When travelling Scandinavia (home of hygge and mecca of all things cosy, food-y and convivial) it’s impossible to not be drawn into those hundreds of welcoming coffee shops and cafés with their candles, cushions, baskets of blankets, shelves of recipe books and, of course, the counters laden with baked treats hot and fresh from the kitchen – notably the Kanelsnegle, or cinnamon bun. One of those sweet spicy bad-boys with a cup of strong coffee was the perfect energy boost mid-afternoon exploring, and whilst eating one which was actually made with wholemeal flour, it occurred to me it had the potential to be a great basis for an equally energy-boosting breakfast. Apart from this classic, my other and even greater love is the maple pecan Danish; I’m not sure if this really is truly authentically Danish, but whatever it’s origins the flavour combination is wicked, so it made sense to combine the two. Minus the brown sugar to avoid that mid-morning sugar crash and plus some added fruit, nuts and flaxseed for extra fibre, I’d say these buns are virtuous enough to be considered a good breakfast. Make them up the night before and leave them on the side for effortless breakfasts or easy afternoon snacking.
For the dough:
- 200g wholewheat flour
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed (optional)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1.5 tablespoons maple syrup
- 70ml milk or plant-based milk
- 60g greek yoghurt
- Dash vanilla essence
For the filling:
- 2 tablespoons ground almonds
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 large or 2 small apples, chopped or thinly sliced
- Handful pecans, crushed
- Optional extra fruit or nuts eg. raisins, sultanas, dried apricots, chopped almonds.
- Heat oven to 180º and grease well a round baking dish or cake tin.
- Combine all dry ingredients for the dough in a large bowl, then add in the maple syrup, the yoghurt and vanilla. Then add the milk as needed to achieve a moist, but still roll-able, dough.
- Now for the filling, melt the coconut oil and add in the maple syrup. Add the almonds and the cinnamon and mix to make a spreadable paste. Slice or chop the apple, making sure the pieces are small and thin to allow them to cook through in the oven.
- Generously flour a surface and roll out the dough into a long rectangle, it’s length dependant on how many rolls you’d like to make and it’s width on how fat or small you’d like them to be.
- Spread the almond cinnamon paste evenly over the whole dough, right up to the edges. Then lay over a layer of apples and sprinkle on the pecans.
6. Roll the dough up length-ways into a sausage. Remove the very ends, then cut the rest horizontally into even-sized chunks. You should see a swirl shape on the side of the pieces.
7. Place the rolls swirl-side up in the dish. Sprinkle with extra crushed pecans, maple syrup and more apple chunks, if desired.
8. Bake for 20-30 minutes until they are golden on top and cooked in the middle.