Tag Archives: fika

St Lucy’s Day

So how did Protestant (at most, Atheist in closer reality) Sweden get obsessed with an Italian Catholic saint? I don’t know the history, but I’m sure it’s related to the closeness between Lucia and the Swedish for light: ljus, making it a perfect excuse to celebrate light in the darkest time of the year.

Either way, it’s a set of traditions that is almost impossible to escape. Everywhere are groups of white-clad, singing young women with candles. Everywhere you go, you are force-fed lusekätter: saffron buns shaped like cats tails. By the end of Friday, I was quite lightheaded from Saffron overdose, having had them pushed on me:

  • On arrival at the office
  • At Fika time
  • At a customer meeting

In addition, processional choirs of young women with candles are prevalent. I had one in reception at the office, and Lucy (revelling in the day as you can imagine) had one at SFI. And there was an internal school one before classes on Friday – apparently to be repeated for parents next Friday

You even get them in Shopping Centres:

And almost every window in the city has an arch of lights shining out. All we need now is some snow for them to glitter off.
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Two Styles of Kanelbullar


Basic idea: roll the Cardamom Dough out, slather on a melted-butter plus sugar plus cinnamon mix, roll and then cut slices.

Ready for Rolling Take Me To An Oven

This gives you nice swirls which if you’re lucky, start forcing their way up in the middle.



Fancy Kanelbullar

This one is done by folding the cinnamon-ed dough sheet in three, then cutting strips which are twisted and artfully knotted.

Here’s a video of how it’s done

Only really missing a wee drop of pearl sugar.


OK, I said two styles. These are the two styles I can make. But I want the recipe for these fellas that drove us crazy in the Stationshuset cafe in Saltsjöbaden:
Coffee and Cinnamon Pastry
Continue reading Two Styles of Kanelbullar

Basic Scandinavian Cardamom Dough Recipe

This simple, cardamom-spiced yeasted dough serves as the basis for many Scandinavian coffee breads, rolls, and buns.

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


  • 600ml milk
  • 375g melted butter
  • 200g sugar
  • 7g salt
  • 15g freshly ground cardamom (from about 25 cardamom pods)
  • 12g dry active yeast (2 packets)
  • 1000g all purpose or bread flour

Converted to the metric from the original.

Particularly useful as a base for Kanelbullar.