Cinnabon-Style Gourmet Cinnamon Buns/ Baking with Yeast

Frosted Cinnamon Bun

Frosted Cinnamon Bun

When I found these on Sweetapolita‘s site I knew I had to make these immediately!  During my time in Canada – summers as a teenager, I remember the smell of the Cinnabon store in the malls.  Ohhhhhhh-myyyyyyy-goshhhhhhh!  The smell of fresh and baking Cinnabons literally filled the whole mall with the sugary sweet cinnamon scent.  Unlike the Danish flaky pastry cinnamon whirls I’m more used to in the UK, these buns are more of a soft, light, bread like texture laced with cinnamon sugar and topped with a cream cheese frosting.  Eaten warm they melt in the mouth and the frosting melts a little bit too.  The closest I’ve had to a Cinnabon in the UK was this cinnamon-sugar soft hand rolled pretzel from Mr Pretzels at Westfield, London.  It was beautiful and I think this recipe is a good substitute for those too.

Mr Pretzels Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel

This recipe is super easy and very cost effective.  The only thing I had to go out and buy was the bread flour and yeast- I had everything else in the kitchen.  I tried both variations of the recipe- Sweetapolita’s version include the bread flour and the Group Recipe‘s version just uses plain flour.  There was a noticeable difference, the latter was less light and airy. I might even try using more bread flour and less plain flour next time.  I didn’t use the frosting recipe as I had some cream cheese frosting leftover from some cupcakes.

Cinnabon-Style Gourmet Cinnamon Buns  (12 large buns)        {click here for printable recipe}



1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast

1 cup warm whole milk (microwave for about 60 seconds)

1/2 cup granulated/caster sugar

1/3 cup margarine (or 80% margarine 20% butter spread)

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3 1/4 cups plain flour

3/4 cup bread flour


1 cup light brown sugar

3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/3 cup margarine (or 80% margarine 20% butter spread)


  • For the rolls, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl.
  • Add sugar, margarine salt, eggs, and flour, mix well.
  • Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour.
  • Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approx 21 inches long by 16 inches wide.
  • It should be approx 1/4 thick.
  • To make filling, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • Spread the softened margarine over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the surface, leaving about 1″ untouched around edges.
  • Gently roll into a fairly tight roll, trying to keep the filling inside.
  • With a sharp knife, slice into 12 pieces.
  • Place on parchment lined cookie sheet about 2″ apart, cover with lint-free cloth, and let rise for another hour.
  • Bake in 400 degree on rack just above centre, for about 10 minutes, or until light golden brown.
  • Cool on cooling rack and gently place into airtight container when cool.

Note: I came across an 80% margarine 20% butter spreat at my local grocer, which is what I used for the dough, filling, and frosting. If you can’t find such a thing, go with the recommended margarine, as opposed to butter.

Cloned Cinnabon Frosting from Gordon Family

Since this recipe was designed as a scientific mission to clone the Cinnabon frosting, I will provide it exactly the way I found (here) and followed it from the Gordon Family recipe–they are clearly geniuses!


Amount Measure Ingredient and Preparation Method
4 oz Cream Cheese (0.25 lb)
1/2 Cup Margarine (0.25 lb, i.e. 1 stick)
1 3/4 Cup 10x Powdered Sugar (or Sugar Fondant) (1/2 lb)
1 tsp Vanilla Flavor (preferably Alcohol Free)
1/8 tsp Lemon Flavor (preferably Alcohol Free)

Method (in their words):

There are several steps involved in the preparation of the frosting. But it is not difficult, and you’ll be surprised at the wonderful results you achieve. For the fluffiest frosting, use Vanilla and Lemon flavors that do not contain alcohol. A total of 50 minutes is required to prepare the frosting, from start to finish. We normally prepare the frosting while the rolls are rising.

Generally, we use 10x Powdered Sugar. However, Sugar Fondant yields a smoother frosting. Please refer to our notes.

Remove the cream cheese and margarine from the refrigerator and place it into the mixing bowl. Leave it for about half an hour so that it will not be too cold.

Use the Flat Beater (or Paddle) to blend the cream cheese and margarine for 6 minutes. Use a speed of 65 RPM, or the “slow mixing” speed on your machine. We use setting #2 on our KitchenAid Mixer.

Switch to the Stainless Steel Whip and whip the cream cheese and margarine mixture for 10 minutes. Use a speed of 150 RPM, or the “medium fast whipping” speed on your machine. We use setting #6 on our KitchenAid Mixer.

Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and mix for 1 minute using the Stainless Steel Whip at 65 RPM. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of powdered sugar and mix for an additional minute.

Lastly, add the Vanilla Flavor and Lemon Flavor and whip for 1 minute using the Stainless Steel Whip at 150 RPM.

Here’s an easy to follow table for the preparation of the frosting:

Add Cream Cheese and Margarine to mixing bowl and let stand for 30 minutes.
Mix using Paddle at 65 RPM for 6 minutes
Use Stainless Steel Whip at 150 RPM for 10 minutes
Add 1 Cup Powdered Sugar.
Use Stainless Steel Whip at 65 RPM for 1 minute
Add 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar.
Use Stainless Steel Whip at 65 RPM for 1 minute
Add Vanilla and Lemon flavors.
Use Stainless Steel Whip at 150 RPM for 1 minute

Transfer the finished frosting to a convenient covered container and refrigerate it. Once the rolls are finished baking, frost them while they’re still very warm and serve them immediately.

Prepared dough

Proven dough

Filled and sliced

Proven buns

Baked buns

Frosted Cinnamon Bun

This is another recipe that I’d like to try: Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread by Joy the Baker.  They look so squishy and I’m imagining some maple syrup drizzled on top too – an alternative to breakfast pancakes!

Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread

Cinnamon Toast

If you feel the need for a cinnamon-sugary-buttery breakfast – try mixing some butter, brown sugar and ground cinnamon and spreading on some toasted bread.  Here’s a recipe.  You can make the cinnamon butter in advance and keep it in the fridge for future use.  It’s good for the same time as the use by date of the butter.


5 thoughts on “Cinnabon-Style Gourmet Cinnamon Buns/ Baking with Yeast

  1. I made this recipe today, tweaking the flavouring slightly as I wanted to do something different from the normal cinnmon, but I just have to say the dough and frosting is absolutely fantastic! I can see myself making this over and over again. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Pingback: What I’ve been baking… « CupcakeDarling

  3. Pingback: Spiced Pear Crumble Pie « CupcakeDarling

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