It has been a while that I shared a recipe that involves yeast. This is a little bit ironic because I like sweet yeast bread a lot. In fact, if I had the choice between cake and sweet yeasted bread, I would choose the sweet bread without blinking an eye. There are always a few Swedish cinnamon buns in my freezer and I eat a Kanelbulle at least once a week. I simply cannot imagine my life without Swedish cinnamon buns, knäckebröd (Swedish crisp bread) and my life would not complete without parsley and lentils.
The hazelnut swirl recipe  - that I am sharing with you today - is a modification of the German Nusszopf. A Nusszopf (it literally means nut braid) is a dense and sweet yeasted bread with a hazelnut filling and the braid is cut into slices. Instead of making a big braided loaf, I opted for swirls. The hazelnut swirls are incredible moist and the hazelnut filling has such a wonderful nutty flavor. If you have some extra time, I recommend roasting the hazelnuts for the nut filling; it makes the filling extra delicious.

Makes 12 to 15 swirls


  • 50 g / 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 125 ml / 1/2 cup milk, preferable whole milk
  • 30 g fresh yeast / 3 1/2 teaspoons instant active dry yeast / 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast 
  • 85 g / 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 
  • 1 pinch of salt 
  • 1 egg (medium size) 
  • 365 g / 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Place the butter in a small saucepan and melt the butter. Add the milk to the melted butter and heat until the mixture is lukewarm. It is important that the mixture is lukewarm and not hot, otherwise the dough might not rise. 
  • Crumble the yeast into a medium-large sized bowl. Add about two tablespoons of the lukewarm butter-milk mixture to the yeast and stir with a (wooden) spoon until the yeast is completely dissolved. Add the rest of the liquid to the yeast mixture, the sugar, salt and the egg and mix well. Add the flour and mix again until the dough comes together. Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead the dough until the dough is smooth. Personally, I prefer kneading yeast dough by hand instead of using a kitchen machine since I think it makes a moister yeast dough. If you are not picky like me, feel free to knead the dough in a kitchen machine. 
  • If you use instant active dry yeast: mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl, then add the lukewarm butter-milk mixture and proceed as written above. 
  • If you use active dry yeast: heat the milk until lukewarm. Add the active dry yeast to a mug and dissolve the yeast with two tablespoons of milk. Melt the butter. Mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl, add the melted butter, remaining lukewarm milk and the dissolved yeast. Proceed as written above.
  • Place the dough back into the bowl, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm and draft free place. I heat the oven to 50 °C / 125 °F, switch the oven off and place the bowl in the warm oven. Let the dough rise for about 40 minutes or until the dough has almost doubled in size. In the meantime, prepare the hazelnut filling.


  • 125 g / 3/4 cup and 1 tablespoon hazelnut flour *
  • 65 g / 1/3 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar 
  • 40 g / 1/2 cup bread crumbs 
  • 165 g / 3/4 cup heavy cream 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tablespoon rum, optional 
  • Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. 
* I roast whole hazelnuts in the oven (150 ° C / 300 °F for 15 to 20 minutes), remove the skin by rubbing them in a kitchen towel, then grind the roasted hazelnuts. It takes some extra time but you will be awarded by the incredible nut smell.


  • 1 egg (small size) 
  • 35 g / 1/4 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • On a floured surface knead the dough again. Roll out the dough to the size of 35 cm / 14 inches  x 40 cm / 15 inches.
  • Spread evenly the hazelnut filling onto the dough. Roll up the dough from the thicker side. Cut the roll into 12 pieces (each piece should be about 2 cm / 0.8 inch thick). 
  • Place the swirls on parchment paper lined baking sheets. Make sure that there is enough space between each swirl. Cover the baking sheets with kitchen towels and let the swirls rest for 15 minutes in a warm and draft free place. 
  • In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F.
  • Brush the swirls with egg wash. Sprinkle the top of each hazelnut swirl with chopped hazelnuts.
  • Bake the hazelnut swirls for 12 to 15 minutes until golden in color. 
  • Let the swirls cool on a wire rack. 
  • Enjoy the hazelnut swirls on the day of baking. But the swirls freeze very well and taste just as delicious reheated in the oven.