Spekuk Buns

These are my spekuk buns; Norwegian sweet cinnamon rolls with an Indonesian twist. I add a lot of spekuk spices!

A few weeks ago, my Norwegian sister-in-law made these amazing cinnamon knots. Never before I tasted cinnamon buns that are like bread. They are not too dry, not too sweet or too tender. I had to have this recipe!

The original recipe is from the Norwegian company “Tine”, which makes cheese, butter and milk. Tine says that in the town of Lom people are waiting in long lines in front of the bakery to buy these delicious kanelknuter; cinnamon buns rolled into a knot.

Spekuk buns in a basket with Norwegian cloth

Spekuk spices and whole wheat flour

To make these buns extra special I add spekuk spices to the filling. This gives the bun a deep, warm flavor. I also replace a third of the flour with whole wheat flour (my sister-in-law did that too). This makes the buns extra firm and more like bread, but the buns they remain still airy and fluffy because of the 2/3 regular flour I use.

This recipe is enough for 20 – 25 large spekuk buns and is ready in 2 hours.


  • 300 grams of whole wheat flour
  • 700 grams of plain flour
  • 125 grams of butter (for dough)
  • 2 eggs (one for in the dough and the other to brush them before going into the oven)
  • 1/2 liter of milk
  • 150 grams of regular sugar
  • 2 bags of instant yeast (7 grams each)

Ingredients and spices for the filling

  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of anise
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon of cloves powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 75 grams of butter
  • 50 grams of dark brown caster sugar

This recipe needs an amazing amount of flour: one kilo. For the filling I use dark brown caster sugar because this fits well with the spekuk spices I add.


I start by melting the 125 grams of butter and add (when the butter has melted) half a liter of milk. I check if the temperature is around 37 degrees Celsius and add the yeast. If the butter and milk mix is ​​too hot, the yeast will die.

Butter, milk and yeast

I mix the two types of flour, a teaspoon of cardamom, the salt and the sugar and finally the egg. Tine advises not to immediately use all the flour.

I start with half the quantity of the flour and pour in the butter mix bit by bit. I stir it well and then add some more flour. I add the egg just before all my flour is finished.

I make sure that I knead my (huge amount of) dough until it is not too sticky. You need a lot of elbow grease! I knead for about 5 minutes and then my arms are tired. The dough can proof for 40 minutes now ;-).


My 75 grams of butter is at to room temperature. This makes it easier to stir. I add:

  • the rest of the cardamon
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon of anise powder
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg powder
  • 1 teaspoon clove powder
  • 50 grams of dark brown caster sugar

The smell of this butter mix is already impressive. It is Christmas, 17 May (National Norwegian holiday) and sugar festival at the same time! 😉

After the 40-minute proofing, I knead the dough again for about 8 minutes until it is smooth, shiny and elastic. During kneading I also roll out the dough fold it and roll it out again for two to three times. For this amount of dough that works the best for me. It is a little less heavy because the yeast has done its job.

Folding the buns

I now roll the dough out until it is about 50 by 30 centimeters and then cover the whole thing with the spekuk spice seasoned butter.

It spreads well because the butter is at room temperture.

I try to distribute everything well into every corner , so every bun is seasoned evenly.

I fold the dough lengthwise until halfway. Then I fold the other part.

I make sure it is folded properly, so I can make even slices.

I cut 20 equally sized strips of dough.

To form the buns I take one piece and pull it out a little bit to make it a bit longer. I lay it on my kitchen counter and I roll it up.

Then I pick it up and make a knot by rolling it over my hand and pull the end through the middle.

These buns are folded in many ways. Check out my Pinterest for more folding techniques.


The spekuk buns can now proof for a while until they become twice as large. I place them on baking paper and let them rest for 45 minutes. I cover them up with a towel.


Just before the spekuk buns go into the oven, I rub them with a beaten egg and sprinkle some dark brown caster sugar on top.

Then I place them in the middle of a pre-heated oven to 225 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Every oven is different so keep an eye on them. I like my buns deep golden brown; that looks tasty and my 1/3 wholemeal dough needs the baking time.

My spekuk buns are airy and tender on the inside because of the milk and the butter. I clearly taste the spekuk spices. Just out of the oven and still hot, they are truly delicious already, but after a day the spices went deeper into the dough and the spekuk buns are even tastier.

These spekuk buns are also delicious with some butter and Norwegian geitost or brunost (Norwegian sweet, brown cheese). But I eat most of them without any add-ons; truly irresistible ;-). Selamat Makan!

Spekuk Buns

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2 Responses

  1. margreth Nielsen says:

    Love to make this recipe, can you substitute Puff Pastry for this ? And what would be the temp on oven and timeframe? Thank you.

    • With Puff pastry it will be a totally different recipe, but probably possible. I have not tried it yet, so I do not know what would be the setting. But I think if you follow the instructions on the package for puff pastry dishes, it probably will do!

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