I honestly had planned to share something else with you today, but I couldn’t wait a second longer to show you these! There are almost no words to describe these cinnamon buns. They are absolute heaven. I hadn’t had a cinnamon bun in years and suddenly found myself craving one recently. When Friday afternoon came around, I decided to give in and make a batch. What are Fridays for after all?
I have made cinnamon buns before, but I hadn’t yet found a recipe that I was in love with. Many cinnamon bun recipes yield buns with a somewhat crunchy exterior, but I really wanted a dough that came out soft and fluffy. Since buttermilk usually helps to create soft and moist baked goods, I started with a buttermilk based dough. This dough comes together so easily and once it rises for about an hour and a half, it is absolute soft, pillowy perfection. I seriously wanted to nose dive into the dough. Yeast can be difficult to work with and it is always frustrating when dough doesn’t rise the way you want it to. I am pretty sure this dough is foolproof, but just in case, I have started using a little trick. When you are working with dough that needs to rise, turn your oven on to 350 degrees F for just 1-2 minutes and then turn it right off. Place your dough in a covered bowl right inside your oven and shut the oven door. This allows your dough to rise in a slightly warmer environment than your kitchen and this method seems to yield a great result every time.
Once the dough has risen, it is rolled into a rectangular shape, about 19 x 13 inches. It is then covered in brown sugar and cinnamon and rolled up into a log. As a side note, I used homemade brown sugar again and it worked great. I am still so excited about this discovery!
The log is cut into 8 equal pieces and the dough is ready to rise again. Place all of the buns in an 8 or 9 inch baking dish, so that the swirls face up and down. Cover the baking dish and set it in a warm place for the dough to rise again. As they rise, the buns will touch each other (as you can see below) which is totally fine.
Luckily, the cinnamon buns only take about 20 minutes to bake because I was literally standing at the oven window watching them, I was so excited. I let the buns cool for about 5 minutes before I topped them with a maple glaze. I have always seen cinnamon buns with a cream cheese icing, but I had a feeling maple would go really well with these. The maple glaze was the perfect addition. I did more of a drizzle because cinnamon buns are so sweet to begin with, but if you prefer to dump icing over your cinnamon buns (which I am all for), just double the recipe below!
Even though these aren’t Valentine themed, they would be the perfect sweet treat to bake for the upcoming holiday or weekend. Just be sure you have someone to share them with because it is impossible to eat just one. Here’s one more picture just in case there weren’t enough already to really make you drool.
Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Buns with Maple Glaze
Yield: 8 cinnamon buns
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. + 1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. instant yeast
1 1/6 cup buttermilk, lukewarm
1 large egg
1/4 cup canola oil
2 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and yeast. In a large liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, egg and canola oil. Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and set the mixer on medium-low for 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a rectangle, about 19 x 13 inches. Then use your fingers to spread the butter over the dough. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and then sprinkle it all over the dough, almost to the edges. Starting at the short end of the rectangle, tightly roll the dough up into a log. Use a bench scraper or knife to cut the log into 8 equal pieces. Place the rolls cut side down into an 8 or 9 inch baking pan. Cover the pan and set in a warm place to rise for 1-1/2 hours, or until the rolls are touching.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and then bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Allow the rolls to cool for 5-10 minutes. Whisk together the maple syrup, confectioners sugar and vanilla and then drizzle over the rolls. Store covered at room temperature for a few days, if they last that long!