I’ve been lucky enough to visit Norway a couple of times over the past year, and have quickly fallen in love with the country’s mind-blowing landscapes and delicious baked goods. Yes, scenery and pastries—that’s basically what I’m here for.
Most recently, I spent a few days in charming Bergen over the holidays, and made it a point to visit as many coffeeshops and try as many different pastries as possible (all in the name of research, of course). And as soon as I got home, I knew I had to try out some of the recipes myself. So behold, Norwegian skillingsboller!
Skillingsboller (skillingsbolle is singular) are basically Norway’s take on cinnamon buns, and technically these are really specific to Bergen. It translates to “penny bun” (kanelbolle would be “cinnamon bun”, and you’ll see that all over Norway as well), and they are truly everywhere in Bergen.
Want to see all about my Norwegian adventures? Here you go!
I tweaked the original recipe a bit and added the cardamom, letting it steep in the milk and butter mixture to give extra flavor. That cardamom is a flavor I fully associate with Scandinavian pastries, so I felt it was necessary (but too much will overpower the buns).
These are actually WAY easier than they look, and the end result is less sweet than regular American cinnamon rolls. It’s just lightly sweet and much more subtle (and also lower calorie, as a result), perfect for having as an afternoon snack with your coffee.
Mix all the dry ingredients (minus cardamom) in a bowl. Put the yeast and salt on separate sides of the bowl, because the salt can mess with the yeast’s ability to activate.
In a small saucepan stir together the butter and milk until the butter melts, and add the cardamom as well. Heat it up to around 98.6 degrees—keep a close eye, because you don’t want it to boil!
You might also like: Pioneer Woman’s Amazing Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting
Once the milk and butter mixture has cooled a bit (it needs to be at least below the 98.6 F temp), add it to the dry ingredients and mix it all together. I prefer to do this in my stand mixer and add the liquid slowly while the mixer is on low. Put cling wrap over the bowl and let it rise at least 30 minutes in a lukewarm place (the dough should double; for me this is more like an hour).
Once the dough has doubled in size, sprinkle some flour on your counter and roll out the dough. It helps to make the dough into a rectangle shape to begin with, then use the rolling pin to keep it that way as you roll it out decently thin. You can see in my pictures the thickness I used—there’s no rule for what it should be, I just like a lot of filling so wanted thinner dough.
You might also like: Cinnamon Walnut Stuffed Challah
Soften some butter until it’s spreadable and spread onto your rolled-out dough. Sprinkle on the cinnamon and sugar to your own taste (I like mind to be super gooey), then roll it up.
On one of the long sides, tack the dough to the counter with your fingers, then start rolling from the other side (keeping it long). Try to get a nice, tight roll with no gaps.
Once it’s rolled up, make sure the dough sticks to seal the roll, then use a sharp serrated knife or a scraper to cut pieces about 1 inch apart. (Side note, I have this scraper and I use it for EVERYTHING.)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the dough pieces, leaving plenty of spaces between them. Cover with a large plastic bag (or kitchen towel) and let them sit in a lukewarm place for about 30-45 minutes for additional rise.
Preheat your oven to 435 F (or 225 C). Right before popping them in the oven, mix up a quick egg wash and use a pastry brush to add a layer to the top of the buns.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, until they are golden on top. Let them rest for 10-15 minutes after you take them out of the oven before eating.
See how easy it is to make these Norwegian skillingsboller for yourself?! Not to mention that you can impress people by telling them that they’re having skillingsboller… 🙂
Other travel-related treats you’ll love:
- Traditional Finnish Cinnamon Buns (Korvapuusti)
- Turkish Corba (Red Lentil Soup)
- Swedish Vanilla Cardamom Bread
- Giovanna’s Pasta con Pesto
- Tahini Brownies (gluten-free if necessary)
Side note, I have this scraper and I use it for EVERYTHING. It makes it easy to cut the dough cleanly.
These Norwegian skillingsboller are lightly-sweet and spiced pastries like the ones I had in Sweden and Norway, and very easy to make! As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Norwegian Skillingsboller (Cinnamon Bun Pastries)
Serving Size: 1 roll
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130
These Norwegian skillingsboller are lightly-sweet and spiced pastries like the ones I had in Sweden and Norway, and very easy to make!
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Carole from Carole's Chatter says
Great work! Cheers
Brad Hammerson says
The way you describe the plural of skillingsbolle is either confusing or incorrect. In Norsk, plurals are made by adding the er or r to the end of the word, so skillingsbolle is singular and skillingsboller is plural. Ås a side note I see people do the same with the Danish æbleskiver, where they consider æbleskiver to be singular when it is in fact plural.
Lol I’m sure you’re correct…I’m not remotely an expert and don’t speak any Scandinavian language. This was just how it was explained to me when I was in Norway but I may have misunderstood 🙂
Julie Fricke says
I was going to leave basically the same comment as Brad Hammerson. One bolle, two or more boller.
Can I make these a day before, refrigerate, and make the next morning?
I haven’t done it, but I don’t see why that wouldn’t work just like for other enriched dough…Just make sure you let the dough come to room temperature and then rise for about 30-45 minutes after that as well, before baking. I’d love to know how they turn out!
Anna Baker says
Wow these are so delicious! I can’t believe how easy they were to make and how well they turned out. Whether the plural/ singular is correct is irrelevant to how great they are and seems ungrateful when such a fabulous recipe has been shared!