Cinnamon Buns
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 14
For the starter:
  • 240ml (or 1 cup) of regular milk
  • 55g (or ¼ of a cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoon active-dry yeast
  • 370g (or 2¾ cup) all-purpose flour
To finish the dough:
  • 25g (or 3 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
For the filling:
  • 60ml (or ¼ cup) water
  • 50g (or ¼ cup) granulated sugar
  • 110g (or ½ cup, packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
For the glaze:
  • 120g (or 1 cup) powdered sugar
  • a few drops of water
  1. First, make the starter. In a medium-sized pan, combine the milk, butter, honey and sugar. Gently heat over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool until the milk mixture is warm and no longer hot. Yeast doesn’t do hot, so a good way to test whether the milk is cool enough, is just dipping your finger in it. If you find it pleasantly warm, yeast will like it too.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the milk mixture and let it ‘bloom’ (aka: get soggy and wet and a little bubbly). Add the flour and stir together with a fork, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1-1,5 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  3. When the dough has almost finished rising, start with the filling. In a small saucepan, combine the water and granulated sugar. Heat over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear. Transfer to a mug and allow to cool. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and the cinnamon.
  4. Finish the dough. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add it to the dough in the pan and knead with your hands to incorporate the dry ingredients into the dough. If you have the time (and patience) allow the dough to rest in the fridge for about 1 hour. This will make rolling and shaping so much easier. You can even leave the dough to sit in the fridge overnight!
  5. Cover the countertop with baking parchment and lightly dust the parchment paper with flour. Using your hands, briefly knead the dough and place it on the countertop. Dust with more flour and press down into a rough rectangle shape. Dust a rolling pin with flour and roll the dough into a rough rectangle, about 50×20 cm (or 20×8 inches) and about 0,5-cm (or one-fifth of an inch) thick.
  6. Using a pastry brush, brush the dough generously with the syrup you made earlier. Sprinkle on the cinnamon mixture.
  7. Starting at the opposite end, roll the dough towards you, forming a tight roll. Place the roll seam side down on a chopping board and, using a sharp knife, first cut off a 4-cm (or 1½-inch) slice of one end of the dough roll. I usually just discard this bit, because it won't really bake into a decent bun.
  8. Next, cut 14 3-cm (or a little over 1-inch) thick slices. Place the slices cut-side down and about 1-inch apart into two buttered 18-cm (or 7-inch) round oven pans, cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for another 30-60 minutes, or until the rolls have doubled in size. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 180°C or 375°F (standard oven setting).
  9. Once the buns have risen nicely, brush the tops of the buns with a little more syrup and bake them for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little while you stir up the glaze.
  10. In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and a few drops of water until you have a thick but pourable glaze. If the glaze is too thick, just add a few more drops of water. If it's too thin, just add more powdered sugar.
  11. Drizzle the glaze on top of the warm buns and serve immediately or allow the buns to cool to room temperature and the glaze to set before serving. Enjoy!
Always allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size, regardless of how long it should take according to the recipe. It may not take as long, or it may take longer, depending on the temperature of the room the dough is left the rise in. I usually place rising dough on an electric blanket, but any cosy, warm place will do.
Recipe by The Tough Cookie at