Cinnamon Roll Cake with Apples, Craisins and Almonds

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Nothing beats fresh out of the oven cinnamon rolls.  Those rich, sweet, buttery, spiraled pastries filled with aromatic cinnamon, sprinkled with nuts and dripping with sugar glaze.  Add a steaming hot cup of coffee and it’s a decadent way to start any day.

Did you know that cinnamon buns are celebrated in Sweden?  Yes, we just might have the Swedes to thank for inventing this inviting indulgence.  They’re just about a part of daily life there.  In fact, October 4 is Kanelbullens Dag (Cinnamon Bun Day) in Sweden.

It’s not October 4, but who needs a day to celebrate cinnamon rolls?  So here is Oli’s recipe for a bit of a twist on traditional cinamon rolls – a cinnamon roll cake. The ingredients are in keeping with traditional rolls, but arranging them in a cake pan and turning out one big cinnamon roll cake is Oli’s unique take. (Don’t forget, he’s an Icelander living in Sweden.)   It’s a lovely presentation that is simple to assemble. The cake is not heavy and does not pack a fist full of sugar.  It’s a rich, delicious cardamom scented cinnamon cake that is zesty and just sweet enough.  Instead of the classic raisins in the filling, this recipe uses Craisins. (Hey, when you’re out of raisins use Craisins!)

You are getting two for one with this recipe.  After you prepare the cake, you might have left overs which are the traditional Swedish cinnamon rolls. Pop them on a buttered cookie sheet and bake for about 12 minutes.

Now, where is that cup of coffee?. . .

Cinnamon Roll Cake with Apples, Craisins and Almonds

We’ve listed the filling, egg wash and sugar glaze recipes first.  It’s your choice.  You can make the filling and egg wash, and reserve them until ready to use.  You can also choose to make them while the dough is rising.  You should choose a good baking apple like a Granny Smith or Honey Crisp that will hold up to oven heat and not get mushy.   The sugar glaze is a no brainer.  Make this when the cake has cooled.

1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup peeled and cubed baking apples
3/4 cup craisins or raisins
3/4 cup sliced almonds
6 tablespoons room temperature butter

1.  In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon.
2.  In a medium bowl, toss together apples, craisins or raisins and almonds.
3. Reserve

Egg Wash
 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk

1.  In a small bowl whisk together egg yolk and milk.
2.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sugar Glaze
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1.  In a small bowl, mix together sugar, water, lemon juice.  There should be no sugar lumps.  Mixture will be thickly runny.

1 ounce package active dry yeast or fresh yeast cake
1 cup luke warm milk
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes

In a small bowl dissolve yeast in milk.

1. Place flour, sugar, cardamom, salt and butter in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Mix until no butter clumps remain.
2.  Pour yeast mixture into flour mixture and mix until dough is smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl.
3.  Cover bowl with a damp cloth and allow dough to double in size.

1 3

Preheat oven to 350 Farenheit
5.  On a clean, floured surface, roll out dough to about 15-inches by 12-inches.
 Get reserved filling mixture and evenly spread butter over dough, then sprinkle with sugar and  cinnamon mixture.
6. Evenly strew apples, craisins or raisins and almonds over dough.


7.  Roll dough, lengthwise in jelly roll fashion then use a sharp knife to cut log into about 20 even slices.
8.  Arrange slices in a buttered 8-inch cake pan.  Start at the perimeter and overlap each slice by half of the next slice.  When you’ve gone around the pan, do the same in the middle.  (If you have slices left over, place them on a buttered cookie sheet.)
9.  Brush top of cake and any individual rolls with reserved egg wash.  Refrigerate leftover egg wash for use when cake comes out of oven.
9.  Bake cake in preheated 350 F oven 40 minutes.
(Bake individual rolls for about 12 minutes.)
10. When out of the oven and still hot, brush tops again with egg wash. It adds a nice shiny surface.

11. When rolls have cooled, drizzle with sugar glaze.
10Chinnamon rolls

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About Allthatcooking

We are an Icelander living in Sweden and New England Yankee living in Virginia who share not only a great friendship but also a passion for world food. Our particular interest lies in the types of dishes that bring people together at celebrations and during holidays. When we take an occasional break from working on our global cookbook, we post on what is now a side project - our blog . Visit us at
This entry was posted in Breakfast, Desserts, Sweets and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Cinnamon Roll Cake with Apples, Craisins and Almonds

  1. ieatsigrins says:

    Cinnamon Bun Day! That is great! I wanna live in Sweden where cinnamon buns are elevated by national recognition. And, cardamom! Under-promoted subtle spice elevated to very high status on my palate. Haven’t made this recipe yet, but bet your bottom dollar folks, I shall be making Oli’s Cinnamom (couldn’t resist) Roll Cake come this weekend. Keep doing all that cooking, O & G!

    • Cardamom is my absolute favorite. Never buy the ground stuff in a bottle. Buy the green pods (you can find them in Indian groceries) and grind them yourself. Far superior and the aroma is intoxicating! Now, what time is breakfast this weekend?

  2. nusrat2010 says:

    You made me drool the way you described your cake in the first paragraph 🙂 And that cake shot only intensified my drooling speed 🙂
    I can live on that gorgeous cake for the rest of my life 🙂

  3. The buns look droolworthy!

  4. This is so unique and reminds me of the coffee cakes of my youth. Can’t wait to try it!

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