Systerkaka (cinnamon rolls) with almond paste, cinnamon,
nib sugar and pink strawberry icing.

In Sweden, the common way of baking cinnamon rolls (kanelbullar) is to put them in individual paper cups before baking. There is however a version where the rolls are put really close to each other in a pan, resulting in a large cake. A cake like that is often called Butterkaka (not refering to the Swedish word for sullen but the word butter in English or German) or Systerkaka (sister cake). I can’t really tell the difference between them, they are probably quite a like. I call my own version sister cake due to the pink strawberry icing which maybe is a bit unecessary I also use nib sugar, but it makes the rolls very pretty and girly which suits a sister cake!


    50 gram butter
    125 ml milk
    25 gram fresh yeast
    500 ml flour (= 300 gram flour)
    1 egg
    1 tbsp vanilla infused caster sugar
    0.5 tsp cardamom, ground

    60 gram butter, softened
    2 tsp sugar
    2 tsp cinnamon, ground
    80 gram almond paste, grated (can be substituted with marzipan which however contains more sugar than almond paste).

    topping, before baking:
    1 egg, whisked
    nib/pearl sugar

    topping, after baking:
    icing (made of a small amount of water and 4 tbsp icing sugar, I used strawberry icing sugar)

    Melt the butter in a small sauce pan, add the milk and make sure that the mixture is around 37 degrees C. Place the yeast in a bowl and pour the milk and butter mixture over it. Mix well until the yeast has dissolved. Add flour, sugar, cardamom and egg. Combine to a soft dough and knead a few minutes until it’s smooth and shiny. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes until the dough has almost doubled in size.

    Take the dough and use a rolling pin to roll out a large rectangle, about 30 cm * 40 cm wide. Spread the soft butter over the rectangle and then sprinkle sugar, cinnamon and grated almond paste over it. Carefully roll up the dough, starting with the long edge. Cut 3 cm wide slices with a sharp knife. Tightly place the slices cut side up in a quite small, about 20-22 cm wide, greased cake pan. I used a square one, but a round one is fine as well. Let the rolls rise for 40-50 minutes until they fill the pan generously. Brush the rolls with a whisked egg and sprinkle nib sugar evenly.

    Bake in 175 degrees C, fan oven (or around 200 degrees C if using a normal oven), for about 18 – 20 minutes. When the cake cools, pour icing over it (mix a small amount of water with 4 tbsp icing sugar).

13 Responses to “Systerkaka”

  1. Rosa
    July 25th, 2007 08:19

    They look wonderful! Very beautiful!

  2. avuca
    July 25th, 2007 09:44

    jak z bajki… mam pytanie dotyczące pasty migdałowej-jak się ją robi(bo nie moge zlokalizować przepisu na Twoich stronach,a to pewnie pyszna rzecz.
    jakbyś kiedyś była w Polsce to zapraszam do Trójmiasta(Gdańsk-Sopot-Gdynia).kąpieli w Bałtyku nie polecam,ale sa inne atrakcje:)

  3. Deborah
    July 25th, 2007 19:54

    Beautiful and very girlie!

  4. Patricia Scarpin
    July 26th, 2007 15:14

    Dagmar, these rolls are fantastic! So beautiful!

    I’m gonna tag this recipe, if you don’t mind!

  5. Dagmar
    July 26th, 2007 22:45

    Avuca: Zamiast pasty migdalowej mozna wziasc marcypan (ktory zawiera wiecej cukru niz pasta migdalowa, ale bez problemow mozna zastopic paste z marcypanem).

    Rosa: Thanks

    Deborah: Thanks

    Patricia: Thanks! I hope that you’ll like them!

  6. Elle
    July 28th, 2007 06:04

    Sister cakes…That is really nice. The pink icing and sugar nibs really dress them up, but the spices probably are the best and smell wonderful, right?

  7. Dagmar
    July 29th, 2007 21:24

    Elle: Yes, you’re right. The spices smell wonderful!

  8. Cheryl
    July 31st, 2007 19:04

    Oh wow, the colors just spring out at you. This looks absolutely amazing.

  9. Rich Feggins
    February 25th, 2010 20:53

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