Boller (Norwegian Sweet Rolls)

Something I loved to eat in Norway was boller, which is the Norwegian (bokmål) word for sweet rolls. I used to buy hveteboller med rosiner or kanelboller at one of the cafeterias at the university of Oslo together with a cup of coffee. Kanelboller is the Norwegian (bokmål) word for cinnamon buns and hveteboller med rosiner the Norwegian (bokmål) word for sweet raisin buns (hvete means wheat).

Before I came to Norway I was a cinnamon hater. I would never eat anything that contained cinnamon. This wasn’t too hard because the only cinnamon containing food I knew was apple cake, which I also didn’t like. One morningin Oslo I spotted these huge cinnamon buns in the cafeteria. Suddenly I wanted to try one. So I  ordered a cup of coffeeand a bun and sat down at a table. Then I took my first bite from this warm and soft kanelbolle. That was the moment when I found out that I didn’t hate cinnamon. From that day one I odererd kanelboller quite often and I did sady miss them when I moved back to Germany. I’ve never seen this kind of cinnamon bun again.

In Germany we have all kinds of sweet rolls that are shaped like cinnamon rolls. They are filled with raisins, poppy seeds, apple pieces, nuts, or pudding, but I rarely find cinnamon rolls. And if I find some, they do taste completely different from their Norwegian relatives. There was a special flavour component in those Norwegian rolls that I was never able to name. Something quite special and something just not to be found in German Zimtschnecken.

A couple of days ago I came across a recipe for hveteboller (sweet wheat rolls). I tried them out, because they were one of the few Norwegian foods I actually knew something about. And because I promised to post some Norwegian recipes during VeganMoFo. One of the ingredients for this recipe was ground cardamom. I rarely bake with cardamom, it’s a spice typically used in Christmas baked goods over here in Germany. But I was willing to try this. I baked the rolls, let them cool down a bit and then I took a bite from one of the warm raisin rolls.

And there it was, the secret ingredient for Norwegian kanelboller, I had discovered it! It was the cardamom. I ate my roll and then started to look for Norwegian kanelboller recipes online. And every single one of them had cardamom listed as an ingredient. I was so happy that I finally was able to recreate the taste of my Norwegian kanelboller! If you want, you can try both the raisin buns and the cinnamon buns, as I will provide you with both recipes.

Hveteboller (makes 12)

adapted and translated from this recipe

Corrected version, July 14th, 2009.

1 1/4 cups soy milk
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 pk active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1  t ground cardamom
4 cups flour (I used half white and half whole wheat flour)
3.5 oz raisins

Melt the margarine in a small saucepan and add soy milk. Let cool down and add yeast.

Combine flour, cardamom, and sugar. Mix and add soy milk mixture. Knead the dough until it is elastic and doesn’t stick anymore (ca. 5 minutes).

Cover the bowl and let the dough rest until it has doubled its size (ca. 1 hour). Fold in raisins and knead for another 1-2 minutes.

Divide dough into twelve equal pieces and form them into rolls. Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Let the rolls rest for 30 minutes. Bake them for appox 10 minutes or until golden brown.

To be continued tomorrow…

25 thoughts on “Boller (Norwegian Sweet Rolls)

  1. Uuuuuunglauuuublich gut….hab die Boller mit auf eine Party genommen und die sind soooo gut angekommen.
    Also vielen Dank für das Rezept! :)

  2. i love your entry! i was in norway oslo for 6 months and i loved eating the boller and any other buns in the cafes! Its so nice to have someone explained the name in english terms and even finding the ‘secret’ ingredient. I should really set up a cafe and sell it in Singapore haha this is my dream!

  3. These look great! I am really glad that I discovered your blog. I like the European recipes you post.

    I think you meant 1 1/4 cup of soy milk, instead of 2 1/4 cup?

  4. The only cinnamon buns I have for reference are the obnoxiously America super-sized Cinnabons served up in malls across the US, covered in sickeningly sweet icing. We don”t have them here in Hawaii, but they were a staple in the malls in Pittsburgh, where I grew up. I am sure that I would prefer your version!

  5. Vegannifer – Sorry that I forgot to mention that. I just cut a cross into the dough, that’s it. The peaks form while the dough is doubling its size.

  6. I love cardamom too! Mihl, I have to say that everything you’ve been posting recently looks incredibly tantalizing! I come here and just drool!

  7. Yum, delicious! Finns use cardamom in cinnamon rolls (korvapuusti) too, and actually also in basic sweet buns (pulla). I think Swedes do the same, but our cinnamon rolls just have different shape than theirs.

  8. these sound perfect, Mihl! and cardamom, huh? we’ve got some in our home, although we rarely use it. sounds like i need to get off my bum and make some Boller! mmmmmmmmm!

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