cinnamon buns

My son loves loves loves anything cinnamon including candies, cookies (Snickerdoodles), coffee cake, muffins, cinnamon sugar sprinkled on his toast, over vanilla ice cream, on top of cupcakes, even a little cinnamon sprinkled into saffron rice (delish), or the leftover scraps of pie crust rolled spread with a little butter dusted with cinnamon sugar and baked off in little pin wheels. His most favorite cinnamon food form is the cinnamon bun. Whenever I pass a bakery that has a specially tasty looking cinnamon bun I snap it up for Nick.

With my daughter off to college I’m no longer cooking for 2 kids and looking to make the food flavor compromise by trying to make 1 thing they will both like, so I decided to try my hand at a “just” Nick favorite, and that had to be cinnamon buns.

I was a little doubtful, a little hopeful, a little nervous at the outcome because I have very little experience with raised doughs and breads (I’m a better cookie cook), but wowie this was fun and easy-a few more steps than cookies but pretty straightforward and easy to do, and once you get a feel for the dough and how it bakes, there’s no end to the stuff you can dump into the mix….. I’m going to try cinnamon raisin bread next (also a big favorite of my sister, hope to make her homemade cinn/rais bread for x-mas morning) I’ll let you know how I’m getting on, but for now here’s a nice, tasty, easy cinnamon bun, make them even if it’s to have the house smell like heaven, hot fresh baked sweet bread with the added scent of cinnamon sugar, oooh baby !

Maria’s Cinnamon Buns

For the dough


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 packets active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup butter softened, extra for greasing
  • 1 cup very warm milk, almost hot but careful not to bring to boil
  • 1 large egg

For the filling:


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts*
  • 1/4 cup raisins*
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter

* nuts and raisins are optional, some kids just don’t like ‘em

For the glaze…also optional:


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk


To make the dough:

In a large mixing bowl, mix together with a spoon 2 cups of the flour, all of the sugar, salt, and yeast.

Using an electric mixer on low add warm milk, then butter, then egg, scraping bowl frequently to make sure it is all combined, then turn mixer to medium speed for another minute and continue scraping bowl.

Add the remaining cup of flour and stir together with a spoon. Make sure dough is easy to handle and doesn’t stick to fingers when touched.  If it gets too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour at a time mixing it into the dough with your hands until the dough can easily be handled and does not cling to your fingers when you pick it up.

Turn the dough onto a very lightly floured surface or onto parchment or waxed paper(I use parchment) and knead for 3-4 minutes, until dough is really smooth and elastic.

Take another large mixing bowl and grease bottom and sides with 2-3 tablespoons softened butter. Place dough in bowl and then turn over so greased side is up. Cover with cloth or paper towel and let rise in a warm dry place for 2 hours, or until dough doubles in size ( in my kitchen it took 1 hr 45min), while dough is rising make the filling and glaze.

To make filling:

Mix the cinnamon into the sugar to make cinnamon sugar, set aside. Very very finely mince the walnuts and raisins together(I used a mini chopper), set aside. 3 tablespoons of softened butter is also to be set aside.

To make the glaze:

Stir together with a small whisk sugar, butter, vanilla, milk, set aside. You may want to add a touch more sugar to thicken, but wait until rolls are baked to decide.

Back to the dough:

I have a trick I use when I need to roll out a large rectangle, I take a large cookie sheet(about 15 x10), turn it up-side down, cover area with parchment paper or waxed paper.  I use the paper instead of more flour because I think adding more flour changes texture and taste of any dough, but then again I’m not that experienced so if you can effectively lightly flour a surface without it looking like a snow storm in your kitchen, hat’s off to you. Anyway back to the rectangle-take your dough and punch it down a little with your fist and shape into a small rectangle with your hands. Place in the middle of the cookie sheet bottom and roll out from center keeping rectangle shape to the edges of the cookie sheet.


Preheat the oven to 350degrees F.

Take the 3 tablespoons butter you have set aside from the filling ingredients and spread over dough, sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over dough, and walnut-raisin mix evenly over dough.

Begin rolling up dough tightly-roll the long side, you do not have to be gentle, roll tightly and pinch ends and push into roll as you go as this will seal the ends. When rolled up really pinch dough’s final edge into roll to completely seal, or rolls will unroll or un-spiral when cooking.  Cut into 1-inch slices. You will get 12-15 rolls.

Place rolls 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Cover and let stand for 1/2 an hour.  They will double in size.

Bake in 350 oven, on the center rack for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown. Enjoy the aromas!

Cool rolls slightly on wire rack and drizzle with the optional glaze.  It’s best to eat these warm.


I played with this a bit and found that you can bake as you need, but you must let rolls double in size then you can refrigerate for 3-4 days and bake a couple fresh and warm when you want, but they are best when made fresh and eaten same day.

10 Responses to “cinnamon buns”

  1. Laura says:

    How much salt do we use for the dough? The instructions say salt but it isnt listed in the ingredients. Thanks!

  2. Paula says:

    Right im gonna try to make these as a pre-trial for the run up to Xmas!!!! if they work with the family they be perfect to go on goody table on the holidays!!xxx

  3. Danielle says:

    How much yeast is in 1 packet? I can only buy this in jars in New Zealand and REALLY want to make these!
    TIA :o)

  4. These cinnamon buns sound really good. They remind me of something I had growing up – caramel nut rolls. I’m sure there was cinnamon in those too. They were out of a package, but let me tell you, they were GOOD! Whenever my mom made those for breakfast, I knew it was going to be a great day!

  5. Jackie says:

    I have tried many recipes from this blog as well as Rachael’s website and magazine and have had wonderful results. So after reading over this recipe and looking at the picture, I thought “I can do this”! I was ok with the time and skill involved (I make pierogies & sausage, etc. from scratch) and feel that my baking skills are above average as well. So I went ahead with this recipe with high hopes of adding it to my list of favorites. What a disappointment :( After 25 minutes in the oven they were over done, and the taste was only average at most. I feel that I can get as good, if not better from Pillsbury. At least I can save the time and spend it with my family! If you have gotten better results, I congratulate you, but I will not be trying this one again.

  6. Ashley says:

    This defiantly will be a challenge because I have never made dough from scratch always wanted to try it though. This recipe sounds very yummy and cant wait to bake them for my boyfriend! Thanks Maria!

  7. Karyn says:

    I’ve got this on my list to try for Christmas morning. We always have cinnamon rolls for Santa’s arrival, but with Pillsbury rolls, they contain trans fats, a big no-no with my extended family. If I can find a home made recipe just as yummy, I will have saved Christmas!! I’ll post back with my results! Thanks Maria – you are the best!

  8. kim says:

    Maria just love your recipes and stories…Cant wait to try these cinnamon buns. Being a mother of two teenage boys and a four year old daughter…I understand how difficult it is to find something everybody loves…I am so pleased to say that this recipe warmed childrens hearts and bellies. EVERYONE was happy…Thank you, keep them coming…Can’t wait to try more.

  9. kim says:

    oops meant to say couldn’t wait to try those cinnamon buns.

  10. John B. says:

    OMG with a cold glass of milk these were perfect. You have a winner, but I guess you already knew that. Thank you for the great recipe, I will pass this on to all family members.

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