Quick ‘n” Easy Cinnamon Buns

Holiday mornings in our house have begun with these gooey soft cinnamon buns since the recipe was first printed in Cook’s Illustrated in 2002. They are best eaten warm. Recipe from May/June 2002 Cook’s Illustrated— Janice McHugh, publisher

By / Photography By Shell Royster | November 14, 2017

Ingredients

Cinnamon-Sugar Filling
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Biscuit Dough
  • 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for work surface
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted; divided
Icing
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425°. Pour 1 tablespoon melted butter into a 9-inch nonstick cake pan; brush to coat pan. Spray a wire rack with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

To make cinnamon-sugar filling: Combine sugars, spices and salt in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon melted butter and stir with fork or fingers until mixture resembles wet sand; set aside.

To make biscuit dough: Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk and 2 tablespoons melted butter in measuring cup or small bowl. Add liquid to dry ingredients and stir with wooden spoon until liquid is absorbed (dough will look very shaggy), about 30 seconds. Transfer dough to lightly floured surface and knead until just smooth and no longer shaggy.

Pat dough with hands into 12- by 9-inch rectangle. Brush dough with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with filling leaving ½-inch border of plain dough around the edges. Press filling firmly into dough.

Using a bench scraper or metal spatula loosen dough from work surface. Starting at the long side, roll dough, pressing lightly to form a tight log. Pinch seam to seal.

Roll log seam-side down and cut evenly into 8 pieces. Slightly flatten each piece of dough by hand to seal open edges and keep filling in place.

Place 1 roll in center of prepared pan, then place remaining rolls around perimeter of pan.

Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Bake until edges are golden brown, 23 to 25 minutes. Use offset metal spatula to loosen buns from pan; without separating, slide buns out of pan onto greased cooling rack. Cool about 5 minutes before icing.

To make icing and finish buns: While buns are cooling, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy cleanup); set rack with buns over baking sheet. Whisk cream cheese and buttermilk in a large nonreactive bowl until thick and smooth (mixture will look like cottage cheese at first) Sift in confectioners’ sugar, whisk until smooth glaze forms, about 30 seconds. Spoon glaze evenly over buns; serve immediately.

Ingredients

Cinnamon-Sugar Filling
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Biscuit Dough
  • 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for work surface
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted; divided
Icing
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
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