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Swedish Tea Ring Recipe for Christmas morning breakfast

How to make a Swedish Tea Ring - easy Swedish Tea Ring recipe for Christmas morning breakfast

I’m not really sure how a Swedish Tea Ring recipe became a holiday tradition in a German/Irish/English household but my mom has been making it for Christmas morning breakfast since I was a kid. Swedish Tea Rings tastes sort of like cinnamon rolls but even better. Like many breads, it’s a make-ahead project that you can either bake the day before or let rise overnight. My mom starts making her Swedish Tea Ring on Christmas Eve. It’s delicious. And I think that Swedish Tea Rings look super pretty and festive, too.

Swedish Tea Ring for Christmas breakfast

A Christmas Breakfast Tradition

This is my mom, the Master Swedish Tea Ring Maker.

My mom making a Swedish Tea Ring for Christmas morning breakfast

And this is her well-worn Swedish Tea Ring recipe card that she makes every year for our Christmas breakfast…

How to make a Swedish Tea Ring - easy recipe for Christmas morning breakfast

…and the back. (Note the super basic frosting recipe, ha! Don’t worry; I’ll show you more details on how to ice and decorate your Swedish Tea Ring for Christmas breakfast.)

How to make a Swedish Tea Ring - easy recipe for Christmas morning breakfast

A Swedish Tea Ring is like a Cinnamon Roll Wreath

This is our annual delicious handmade Swedish Tea Ring tradition that pleases both kids and adults.

Swedish Tea Ring for Christmas breakfast

This make-ahead Christmas breakfast idea rises overnight to bake in the morning, which makes for a super easy and low-stress Christmas morning breakfast. And the smells! There’s nothing like cinnamon and bread smells on Christmas morning. I highly recommend it for your Christmas morning family breakfast tradition!

Christmas breakfast cinnamon roll

A Swedish Tea Ring became an Indiana Christmas staple, and I plan to keep up my mom’s tradition with my own family. Mmm, cinnamon bread. What foods and smells remind you of being home at Christmas?

Swedish Tea Ring for Christmas breakfast

Keep reading to see how to make a Swedish Tea Ring – it’s an easy Christmas breakfast recipe tradition that both kids and adults look forward to each Christmas morning.

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Swedish Tea Ring Recipe for Christmas morning breakfast

Swedish Tea Ring Recipe for Christmas morning breakfast

Norma Beymer for Merriment Design
How to make a Swedish Tea Ring - easy recipe for Christmas morning. It's a tradition in my family, and this is my mom's well-worn recipe.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Breakfast
Servings 1 large or 2 small

Ingredients
  

Tea Ring

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup warm water not hot!
  • 2 packages yeast 4-1/2 teaspoons
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 5 to 5-1/2 cups unsifted flour

Topping:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Melted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup raisins or nuts

Frosting:

  • Powdered sugar and milk
  • Red cherries

Instructions
 

  • Scald milk. Stir in sugar and butter until melted. Cool to lukewarm (tip: be patient and make sure to cool it or you’ll kill the yeast and/or cook the eggs, neither are good).
  • Put water in a large bowl, sprinkle yeast on top. Add milk and mix.
  • Beat 2 eggs and mix in.
  • Add salt and 2 cups of flour.
  • Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining flour one cup at a time.
  • When it begins to form a ball, put it onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
  • Place in a greased bowl, turn over once like so.
  • Cover with a wet towel. Rest 1-1/2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Punch down and roll into a 14″ x 18″ rectangle and brush with melted butter.
  • Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle. Add nuts or raisins (optional).
  • Roll up from one end, bend into a circle and tuck ends together best you can.
  • Snip every inch 2/3 the way and twist open.
  • Lay a towel on top and allow to double in size. We usually let it go overnight but if you live in a warmer climate that may be too long.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Make frosting and top with cherries.

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Ready to make this Swedish Tea Ring recipe? My mom is going to walk you through it step-by-step…

Step 1: Combine scaled milk, sugar, and butter and cool to lukewarm

First, scald 1 cup of milk (here’s why). You basically do this by putting milk into a saucepan and heating it until about 170 degrees or when a skin starts to form on the top. Do not boil the milk – that’s too hot.

How to scald milk

Stir in the sugar and butter until melted.

Adding sugar and butter to milk

Cool the milk/sugar/butter mixture to lukewarm, about 110°F (tip: be patient and make sure to cool it or you’ll kill the yeast and/or cook the eggs, neither are good). Put 1/2 cup lukewarm (not hot) water in a large bowl, sprinkle 2 packages of yeast on top. (NOTE: Be sure to use a large bowl for this step. We did this step in a small bowl and then remembered it should have been in the large bowl, so had to pour it into the large bowl).

Yeast blooming

Step 2: Add milk and eggs to yeast

Add milk to the yeast/water mixture and stir. Beat 2 eggs in a separate bowl.

Beating eggs for a Swedish Tea Ring recipe

And mix the eggs into the milk/yeast/water mixture.

Swedish Tea Ring ingredients in a bowl

Step 3: Add salt and flour and knead

Add salt and 2 cups of flour to the milk/yeast bowl.

Swedish Tea Ring ingredients in a bowl

Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining flour one cup at a time.

Mixing flour for a Swedish Tea Ring in a bowl

When the Swedish Tea Ring dough begins to form a ball like so…

Mixing flour for a Swedish Tea Ring in a bowl

Put the Swedish Tea Ring dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. This is a fun step for kids to help too.

Kneading dough for a Swedish Tea Ring

Place the Swedish Tea Ring dough into a greased bowl, turn over once like so.

Swedish Tea Ring dough rising in a bowl

Cover the Swedish Tea Ring dough with a wet towel. Rest 1-1/2 hours until doubled in size.

Swedish Tea Ring dough rising in a bowl

Step 4: Roll out the dough and form the Swedish Tea Ring

Once the Swedish Tea Ring dough has doubled in size, punch it down once in the middle. This is a fun step. My mom used to let me do this when I was little.

Punching down Swedish Tea Ring dough

Roll the Swedish Tea Ring dough into a 14″ x 18″ rectangle if making one large tea ring, or split the dough into two pieces if you’re making two small rings.

Rolling out Swedish Tea Ring dough

Brush the Swedish Tea Ring dough with melted butter. Leave at least a half inch border on the edges so the dough will stick together when rolled. 

Brushing butter on Swedish Tea Ring dough

Mix the topping – sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle with the sugar. Again, leave a little bit of border on the edges so the dough will stick together when rolled. 

Adding cinnamon sugar to Swedish Tea Ring dough

And then add optional nuts or raisins, really as much or as little as you’d like.

Nuts and cinnamon on Swedish Tea Ring

Roll up the Swedish Tea Ring rectangle from one end.

Rolling Swedish Tea Ring dough for Christmas breakfast

Bend the dough into a circle and tuck ends together best you can.

How to form a Swedish Tea Ring circle

Snip the dough every inch 2/3 the way and twist open. Doesn’t it resemble cinnamon rolls?

Swedish Tea Ring for Christmas breakfast before baking

Swedish Tea Ring for Christmas breakfast before baking

Step 5: Let rise, bake, and decorate the Swedish Tea Ring

Lay a towel on top of the Swedish Tea Ring and allow to double in size. We usually let it go overnight in a cold spot in the house, but if you live in a warmer climate that may be too long — so in warm climates, you can it make ahead by baking it now and re-heating it in the morning.

Bake 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Make frosting and top with cherries, nuts, M&Ms, or your family’s favorite treats.

Swedish Tea Ring for Christmas breakfast

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How do you store a Swedish Tea Ring?

A Swedish Tea Ring is best left at room temperature for up to 3 days (if it lasts that long!) under a cake dome, in an airtight container, or covered with plastic wrap.

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Be sure to pin this Swedish Tea Ring recipe for later:

Swedish Tea Ring for Christmas breakfast

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Ho! Ho! Ho! Here are some more Christmas DIYs and recipe traditions:

Easy DIY cookie packaging in 5 minutes

Easy DIY cooking packaging in 5 minutes

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Festive pot-luck storage containers for cookie exchanges and holiday gatherings

DIY holiday wreath decoration for food storage container lids. You spent all that time baking for holiday parties and Christmas cookie exchanges, so why put your goodies into plain storage containers?

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Personalized printable mitten holiday gift tags

Printable mitten gift tags

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Copyright stuff: You’re more than welcome to use this free recipe for your family and friends. You are not allowed to copy this recipe on your own blog or make for commercial use.

Handmade Christmas cards from recycled magazines #christmascards #diychristmas
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Debbi

Sunday 20th of December 2015

Oh what a surprise it is to see this. You did a beautiful job not only providing the recipe but the pictures are a nice touch. I am part Swedish from my mothers side and this was a family tradition from Sweden dating back to the earliest relatives and a family favorite that my mother made. I am surprising her with this homemade .sedish Tea ring as she is coming for Christmas. Thank you and have a very Merry Christmas.

Kathy Beymer

Sunday 20th of December 2015

Hi Debbie, this is so cool! Thanks for your kind words, and please come back and let me know what you think of the recipe, if it tastes like what you had in Sweden. You can comment here or tag me on instagram (kathybeymer) or facebook (merrimentdesign). Merry Christmas!

Susie

Friday 20th of March 2015

I'm in Indiana too, and my grandmother was from Sweden so this recipe was definitely meant for me. I cant wait to try it-thanks for sharing!

Kathy Beymer

Saturday 21st of March 2015

Hi Susie, that's so cool! Nice to meet a "neighbor" - and enjoy the recipe. It's so yummy!

Susie

Friday 20th of March 2015

I'm in Indiana also and my grandmother was from Sweden so this recipe was definitely meant for me! I cant wait to try it!

Mary

Saturday 27th of December 2014

Well, my mom was French and she ALWAYS made this for Christmas morning and several to give to our neighbors. I think the became very popular with the early 50s edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook. My mom always prided herself in making it look just like the photo in this cookbook.

Pat Wilson

Thursday 11th of December 2014

This recipe looks like the tea ring my mom used to make when I was a kid. I always loved her wonderful Christmas morning breakfasts. Are you suppose to stir in the 2 tsp salt along with the sugar and butter to the scalded milk? Also, is part of the 5 to 5 1/2 cups of flour used to flour the surface for kneading or is this amount used just to make the bread with an additional amount for flouring the surface. As you can see, I am a novice when it comes to making homemade bread. Thank-you for this fabulous recipe.

Becky

Tuesday 27th of December 2016

I lost my mom's cherished tea ring recipe, and this is the closest to it that I can find! Please edit the instructions though-to add the salt! I'm assuming to the milk along with sugar and butter? I ruined my first batch, because I was following the directions and missed the salt! Thanks, though! Love the pictures of the original recipe! I'm going to add pictures of my mom's to my on-line cookbook!

Comments are closed.