I love to bake. I go through phases where I try to bake a big batch of one thing a week so that I can feel good about putting something homemade and yummy into their lunch bags as a treat. My cinnamon buns are always a favourite.
I won’t lie, these are a little bit fussy, but they’re so delicious that they’re worth a Sunday afternoon fuss – and this recipe has no yeast, which save you a bunch of time. Besides, I always enjoy it when I have to get the rolling pin down.
What you need:
– 3 cups flour
– 2 tbsps white sugar
– 1 tbsp baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 3/4 cups cold butter
– 1 1/4 cup milk + 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice (or use buttermilk)
– 2 tbsps maple syrup
– 1 egg
– 1/2 cup soft butter
– 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
– 3 tsps cinnamon
– 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts optional (I leave these out so they’re nut-free and safe for school)
Icing – optional
– 1/2 cup cream cheese
– 4 tbsps milk
– 5 tbsps sugar (white or powdered icing)
What you do:
Flour or use parchment to line the bottom of a 12-inch pan. Preheat the oven to 400°.
Add vinegar/lemon juice to milk, set aside to let sour.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. When it’s combined well add the butter. Using 2 knives to cut the butter in, keep cutting until the whole mixture resembles coarse crumbs. You can also use a pastry blender if you have one.
Flouring your rolling board and rolling pin, give the dough a good 10-second kneading, then roll out thin to about 12 inches by 18 inches. (I like to cut mine into strips here to make it more rustic looking, but that’s the hard way, instead, work off of the big rectangle.) Grab the butter and brush the dough with it.
Make the filling:
Blend butter, sugar and cinnamon until it’s a paste. Add nuts and mix well. If the paste is too thick to easily spread, add more soft butter. If it’s too thin, add more sugar. If you’re using nuts, you don’t have to worry about spreading it with a knife, you should be able to sprinkle the mixture evenly across the dough. Cover the dough with your mixture.
Roll up the dough like a jellyroll. Don’t worry about precision here. Don’t worry if the dough tears. Just keep rolling. When you’ve got one long roll, grab a sharp knife – I like a chef’s knife – and cut into 1 to 2 inch wide slices. I like mine taller, but they tend to topple over during cooking.
Place them into the baking pan, shoulder to shoulder. Cook for 17-19 minutes or until golden brown on top.
This cream cheese icing is so yum, but it’s optional. I only make a tiny bit to serve with while they’re still warm. I send them to school with no icing and the boys still love them. For icining, add all ingredients and blend well on medium high until icing is smooth. More milk makes it thinner, adding icing sugar/granulated sugar will thicken it.
Drizzle it over the cinnamon buns while still warm and serve.
I had to put half of them away before calling the kids into the kitchen or there would have been none left for school this week!