Classic Cinnamon Buns are the best because they double as a dessert and a breakfast. I said it, but we have all been treating it that way. It's all good if you eat these pillows of deliciousness anytime because all they are is a regular dough with a bit of brown sugar, cinnamon and butter in the middle. What makes my cinnamon buns different than most recipes, is that I make a paste of this butter-sugar-cinnamon in the middle rather than sprinkling it on. This creates an even distribution of the flavours and it's just better ok.
So, What do you need to make Classic Cinnamon Buns?
- White Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- Brown Sugar
The Gist of It:
- Make the dough
- Let the dough rise
- Roll the dough out into a rectangle
- Spread filling onto dough
- Tightly roll up into a log
- slice into 12 with a serrated knife
- place in a greased dish
- RISE AGAIN
The Window Pane Test:
Whenever making a yeasted gluten dough there is a step to knead the dough, before letting it rise. The purpose of kneading the dough is to work the gluten in the flour so that it becomes elastic. There are two ways to achieve this: time and movement. When you knead the dough enough it will be able to stretch when pulled, without breaking! if you can stretch it enough to see the light through it (as pictured below) you have kneaded it enough! You can knead the dough with the dough hook of your electric stand mixer (on the lowest setting) or with your hands on a counter top (by pushing the dough away from yourself then pulling it back and repeating. No matter which way you choose to do it you will look for the same result, a stretchy dough that passes the window pane test.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cinnamon Buns
A general rule of thumb is to let dough rise until doubled in size. You can also poke it with your finger about ½" and if the indentation remains, its good to go to the next step.
I am pretty sure 99% of the cinnamon buns in the world are underbaked. If you want to ensure your buns are baked enough, bake for the time the recipe calls for and then at the end place a thermometer into one of the cinnamon buns near the center of the pan. If it reads 190°F or higher then they are done!
Yes. Do all the steps up to forming them and placing them in the pan. Cover the formed buns in the pan covered in saran wrap in the fridge overnight. The buns will pause at this step overnight and then continue to rise in the morning when they come to room temperature. The second rise takes longer as the yeast is slow from being chilled. Give it time, it will come alive again. I would honestly just make these as written instead of putting them in the fridge overnight. If you want a soft warm cinnamon bun in the morning toss it in the microwave for 30 seconds before eating it.
Absolutely. You can use bread flour if you like. I am a firm believer in all-purpose as it produces good enough bread on its own. But if you ever want extra fluffy bread, use bread flour! The reason for this is because bread flour has a higher protein which allows for stronger gluten development. Stronger gluten means that the bread is strong enough to maintain the big shape it got rising while it bakes and traps the air bubbles inside. It's all about protein, baby. Farmers are paid based on the protein of their wheat! Now you know 🙂
If you are comfortable with your bread machine and you KNOW that it produces good bread then go for it. In my experience, a lot of bread machines just don't knead bread long enough to produce good gluten formation. However, there are many machines that do a wonderful job so you be the judge on if your specific machine is good enough or not. Follow the recipe but add the ingredients as per the instructions of your machine. Use the dough setting and then continue the recipe as written after the dough has done its first rise.
Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
If you would like to top these buns with cream cheese frosting, try this one! Its simple to make with the added step of browning the butter which gives the icing a depth of flavour that is not normally found with regular cream cheese frosting.
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Brick Cream Cheese, softened (8oz or 250 grams)
- 2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- Make the Brown Butter: In a thick-bottomed saucepan or skillet on medium heat: melt the butter. Once butter is melted, stir continuously, the butter will foam up and the butter solids will start to toast and brown up. The butter will start to have a nutty aroma. At this point, you are done and can remove the butter from the stove and into the fridge to chill the butter. Chill for one hour to firm up. Note: You can make this icing without browning the butter but if you've ever had browned butter then you will know that it's totally worth the effort.
- Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer: Blend the Cream Cheese and Firmed Brown Butter together. Add in Sugar. Blend. Add in Vanilla and Salt. Whip to Combine and you're all done - easy hey?!
If you have leftover frosting, make Carrot Cake Cupcakes next! They use this same icing.
More Easy Recipes
Classic Cinnamon Buns
- ¾ Cup Warm Milk 110°F or 40°C
- 2¼ Teaspoon Instant Yeast
- ¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
- Egg Yolk
- ¼ Cup Salted Butter
- 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
- ¾ Teaspoon Salt
- ⅔ Cup Brown Sugar
- 1½ Tablespoons Cinnamon
- ¼ Cup Salted Butter
Make the Dough
- To make the dough, first warm the milk, this is a really important step! Using milk instead of water will yield a richer dough but you must get it warm enough to make the yeast come to the party but not too hot as the yeast hates that too. Microwave the milk in 30 second increments stirring in between each time until the milk is warm. 110°F or 45°C use a thermometer if you have one!
- In the bowl of your mixer or a regular bowl if doing by hand, add the milk, yeast and sugar. Wait 5 minutes to make sure your yeast is good. You will know its good when it bubbles up and is foamy.
- Now add in the egg and egg yolk, the butter and salt.
- Add in the flour, one cup at a time. If you are using a mixer then keep it on the low setting with the dough hook for the entire process.
- Once the dough has formed a ball, let it knead for 8-10 minutes in the machine or do it by hand on the counter. Do this until the dough passes the window pane test. See above.
- Place dough in an oiled boil and cover with a clean kitchen towel or saran wrap. Set in a draft free location and let it rise until it has doubled in size. At room temperature this typically take 1 hour.
- Once risen enough, Punch the dough down.
- Place onto the counter and roll into a large rectangle about 20" x 14"
Mix the Filling
- Combine the cinnamon, butter and brown sugar in a bowl. Note: If you like a really gooey cinnamon bun DOUBLE the filling.
Assemble the Buns
- using a rubber spatula apply the filling evenly across the entire dough surface leaving a 1-2" boarder around the long edges.
- Roll into a log. Pinch the long edge to the roll to close it.
- Cut into 12 equal sized pieces
- Place in a greased 9x13" baking dish.
- Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise again until doubled in size (about 30 minutes)
- In a preheated oven set to 375°F Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes or until a bun in the center of the dish reaches 190°F