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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!
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
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):
- In a bowl, whisk flour, sugar, instant yeast, and salt together.
- Rub the butter evenly into the flour mixture, working quickly. You can do this by hand or by using a pastry blender.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk, and vanilla together. Pour this into the flour mixture.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fold the dough in thirds, like you would a letter, so you have 3 layers. (See video below!)
- Re-flour your surface, if needed. Then, re-roll the dough into a large rectangle, turn it and fold it again into thirds.
- Repeat the rolling, turning, and folding one more time. Then, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerator for 1 hour.
- After an hour, repeat the rolling and folding process another 3 times.
- 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:
- Mix granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
- Butter a 12-cup muffin tin, generously, with melted butter and set aside.
- Flour your surface and roll the dough into a 12 x 18 inch (30 x 45 cm) rectangle.
- 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.
- Starting with the widest side, gently roll up the dough into a log.
- Using a serrated knife, slice the roll into 10 to 12 equally-sized pieces and place, cut side up, in the muffin tin cups.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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!
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!