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Christmas Swedish Tea Ring

Christmas Swedish Tea Ring, filled with cinnamon, sugar, and raisins and topped with a simple powdered sugar glaze, is a beautiful and delicious Scandinavian recipe for the holiday season!

Side closeup view of Swedish Tea Ring with Christmas evergreens in the background

It wouldn’t be Christmas without tea… and a tea ring!

Made from a simple but delicious sweet roll dough, much like the cinnamon rolls we all love… or my Almond Cinnamon Babka Star Bread. But then it’s drizzled with the simplest powdered sugar glaze and sprinkled with sliced almonds.

Oh my! Seriously, warm from the oven, it’s such a joy. A Christmas kind of joy!

Christmas Tea Ring on a cake stand with tea

Christmas Swedish Tea Ring Traditions

If you’ve never made one — or had one — it’s a vintage-inspired Scandinavian treat most often enjoyed at Christmas. It’s served on Christmas morning, or Christmas Eve, perfect for a Christmas Tea.

Or Fika! If you’re not familiar with this coffee custom, see our post on Fika: A Swedish Coffee Ritual that Feeds the Soul.

How Easy to Make is a Christmas Swedish Tea Ring?

This is not necessarily an easy recipe. It’s also not quick (unless you use the quick and easy shortcut tip I listed at the end of this post.)

BUT, it’s so worth it. If you’ve made yeasted bread before, like cinnamon rolls, it’s almost exactly the same.

Essentially, you do these three things:

  1. ROLLING THE DOUGH: roll the sweet dough into a rectangle, spread the filling, roll up and form into a circle
  2. SLICING THE RING: cut one-inch sections around the circle with a scissors
  3. TWISTING: fan or twist each cut section so it looks pretty

Swedish Tea Ring Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this Swedish Tea Ring (specific measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  • Active dry yeast
  • Lukewarm milk
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Large egg
  • Butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Raisins
  • Powdered Sugar
Top view of Swedish Tea Ring with tea

How to Make a Swedish Tea Ring

This is a quick summary of the recipe steps. More details are provided in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Make the Dough

Begin by proofing the yeast. Then add the milk, sugar, salt, egg, and butter to the yeast and combine. Then stir in the flour until smooth but still slightly sticky.

Knead the bread for 4 to 5 minutes.

Step 2: First Rise

Let dough rise in a well-oiled bowl, in a warm spot of the kitchen, until doubled; about 1½ hours. Deflate gently after rising.

Rolling out Swedish Tea Ring dough

Step 3: Roll and Form Dough Into Ring

Roll the dough into a rectangle and spread with butter and a cinnamon-sugar mixture. Top with raisins and roll up the dough, jelly-roll style and pinch the edges to seal.

Remove the uneven ends from the dough and form into a ring or circle shape, seam side down, and pinch the edges together.

With scissors, make cuts around the circle at 1-inch intervals. Rotate each slice to its side. Cover and let rise until double; 35 to 40 minutes.

Forming Swedish Tea Ring dough into a circle and making slices

Step 4: Bake the Tea Ring

While the dough is rising for the second time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.

Glaze the bread while still slightly warm and decorate with sliced almonds or nuts of choice.

Quicker and Easier Way to Make a Swedish Tea Ring

For a quicker version of this tea ring, 2 cans of crescent roll sheets pressed together can be substituted for the dough.

Proceed with the recipe, filling the dough, forming it into a ring, and making 1-inch cuts.

Except, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes.

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Closeup view of Swedish Tea Ring
Side closeup view of Swedish Tea Ring with Christmas evergreens in the background

Swedish Tea Ring: Festive Sweet Bread

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Christmas Swedish Tea Ring, filled with cinnamon, sugar, and raisins and topped with a simple powdered sugar glaze, is a beautiful and delicious Scandinavian recipe for the holiday season!

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast (about 2¼ tsp)
  • 3/4 cups lukewarm milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons softened
  • 3 ½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) add warm water (not hot but 110 to 115 degrees) stir in the active dry yeast until dissolved. Let proof 5 minutes.
  2. Once proofed, add the lukewarm milk, sugar, salt, eggs, and butter. Then stir in 1 ½ cups of flour until smooth. Add enough of the remaining flour until the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl and can be handled. The dough should be slightly sticky, but easy to handle.
  3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface (or in the bowl of the stand mixer) for about 5 minutes. Form into a ball and place in a well-oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let rise in a warm spot until double; about 1 ½ hours. Deflate gently after rising.
  4. Transfer dough to a well-floured surface and roll into a rectangle, about 15x9-inches. Square the sides if necessary. Spread the dough with 2 tablespoons of softened butter. Then sprinkle 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/2 cup raisins over the dough.
  5. Roll the dough tightly (jelly-roll style) beginning with the long end. Pinch the edges to seal, cut the uneven ends off, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet; seam side down. Bring the ends together to form a ring; pinch the ends together.
  6. With clean scissors, make cuts 2/3 of the way through the ring at 1-inch intervals. Rotate each slice to its side. Cover and let rise until double; 35 to 40 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F while the bread is rising for the second time. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. It's better to underbake rather than overbake.
  8. Glaze the bread while still slightly warm and decorate with sliced almonds or nuts of choice.

Notes

Want to Make This Swedish Tea Ring Quicker?

For a quicker version of this tea ring, 2 cans of crescent roll sheets pressed together can be substituted for the dough.

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Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 339

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