If only every winter morning could start with the sweet whiff of freshly baked cinnamon buns right out of the oven… Well I can comfort myself with the thought that I’ve eaten two or more of these magic buns at breakfast time on at least one winter morning. A swirl of soft buttery bread with a generous filling of cinnamon sugar, slathered with some cream cheese fondant if you want to offset the sweetness, there is nothing you cannot like in a cinnamon bun unless you are not in your right mind. I should warn you that it does have the potential of making you go raving mad after itself though. Yeah, seriously, it is that good!

The recipe is a no-fail one from my beloved baking group, the Daring Bakers, for whom it was set as the September 2007 Challenge. Hosted by Marce from Pip in the City who chose her recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart, these buns are so easy to put together that you’d be sorely tempted to bake them every other day. It’s only the idea of what the enormous amounts of butter and sugar would do to the already enormous me that safely keeps me away from such folly. But if you are brave or foolhardy enough, do go for those over-the-top sticky buns that she provides as an alternative recipe alongside the cinnamon buns or just swap chocolate chips, chopped nuts and luxury dried fruit mix for the regular cinnamon sugar before you finish off with the traditional white fondant glaze.



6 1/2 tablespoons (3.25 ounces) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

5 1/2 tablespoons (2.75 ounces) unsalted butter or margarine

1 large egg, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon lemon extract or 1 teaspoon grated zest of 1 lemon

3 1/2 cups (16 ounces) unbleached bread or all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons instant yeast

3 tablespoons powdered milk and 1 cup water

6 1/2 tablespoons sugar plus 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  • Cream together the sugar, salt, milk and butter on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment.
  • Whip in the egg and lemon extract/zest until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast, and water.

  • Mix on low speed (or stir by hand) until the dough forms a ball. Switch to dough hook and increase speed to medium.
  • Mix for approx 10 minutes (or knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes) until dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky.

  • You may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture. Lightly oil a large bowl.
  • Transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

  • Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
  • Mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin.

  • Lightly flour the top to keep it from sticking to the pin. Roll into a rectangle about 14 inches x 12 inches for larger buns.
  • For smaller buns, the rectangle should be about 18 inches x 9 inches, with a thickness of at least 2/3 inch..

  • Do not roll out the dough too thin, or the finished buns will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump.
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough and roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log.

  • With the seam side down, cut the dough into 8 to 12 pieces each about 1 3/4 inches thick for larger buns.
  • For smaller buns, cut into 12 to 16 pieces each 1 1/4 inch thick. Line 1 or more sheet pans with baking parchment.

  • Place buns approx 1/2 inch apart so that they are not touching. Proof at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes.
  • The pieces will have nearly doubled in size. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) with the oven rack in the middle shelf.

  • Bake the cinnamon buns for 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool the buns in the pan for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the buns from the pans and place them on a cooling rack. Yields 8-12 large buns or 12-16 small ones.

Gorgeous Spirals of Sugary Yumness!