Perfect Cinnamon Buns

My all time favorite breakfast treat is the cinnamon bun. I grew up eating those Pillsbury ones in the airtight tubes that you had to whack against the counter to get open.

I had a friend whos mom, would place them in a pie tin and they would expand. Being what I thought cinnamon buns should be, this was illusive concept to me. I only ate them once and have been trying to find ones that compare, ever since.

Heres what ruins anything that has ever come close to those homemade cinnamon buns that I have spent a lifetime dreaming about:

  • the weak cinnamon to bun ratio
  • not enough frosting
  • raisins. gross. Why do people find the need to add pruned grapes to something so perfect?

I realized that in order to do something right, I would just have to do it myself. Baking with yeast is still pretty new to me, so I was a bit scared of it. My baker dad informed me that yeast and humans live comfortably in the same temperatures:

  • If you add yeast to something that is about the same temperature as a warm bathtub, it’ll flourish.
  • If you add it to a liquid that is too hot, you’ll kill it.
  • If you add it to something cold, it’ll hold out on expanding until the temperature is warm enough or it’ll just take longer.

With this, I began skimming through cinnamon bun recipes, plucking what I liked about each one to concoct my idea of the perfect cinnamon bun.

It was so good, that my appetite almost didn’t give me time to take a good photo of the final product.

What you need for the dough:

  • 1 package (0.25 oz.) yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup milk, warmed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 4-4 1/2 cups flour

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter

For the Icing:

  • 1/2 package cream cheese, very soft
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (I really love vanilla, though)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

start by warming up the milk

warm the milk on the lowest possible flame. My goal was to get it the milk to “bath water for a baby” warm.

Put the warm milk into your mixing bowl and add the packet of yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, then stir together.

add 1/2 cup of sugar, 1tsp salt, vanilla, 2 eggs, and 6 tbs of butter. (fittingly, I made this treat on Paula Deens birthday)

and stir it all together.

stir in flour

I did it one cup at a time until it made a dough that was thick enough to kneed together (about 4 1/2 cups)

flour a surface, and kneed the dough until its smooth (I did it for about 5 minutes)

Lightly grease a bowl, place the ball of dough into it, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it sit in a warm place until it raises to twice its size. (The time it takes for it to rise depends on the temp of its surroundings. I put mine into the unheated oven because its still much warmer than my unheated apartment. About 2 hours later, the dough was huuuuuuge!)

While you wait, you can mix together the fixin’s for the filling.

Put the dough onto a floured surface, and roll it into a large rectangle.

spread on 2 tablespoons of butteradd the brown sugar mixtureroll it up and cut about every 2 inches butter up a pie tin (or two, in my case) or a baking dish and place the cinnamon rolls in it until the expand into the pan (about 40 minutes)while waiting to them to look as squished as they do in the photo above, preheat your oven to 350. Pop them into the oven for about 30 minutes

or until they start getting brown on top.

beat together all of your frosting ingredients. Adding the sugar last and in small increments until you reach the amount of sweetness you want from it.

smoother your hot sweet buns (get your mind out of the gutter!)

Eat them until you fall into a sugar coma.

I suggest only serving them fresh. I got 9 buns out of this recipe and tried saving 4 (unfrosted) ones overnight, but by the next morning the bread pretty much absorbed the cinnamon swirl. Which was fine by me, since the bread aloe is AMAZING.I think I’ll make a loaf of it for french toast, next time.

all photos and illustrations were done by me

Chloe Rice


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117 Responses to “Perfect Cinnamon Buns”

  1. TC Says:

    I am jealous. And the tablet is allowing for some amazing drawing.

  2. Alison Heller Says:

    Yum! & another blue pot! Are they a set? Where did you find this gorgeous cookware?

  3. Erica Says:

    Send me some buns and I’ll send you some…thing! (I miss my Granny’s cinnamon buns so much.)

  4. Jorge D. Says:

    This w some black coffee would definitely hit the spot!

  5. The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife Says:

    Looks good!

  6. dearexgirlfriend Says:

    wow…considering i just made myself a huge bfast and now im hungry again just from seeing these pics, id say job well done 😉

  7. CrystalSpins Says:

    I think the icing is my favorite — in fact I probably would have put WAY more icing on those. Although they look lovely. How do you feel about caramel rolls?

  8. cafetisa Says:

    You have no idea how happy I was to see this post! I keep trying to work up the nerve to bake with yeast, even after a few goes I’m intimidated, but there is absolutely no way I am missing this opportunity!! Yumbo!! Thanks 🙂

  9. Mikalee Byerman Says:

    Oh. My. God.

    Love love LOVE your caricatures.

    And the rolls don’t look half bad, either. Totally with ya on the raisins, btw. Ewwww.


  10. StayCalmCupcake Says:

    Cute blog and awesome pictures!! Congrats on being FP – I love the recipe too. If you like cupcakes – check out my blog for some yummy cupcake recipes!

    “Stay Calm, Have a Cupcake”

  11. J Roycroft Says:

    OK so now you are trying to blow my diet! Isn’t enough that I am married to a Le Cordon Bleu chef? Great post and congrats on FP

  12. Laura Says:

    I want a cinnamon bun so bad right now!!

  13. 1blackmartha Says:

    These look really good. I’ll have to try this recipe very soon.

  14. msyoungmd Says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOOOOOU!! Ive been looking for a tried and Loved cinnamon Bun Recipe for months now… Again… Thank you so Kindly for sharing 🙂

  15. justalittlepiece Says:

    First time visit to your blog! I don’t know know what I love more: the fact that you have the same affinity for cinnamon buns as I do or the awesome doodles on your pictures.

  16. Von de Leigh Says:

    Yum! If you’re ever in Albuquerque, try the scrumptious sticky buns at the Frontier Restaurant.

  17. Stephanie Says:

    I am not a fan of raisins in my cinnamon rolls either. And like you I also grew up on the airtight tube variety. Like so many things from my childhood the flavors when prepared at home were never… flavorful enough. I have made these and they are amaaaaaaazing..

    Do try.

  18. crissy0316 Says:

    Really cute! I love your drawings and the cinnamon buns look awesome!

  19. Evie Garone Says:

    Yum, Yum, Yum! The photos are too cute. Cina Bun has nothin’ on you!!!

  20. 4myskin Says:

    Yum! I love homemade cinnamon buns! Yum yum yum! 😀

  21. jaredblakedicroce Says:

    Every time we buy the Pillsbury rolls from the store, I’m forced to open them because my girlfriend jumps out of her skin when she hears that, “Pop”!
    These look amazing by the way, i think i just might have to try them out for the Superbowl!

  22. Christina Whiskhands Says:

    Just stumbled upon this great little tutorial. You have a sick sense of humor girl (I’m a vegan, so I picture eggs screaming a little these days with a chuckle myself) and I LIKE IT. I really can’t say enough good things about your blog voice and will definitely be tuning in regularly now.

  23. nancyc1010 Says:

    Never could understand the raisins. I probably have 57 cinnamon rolls recipes flagged, clipped, printed, and filed. Haven’t made one yet. Think it’s the fear of yeast. Your comments have helped. I can do this!

  24. nancykhicks Says:

    Love your blog, am drooling over the cinnamon buns. My mom made from-scratch cinnamon rolls and put them in my lunchbox every day in grade school. I didn’t grasp how special this is until I was all grown up. Gonna make some for my kids on this rainy day. Thanks for the inspiration.

  25. My Camera, My Friend Says:

    Cute cartoons on your photos. I love cinnamon buns, but I’m just learning to bake. Maybe I’ll be brave enough to try making them someday.

  26. carminescarlatta Says:

    YOUR BLOG IS AWESOME!!! i love it!.
    congrats! keep writing!, by the way, you took the pictures?, `cause it looks cool!

  27. enjoibeing Says:

    looks delicious! im taking this recipe from you!

  28. I Made You A Mixtape Says:

    Yeah, so there goes my diet then….seriously AMAZING… and I love your photos… so funny and inventive!

  29. thewordmavens Says:

    Congratulations on being fresh pressed. The cinnamon buns look great. It’s not Jewish food, but we love them anyway.

  30. J Says:

    I am so hungry right now and this is making it WORSE lol. It looks so yummy.

  31. turbu1ence Says:

    awesome! i can’t really eat that sweet tho!

    i love how detailed your blogs are!

  32. acleansurface Says:

    I have no intention of making the rolls, but your drawings are fun and I really enjoyed this!

  33. Calogero Mira Says:

    Thanks 4 this recipe.

  34. dogearedpreacher Says:

    A cinnamon bun without raisins is a freak of nature.

  35. CultureChoc2010 Says:


  36. fireandair Says:

    Meh. Crap. I’m hungry now.

  37. bluemixer Says:

    These looks sooo yummy. This is my first visit to your blog. I love the little sketches on the photos… adorable!

  38. bluemixer Says:

    These look sooo yummy. This is my first visit to your blog. I love the little sketches on the photos… adorable!

  39. makingup3000 Says:

    I love cinnamon rolls too and I may actually try making this because I love the easy to follow pics and instructions.

  40. Zann Carter Says:

    Mmm – I’ve always felt so guilty doing the Pillsbury tube cinnamon rolls (Christmas Day and tree-decorating tradition), but then I had many people at home to make Christmas for. Now I am going to bookmark this page and try from -scratch for Holiday 2011. Molly’s Mom

  41. robertforto Says:

    Awesome post! Ill have to try it! I would love to include your recipe in my Recipe Rants segment on my blog. Let me know if you are interested!


  42. sixthirtythree Says:

    Well, if I make my own cinnamon rolls, then I can put as much icing as I want on each one. These look so delicious.

  43. Babygirl Says:

    Besides chocolate, cinnamon buns are my favorite dessert, breakfast, anytime food. I love your picture directions with this post. Very nice. I will definitely try this out.

  44. rohitmaiya Says:

    I am a vegetarian. How does this taste without eggs? Any substitute for eggs. Please dont say egg substitute – we dont get that everywhere in India.

    I like the fact about raisins. I dont like raisins on anything perfect. It makes the perfect imperfect.

  45. julwindchimes Says:

    i love, love, love this post, lol. baking and cinnamon buns and cookware and beaters; not to mention the funny drawings … :):):)

  46. Dazed & Infused Says:

    holy crap, this is perfect (and I am with you on the evils of raisins in baked goods)

  47. Ana Amaral. Says:

    Amazing blogger, baker, photographer, artist…WOW! And I will definitely be coming back to your blog – I love your ‘oh Joy’ and ‘Make Monday’ features!


  48. thislittlebirdie Says:

    Love your aqua pan! The cinnamon rolls look nice too!

  49. Frank Says:

    Did someone just blowup? I told you so.

  50. Anna Says:

    Raisins always always always put me off cinnamon buns. And dates. I mean really? Uck.

  51. hunter71 Says:

    WOW! These look so good. I am going to show them to my Mom. Thanks! Hunter71 🙂

  52. notitiae Says:

    Prestigious site, thanks for the post… I suggest NotitiAE too… at this link:

  53. Jules Says:

    sugar coma 🙂 thanks for sharing

  54. lillepilt Says:

    This brings back great memories from the year I spent as an exchange student in Texas. However I am used to making these in Norway, but I do not have the same frosting, this I have really been missing. I will definetly maker your recipie. And yes I couldn´t agree more. Why raisins?

    Elin K

  55. Liv Says:

    ohhhhhh mmyyyyy gooooodness.

    Those. Look. Amazing.

  56. Tien Says:

    Yum!! Never made a ‘bready’ dough before (I tend to stay away from breads) but I’m going to have to give this a go!

    Will let you know how I go if I do, 😉


    • Tien Says:

      I did it! The bread worked out but not the icing? It was too watery – even after 2 cups of sugar… but otherwise, it was divine hhmm…

      The recipe’s a keeper and will definitely make them again!

  57. Breland Kent Says:

    All I can say is YUM!!

  58. Rachel Says:

    Oh my goodness, that looks fantastic!!! I want them… NOW! And i love love love your step-by-step instructions… Write a children’s cookbook? Please?

  59. Perfect Cinnamon Buns | Walter's Greasy Spoon Says:

    […] Cinnamon Buns […]

  60. Óscar Paúl Castro, traditore Says:

    Maravilloso, gracias!

  61. Lakia Gordon Says:

    These look yummy

  62. Moonmooring Says:

    Great drawings and even greater photos. Congrats on the Freshly pressed. I’d lik to cross post this. And I’ll probably try your recipe.


  63. batikmania Says:

    Woww… it looks good. I have no intention of making the rolls. I only have intentions to eat them 😉 They looks sooooo delicious. And the way you show us how to make it step by step with those sequence of pictures, hm… it made me think that maybe… I can make it too 😉 Thanks for sharing, and congrats for being in freshly pressed.

  64. haroldwoodcrafting Says:

    I am so gonna try this! Mouth is already watering anticipating the sugar coma to come!

  65. panthersofamerica Says:

    These look delicious! I definitely am going to make these! 🙂

  66. foodtable Says:

    Yum! I would totally make this and by the way, nice funny graphics! 😀

  67. rtcrita Says:

    I haven’t made cinnamon rolls in so long. These look so good. Maybe I will make a batch this weekend!

  68. Pan Says:

    Incredibly delicious >,< !

  69. blackboxblue Says:

    I LOVE cinnamon rolls!!!! Thanks for a tribute blog to the best breakfast snack possible. And I love the way you blog, adding your hand-drawn cartoon caricatures to your photos. Keep up the great work!

  70. Zoe MacLean Says:

    These look absolutely Delicious! I’m tempted to veganise them and bake a batch myself!! I really LOVE your illustrations on the photos though, so so cute 🙂

  71. Perfect Cinnamon Buns (via Shoplifting in a Ghost Town) | bittersweet symphony. Says:

    […] My all time favorite breakfast treat is the cinnamon bun. I grew up eating those Pillsbury ones in the airtight tubes that you had to whack against the counter to get open. I had a friend whos mom, would place them in a pie tin and they would expand. Being what I thought cinnamon buns should be, this was illusive concept to me. I only ate them once and have been trying to find ones that compare, ever since. Heres what ruins anything that has ever … Read More […]

  72. The Perfectly Imperfect One Says:

    OMG YUM! I was just talking about trying to find a good cinnamon roll recipe at work today. AWESOME!

    Congrats on being freshly pressed! 🙂

  73. Meanwhile, back at the ranch... Says:

    Adorable! My husband and I have been talking about trying to make our own rolls, and you made it seem less scary, so thanks!

  74. thesecretgirlforever Says:

    omg!! those Cinnamon rolls look so delicious!! its making me hungry!! i absolutely love your pictures!! they are so CUTE! congrats on being freshly pressed!

  75. Fire Crystals Says:

    The pics are making me very hungry…looks so yummylicious.

  76. graciegrin Says:

    Reminds me of a poem I wrote last year…


    The aroma of you teases my nose
    As I’m walking through the door.
    A mixture of salt and spice and sweet
    I’m helpless to your allure.

    The temptation of you builds in me
    Like fire it burns right through.
    I feel your warmth and cannot resist
    As I draw closer to you.

    Then giving in I reach out my hand,
    Your decadence I embrace.
    The anticipation fills my mind
    And my heart begins to race.

    As I close my eyes and part my lips
    I’m driven by just one goal:
    Your succulant taste upon my tongue
    Oh lovely cinnamon roll.

    Copyright © 2010 Mary Grace Wallace

  77. farahh Says:

    Great picture, great ilustration, and i’m hungry!
    wondering how you can work on your dough and take picture at a time
    btw what camera did you use?

  78. Fragolina Says:

    I love cinnamon buns. Yours look so delicious. I have never tried them at home, I really want to.

  79. Kai Says:

    looks so sweet!

  80. dressed2dish Says:

    YUM! looks so gooey and creamy just how I like, you’ve inspired my creativity to take a crack at this!

  81. Auburn Meadow Farm Says:

    I’ve been on a cinnamon bun streak myself… I was just thinking the ratio of cinnamon to bun wasn’t right and you’ve just proved it.

    I love what you did with your photos – looks great.
    Thanks for making my breakfast seem so shabby 😀

  82. Perfect Cinnamon Buns « Cotton & Milk Says:

    […] My all time favorite breakfast treat is the cinnamon bun. I grew up eating those Pillsbury ones in the airtight tubes that you had to whack against the counter to get open. I had a friend whos mom, would place them in a pie tin and they would expand. Being what I thought cinnamon buns should be, this was illusive concept to me. I only ate them once and have been trying to find ones that compare, ever since. Heres what ruins anything that has ever … read more & get the recipe  here ♥!! […]

  83. bucanetes Says:

    Beautifull, I will try your recipie

  84. richannkur Says:

    Excellent way to show a recipe…. I just loved the animation. very cute. I loved your post.:)

  85. Deboshree Says:

    Oh my gosh. Its torture to be sitting here in office and knowing I am not going to get one of these anytime soon.

  86. Cherszy Says:

    I’m not really a big fan of cinnamon buns, but these really look delicious! Good job! 🙂

  87. earthymind Says:

    love these…i could almost smell them…im going to try them out this weekend for sure!!and just loved your style of presentation,loved the little illustrations that you have going there!!!

  88. sdalida Says:

    nice pictures! great work!

  89. orientme Says:

    oh my!!!!!!!! can’t stop salivating…… gotta make me some like those.

  90. Cristian Gidinceanu Says:

    looks very good, i will try to do this on Sunday 🙂 !

  91. mrsled Says:

    Wonderful… I am dying to try them out. I have worked with yeast for quite some time and its dead easy, providing that you do not kill it.
    Those buns look really yummy!!! I have just eaten homemade doughnuts so no more just yet !

  92. Svetkarin Says:

    Oh wow, great pictures! And the cinnamon buns look incredibly yummy! Congratulation on being freshly pressed 😀

  93. brianhidayat Says:

    yumiii 🙂

  94. ArticulateArt Says:

    Wow… I’m really craving cinnamon buns right now!!! This is a torture!!!!
    By the way, I love how you add a personal touch to the pictures! They look so cute with different expressions!

  95. thoughtsappear Says:

    These look so good! I need to try this out. I’m with you on the cinnamon to dough ratio. (And the frosting, too.) I just tried out a cinnamon bun recipe, but you put apples in the buns. That was pretty good!

  96. mynakedbokkie Says:

    That looks amazing!! Think i could get fat just perving at your pictures. How did you do your little drawings? They are precious.
    Going to have a squizz around….
    Congrats on being freshly pressed!!

  97. Frank Pug Says:

    Such an awesome recipe, but more, such awesome photos and instructions. We’re just going to have to make these and pass your recipe and your blog on to everyone we possibly can!!

  98. decibelbelownormal Says:

    Speaking as a cinnamon lover I’m obviously missing out – I’ve never had a cinnamon bun. Your blog is stunning. I love the mixture of your artwork and imagery. As the Terminator would say, I’ll be back.

  99. Mr. Fishy Donk Says:

    They look very tasty (great photos btw). Must try

  100. Perfect Cinnamon Buns » Wordpress-actu Says:

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  101. TheEverydayMuser Says:

    My mom has made cinnamon buns for me before, and all I can say is that I find them AMAZING. Now I know how to make some, I sure will, on my own, with no help. I wonder if that will work out.
    I agree with you on raisins. I hate raisins in general. I mean, they look nothing like grapes, taste nothing like grapes, heck, they don’t even FEEL like grapes. Yet, they’re just dried grapes and nothing else. I just hate raisins. If one comes into my mouth, I’ll usually spit it out into a tissue.
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!
    Ashley, aka TheEverydayMuser

  102. Chloe’s Cinnamon Buns | Lemons And Beans Says:

    […] My ever talented friend Chloe has a step-by-step recipe for homemade cinnamon buns up on her website. It is complete with photographs and whimsical drawings about the whole process. I encourage you all to check out here stuff here. […]

    • Frank Says:

      The link to your post as officially revived more hit on my site today than my own post about Split Pea Soup. I think we know where America’s stomach is. Congrats on getting to WP’s front page!

  103. monkeyKing Says:


  104. Caramel Rolls « Jeramiah Pearce Says:

    […] Perfect Cinnamon Buns ( […]

  105. annie2709 Says:

    i ve tried these today and they re really YUMMY! guess the sugar coma isnt far any more 😉
    thanks for sharing!

  106. fireandair Says:


  107. Brittany Says:

    This post is beautifully done. Not only is it informational, but also inspirational!!!

    You have set me on a mission:
    1 – Make homemade cinnamon buns.
    2 – Make my photographs more artistic.

  108. Epic cinnamon buns « silver spoons & plastic forks Says:

    […] sugary, cinnamoney, icing covered kind. In the category of Cinnabons and the like. He found a recipe that he wanted me to try and dropped me a subtle little hint on my Facebook […]

  109. nitinun Says:

    Ohh now you’re making me hungry

  110. promoteonline98 Says:


    Thank you 🙂

  111. fireandair Says:

    I just made these again, only I replaced the filling with some satsuma-mandarin marmalade, granulated sugar, and two oranges of grated orange peel. I put orange extract in the icing. Yummy!

    Seriously, this is my favorite yeast-based roll recipe in the universe. I’m trying to think of other stuff I can roll up in it.

  112. snake Says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually think this web site wants far more consideration. I’ll in all probability be once more to read way more, thanks for that info.

  113. Jake Says:

    These are perfect for autumn-winter season. Looking forward to bake them!

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