THE BEST cinnamon buns you've ever had! Sweet and sticky, with aromatic, buttery filling, these buns are not only delicious and super moreish, they are also twisted into beautiful, small knots that will guarantee to impress your friends and family!
Why these are the best cinnamon buns?
If you are following me and my blog for a while, you know how much I adore making all sorts of doughy buns, rolls and swirls. The process of making them is so soothing and satisfying, and the results are always sooo delicious, with each bite melting in your mouth!
These cinnamon buns are not only made with soft and fluffy dough, which is fantastic to work with, but they're also perfectly sweet, sticky and gooey. Filled with aromatic and fragrant cinnamon butter, they are wonderfully moreish and shaped into the prettiest little knots (inspired by Richard Bertinet's technique).
Tips for making the buns
Just like my hazelnut swirl buns , these are made from the exact same basic dough. It requires proving twice, and yes, there is a little bit more effort involved in making these. But since they are such special treat, they are also totally worth it!
- Using freestanding mixer is very helpful for making the dough. Use a hook attachment, and mix it on medium-speed until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. You can also knead the dough by hand. It will take longer and more effort, but it's totally doable! Your dough is ready when it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl or to your hands.
- Lukewarm milk and butter- Both need to be warmed before adding to the dry ingredients. This is to help activate the yeast. It's important that mixture isn't too hot, as that will kill the yeast. Just like having it too cool won't activate the yeast. Lukewarm is what you should be aiming for.
- Fast action dried yeast- for the best cinnamon buns, use a good quality yeast which activates fast. There is a difference between fast action/ instant yeast and active dried yeast. Either type can be used in this recipe, but remember that active dried yeast will need to be activated BEFORE adding it to the dry ingredients. Check the label and make sure to follow the instructions on the packet. Also, make sure it is not out of date!
- Don't go overboard with filling- Spread the cinnamon butter in an even layer, but not too thick. It will make shaping the buns much easier.
- Once baked, allow them to cool only for a minute, then remove from muffin tin into cooling rack. Some of the filling will 'leak' out, and once it hardens, it will become more difficult to remove the buns from the tin.
Easy cinnamon butter filling
The filling for these buns is made with 3 ingredients: butter, soft light brown sugar and cinnamon.
Before you start, make sure the butter is at room temperature. If the butter is too hard, it will be difficult to spread the filling on top of the dough. But it's equally important that the butter is not too soft, as that will cause it to melt and slip all around the dough and will come out the sides, when you cut it into strips. So room temperature is what you are aiming for (I found this post very helpful with explaining in detail what 'room temperature' actually means).
Folding the dough
When the dough have doubled in size, it's time to roll and fold it. Tip it onto a lightly floured surface and gently knock out the air out of it. Stretch it into a rough rectangle shape.
Roll it into larger rectangle, with the longer edge facing you. Spread the cinnamon butter over ⅔ of the dough surface, leaving ⅓ of the dough clean. Next, fold the clean part of the rectangle towards the middle, then the other end of the dough on top of that.
How to cut and shape the dough
Once you spread the filling and fold the dough, it's time to cut it into strips. Make sure to use really sharp knife or a pizza cutter for this. Cut the dough widthways, you should have roughly about 12 strips, each about 4 cm wide.
Gently flatten each strip, patting it with your hand. Next, make two cuts down the length of each stripe. Each stripe should have three strands. Plait them together and roll it up along its length to create knot.
Transfer into lightly greased muffin tin, cover and allow them to prove for 45 minutes- 1 hour.
Make ahead and storing instructions
You can prepare the dough for the buns a day before and store it in the fridge overnight. You can also shape the buns, place them in the greased muffin tin and place them in the fridge overnight. Next day, simply remove from the fridge and allow them to sit at room temperature for about 1-2 hours. Brush with egg wash and bake as per the instructions in the recipe.
These buns are best to be served while fresh and warm, on the same day. If by some miracle, you have any leftovers, simply cover them in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for 1-2 days.
As always, thanks for reading today's post. If you try this, or any other of my recipes, make sure to leave me a comment or a rating below the recipe card! It always makes my day to hear your feedback! Feel free to follow me on my Instagram and Pinterest too!
Twisted cinnamon buns
- Freestanding mixer
- 12 hole muffin tin
- Pizza Cutter
For the dough:
- 250 ml milk any type
- 60 g unsalted butter cubed
- 500 g strong white bread flour
- 15 g fast-action dried yeast
- 100 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 medium egg
For the filling:
- 150 g unsalted butter softened
- 200 g soft light brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 small egg for eggwash
- 2 tbsp icing sugar for dusting optional
- Read the post tips before you start!
- Place the milk in a small saucepan and heat it up until it is lukewarm. Add cubed butter to the lukewarm milk, swirling the saucepan every now and then to encourage the butter to melt. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a hook attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add milk and butter mixture followed by the egg. Mix on low speed until dough comes together, about couple of minutes, then increase the speed to medium and and mix for 8-10 minutes until you have a smooth and elastic dough that no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and using your hands, roll it into a ball. Place it in a clean, large bowl, lightly greased with some olive oil. Cover the bowl with clingfilm or reusable kitchen wrap (clean shower cup works great here!) and leave somewhere warm for an hour or until it doubled in size (depending on the temperature in your kitchen, this may take more, or less than 1 hour).
- In a meantime, prepare the filling. Place softened butter and brown sugar in a bowl of a freestanding mixer and beat together on medium speed until pale, fluffy and well combined. Reduce speed to low and add ground cinnamon. Mix until combined and set aside.
- Remove the dough from the bowl into a lightly floured surface. Gently knock out the air from it, then stretch it into rough rectangle shape. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into larger rectangle, roughly about 40 x 50 cm, with the longer edge facing you.
- Spread the filling over ⅔ of the top of the dough, leaving ⅓ of the dough clean. Fold the clean part of the rectangle towards the middle, then fold the other end of the dough on top of that (watch the video to see how easy it is!). Use a rolling pin, roll it over the rectangle to flatten it out and stretch a bit.
- Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, trim off the edges of the rectangle. Divide the rectangle into 12 equal pieces, widthways, each strip roughly about 4 cm across. Next, use a knife or pizza cutter to cut twice down the length of each strip to make three strands. Plait the three strands together, then roll it up along its length to create a knot. Repeat with remaining strips.
- Lightly grease 12-hole muffin tin, then transfer the knots into it. Cover and allow to prove for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until they have doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 170 C. Brush the knots with eggwash and bake in the middle shelf of the oven for 15- 18 minutes or until golden brown. Don't worry if some of the filling has leaked. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool only for a minute or so, then transfer the buns onto a cooling rack. Do not leave them to cool in the tin, as it will be hard to remove them later. Dust with some icing sugar (optional) and enjoy them while still a bit warm!
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- Do not go overboard with the filling! Thin, but even layer is what you are aiming for.
- Don't worry if some of the filling comes out and spill from the sides while the buns bake. This is normal.
- Once baked, allow the buns to cool in the tin for only a minute or so. Transfer them to cooling rack while they are still hot, before the leaked sugar and butter sets and becomes hard.
- Make ahead instructions: Prepare the dough all the way up until step 5. Transfer to the fridge overnight. Next day, remove the dough from the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours and proceed to step 5 in the recipe card. You can also place shaped buns in the fridge overnight. Cover the buns with plastic wrap or clean tea towel and place in the fridge. Next day, remove the buns from the fridge and allow them to sit at room temperature for at least an hour, then bake as per the instructions in the recipe card.
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