cinnamon buns

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's Saturday. I know I should be out enjoying the sunshine, washing my hair and/or making an appetizer for tonight, but I really need to tell you something.

It's about Sunday, you know tomorrow. Maybe you usually make a fancy breakfast for your loved ones, by loved ones I mean cats. Maybe you go to church, maybe you don't, whatever the case is, you need to start thinking about Sunday breakfast NOW.

Everyone knows the best breakfasts start the day before, unless we're talking pancakes, that's a whole other post.  Best breakfasts = cinnamon buns. Not just any cinnamon buns, ones with cream cheese rolled into the dough. You read that correctly, there is cream cheese spread inside the dough and then you roll it out.

Mind blowing.

Cinnamon buns and I have never had the best reputation. Every time I've tried to make them, I fail. They don't rise properly or they aren't spicy enough or they're tough, so I gave up.

Until I ran across these. I've seen them on Pinterest and my crazy, pregnant stomach brain told me I needed to have them.

Who cares if it's 32 degrees today, you need cinnamon buns.

It was so worth it. They are fluffy, chewy, you can taste the cream cheese in the dough, it's almost like it melts into the dough making them even more tender. The filling is sweet, but not too sweet and has to perfect amount of spice, all topped with a dead simple icing. Gooey, sloppy, messy, deliciousness.

I would now like you to go and put some buns in your oven. Your welcome.

Cream cheese cinnamon rolls
[ adapted from Shutterbean ]


1 package active dry yeast ( 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon plus 1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature


1/2 white sugar
1/4 brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons maple syrup
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons melted butter


2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the dough, combine yeast, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, and 1/4 water, heated to 115 degrees in the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir to combine and let sit for 10 minutes, until mixture gets foamy. Add remaining sugar, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk and using the dough hook attachment, beat on low until combined, about a minute. Turn mixer off, add the salt and flour. Mix on medium until dough just comes together, turn mixer up to high and knead for 4 minutes. Add the butter and continue kneading for 6 minutes. The dough will look super sticky and very loose, it's fine, it'll rise perfectly. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm, draft free area for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.

While dough is rising, combine the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a medium bowl.  Stir in maple syrup and set filling aside. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese with a rubber spatula until smooth and spreadable, set aside.

When ready to roll, punch dough down and turn out on to a heavily floured surface. Gently knead dough until no longer sticky, adding more flour if you need to. Knead for about a minute. With a floured rolling pin, roll dough out into a 10x10 square.  Spread the cream cheese evenly over the dough, the fold into thirds as you would a letter to be put in an envelope. Take open ends of the dough and fold into thirds, towards the middle, to make a small dough square. Place dough so seam side faces down and roll dough out to a 10x20 rectangle.

Making sure the short sides of the dough are parallel to you, brush all of the melted butter on the dough rectangle, then top with the filling, leaving a 1-inch border at the edge farthest away from you. Press the filling into the dough, and use your hands to lift the edge closest to you up and start rolling into a very tight cylinder, pinching the seam at the end. Turn cylinder seam side down, and cut into 8 equal-sized rolls. Place rolls, cut side up, evenly spaced in a well buttered 9x13-inch baking dish. Note: Original recipe called for a metal baking pan, I used Pyrex, worked fine. Cover pan with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours, or until rolls have doubled in size. You can also refrigerate the rolls and let them rise overnight, just make sure to pull them out at least 15 minutes before baking to bring to room temperature.

Once the second rise has completed, preheat oven to 375 degrees, uncover rolls and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the dough comes out clean.

While rolls are baking, in a large bowl whisk together the icing sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla extract until smooth.

Transfer baking pan to a cooling rack and let sit for 5 minutes. Using the prongs of a fork, drizzle icing all over the rolls. Serve immediately.  Note: you will a whole bunch of icing left so no worries if you need to reheat a roll or two, you'll have extra icing should you want to sloppy it up a little more.