Recipes

twisty cinnamon buns

Cinnamon buns are perfect — they don’t need disruption, nobody needs a fresh new take on them, and they don’t need refining. I suspect that for most of us, our only grievance is that nobody makes them often enough. Have you ever woken up to the smell of fresh cinnamon buns baking in the oven? Yeah, me neither, but boy does my family have good things to say about it.


So what is this? Well, these are cinnamon rolls with a little update, exactly what I said nobody needs, but it turns out… I do. This is the exact recipe, down to the last teaspoon, I use to make cinnamon buns at home, which I’ve tweaked and tweaked over the last few years until it was exactly the way I wanted it: no separated eggs, easy-to-remember measurements, a plush, rich dough wound with the perfect cinnamon bite. But — maybe this has been written about somewhere else, not sure — but we’ve been home a lot over the last year and when I’m home a lot, I start tinkering. I applied the kind of twisting we use for a krantz cake-style babka and stuffed four of these twists in a pan and let them expand and bronze in semi-chaotic ribbons in the oven and I found three things that these do even better than cinnamon buns.

what you'll needlet the dough hook do the workyes the dough is this softchilled, doubledroll big and widecover with cinnamon sugardivide rope in halfsplit both logsdivide the twists to make fourready to bake

  • As the layers fan open a bit while baking, the spiced brown sugar filling caramelizes and crisps creating an amount of texture classic cinnamon buns could never.
  • Every bite has an equal amount of cinnamon ribboning. You don’t need to hurry to the center — do not pretend you don’t — to get the very best bite.
  • You cut it into any size, depending on what you need or want. I am not going to pretend that 14 people showing up to a brunch when I made only 12 cinnamon buns is the great hosting crisis of our time, but it’s definitely happened and it’s always awkward, realizing maybe I’m not the kind of host who volunteers to go without so everyone gets enough. With these, you can cut any size or shape and still get the full, heavenly cinnamon bun experience.
  • This is also a frost-your-own-adventure bun. I absolutely believe in frosting icing rolls, especially with cream cheese, but these are too pretty and textured to cover. Instead, I make a big bowl on the side and you can slather exactly the amount you want on your own piece. I’d start with this:

    twisty cinnamon buns

    I think you know exactly what needs to be done this weekend. I can smell the deliciousness from here.

    Previously

    6 months ago: Bialy Babka
    1 year ago: Rhubarb Cordial
    2 year ago: Braised Ginger Meatballs In Coconut Broth
    3 years ago: Triple Coconut Cream Pie
    4 years ago: Pistachio Cake and A Reall Great Pot of Chickpeas
    5 years ago: Potato Pizza, Even Better, Carrot Tahini Muffins and Sheet Pan Chicken Tikka
    6 years ago: Strawberry Rhubarb Soda Syrup, Artichoke Gratin Toasts and Maple Pudding Cake
    7 years ago: Lamb Meatballs with Feta and Lemon
    8 years ago: Ramp Pizza and Yogurt Panna Cotta with Walnuts and Honey
    9 years ago: Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe, Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches and Cinnamon Toast French Toast
    10 years ago: Heavenly Chocolate Cake Roll and Crispy Potato Roast
    11 years ago: Tangy Spiced Brisket
    12 years ago: Pickled Grapes with Cinnamon and Black Pepper and Buttermilk Ice Cream
    13 years ago: Fork-Crushed Purple Potatoes, Whole Wheat Apple Muffins, and Caramelized Shallots
    14 years ago: Black Bean Confetti Salad and Margarita Cookies and Tequila Lime Chicken

    twisty cinnamon buns
    twisty cinnamon buns

    Twisty Cinnamon Bun Bake

    • Servings: Around 12
    • Source: Smitten Kitchen
    • Print

    A few notes: 1. This is a very soft and sticky dough. There is a 100% chance that when you mix it, you’ll say “no way, Deb, this is a mistake.” It is not a mistake. In the fridge, the butter will firm and the dough will stiffen, making it easier to roll out when cold on a very well-floured counter. 2. Get as many twists as you can in the ropes for the most dramatic shapes, but know that even if you only get one or two, it’s going to be a stunner. You can’t mess this up. 3. Yes, it’s okay to mix salt and dry yeast. 4. No, instant yeast doesn’t technically require a warmed liquid or milk to proof, but I find it moves along faster with it. 5. Yes, you can use active dry yeast instead of instant, the same amount. It *might* double faster, see keep an eye on it. 6. Unsponsored plug: I started using this cinnamon here and it is so robust and so complex, I cannot go back to any other.

      Dough
    • 1 cup (235 ml) milk, any kind, lightly warmed
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons (1 packet or 7 grams) instant yeast
    • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (I’m using Diamond; use 1.5t of other brands)
    • 2 large eggs
    • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, diced
    • 3 1/2 cups (455 grams) cups all-purpose flour
    • Filling
    • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) butter, salted or unsalted, melted
    • Pinch or two of salt (if butter is unsalted)
    • 1 cup (190 grams) dark brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • Icing
    • 1 8-ounce (225-grams) block cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 2/3 cup (80 grams) powdered sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
    • 1 to 2 (15 to 30 ml) tablespoons milk or cream

    Make dough: Whisk milk, yeast, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk in eggs. Add diced butter, yes, still cold is fine. Add flour and attach the dough hook. Turn your mixer to the second speed and let the dough hook bring it together into a mass, about 1 minute. Reduce to the lowest speed and knead for 5 minutes — in this time, the butter will soften into the dough. The dough will be smooth and seem very, very wet, too wet. Scrape into an oiled bowl (a 8-cup should easily hold it when doubled), cover tightly with plastic, and from here there are two possible schedules:

    Method 1: Let the dough rise at room temperature until it just shy of doubles, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours (I find that it looks like it’s not rising at all for the first hour and then boom, it takes off, doubling around 1 1/2 hours. Transfer dough to the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. It is impossible to work with this dough when still at room temperature; don’t even try.

    Method 2: Let the dough rise in the fridge a minimum of 8 hours, and up to 2 days. It will be just about doubled when it comes out.

    Fill and shape dough: Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Melt butter and add a pinch or two of salt if the butter is unsalted. Set aside. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Coat a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter or nonstick spray. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Roll chilled dough out a very, very well-floured counter, covered with more flour, until it’s a very wide slab — about 30 inches wide and as deep as you can comfortably roll it, about 10 to 12 inches. You’ll want to lift the dough and re-flour underneath as you roll. Brush evenly with melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar-cinnamon mixture and pat it down. Begin rolling, using a scraper as needed where the dough is stuck, from the long end, rolling the dough into a as-tight-as-possible coil. Once in a coil, I stretch it gently until it’s 34 to 36 inches. Transfer it to the parchment-lined baking sheet, bending it into a horseshoe, and freeze it for 15 minutes. This will firm the log and make it much, much easier to work with.

    Remove from the freezer and cut the horseshoe-shaped log crosswise into two equal lengths. Using a serrated knife in a gentle sawing motion, carefully cut the first log in half lengthwise, exposing the layered center. Place halves next to each other, cut side up. Lift one side over the next, forming as many twists as you can down the log (stretching it a little as you twist is fine), and try to keep the cut sides up. Cut this long twist into two equal lengths and arrange across the short side of the baking dish in two rows. Repeat with the second log, splitting, twisting, and dividing, forming two more rows in the baking dish. If you discover, like I often do, that you didn’t use all of the melted butter in the filling, brush the rest over the twists now. Let dough rest for 15 minutes at room temperature before baking.

    Bake: For 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden all over and have an internal temperature of 190 degrees F.

    Make icing: In a medium bowl, beat or whisk cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon milk or cream and beat to combine. If you’d like a thinner frosting, add the second tablespoon. Place in bowl with spoon for serving.

    Serve: When buns come out of oven, Let them cool 5 minutes, if you can bear it, before cutting in. Serve in squares of any size (although if you cut the pan into 12, it will be closest to a standard cinnamon bun size) with the frosting on the side.

    Do ahead: The buns ostensibly keep at room temperature for a few days, just not around here; cover tightly with foil or plastic. Leftover icing goes in the fridge and will last a week.

    Note: You can watch an Instagram Story, a TikTok, or a Reel demo of this recipe, too.

    Leave a Reply to Linda Cancel reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

    191 comments on twisty cinnamon buns

      1. sarossa

        Hi from Sardinia, I’m thinking of trying this with an apple compote/lemon zest filling (inspired by your cranberry buns), as I want to try an alternative to cinnamon, which I love anyway. Do you think these twisty friends would freeze well, once cooked and portioned?

      1. deb

        You could, but you’ll want to start with softened butter and I think it will be significantly easier with one of these Danish dough whisk things. It’s perfect for mixing stretchy, loose doughs (or cookie doughs, or no-knead breads) in a bowl. Then, use a flexible scraper to “knead” it a bit with turns on the counter. Promise you’ll resist adding extra flour? It doesn’t need it, but it will seem like it does. Stay strong!

        1. Saurs

          I’m going to ask a question I ask of many people, often entirely out of the blue: can I no-knead this sucker? Or get as close to no-knead as possible with an enriched dough, i.e. softer butter, mixed just to incorporate, and then a reduced yeast volume coupled with the refrigerator-assisted timetable? I just hate kneading, especially these soft monstrosities. I am fine with a blander flavor to the bread and a slightly less than perfect chew.

          1. Heather Marie

            I made these this morning, after several months cooking through the “5 min” no-knead series. I think it would work great as a no- knead dough, because it is already so wet. Just drop the yeast.

          2. Heather Wallace

            I made these this morning after a couple of months cooking through the “5 min” no-knead series. I think it would do great as a no-knead since the dough is already so wet. Just drop the yeast amount.

          3. deb

            Yes, but it really helps to have that dough whisk for the bowl. I’m not in, like, the pocket of Big Danish Dough Whisk or anything, lol, I just found it that game-changing for soft doughs you want to mix by hand.

        2. Holly

          I tried it by hand and had no problems, came out great! I just did a sort-of knead in the bowl with a wooden spoon haha for about 7 minutes (a little elbow grease required)

          1. Michele Morrison

            Thank you Richard. I read the comments too for extra input. Though I know if Deb puts it on her blog, it’s most likely to be well thought out and something we enjoy.

      2. Claire

        I couldn’t find my dough hook and used my food processor. Americas Test Kitchen has an article on it and it worked really well

    1. Amy

      What the WHAT? Ok, I’m mixing up this dough today as a Mother’s day gift to me, and I will bake it up on Sunday. Thank you from my future self!

    2. Jamie

      Could I do everything up to placing the twisted pieces in the pan and then leave in the fridge overnight taking it out and allowing it to rise for 15 before baking the next morning?

    3. Karen

      Could you prepare these right up til they are ready to bake, but then put them in fridge overnight and bake in the morning?

      1. deb

        Yes, but while you can prepare the recipe straight through, you have to fully chill the dough (as I explain in the recipe) once risen before rolling it.

    4. Kel

      Oof. I kinda hate you right now, Deb. I wasn’t planning on baking anything too involved this weekend, and now I may have to! Cinnamon roll babka? Um, yes.

    5. Pru

      Do you think the coiled dough could hang out in the fridge overnight? Trying to find a way to eat these on Sunday morning without having to do all the work on Sunday morning.

        1. Andrea

          These look amazing! Do you have to let the dough rise before filling/shaping? Or just chill dough to shape it and then the assembled buns rise overnight in the fridge?

          1. deb

            The dough rises before filling and shaping. It doesn’t need to rise again before baking; just rest it for 15 while you heat the oven.

        2. Tressa

          We were just talking last night about how my husband and boys crave cinnamon and sugar deserts like madmen. I guess it’s a sign I should make this for them today! Thankfully for me I can’t have gluten otherwise I would be happily sabotaging my diet and inhaling this deliciousness with them because it looks just so dang good.

    6. Kat

      Um. Wow. Talk about your potluck-brunch stunner! I have a half-size baking pan so will see how it works to bake up two twists and freeze the others.

      I really appreciate that you listed the internal temperature – I go a little crazy with my Thermapen but it’s the kind of knowledge that gets results!

    7. Ruth

      Yum! Also, agree 100% on the B&B cinnamon. All others are supremely inferior. Even my 2-year-old, who has it on her oatmeal for breakfast every day noticed one day when I used the last bits of another jar.

    8. JP

      Wow! Beautiful and looks delicious. Nothing says lovin’ like cinnamon rolls in the oven- to misquote the jingle. But cinnamon rolls! Happy Mother’s Day and wishing you lots of icing!

    9. PG

      Is there any chance of a video being posted of the whole rolling, filling, horseshoe, twisting part? Somehow I’m struggling to visualize it based on the written words. Being able to watch the magic happen would be great!

    10. Ellen

      These look wonderful. Question – I do not have a stand mixer and use a food processor for bread dough. How would I adapt this recipe to mix in a food processor? Thanks!

      1. Heather Marie

        I tried this this morning and can tell you what did NOT work… I put the dry ingredients in and pulsed, then added the wet and ran it. It was immediately too sticky for my heavy duty 14cup cuisinart. I ended up moving the dough to a bowl amd beating with a spoon.

        1. Emily

          Agree. Tried this with my food processor last night and pretty sure the motor is shot now (it started smoking). I recommend doing the wet only and then adding the dry separately like Heather said.

    11. Beth

      We have an egg allergy over here and while I often make quick breads with egg replacer (Just Egg or Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer), I haven’t tried it with an enriched yeasted dough. Any reason to think it wouldn’t also work there?

      1. Jen

        Some people use flax “eggs” and swear by them. For the equivalent of one large egg: mix 3 Tbsp water and 1 Tbsp ground flax seed. Let it plump up for awhile before mixing in to the recipe.

        1. JMills

          I use the flax seed replacer. I didn’t realize until reading about it that what it says on the bag isn’t enough time to let the flax seed replacer to get to the right consistency. I let it sit out until all the water is absorbed and it worked perfectly.

      2. Marissa

        Egg allergy here also. In my experience, the egg in this recipes seems to be there to make the bread even richer. I have made many other bread recipes that call for egg (cinnamon rolls, kolaches, english muffins come to mind) and just skip the egg completely. All is very well with those recipes and nobody misses the egg. I would just leave it out entirely.

    12. These cinnamon buns look like a next level that I have used to do. I have got too comfortable with these regular cinnamons, well now I have your recipe to level up myself as well. Thanks!

    13. We live and die by your cranberry orange breakfast buns. I buy enough cranberries to freeze in the fall to have them all year long. That being said we will definently be trying these and may well use the cranberries at some point!
      Can’t wait for your next book!

    14. Judy Mintz

      I have a Proof setting on my new oven. Can i use it for the proofing part of this recipe? Thanks for the info. They look delicious and am looking forward to making them!
      PS tried to ask this in the question area but no space:(

      Judy

      1. deb

        I’ve never had an oven with a proof setting, but I bet it would work. You do need to chill the dough before rolling it, once proofed. It needs to be cold and firm.

      2. Lisa

        @Judy Mintz in my experience, the proofing button has varied in temp between my ovens. My current one runs a bit warmer than the number would indicate so I keep a closer eye on it when I’m proofing things so I don’t over-proof. If you can temperature test the oven or know it is true to temp, go for it!

    15. Becky Turner

      Oh My Goodness!!!
      Love the look of these and I know the taste will be great with the extra crispy from the twisting!!!!
      And the bowl of frosting on the side!! Pure magic I think!

    16. Becky Turner

      Ok
      I can cut and paste with the best of them but is there a print button someplace I am missing on this site?

      1. Susan Barton

        Yes, at the end of the recipe, after the pictures of other stuff, there is a line that says DO MORE: There is a print icon there.

      1. deb

        Yes, the only hesitation is that some people have found that the sugar filling gets a little runny/puddly overnight. But it should bake up fine.

    17. Laura

      My minimal amount of pandemic tinkering in the kitchen has involved substituting maybe 1/3 of the white flour with semolina flour. It makes the dough just a bit richer and heavier (have done this with a cinnamon swirl bread and others, but not your cinnamon bun recipe here).

    18. Ellen

      Deb, I don’t see a rise after the dough has been shaped, other than this ‘Let dough rest for 15 minutes at room temperature before baking.’ Other recipes for cinnamon rolls call for rising again after the rolls have been cut and placed in the pan – why not here? Won’t the dough be too dense without another rise? Thanks.

    19. Deb Otto

      I have lost a lot of my sweet tooth as I’ve aged, but these look amazing. The real reason I want to comment, though, is this:

      Your recipes are stunners; I turn to your blog a lot, and many of your recipes have become staples in my little kitchen. Your Parmesan broth is a staple in my freezer, I just had your avocado toast yesterday (again!), I tweaked your broccoli melts into a frittata that is a breakfast staple, etc., etc., etc.

      But the best thing about your blog is your integrity. Living almost literally in the back yard of Amazon, I could kiss your feet for not having the ubiquitous Amazon links. I LOVE that you are not beholden to them or anyone else for your opinions. Because of this, I trust you, and take your opinions seriously. I mean, not like my life is at state seriously, but still pretty darn seriously.

      Tip of the hat to you, my dear lady!

    20. Poornima

      For the very first time a Smitten kitchen recipe that failed me. The dough was too wet for me to roll and it ended up as a huge mess. I have no idea what went wrong.

      1. Diane

        Did you roll it immediately from the fridge? I used the overnight rise method and rolled it out directly from the fridge and had no problems. It was much softer than I expected despite being so cold, so it worked fine. Good luck!

      2. Bethany

        I was pretty sure this was going to be a failure. I made a half batch in an 8×8 pan, which looked way too big for the size of the twists, and the dough didn’t rise AT ALL in the fridge overnight. But I baked them anyway, and surprise — they puffed up into glorious soft bread with crispy tops and gooey layers. Happy Mother’s Day to me!

        I don’t have a stand mixer but kneading with a dough whisk seems to have worked.

    21. Kathleen Doyle

      Worked as expected and had a neat look. The cinnamon roll was incredibly dry and not as flavorful as a traditional roll. I will stick the more traditional recipe.

    22. Dave

      Deb, do you order from Farm to Table?? I just saw your new favorite cinnamon as I was perusing this weeks order and it got me to wondering.

      Looking forward to making these!

    23. Poornima

      Ok I somehow made a rectangle and baked it. Tastes phenomenal…! I was wondering what to do with the near liquid dough. Glad I baked it.

    24. nicole

      just pulled this out of the oven. smells absolutely fantastic. the dough was definitely sticky, even following method 2 with about 15 hour fridge rise, and the shaping took some quick maneuvering but it came together well following the instructions. the freezer tip is key. i baked it for 35 minutes to get it to 190f internal. burnished on top.

    25. Recipes always call for Diamond Salt. I have looked in no less then 8 grocery stores and never find Diamonds salt – so frustrating – where do you buy your Diamond salt!!!!!?

      1. Diane

        It’s really hard to find now and I’m not sure why – I’ve managed to get mine online for many times the price it used to be in the grocery.

        1. I have looked online for Diamond Kosher Salt but only find the kind for outdoor use in icy weather. Where online do you order it from – what website? Thanks, Nancy

          1. Becca

            Nancy are you sure you’re seeing outdoor salt? The Diamond kosher salt comes in a red 3 lb box. I searched it just now and see a few of options for as low as $5.49 apiece. Good luck!

            1. Becca – when I first started looking for it at the beginning of the pandemic- all I saw was the outdoor salt. Last week someone shared a link and I found it on Amazon. 3 boxes are sitting in my kitchen right now. Thanks for a follow up – very sweet of you.
              Best, Nancy

    26. Winnie

      Would this recipe work with gluten free flour mix such as King Arthur’s measure for measure or Bob’s Red Mill 1 for 1?

    27. Nina

      Oh, my!!! This is divine! I’ve made cinnamon rolls all my life, but this recipe is a game changer! Mixed up the dough Saturday, formed and baked it Sunday morning. Didn’t bother with icing, it was perfect without!

    28. Richard Walter

      My wife is gluten free, can these be made with a gluten free flour and still come out looking like the pictures

      1. Marmalade

        My guess is they will work but be smaller/denser. I’ve found swapping out chickpea flour for about 1/4 to 1/2 c gf flour really helps yeast breads work more like you’re expecting (haven’t tried this yet, it’s my plan for Sunday).

    29. JMills

      I have a family member who is allergic to eggs. I replaced the eggs with flaxseed meal and the substitution worked great! These were a hit!

    30. Elizabeth Levitt

      Tweaked to perfection! I’ve actually never tasted anything as good as this! The success is in the attention to details. We made these in the morning (when the kitchen is still relatively cool) after a refrigeration time of 15 hours. Amazing!

    31. Holly

      I found the dough surprisingly easy to roll out. forgot to brush the dough with butter before rolling so I just brushed it on before cutting/twisting the rolled logs. Maybe I rolled too tightly because the four pieces weren’t even close to filling my 9×13 pan but I just spaced them evenly and they expanded nicely in the oven. The results were wonderful. Thank you!

    32. John

      Super fun to bake and absolutely delicious. What a showstopper! This was much more intimidating on paper than it was in practice. I visited my parents for the first time in nearly a year now that we’re all vaccinated. It was a perfect weekend adventure with my mom – thank you for making Mother’s Day extra special with this recipe! We ate half the pan in one sitting – oops!

    33. Betsy Sentigar

      We made this for Mother’s Day brunch ! So incredibly good and special for the day !
      The directions were terrific We feel like master chefs at our house today. Thank you for this recipe. For us it will now be a standard holiday treat

      A key trick is laying down enough flour while rolling out. At least 1 cup made this a success to handle !

    34. Trish

      I’m in the process of making these and followed another commenters suggestion of making it to the point of baking and fridging it overnight. This morning I pulled it out and there was a pool of sugary syrup surrounding my loaves – seems to have leaked out of my buns. Wondering if anyone might know why? Worried I might have made a misstep and these are going to burn or be dense.

      Happy Sunday everyone :)

    35. LauraG

      After having challenges with homemade cinnamon rolls in the past, I’m happy to say these turned out beautifully! Our family of five all loved (rare), so these will likely be our new Christmas morning treat too.

      1. Jule Cast

        Made these for Mother’s Day but as rolls – my mom’s favorite! No stand mixer, all hand – it was sticky, it was messy… I was convinced it would be an utter disaster (never made cinnamon rolls before) but the refrigeration really helped. Took them out of the fridge on Sunday morning pleasantly surprised at the rise but also a little panicked because I had a little bit of (brown/sugar) liquid at the bottom. Baked beautifully and perfumed the whole house… we devoured half at brunch, and more this morning. Thank you, Deb!

    36. Stacey Kramer

      Like others I made this as a treat for Mother’s Day. Easier than I expected overall and they turned out just perfect. My guys declared these the best cinnamon rolls they had ever had. Score all around! Thanks, Deb!

    37. Rebecca C

      Do you think it would be possible to make the twists & freeze or refrigerate overnight – or even better, do everything but bake the night before?

    38. Mary Macinnes

      Great recipe-made the dough, put in fridge overnight. Rolled out and shaped in the morning. Horseshoe in Freezer for half and hour or so which made it really easy to split and twist. Baked beautifully and taste amazing. Will definitely do these again. Love your recipes Deb-they rarely fail! For now I’m freezing half since there’s only 2 of us.

    39. Gwenyth Beaven

      These came out beautifully, exactly as described with no trouble. I let them rise on the counter and then refridgerated overnight according to directions and plenty of flour on the counter for rolling.
      Leftover melted butter, ha, not a chance.
      Note to self: I think I would like to add finely chopped pecans to the filling.

    40. I made this for mothers’ day brunch, and served it still warm. It was PERFECT.

      Thanks to Deb’s warnings, the dough was actually much easier to work with than I expected, too!

        1. Megan

          If I want to freeze these, at what stage should I freeze them? Also would they need to thaw before baking and would cooking time change?

    41. KB

      Wow! This method is a game changer for anyone making cinnamon rolls. I made them today and they were everything Deb said and possibly more.
      Thanks for rocking my world in the best way.

    42. JMills

      I use the flax seed replacer. I didn’t realize until reading about it that what it says on the bag isn’t enough time to let the flax seed replacer to get to the right consistency. I let it sit out until all the water is absorbed and it worked perfectly.

      1. deb

        I don’t have one to test it in, but I definitely think the mixing and proofing can be done it in it. You’ll still need to chill the dough for an hour before rolling it, once proofed, or it will be excessively difficult.

    43. Kyle

      I was really having doubts about this one with that super wet dough. I kept thinking, “this will never roll out and be able to take that much handling!”
      But there hasn’t been a SK recipe that failed me yet and I always put my trust in Deb! This one sure turned out pillowy and amazing! Fight the urge to throw the whole thing out. It all comes together, I promise!

      1. Thank you Carol Surine for the link to buy Diamond Kosher Salt. When I originally went online at the beginning of the pandemic I could not find any online – maybe it was a pandemic shortage problem. Ordered some this morning. 🙏

    44. Natasha

      I made this on Sunday. 1/2 the recipe (it is only me), added a bit of vanilla to the dough (because I always do for cinnamon buns) and “kneaded” it in the food processor as I don’t have a stand mixer. Like Deb mine seemed to not rise at all for nearly an hour and then spring to life – so be patient and don’t worry too soon. I’ve just moved house and am learning a new oven, so mine ended up a bit overbaked but still very very good.

    45. Lindsay

      Hi Deb! These look fantastic. I have a friend coming into town this weekend, so I think this would make me just about the best host ever (and potentially mask the less-than-tidy house she will almost certainly be welcomed into!). Could I do all the cutting and twisting the night before, then let them come to room temp in the morning and bake? Thanks!

    46. Carlota

      I made these and struggled somewhat. I left my dough in the fridge for about 24 hours, but I don’t think it doubled. I oiled the bowl a bit much, so the oil solidified around the dough. I also didn’t adequately flour the surface, and my dough was sticky — that was fixable by using a scraper as suggested while rolling. I didn’t get very many layers, though. I also slightly burned the end result.

      I think in general this recipe >>> any other recipe for actual rolls, thanks to its forgiving-ness. However, the end product definitely needed more of the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture — maybe a sprinkling on the top?

    47. Avra

      What is the difference between this and cinnamon babka? I think of cinnamon buns as basically yeasted dough with a cinnamon filling, rolled. I think of cinnamon babka as basically yeasted dough with a cinnamon filling, twisted. According to my definitions, “twisty cinnamon buns” just means cinnamon babka; where am I mistaken? Is there a clear difference in ingredients or ingredient ratios for babka vs cinnamon buns? Please enlighten me!

      1. JP

        I, personally think this is a valid question and would like to know the answer myself. Plus you asked the question with respect. I hope Deb will answer us.

      2. deb

        So, theoretically both are sweet, yeasted doughs with cinnamon fillings, so maybe you could say they’re the same. But, I have to be totally honest and say I’ve never once had a good cinnamon babka. The ones I’ve had are less gooey in filling, the filling often includes nuts and/or dried fruit, and have a much firmer bread part. There’s definitely no frosting and there’s usual streusel, like you’d see here. I suspect that the sturdiness is not an accident if it needs to work in a loaf pan. I find them dry, not at all plush and lovely like cinnamon rolls. Every comment after this will probably say “But you just haven’t had a good one, Deb!” And… that’s true!

        1. JP

          Thank you so much for clarifying even though we all know, from Seinfeld, that “cinnamon babka takes a back seat to no babka”. Your explanation makes me definitely want to try these twisty cinnamon buns for sure. I just want you to know that other than Cook’s Illustrated/Cook’s Country, your recipes are the first I go to and I am rarely disappointed. Plus, you, have a sparkling personality to boot. So, not only do your recipes not disappoint, but you, personally do not either, ever. I’ve been with you for many years and hope we have many more recipes to celebrate! Best wishes!

    48. Katie

      I followed the recipe to the letter and it worked like a charm, so delicious!! Thank you, Deb – you’re a genius!

    49. jennifer

      after you twist everything up, and your directions say to let it rest for 15 minutes? is this the second rise where they should double again in size?

    50. averythingcooks

      I cut this in half (easy to do) and followed method 1 with the room temp rise (to be sure it did!) & then overnight in the fridge. If I hadn’t read all the intro/headnotes I would have panicked early BUT…it rolled out beautifully this am (with lots of flour as instructed). I made a 15 inch roll and simply cut it in half and then made a twisty “loaf” with each half. I used a roughly 9″ x 6″ pan (as Deb suggested somewhere) and they baked up beautifully. I did not make the icing this time but do want to try it as I will absolutely make this recipe again

    51. Patty Veiner

      These are so wonderful. I made the dough on Saturday and baked them Sunday morning for Mother’s Day brunch. Our guests raved about them. I didn’t have a box of cream cheese to make the icing, so I served them with whipped cream cheese.
      My husband wants me to try making them with raisins, which I will do next week.
      Thank you for this recipe.

    52. I made this for Mother’s Day brunch. My brother-in-law declared it “sellable” and my dad said it was better than Cinnabon! Personally, I think I rolled it too thin and squished out the air from the rise because it didn’t puff very much in the oven. But they did taste delicious. The frosting was perfect on the rolls and on the berries from the fruit tray!

    53. Maro

      Mine were dry as hell and didn’t puff much in oven. I was really disappointed! They are tasty, but definitely felt like they needed more filling and maybe a brushed syrup out of the oven. They are nice nuked with some ice cream on top, though.

    54. Antonia

      I made these and although they were slightly dry, I decided to glaze over it with a milk/vanilla/powdered sugar mix while still warm and then they were alsolutely perfect!

    55. Ahh these cinnamon buns look so delicious! My parents would always make me the refrigerator cinnamon rolls for breakfast growing up. These are definitely a step up…like 100 steps up. Yum!

    56. So much prettier than the normal snail looking cinnamon buns. Rather quite fancy and I love how the flavour is distributed right though, yum!

    57. Jo

      Oh my heck, I just want to swim in those twists! This is epic food porn! I’m very intimated by this, but my 8 year old is very interested in learning to bake and cook, so taking your assurances that I can’t mess it up and leaning in. Would you rank this good for a beginner (like an 8 year old), or more intermediate? I’ll have to come back and update my results!

    58. Annie

      Made these with a bunch of friends over Zoom; everyone’s turned out so well! Looks a little intimidating, but really not hard at all. The house smelled great, and they warmed up nicely the next day, too. Definitely a keeper!

    59. Sandra Wahler

      There are just 2 of us and was wondering if I could make 2 8X8 pans and freeze one for later. Should the one for the freezer be allowed to rise or be frozen right after rolling and filling

    60. Katy

      I have these rising in the airing cupboard right now – the best place to prove anything yeasty in this house (apart from the Instant Pot on the yoghurt setting, but I always worry I’m rushing it that way). I admit I did add a quarter cup of flour after the butter had softened in because it was literally a puddle, not clinging to the dough hook at all and I just couldn’t cope (sorry).
      Could one add chunked or grated chocolate to these before rolling without affecting the outcome? I know I am going to be asked to add chocolate the next time…

    61. MadeleineC

      Seconding Sandra Wahler’s question about freezing:
      I will be driving 8 hours to a beach house stay with family the day before Fathers Day. I’d love to prepare these ahead, freeze before baking, and take them on the road in a cooler with ice, thaw overnight at the beach house then bake in the morning. Think that will work?

      1. deb

        I think that will work! Or, just make them the night before, chill before baking, and keep them chilled in a cooler until you bake where you’re going.

    62. Katy

      I just put the doubled dough in the fridge. I admit I added another quarter cup of flour after the butter was mixed in because it was literally a puddle, not even clinging to the dough hook. I realise it will be my own fault if it comes out tough but it was still very loose and not rollable afterwards! I used active dried yeast and put it in the airing cupboard to rise – it doubled in about an hour and a quarter. (I was tempted to use the Instant Pot on the yoghurt setting but it always feels deceptively easy to me somehow, like cheating.)

      I know I am going to be asked if I can make these again with chopped chocolate as well as cinnamon – would that affect the outcome? Apart from making it chocolatey?

      1. Katy

        Last update from me (I see my first comment wasn’t lost, sorry to repeat it): just baked these and they are lovely. There’s a shop near where I work that has gone under due to Covid, and they made a cinnamon bun that tasted just like this so I am delighted to have found a way of replicating them.

    63. Stephanie

      This recipe looks amazing, but I am slightly intimidated by the warnings of the sticky dough. I love the cheddar swirl breakfast buns from the first cookbook and find that dough very easy to work with- do you think that dough with this cinnamon swirl filling would turn out well? For any other commenters with input, that other dough has about half as much butter and no eggs, but otherwise comparable ingredients. Thank you!

      1. Katy

        I really didn’t think this would roll out or roll up successfully, but after a one hour rise in the fridge it rolled out fine with plenty of flour on the surface, it also rolled up fine and after half an hour in the freezer it was totally manageable. Trying to get the roll onto the baking sheet to freeze it was pretty hairy but it’s in the oven now and looks passable albeit not as pretty as Deb’s.

    64. Anne

      Surprised at the cinnamon link. That’s not real cinnamon… It’s cassia. Nothing from Vietnam is actual cinnamon, even if the label erroneously says cinnamon. Get genuine cinnamon from Sri Lanka — the only place cinnamon is actually grown & harvested — to enjoy the true non-bitter flavor. Cassia is actually toxic in not-too-huge quantities: Denmark had to ban the stuff because Danes were eating so many darn “cinnamon” buns and coming down with liver damage (the buns were made with “cinnamon” from outside Sri Lanka that’s actually cassia).

      1. Katy

        Cassia is real cinnamon. It does contain more coumarin than Ceylon but they’re both varieties of cinnamon. Denmark didn’t ban cassia, it enforced EU limits on the amount of coumarin allowed in foods eaten in the EU (bakers were using too much in commercially produced food).

        That said I do now really want to try Ceylon cinnamon!

        1. Diane

          Katy, this was such an informative comment! Thank you! As one of my favorite food-science professionals always says: the dose makes the poison, and I have bigger problems if I eat 1/4 a batch of these every day for a week or two :)

      2. JP

        COSTCO sells what they call “Ground Saigon Cinnamon”. I have been using it for years with no problems. It is delicious! There may be better cinnamons (or cassias) out there, but COSTCO wins for the price and it tastes enough like cinnamon should to me. Never have had a complaint yet!

    65. Sarah

      I have a kid with a milk allergy so made these with oat milk for the dough and then glazed with 2 cups of icing sugar mixed with a couple of tablespoons of oat cream (eyeballed until it was the right consistency). They turned out perfectly and were eaten by all three of my kids (and husband) within an hour of coming out of the oven.

    66. Sarah

      Although my oven doesn’t usually run hot, these were close to blackened on top and very dry inside after 30 minutes. I’m going to try them again and these are the changes I’ll make:
      1. I formed them the night before and refrigerated them overnight. I will not do this again as a LOT of the sugar mixture liquified and pooled in the pan while in the fridge and the buns were definitely missing it. Maybe try leaving them in the freezer overnight and then slightly thawing for cutting in morning?
      2. Probably bake at 350 and check starting at 25 minutes or earlier.

    67. widdershins

      I made these yesterday and they were perfect! The first time ever I’ve been successful with a yeast bake, so I’m rather proud of myself. Thank you for the great instructions Deb!

    68. Heather in Toronto

      Deb, DEB! Holy cow, this was so good!!! Mom and I made last weekend. Then, thinking about Shavuot, wondered about filling it with cottage cheese. #mindblown
      One day, I’ll get to Breads Bakery for Cheesecake May. Until then, here’s the filling we made to make Twisty Cheese Buns for Shavuot:
      1 pkg (500g) pressed, dry cottage cheese (we used this one: https://www.gaylea.com/products/western-creamery/pressed-dry-cottage-cheese-low-sodium-05/)
      2 eggs
      zest of one lemon
      2 tbsp lemon juice
      1/2 tsp cinnamon
      pinch or two of salt
      2 tbsp flour or cornstarch (only if very loose)

      Combine all ingredients except flour/cornstarch. If very loose, add 1 tbsp. Chill for 30 minutes–one hour. If still very loose, add second tbsp.

      #NOMNOMNOM

      Happy belated Mother’s Day to you!!!

    69. sharon cohen

      I thought I read about a certain brand of cinnamon that you said was very special – but now cannot find the name. can you please repeat this info? thanks

    70. Maureen

      Deb,
      There is a comment by a Barbara in response to Ruth’s comment on cinnamon that is not only rude, but it contains profanity. Perhaps you can pull it because it doesn’t fit with the positive, helpful feel of your baking community. (About the 32nd comment on my screen)

    71. Wendy

      Hi! Wondering what the implications are if I just leave the braids on the cookie sheet, to avoid transferring to the baking dish.

      1. Wendy

        Update: Ended up simply baking it on the cookie sheet with parchment paper – seemed great and definitely delicious!

    72. Jen

      This method of making cinnamon buns is fantastic! I don’t think I’ll go back to individual rolls after doing this. I used a smaller portion of some sourdough that had already mixed up. Thanks for the inspiration, Deb😃

    73. Tammie Black

      I cannot find the brand of cinnamon you said you used and now will always use. Maybe I’m not seeing it. Can’t wait to try these..

    74. Hannah

      This is a fun cinnamon roll variation to add to our repertoire! It definitely was not one to just “whip out”, but it was a beautiful finished product and the concept of just cutting what you want would make it great for a party or brunch.
      I made the full recipe but split it between 2 8×8 pans. After the final rise, I wrapped up one of the pans in aluminum foil and froze it (unbaked) for 2 weeks (we couldn’t wait any longer!). Thawed it overnight and baked on Sunday morning. Perfect!

    75. Dani

      They were delicious – although I think I may have overbaked them a bit? – but the dough was so, SO! sticky and challenging. I found myself hating it with a white hot passion, although I wondered if I rolled it out too thin since I had more than four rows. But – in retrospect – I’m a total hero among the office crowd and will drink a glass of wine while I handle the dough next time.
      Also, leaving the shaped buns in the fridge overnight and baking in the morning = genius.

    76. Sarah

      I made this exactly as written using method 1 to let it rise on the counter and then leaving it in the fridge for about a day and a half. I appreciated the reassurance that it would work out because I really did not think it would, but it turned out great!

      My rolling technique is not quite on par with Deb’s so when I cut the logs lengthwise they fell apart a bit, but I was still able to twist them and get them in the pan. They were not nearly as pretty as the pictures but they tasted delicious and were a hit with my family.

    77. Gloucesterina

      If you’ve made no-knead bread or the like before, the texture of this dough won’t feel weird or alarming. Next go-around I definitely want to try the no-knead treatment some of the commenters talked about – thanks!

      Other notes to self for next time:

      -I think I chilled the horseshoe a bit too long in the freezer; the extra stiffness made the layers come apart somewhat when it came to the twisting step but to no detriment to the final product.

      -I baked half in an 8×8 pan (froze the other half). During baking it didn’t expand to fill the whole pan, again to no ill effect. In fact, any butter and sugar that melted out crisped up on the parchment into these amazing brittle-like candy edges to the buns. So if you don’t have the pan sizes specified, I wouldn’t hesitate to bake these on a sheet pan or other pan that is “too big” for the recipe–more brittle candy edges for all!

      -I couldn’t resist adding a tablespoon or two of softened butter to the frosting for extra silkiness. Again, there were no ill effects :)

    78. Michele Morrison

      This is gorgeous and pretty easy if you follow Deb’s instructions. I did use kitchen scissors to split the logs, and that made that step painless.

    79. Christina Melancon

      Can this be made in muffin pans to make muffin sized twisty cinnamon buns?? How would I do it? Thank you

    80. Mandy S.

      I love this recipe! I’ve made it twice now and my teenaged son that doesn’t go for sweets likes this. I made a 1.5x batch for the filling, and I made an icing with 1 cup powdered sugar, some milk, and some maple flavoring. So good. I can’t wait to make it for a group.

    81. Lindsay Marsh

      I decided to have this for my birthday breakfast and made it in my Mum’s kitchen. It was delicious and a hit with everyone, except my fussy toddler who refused to even try it, but her 1970s Kenwood Chef mixer will never be the same.

      RIP Kenwood Chef.

    82. This recipe is phenomenal, so much so I’ll be sharing it on my blog. I wanted to double-check on the yeast though. You listed 2 1/2 teaspoons but also wrote one packet, 7 grams. 2 1/2 teaspoons is over one packet and 10 grams. The recipe works with the latter but wanted to clarify as I didn’t see a mention in the comments. Thanks!