From Ambitious Kitchen
Makes 9 buns
A good cinnamon bun is a culinary equivalent of a warm hug. You want light fluffy dough and a sweet buttery filling. You can make these buns the night before brunch and wildly impress your pals. Your friend breaks up with their partner? Cinnamon buns. Mother’s Day? Cinnamon buns. Funeral? CINNAMON BUNS.
For the dough:
- ¾ cup warm milk (110 degrees F)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active yeast
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3 cups bread flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add warm milk to the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. You’ll know your yeast has activated if it begins to foam after a few minutes. If it hasn’t, then start over; your milk was either too hot or too cold. For Brownie points; warm your milk slowly in a saucepan with a chai tea bag.
- Once yeast begins to foam, add in sugar, egg, egg yolk and butter. Mix until well combined. Next, stir in flour and salt with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form.
- Place a dough hook on mixer and knead dough on medium speed for 8 minutes. The dough should form into a nice ball and be slightly sticky. (If you don’t want to use an electric mixer, you can use your hands to knead the dough for 8-10 minutes on a well-floured surface.)
- Transfer dough ball to a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel. Allow dough to rise for 1 hour to 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size.
- After dough has doubled in size, transfer dough to a well-floured surface and roll out into a 14×9 inch rectangle. Combine the softened butter with cinnamon and sugar. Carefully spread the mixture of the dough. I find that using your fingers is best.
- Tightly roll the dough up, starting from the 9-inch side and place seam side down making sure to seal the edges of the dough as best you can. Cut into 1-inch sections with a serrated knife. You should get 9 large pieces.
- Place cinnamon rolls in a greased 9×9 inch baking pan or round 9-inch cake pan. (I also recommend lining the pan with parchment paper as well, in case any of the filling ends up leaking out.) Cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel and let rise again for 30 minutes. If you are making these the night before, put them straight into the fridge without letting them rise. The temperate drop will slow this second rise and save your dough from over-proofing.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and towel and bake cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes or until just slightly golden brown on the edges. You want to underbake them a little so they stay soft in the middle, that’s why we want them just slightly golden brown. Allow them to cool for a 5 minutes before frosting. Makes 9 cinnamon rolls.
- To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Although cinnamon buns to cool slightly before icing or your frosting will melt. Cover buns in frosting and serve immediately.