This is a recipe for a traditional Danish cinnamon twist which we in Denmark call Kanelstang – directly translated Kanelstang means cinnamon rod. A Kanelstang is a famous, old and very traditional part of the Danish pastry cuisine and can be bought in most bakeries and some super markets in Denmark. They are typically served together with a cup of coffee or sometimes as “dessert” after breakfast. Most people buy the cinnamon twists from the bakeries which actually are pretty good. However, making your homemade Kanelstang is actually relatively easy and it taste delicious – especially the smell, when the cinnamon twist is in the oven, is wonderful.
A cinnamon twist is actually pretty similar to a cinnamon bun – a cinnamon twist is just larger, elongated and has two types of filling, vanilla cream and cinnamon filling. A cinnamon twist is just wonderful! Serve the cinnamon twist together with a cup of coffee, tea or some homemade hot cocoa.
This recipe gives you two cinnamon twists – if you cannot eat them both you can put one in the freezer, and then reheat it later. This way you always have something delicious to serve when having unexpected guests.
Danish Cinnamon Twist (Kanelstang)
Size: 2 cinnamon twists
Preparation time: 2 hours
Danish title: Kanelstang
50 g (2 oz) yeast
3 dl (1 1/4 cups) milk
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
500 g (18 oz) all-purpose flour
1 portion vanilla cream
200 g (7 oz) butter, soft
200 g (7 oz) brown sugar
4 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
some sugar icing
100 g (4 oz) chopped hazelnuts
1. Start by making a portion of vanilla cream. You can use the powder vanilla cream from the super market which only needs to be mixed with milk. However, we strongly recommend to make your own and homemade vanilla cream. You can follow our recipe for vanilla cream which is super easy. You can find the recipe on our blog.
2. Warm the milk and pour it in a large bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk.
3. In the milk; add sugar, salt, cardamom, and the eggs. Stir well.
4. Add the flour stepwise and knead well. Continue adding flour until the dough does not stick to your fingers anymore. The same applied to dough mixed using a stand mixer.
5. Cover the bowl with a clean dishcloth and set aside some place warm. Let it rise for about 30 minutes.
6. While the dough is rising; In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the filling. Set aside.
The Danish Cinnamon Twist (Kanelstang):
7. Knead the risen dough a little and divide it into two equally sized pieces.
8. Using a rolling pin; roll out the two dough pieces into two rectangles (35×45 cm – 14×18 inch).
9. Equally distribute the filling and the vanilla cream on the two rectangles. Start with the filling.
10. Roll the dough together into two logs.
11. Use a pair of scissors; snip half way through the logs and fold the dough to one side. Continue snipping and folding the dough with a distances between each snip of about 2 cm (3/4 inch). See the picture in this recipe for better understanding.
12. Beat an egg and brush the cinnamon twists with it. Sprinkle the twists with chopped hazelnuts.
13. Bake the twists for about 20 minutes at 200 C (400 F). We prefer baking them one-by-one.
14. When the twists are baked and cooled off; decorate them with icing.