Cinnamon Rolls

I think my children love me just a little bit more now that I have baked these. The buns are made with brioche dough and layered with cinnamon sugar and just a touch of zest, whats not to love? You can add more to the mix, like nuts, raisins, a dash of cardamom, or just leave them simple. The cream cheese icing is the crowning glory and makes these breakfast treats completely addictive. I ended up making two batches this weekend, because of the demand and how easy they are to throw together.

In this recipe I have only made 4 rather large buns, but feel free to double or triple the batch.

Cinnamon Buns:

1 pound Brioche dough (page 300 of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day)

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

2 tablespoon butter, melted

Cream Cheese Icing:

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon orange zest

Here is the secret to getting the right texture for the buns. You need to fold the dough over a few times and get that gluten all linked up and excited. This happens naturally with the master recipe, but all the butter in the brioche can stand in the way, so we need to give it a little help. Just 3 or 4 turns will do the trick, an extra 30 seconds of work will make all the difference.

Now that we have the gluten all excited and bunched up we need to give it a rest or it will be impossible to roll out. This may take 15-20 minutes. If your kitchen is warmer, it may go faster.

Once the dough is ready, roll it to 1/4-inch thick rectangle.

Brush the melted butter onto the entire surface.

In a small bowl mix together the sugars, cinnamon and zest. Spread the mixture over the butter topped dough. Use your hands to make sure you have an even coat of the sugar.

Roll the dough up, starting at the short end.

Use a Bread Knife, Kitchen Scissors or floss to cut the log into 4 equal pieces.

Set the buns on a parchment lined Sheet Pan or in a buttered baking dish. Give them about 1 1/2 to 2-inches between them. It is ok if they rise together in the oven.

Loosely cover the buns and let them rest between 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The long rest will insure that you have a fluffy bun.(You can set these up the night before and let them rest overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning take them out and let them sit on the counter for about 45 minutes to an hour.) You may get away with slightly shorter rise, but the buns will not be quite as soft.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, just until the centers are set when poked with your finger.

They should be caramel colored. Let them cool for about 10 minutes.

Mix together the ingredients for the icing and spread over the warm buns. Enjoy!

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153 thoughts on “Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Hi Zoe and Jeff,

    I was really excited to make your Cinnamon Rolls with the Brioche recipe but I think I may have done a couple things wrong. I made only half of the recipe (enough for 2 1lb loaves) but I also used King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour. I let the dough rise the first time for 2 hours the recipe said and then refridgerated for 2 days. Once I did all the butter, cinnamon, sugar roll up and cutting part, I let the rolls rise for another hour. I baked them for 30 minutes. They looked and smelled delicious but when we tried them, they had a weird aftertaste. What did I do wrong? Wrong amount of whole wheat flour? Too short of a cooking time? Any help to fix this would be wonderful because my poor kids (and me of course) really wanted to eat them today but they tasted too yucky. Thanks for your help and the other doughs I’ve tried were great (challah and boule). :)

      • Jill: First off, you can’t just swap out WWW for AP; they don’t measure the same and don’t absorb the same amount of water. And of course, the flavor’s totally different– and you’re saying the flavor’s not what you expected. Which of our brioche recipes are you using so we can help you figure out next step (which book, page number)?

        If it’s a yeast smell, try a lower-yeast version, like 1 tablespoon, or even less (but don’t let eggy doughs sit at room temp for longer than 2 hours; into the fridge for the rest of the rise). That may be what you’re perceiving, see http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2007/12/19/low-yeast-version-of-our-master-recipe Only difference, again, is that slower/longer rise needs to be managed a little more carefully when you’re dealing with eggs.

  2. I am so amazed at your quick response! Thank you! I used the recipe in your Artisan Bread book on page 187. I think you’re right that it may be a combination of both the flour and that I let the eggy dough stay out for awhile. I remember seeing something now that gave ratios for all the different kinds of flours if you were going to change them out but I can’t remember where I saw it (the book or on the website). Thanks Jeff. I will try again adjusting these things and let you know how it goes!

  3. I have made these Cinnamon Buns numerous times with the Brioche recipe – AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing!

    I was wondering what you might think about freezing these buns pre-made?

    • Casey: You can, but wrap them well, or find an airtight container. It’s OK, but don’t expect them to be as sublime as the fresh version– try to avoid using the microwave to re-heat…

  4. I cannot get the Gluten Free Brioche dough to turn out…it always comes out runny and I end up throwing the paste away. I need help!…by the way I have to use rice milk instead of dairy milk… do I need to adjust the amount of liquid? or should I substitute the oil for a solid shortening/margarine? Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  5. Which is preferred: the cinnamon rolls as these buns or as the crescent rolls? I have made these ones multiple times but I was thinking of switching to the crescent rolls from ABin5 to mix it up a little. I would plan on using the same sugars-cinnamon-orange zest filling and orange cream cheese frosting. Thoughts?

    • Seth: The crescents have a little more crust as opposed to chewy center, because the tips expose the dough with more surface area. Depends on what you’re looking for? Try it, just for the change.

  6. I have made these several times with the whole wheat brioche recipe in your Healthy Breads book. They come out wonderful! Love the heartier texture. I actually prefer it to the AP version. Delicious!

  7. I love this recipe so much! I have made it several times without fail. I love to bake and have made many cinnamon buns but my family loves this recipe. I have now purchased the book and look forward to trying some of the other recipes.

  8. We loved the brioche swirl buns with chocolate ganache, we are so hooked! Will try this one next. Btw, I just received Healthy Bread in 5 min a day, still can’t believe how easy it is to bake fresh bread. Thanks!

  9. You guys saved me! I totally forgot that I was supposed to bring something to the Mardi Gras lunch today, when I realized I had a full recipe of dough in the fridge. These cinnamon rolls were a huge hit. After I frosted them, I sprinkled them with purple, green and yellow sugar. Thank you!

  10. I am using the whole wheat brioche dough and am wondering what the rise time on these would be. Should i try to go longer than 2 hours? Also will the baking instruction 350 degrees for 25 min stay the same?

      • Thanks Jeff and Zoe love all your books, I let them rise for about 3 hours didn’t rise much in the pan but I baked them and they came up big, fluffy, and light. I think I like them better with the whole wheat brioche than the regular. Yay for healthier cinnamon rolls!

      • I’m away from the books at the moment, but I’m remembering that the ABin5 brioche doesn’t have whole grain, don’t have that in that book…

  11. hi i really like ur recipes although i have yet to try them.
    i was wondering if ur recipes will b the same for a humid climate or during the monsoons ?
    also can we freeze prechaped cinnamon rolls in the freezer?

    • Probably can use a shorter rest time in the heat, and probably don’t have to cover even with a longer rest time. Yes, can freeze pre-shaped rolls…

  12. Love these!!!! I know for sure that my girls and hubby love me a little more when I make them. And I would much rather give them these as a special treat than any other cinnamon roll!

  13. I have mastered your basic bread recipe so now onto brioche. I want to make your sticky pecan rolls and cinnamon rolls.
    Thank you for all your generosity of posting and helping so many of us. Learning how to bake bread and now rolls was on my bucket list. Thank you for helping me check them off.

  14. I’m curious if these can be made with the challa dough instead of the brioche dough? Unfortunately, the brioche dough is a little rich for me to stomach (I know, I’m weird), but I wanted to make these for some guests that are coming in a few days. Thanks!!

  15. So I made these this morning (formed them last night) and they were incredible! Exactly what a cinnamon roll should be. They didn’t rise much overnight in the fridge, nor while they were resting, but they sure rose in the oven! I used the challa dough and my grandma’s icing recipe (I don’t like cream cheese frosting), and everyone gobbled them up. Thanks for an easy, stress-free cinnamon roll recipe, my husband is eternally grateful!!

  16. I’m trying your method for the first time, and am very excited about it. But I’ve just finished mixing the Gluten Free Brioche from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes and I was wondering if there might be a typo. 2.5 cups of milk seems like a lot. My dough is very, VERY wet. Almost more like batter than dough. Is that normal? I double checked all the measurements, and am pretty sure that I made no errors there. Any advice?

    • Andrea- did you swap any ingredients? Did you use Xanthan Gum? If no changes, what brands of flours did you use? These were tested with Bob’s Red Mill; other brands sometimes require liquid adjustments. Bu the 2.5 c of milk is correct. GF doughs are very wet by design.

  17. I love your books and recipes. I have been wishing you would develop a good White Whole Wheat Belgian Yeast Waffle recipe using your style of dough. I made them once with the Soft Whole Wheat dough from Healthy Bread and though they were good they were a lot heavier than other waffles I have made. I keep checking back on this site to see if you guys have started making yeast waffle yet.

  18. Hi Zoe,

    I’ve made these cinnamon rolls several times and they’re great, but I was wondering if you had any tips for the proper way to roll up cinnamon rolls (or other filled rolls) tightly? Sometimes, even though I try to roll up the dough tightly, my rolls end up with gaps after they’re baked — they’re not as cohensive as I’d like. Are there any tricks of the trade I should know?

    Thanks!
    Ingrid

    • I’ve found that you need to pull it gently toward you as you roll, so there’s always some tension on the sheet of dough, that’s the key. Don’t worry about overhandling in this situation– I bet you’re just being a little too gentle.

  19. I am new to using your recipes but I have made the HB5 master recipe a few times, and tried a couple of others all with great results. I am currently trying to make the whole wheat brioche for these cinnamon rolls. However my dough has come out VERY dry. I am halving the recipe, but I feel like I have done my measurements accurately. I have a daughter who is severely allergic to eggs, so I am using flax eggs instead. Otherwise I am following the directions exactly. Using King Arthur flours, if it matters.
    Once I mixed the ingredients the dough was not even coming together in a ball, it was crumbly. If I were making regular kneaded bread I probably could bring it together in that process, but I am used to your recipes being much wetter. The recipe even states that it would be loose but firm up after refrigeration, so I feared something was wrong. I added probably 3/4 cup more water so that now I have a slightly sticky dough ball…but it still is not ‘loose’. Should I continue to add water? Is it too late? (It has only been resting for 5 min at the time of this post). Any advice on what to do now is greatly appreciated.

      • After further searching on your site I found the error in printing, 2 1/4 cups of vital wheat gluten insted of 1/4 cup, that was totally my problem. By the time I found that, I had already formed my cinnamon rolls (after rolling till I thought my arms would fall off!) So I went ahead and baked them. The texture is totally wrong, more like a bagel with some cinnamon and icing, but they don’t taste bad, and my kids are scarfing them up! I will make them again without the extra 2 cups of gluten! I was thinking, while making the dough, that I am going to go through A LOT of gluten at this rate!

  20. I have some brioche dough in the fridge now…I made the sticky pecan carmel buns in the AB5 … the first sweet dough I have ever tackled…. dee-licious is n under statement…I have all your books except for the last one…I am gaining more confidence with every atch of dough I mAke…thank you both for your imparting to the home baker wannaB’s lie myself with this wonderful skills and knowedge…my family is reaping the benefits and loving it!

    FYI….since studying many books, articles and comments I have found that the “bo-weavels” as I call them, (litlle critters that show up in everything from flour to pancake & biscuit mixes) can be stopped from developing by placing the flour, meal or any grain in the freezer for 3 days….it seems under specific conditions they develop (humidity & temp) but low temps disrupt this and no more worry of flour going bad!

  21. Oh wow! For a couple years now I have been making cinnamon rolls (and apricot and cherry danish) using a recipe from the fabulous Ree Drummond/Pioneer woman (love her), but these cinnamon rolls from your brioche recipe are SOOO much better– and less work, too; how is that possible? This brioche dough is gorgeous — all that butter and eggs. Made two batches today. The rolls are so scrumptious that you don’t even need the cream cheese frosting, and I am normally an “extra frosting” girl. (I’ll just eat the frosting out of the bowl with a spoon, ha!)

    I am absolutely delighted and telling all my friends about your book and recipes. I love that I can make just one or two rolls or a whole panful or three loaves of bread, as desired, no waste. And you (and the commenters here) have provided me with a much better understanding of how yeast doughs function and perform.

  22. I’m going to try to make these with the boule master recipe dough, as I have a family member who can’t have eggs and the pecan sticky buns are out due to the nuts. Anything you think I should do differently from this recipe? Looks to me like I would do everything the same way, just use master recipe dough instead of brioche dough, but I’m still a relative ABin5 newbie. Oh, also, I’ll be prepping them the night before, refrigerating overnight, then rising and baking in the morning. Thanks so much!

  23. Just to say I made the pecan rolls with the brioche dough and they were the best I ever tasted, including from some very high end, very expensive bakeries! I am now known as Grandma Bread in my family and want to thank you for giving me this quick, simple way to make good, healthy inexpensive bread for my whole famiy, as well as the special treats.

  24. Shalom, Zoe and Jeff!
    I am making cinnamon buns for the first time, and I mixed the whole recipe dough, but I’d like to freeze half of it for later use. Should I do it after initial rise?

    Thanks!

      • Thanks! I made the buns and they are delicious! I used to make cinnamon rolls many years ago, but since I came to Israel nothing seem to bake right. I understood from your instructions that I used to overbake them. Now I know!!

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