Baking weekend: cinnamon buns

Rob has informed me that the way to his heart is not through his stomach.
Despite this nugget of important information, which tactfully suggests that six dozen cookies as a Valentine's gift might have been slightly overkill, this past weekend he did confess that he's had a craving for the cinnamon buns I made ages ago. Wits and beauty are all good things, but call me traditional - I believe in the power of baking. And it must have worked on some level, as we spent a lazy Monday in the kitchen cooking together.

These rolls are a powerhouse recipe, a deceptively easy effort for the reward of a properly doughy biscuit with a heady cinnamon aroma and lick-your-fingers-good sugary filling. They're acceptable enough for breakfast yet decadent enough for dessert. I've had the recipe for some years now, and never had someone not like them.
Truly, love at first bite.

from an old Cook's Illustrated magazine

3/4 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon (use the best you can find. it's worth it.)
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp salt

1-2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 c flour plus additional for work area
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c buttermilk, at room temperature
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
2 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp buttermilk
1 c powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 425 F. Pour 1 Tbsp melted butter in 9-inch nonstick cake pan; brush to coat pan (I recommend using a silicone pan for easier cleanup, but any nonstick will work).
To make filling: combine sugars, spices and salt in medium bowl. Add 1 Tbsp melted butter to start and stir with fork or fingers until mixture resemebles wet sand, adding the additional butter if necessary.
To make biscuit dough: Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk and 2 Tbsp melted butter in measuring cup; whisk in vanilla if using. Add liquid to dry ingredients and stir with wooden spoon until liquid is absorbed and the dough starts coming together in a shaggy ball. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead until just smooth and no longer shaggy.
Pat and roll dough into 12x9 -inch rectangle. Brush dough with 2 Tbsp melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with filling, leaving 1/2 inch border of plain dough around edges. Press filling firmly into dough. Starting on long side, roll dough, pressing lightly, to form a tight log. Pinch seam to seal. Roll log seam-side down and cut evenly into eight pieces. With hand, slightly flatten each piece of dough to seal open edges and keep filling in place. Place one roll in center of prepared pan , then place remaining seven rolls around perimeter of pan. Brush with remaining 2 Tbsp melted butter.
Bake until edges are golden brown, 23-25 minutes. Use offset spatula to loosen buns from pan without separating. Place a large plate carefully over top of pan and using potholders invert pan onto plate. Using a second large plate and potholders, carefully invert rolls again to be face-up. Cool about 5 minutes before icing.
While buns are cooling, whisk together cream cheese and buttermilk in large nonreactive bowl until thick and smooth. Sift powdered sugar over; whisk until smooth glaze forms. Smear over buns with an icing spatula or for a traditional bakery look, drizzle glaze over buns using a large slotted spoon. Serve immediately.

Yield: 8 buns.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is a nonreactive bowl?

I'm definitely making these this weekend if I can find out!


11:04 AM  
Blogger melinda said...

you are too cute! i love your food blog - you're a great writer by the way :)

4:06 PM  
Blogger emily said...

A nonreactive bowl will just be one that won't interact with the acidity of the buttermilk - I usually use a glass or plastic one, but stainless steel is ok too - just no aluminum or anything like that. It will affect the flavor.
Happy baking!

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info on the bowl. I'll let you know how it turns out. The only reason I am anonymous is because I don't have a blogger ID...no blog.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8:23 PM  
Blogger sherlyn said...


am searching for recipe to use up my expiring cinnamon powder and chance upon yours.

If I do post the buns i bake in my blog, will i be able to put a link to yours for the recipe to share with those reading my blog?

Please advise.


12:26 PM  
Blogger 盛豐 said...


6:22 AM  
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8:48 AM  

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