they are even round shapes.
  9. Paint the tops of the rolls with the egg wash and sprinkle generously with pearl sugar.
  10. Cover the pans with towels or buttered plastic wrap and let the rolls rise until they are not quite doubled, about 30 minutes.
  11. About 15 minutes before the rolls are risen, set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
  12. Bake the rolls for about 15 minutes, then change the positions of the pans so that the lower pan is on the upper rack and vice versa. Turn the pans back to front at the same time.
  13. Bake the rolls for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are well colored and firm to the touch.
  14. Slide the papers from the pans to racks to cool the rolls.