Breakfast

Buttery Morning Buns From Scratch

4.86 from 28 votes
My Morning Buns recipe is in a league of its own — with a crispy, buttery, sweet shell, this special breakfast is definitely different than cinnamon rolls and sticky buns!

Hi Bold Bakers!

I can’t describe how incredible these cinnamon morning buns taste! They fill up the entire kitchen with their warm scent while they bake, and when you get them out of the oven, wow! It’s difficult to wait for them to cool.

The best part is that while they bake, the butter melts a little and mixes with the sugar, creating a super crispy, buttery, sweet shell. So, so amazing. 

The dough itself does take a while to make, but most of that time is spent resting in the fridge. Really, the dough is simple and easy, and a great one to learn how to make. The rich, buttery, flaky homemade morning bun, surrounded by sweet cinnamon-sugar, it’s the ultimate partner to a nice hot cup of coffee. 

The extra time it takes to make this dough is so worth the effort!

A full muffin tin of my fresh baked morning buns!

What Are Morning Buns? 

Is there a difference between a morning bun and a cinnamon roll? Yes! A morning bun is definitely not a cinnamon roll, and it definitely isn’t a sticky bun

Both cinnamon rolls and sticky buns are made with a yeasted dough. Cinnamon rolls are baked on a baking sheet and topped with, typically, a cream cheese glaze. Sticky buns start with a caramel glaze poured into a baking dish. Then, the buns are placed on top, and, after baking, you invert the pan onto a plate, so the glaze is on top. 

Morning buns have a different type of dough — more like a croissant, but a little chewier. You get lovely layers of flaky, buttery dough that you can pull apart, with a great chewy middle. 

What You Need To Make Morning Buns

A top-down close up of a morning bun, to show the cinnamon and texture.

How To Make Cinnamon Morning Buns

As I said, this recipe does take a little time — mostly resting time for the dough to chill — but it is so worth it! Here’s how you make the dough (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. In a bowl, whisk flour, sugar, instant yeast, and salt together.
  2. Rub the butter evenly into the flour mixture, working quickly. You can do this by hand or by using a pastry blender.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk, and vanilla together. Pour this into the flour mixture.
  4. Mix quickly; you want to handle it as little as possible, so you do not melt the butter. You want to be able to see pieces of the butter throughout.
  5. Shape the dough into a small rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight. 
  6.  Once chilled and rested, roll the dough out to a large rectangle, about 8 x 15 inches (20 x 28 cm), onto a floured surface.
  7. Fold the dough in thirds, like you would a letter, so you have 3 layers. (See video below!)
  8. Re-flour your surface, if needed. Then, re-roll the dough into a large rectangle, turn it and fold it again into thirds.
  9. Repeat the rolling, turning, and folding one more time. Then, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerator for 1 hour.
  10. After an hour, repeat the rolling and folding process another 3 times.
  11. Wrap the dough well again and refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. (You can also freeze the dough at this point for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before using.)

And here is how you finish your morning buns:

  1. Mix granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Butter a 12-cup muffin tin, generously, with melted butter and set aside.
  3. Flour your surface and roll the dough into a 12 x 18 inch (30 x 45 cm) rectangle.
  4. Brush the dough with the softened butter, ALL of the softened butter, and then sprinkle all the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the dough. Be sure to leave a small 1-inch border on one narrow end un-sprinkled.
  5. Starting with the widest side, gently roll up the dough into a log.
  6. Using a serrated knife, slice the roll into 10 to 12 equally-sized pieces and place, cut side up, in the muffin tin cups. 
  7. Cover the dough and allow it to rise in a warm place until puffed. Typically, this will take about 60 minutes. (I preheat my oven for 2 minutes at its lowest setting, turn it off, and place the tray of buns inside. They proof well in the warm environment.)
  8. At the end of the rise time, preheat your own to 375°F (190°C). Uncover the dough and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Don’t worry if you see melted butter around your rolls. It will bake into the buns to make a super delicious buttery dough.
  9. Allow the buns to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Cinnamon Morning Buns

  • Use frozen butter so it stays in small bits through the dough. That’s how we create the flaky layers!
  • You can mix this dough in a food processor as well. Combine the dry ingredients, then cut the butter into small chunks and pulse into the dough until the size of small peas. Mix the egg and milk together and pulse a few times into the flour mixture. Press the dough into a rectangle, refrigerate for 3 hours, and then proceed with the rolling and folding as above.
  • When you are rolling up the dough, don’t roll it too tightly. If it is too tight, then the centers of the buns may pop up while baking.
  • You can add a ½ cup (2 1/2oz/71g) of your favorite, finely chopped nuts to the cinnamon-sugar mixture!
  • Make the dough, fill, and roll it the day before. Place it in a fridge to proof overnight. In the morning, let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour and bake it fresh for breakfast! 

A plate of morning buns with a mug of coffee.

How Do I Store Leftover Cinnamon Morning Buns?

Morning buns are best the day they are made, but you can store any leftover buns in an airtight container at room temperature overnight. Or, you can keep them in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat morning buns, warm them in the microwave or a 300°F (150°C) oven for 10 minutes. 

Make More Breakfast Recipes!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Watch The Recipe Video!

Buttery Morning Buns Recipe From Scratch

4.86 from 28 votes
My Morning Buns recipe is in a league of its own — with a crispy, buttery, sweet shell, this special breakfast is definitely different than cinnamon rolls and sticky buns!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 10 buns
Prep Time 20 mins
Resting the dough 7 hrs
My Morning Buns recipe is in a league of its own — with a crispy, buttery, sweet shell, this special breakfast is definitely different than cinnamon rolls and sticky buns!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 10 buns

Ingredients

Danish Dough

  • 1 ½ cups (7 ½oz/213g) all-purpose
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt - or to taste.
  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) cold butter cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tablespoons (3floz/91ml) milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cinnamon Filling

  • 6 tablespoons (3oz/90g) butter softened
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz/57g) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

To make the Danish Dough

  • In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
  • Working quickly, rub the butter evenly into the flour mixture. Do this by hand or by using a pastry blender.
  • In a small bowl, whisk egg, milk, and vanilla together, then pour into the flour mixture.
  • Mix quickly into a dough, handling as little as possible so as to not melt the butter. You want to still see the pieces of butter throughout.
  • Shape the dough into a small rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Once the dough has chilled and rested, on a floured surface, roll the dough out to a large rectangle, about 8 x 15 inches (20 x 28 cm).
  • Fold the dough in thirds, like a letter, so that the dough is in 3 layers (see video above.)
  • Re-flour your surface if needed, and then re-roll the dough into a large rectangle, turn it, and re-fold into thirds.
  • Repeat this rolling, turning, and folding one more time, then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • After the dough has been rested and chilled for an hour, repeat the rolling and folding process 1 more time: Roll, turn, and fold 3 more times.
  • Wrap the dough well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. For longer storage, this dough can be frozen, well wrapped or in an airtight container, for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before using it.

Filling, Rolling and Cutting the Dough

  • In a bowl, mix together granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  • Butter a 12-cup muffin tin generously with melted butter. Set aside.
  • On a floured surface, roll danish dough into a 12 x 18 inch (30 x 45 cm) rectangle.
  • Brush the dough with the softened butter. Make sure to use ALL the butter.
  • Sprinkle all the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a small, 1-inch (2 1/2cm) border on one narrow end unsprinkled.
  • Just like a cinnamon roll, starting with the widest side, gently roll up the dough into a log.
  • With a serrated knife, slice the roll into 10-12 equally-sized pieces and place, cut side up, in the muffin tin cups. (If you do 10 buns instead of 12 you get much bigger buns)
  • Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place until puffed, about 60 minutes. Tip: I preheat my oven for 2 minutes, then turn it off and place it in the tray of buns. This warmth gives them a great environment to proof well.
  • At the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Uncover the dough and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. You might notice some melted butter around your rolls and that is ok, don't worry. That will bake into the buns and just make an incredible, buttery dough.
  • Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • These buns are best the day they are made, but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature overnight or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Rewarm in the microwave or in a 300°F (150°C) oven for 10 minutes.

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Elisa Di Giorgio
17 days ago

What a great recipe. Started preparing the dough yesterday and baked them this morning!! Soooo yummy!

9 days ago

Good morning, I baked this recipes during weekend, and here my review positive points: 1-the dough made about 11 buns 2-the bun was flaky and crispy from the out side and soft from the inside 3-color was nice. negative points: 1-the recipe not did mention the type of the butter(salted or unsalted) but according to the video you mentioned salted butter, to me it was a big mistake as the bun become salty for my liking. 2-time consuming. am i going to bake it again?, yes I will, but I will use unsalted butter. thanks a lot a regards from… Read more »

Beth
Beth
11 days ago

Very tasty and nice, found the recipe and video easy to follow.

Kashma Goyal
Kashma Goyal
12 days ago

Hi Gemma, just wondered… If I’m using active dry yeast do I bloom it first in the milk or should I just directly mix it with my dry ingredients?

Tina Brennan
Tina Brennan
15 days ago

Hi Gemma,
I believe there must be a typo in the recipe! I made them and everything was amazing except they were salty buns! I had worried about putting 1tsp in with the cinnamon swirl part and that is I am sure what did it. Can you please look at the recipe and check to see if this was a typo. I make your recipes all the time and love them. Thank you

Audree
Audree
15 days ago

This year I have been baking a lot so I ran out of flour! that is why I left it in the fridge for 2 days for the first time you refrigerate it. So I am so glad I was able to chill the dough for not to long! I am proofing my dough right now! So close to tasting these yummy buns! Thank you Gemma for making/sharing these recipes! I cant wait to try these buns!

Harmony
16 days ago

Hey Gemma I was wondering what is a gluten free alternative?

Tanya
Tanya
16 days ago

Hi Gemma, I attempted to make the dough and it was too wet also I did the exact measurements and left it overnight but was still to wet I don’t understand why that was?

16 days ago

good morning Gemma
is Cream Plain Flour the same as all purpose flour

Rinai
16 days ago

Hi gemma, can I make this without using muffin tin? Because I only have 6 cup muffin tin. Thank you.

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Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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