I loved cinnamon buns as a child—they were a rare treat from the donut shop or grocery store. In high school, while working in the local shopping mall, during the break of my shift I used to reward myself with Cinnabon’s 900-calorie cinnamon bun. These were extra-large, warm, and super cinnamon-y rolls like no others I had experienced.
I haven’t eaten at a Cinnabon in decades, but my passion for these treats never abated. Last year my friend Liz shared an easy cinnamon bun recipe that requires no yeast. It is healthier than traditional recipes that call for much more sugar and butter. This version is an adaptation of Liz’s recipe.
Makes 9 buns
Makes 9 buns
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (reduced fat is acceptable)
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cream cheese (reduced fat is acceptable), room temperature
2 tablespoons buttermilk
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Spray an 8 or 9-inch square or circle pan (metal, glass, or ceramic) with vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix the filling ingredients together. Set aside.
3. For the dough, in another small bowl melt 2 tablespoons of butter and cool. Then add buttermilk and set aside. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid has been absorbed. Gently knead to incorporate remaining flour.
4. On a well-floured surface (such as a baking sheet, which will contain the mess), continue to knead the dough for 1 minute. Pat the dough into a 12 x 9 inch rectangle.
5. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and use your fingers to spread it on the dough. Spoon the filling evenly across the dough leaving a 1/2-inch border. Use your fingers to firmly press the filling into the dough.
6. Roll the dough along its long edge, pressing firmly to form a tight log. Pinch the edge to seal.
7. Use dental floss to cut the log into thirds; then further cut each piece into thirds. To do this, slide the floss under the log and cross the ends to cut through the dough.
8. Place each roll sideways into the pan (see photo below). Pinch the ends if needed and gently press to flatten and adhere the filling to the dough.
9. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until the buns are lightly browned.
10. While the buns are baking, in a medium sized bowl make the glaze by mixing the cream cheese and buttermilk. Slowly add the powdered sugar until the glaze is smooth. Set aside.
11. Once the buns have baked, cool for five minutes and then spoon on the glaze. Serve immediately from the pan or transfer to a platter.