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.



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, so 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.

  • 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

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.

266 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.

        4. Patty

          I just made these using the danish dough whisk and melted butter, no kneading. The dough actually sat in the refrigerator for 4 days. Just baked them up and they are delicious! Wonderful recipe!

      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.

        1. Amber

          Can these be frozen and baked/reheated later? They would be perfect to take on the road, and reheat at the destination (as a gift or cause you just want the cinnamon roll smell in your weekend getaway location!)

    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!

      1. Annette

        Thank you *so much* for the Instagram – it makes the process so crystal-clear. No excuse left for not making these now – thanks again.

  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.

      1. Jen

        Thank you! I came here looking for this answer. My son has an egg allergy and a fierce love of anything cinnamon sugar! I’ll give these a try this weekend!

  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:(


    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

    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:
    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.


    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

    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!

  83. Tea

    Despite not using a stand mixer (kneading by hand), substituting whey for milk, and not patting in the filling, the cinnamon twist turned out pretty good! I didn’t get a good rise, and omitted any icing, and it’s still delicious. You’ll have to hang around the house if using the room temperature proofing, as there’s a lot of going back to tend the dough. There’s an appalling amount of sugar in the filling, but that’s what caramelizes into a gooey treat that’s guaranteed to save your marriage.

  84. Annie

    I’ve made this 3 times. And each time I made it, the end result was a disaster. With all the extra flour I used to keep the dough/surface smooth, the results was a doughy/floury (taste) cinnamon twist. First time I used a wooden rolling pin. The 2 other times I used a silicone rolling pin. Neither worked best to aid with the rolling. I followed the recipe to the tee. Maybe it’s because I’m on the Westcoast and our water is different? I had high hopes for this recipe. Oh well.

  85. Julie

    This is delicious!
    Nevertheless, I did have some problems. I filled and shaped it, then left it in the fridge overnight. That mostly worked fine, but the liquid that came out (from the sugar?) burned and made parts of this stick to the (nonstick and buttered) pan. I think next time I’ll just form and shape it right before baking.
    Also, I definitely needed more than 3 tbs of butter. Next time I’ll do 4 or 5. Melting more midway was super annoying.
    And I thought I was pretty speedy with the rolling, filling, rolling up part, but by the time the log was formed, I could barely manipulate it without it just ripping apart. It was so soft! There was no “stretch gently to 36 inches” – only “do whatever you can do to get this on a baking sheet.” It was probably 40 inches, really unevenly stretched, by the time I got it onto the sheet.
    Nevertheless, it turned out good!

    1. Julie

      AND I JUST LEARNED THAT I ACCIDENTALLY DOUBLED THE BUTTER IN THE DOUGH! Haha! That may explain why mine was so soft (and delicious, in the end).

  86. Tiffany Murphy

    This turned out delicious and every bite is truly that best center bite you wait to reach in a cinnamon bun. I let mine rise overnight in the fridge and split the dough in half and worked with one half at a time due to limited counter space. This is a great dish to make for a lazy Sunday morning! I don’t think I will ever make cinnamon buns again! I added a little orange zest to the frosting too!

  87. Maggie

    I halved the recipe and baked in an 8×8 pan — learn from my experience! Instead of cutting the log into two approximate 9 inch logs (half of the four indicated by the recipe), I recommend rolling the log pre-freezer to a 21 inch length (a smidge longer than half of the length indicated for the full recipe), proceeding to the freezer, and then cutting that log into three 7-inch segments, which are then split in half, twisted, and placed in the pan. Halving the recipe as written led to two too-long logs that didn’t quite fill the 8×8 pan when baked. Delicious, regardless! And no other issues with halving the recipe.

  88. Rebecca Costello

    Made this for (COVID-safe outdoor) brunch this morning, so did the overnight rise in the fridge approach. I was nervous about rolling out the dough but I used plenty of flour and had no major issues… I probably could have even used a little less. Having the dough well-chilled truly did help. The twisted logs didn’t really fill the 9×13 pan like I thought they would, but they expanded with baking and looked nice when they were done. Everyone liked them and I agree that they are the solution to the problem of the “outside bite” of cinnamon rolls. Not sure why I would make cinnamon rolls any other way from now on!

  89. Lucille

    Excellent recipe with just enough cinnamon sugar with each bite! Made the dough in a bread machine and popped it into a container to take over for Thanksgiving breakfast. I only had an ice pack on top and that was enough to keep it cool overnight. Easily rolled it out in the morning and did not have time to chill before cutting. Baked up so tender with just enough filling. I was surprised by the small amount of butter in the filling that actually spread over the sheet of dough. Enjoyed by everyone even without the cream cheese icing. This will be my go-to recipe and may be tempted to add chopped pecans and rum raisins for extra decadence.

  90. Corrie

    Have you tried to make this Gluten Free? I would be interested in your thoughts on this. I am a celiac and baked goods are difficult to do as the GF flours do not have the gluten which is needed for the elasticity!

  91. Emily

    Made this for Thanksgiving breakfast. Completely awesome! My husband and I both are center cinnamon roll folks lol who isn’t lol! Served it with no icing and chopped pecans tossed on top during baking so they were perfectly crunchy. Perfect way to start a fun family day.

  92. Cherylita

    I read your whole post, excited to try this. Typo in your italicized intro: “5. Yes, you can use active dry yeast instead of instant, the same amount. It *might* double faster, see keep an eye on it.” I think you may want it to say “so” instead of “see”?

  93. Laina

    Do you think you could shape these the night before and keep in the fridge overnight to bake in the morning? Any less work to do the day-of to fill the house with cinnamon-y goodness!

  94. Diane Novak

    I followed the direction exactly. When baked it did not rise as it should have. I do not think letting it rise only 15 minutes was long enough, should have been 1 hour. I had to throw it away.

  95. Beep

    I would like to make these *and* a recipe of your pecan sticky buns (a family favorite) at the same time to accommodate pecan lovers and one kid with a nut allergy. I see that the doughs are a little different but it would make life easier to just double one dough recipe. Do you have advice on whether this would work and if so which dough to use?

  96. DeeDee Johnson

    Can you use almond flour to reduce carbs? I’ve never used almond flour, but currently doing low carb and love my desserts! I don’t want to miss out! Haha

  97. Janet_H

    I am in the middle of making these, and I feel compelled to tell anyone who is pondering making these on Christmas morning – maybe don’t. These are definitely VERY finicky and the dough is so, so sticky. I let my dough sit in the fridge for 24 hours, rolled it out, and re-chilled everything on the cookie sheet. It was still so sticky and when I went to cut the log in half it just completely fell apart. Ribbons of dough and sugar everywhere. I was sort of able to reform the half-log and make one twist loaf, but then decided to abort the mission and cut the rest of my dough into regular cinnamon rolls. I put them back in the fridge in their pan and I’ll bake in the morning. Sorry Deb, this doesn’t really seem worth the hassle at all!

    1. Lynne

      My finished product tasted lovely, Deb, although it’s not soft and light. Also, I must be clumsy, because my twisting process didn’t end up with anything resembling your finished product. I tried! I went to the Instagram story, but it had expired. I watched the Instagram reel, and TikTok, but that twisting part of the instruction was somehow too fast for me. I looked at the photos here and couldn’t understand how to do this lovely twist thing. I’d thought I was a visual person, and good at interpreting instructions, but alas! I made a double batch, so when I botched the first lot, I thought, never mind, there’s a second batch to perfect. Nope. Mine looked closed in; not open and twisty, like your lovely photos. I think I need slo-mo for that stage of the process. Never mind. The family loved the result. I made a lot of mess in the kitchen! I agree that this is not a task for when you’re in a hurry or feeling flustered. Thank you for the recipe, Deb.

    2. Janet_H

      Checking back in after baking this morning-what a disappointment. All the butter and sugar ran out into the bottom of the pan resulting in super dry cinnamon bread. And it stuck to the pan to boot. Oh well, not everything can be a slam dunk.

  98. Julie

    This 100% did not work for me. The cold butter did not mix in like you said it would. What I came out with after an overnight rise was a bowl of soup. Had to throw the whole thing out. Luckily I had a backup recipe for Christmas morning from King Arthur Flour. Your recipes are usually good but this one was not.

    1. Sarah

      Deb, not sure if you’re still answering questions on this recipe, but how might you modify this recipe to incorporate a tangzhong? It’s just two of us and I’d love to be able to eat this for breakfast over the course of a week.

  99. Katie Fabbro

    I’ve been too excited to make these. Unfortunately, my dough has not risen. Thoughts?
    Checked my yeast and it is not expired.
    Should I remake the dough?
    Yes, of course I attempted these as a Xmas Eve morning dish. Whoops. Ahhh well.

  100. Bonnie

    Making these for Christmas morning as I type this. Prepped them yesterday, refrigerated overnight, and now they are filling the house with the most wonderful cozy smell. Thanks Deb!

  101. Jess

    This recipe worked great for me. I did everything on Christmas Eve day except for baking them, stuck them in the freezer for the rest of the day then transferred to the fridge overnight and baked them Christmas morning. A little of the filling liquified and leaked out to form a sort of sticky toffee on the edges but not too much. I lined my baking dish with buttered parchment and had no sticking issues. I will definitely make these again. The dough was soft and pillows and easy to roll out on my granite counter with little sticking, but I did flour it a lot.

  102. Pam

    Made half a recipe (for 2 people), chose the rise over-night in the fridge option. The rise wasn’t as dramatic as bread, but it rose while baking. Mine into an 8×8 with room to expand, like in Deb’s photos for the 9×13, and filled in nicely while baking. So easy. Delicious! Next time will add toasted pecans to the cinnamon sugar mixture.

  103. Alison

    I made these for Christmas morning and they were a huge hit. I’ll never make cinnamon rolls again. Every bite of these buns are an equal amount of dough and cinnamon/sugar (just as advertised), which (to me) is a big improvement over the typical rolls. I made the dough on Christmas Eve and left it in the fridge overnight. I think for most people, the overnight version will be the easiest to make. I followed the directions exactly and they turned out beautifully, both in looks and taste. One reviewer mentioned that the dough is finicky. I didn’t find it finicky, but you probably need to be sure the dough is chilled sufficiently before you try to roll it or shape it. For instance, it is unseasonably warm and humid here today, so I had to leave the logs in the freezer for 10-15 mins longer before I could cut split them easily.

  104. Rebecca

    Made these for Christmas morning! The overnight rise (for us, about 16 hours) did not work. Not sure why…but we turned the oven to proof and gave the dough about an hour to proof in the AM. They were really great, instructions very clear (freezing the dough was brilliant), and we all thoroughly enjoyed these while opening gifts! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! Also to note: I halved the recipe since there were only 4 of us – worked out perfectly with just the right amount left over for breakfast today. :)

  105. Roz

    These were alot of work but they came out beautifully and as delicious as they look. My kitchen smells fabulous to boot. All of the warnings were appreciated about wet dough and other challenges.

  106. APo

    I have a tiny kitchen – no way to roll out 30″ of anything, but I love the coils and layers in this recipe. I divided the dough into four parts and simply followed the steps for each quarter. I’m not great at perfectly dividing smallish ingredients evenly so I increased the filling/butter slightly so that each section would get a fair share and the result was fantastic – thank you!

  107. Py

    This recipe is insanely good! I made it twice and found the bread part to be very mushy (especially near the center), not sure what kind of consistency I should be looking for? For 35 minutes at 375 it’s already beautifully golden brown on the top; I’m not sure what I should do.

  108. Sybille

    These are perfect. It‘s a shame though that I will never be able to bake easier/quicker cinnamon buns, because they would definitely be inferior. They don‘t even necessarily need the icing.

  109. emily

    This recipe worked PERFECTLY! Most successful dough I’ve tried and it was surprisingly easy to roll/shape! A whole table full of people decided these were the best cinnamon buns they’d ever had and agreed with you that every bit was like the middle bit of a normal cinnamon bun! Thank you for sharing your magic :)

    Could you also just shape this dough into buns? (Like a brioche?)

  110. Ellen

    Am I going to ruin if they proof for longer than 2 hrs? I timed for the 1.5 hrs and it doesn’t look like it’s doubled. And now I need to be at baseball game so I won’t be back at the 2 hr mark. Mom multitasking at its best

  111. Cheryl Colan

    I made this and you may jot believe me but this did NOT make a sticky dough. I live in Arizona where humidity is generally not a thing and flour and dough are drier here. How would you tweak for a stickier dough? A bit more liquid? A bit less flour? I may just wing it a few times until I figure it out. It was definitely delicious. But made a rather dry, not at all gooey anywhere cinnamon roll.

  112. Jen

    Hi Deb,
    I have a friend who loves cardamom. Do you think I could incorporate it into this recipe? Either substituting for the cinnamon or using a bit of both?

    Thank you for your help! Love love love your recipes and blog/IG.

  113. Heidi H

    These turned out dry for me – maybe I overdid it the flour when I was rolling out the dough? I would have loved more filling, as other commentators have noted. But my husband thinks they’re amazing. Didn’t make the icing – maybe that would’ve moistened things up.

  114. Lauri

    I. LOVE. this recipe. It’s my go-to for cinnamon rolls now. I’d like to make it for a crowd. Do you think it will scale all right to a double batch?

  115. Madeline

    Do you think the twisting would work for the cranberry orange breakfast buns too? I love those for Christmas and super love the twisted look! (I want it all….)

  116. Jane

    I used Method 2 – straight to fridge overnight and active dry yeast instead of instant. No rise! So I put in the oven on the proving setting for an hour while we watched Home Alone. No rise, still chilly. So now it’s sitting in front of the fireplace. If it ever rises, I guess I have to put it back into the oven to chill so I can roll it, right? I hope Santa finishes them while I’m sleeping.

  117. Jaime

    I just served this and it was fantastic! I made a mistake with the instructions that ended up being the most amazing caramel rolls.

    I was rushing and I mixed the cinnamon/brown sugar/melted butter together by mistake, so I set that aside and then did it correctly: brushing with melted butter then sprinkling the brown sugar/cinnamon mix, rolled, sliced, twisted. Before popping it in the oven, I brushed the remaining melted butter on top and smeared the “mistake” brown sugar/butter/cinnamon mix on top of that. If you want caramel rolls, just use the same ratio – stick of melted butter, cup of brown sugar, tbsp cinnamon and plop it on top, it will sink to the bottom during baking and make caramel.

    The family is very pleased and says it’s “as good as the apple slab pie I make”, which is also a Smitten Kitchen family fave. Thanks for being my first stop for fave family recipes!

  118. Summerlin

    I just wanted to express how solid this recipe is, even with my utter half-assing of it: I put the dough together at 8:45 am before I even had coffee. I was in a rush, so I threw it in the freezer for 20 minutes after its two-hour rise. I rolled half of it out, sprinkled with half the butter and filling, skipped freezing the coil, and with a mimosa’s confidence tossed the two too-soft twists into an 8×8 where they baked up perfectly and had them on plates by 12:30 pm, and everyone went wild for them.

    I look forward to baking off the second half this week! I think making two smaller coils is a good idea for those of us with small counters and even smaller patience. :)

  119. margie

    you omitted adding the kosher salt to the flour when making the cinnamon twists. i added it but fyi. i also used shortening as i had no butter so don’t know how it will turn out. – oops –

  120. Sarah

    These cinnamon buns were so good my family ate them for breakfast in a single sitting and immediately demanded we make them again, for dinner. I resisted, but only because I had to go to work. Thank you, loving your recipes and your posts.

  121. Adrianne

    Instead of the yeast, can a TBS of sourdough starter (healthy, fed or unfed) be used?
    I’m doing that with a baguette recipe with a great deal of success

  122. MK

    I don’t have space to roll out to 30 inches so I halved the dough (leaving remainder in fridge), rolled out to the edges of my rolling mat, and cut into left and right portions. I had already mixed the melted butter with the brown sugar and cinnamon and thought, well, more butter is better, so I melted 3 more Tbsp. and brushed away. Rolled each side into a tight cylinder, from left and from right. Cut each one in half, then slit lengthwise and twisted. Repeated with second half of dough. (Nice if you have time to chill again or freeze but I didn’t and it still worked.) I don’t know when I’ve made a new recipe that was so successful and got such rave reviews.

  123. Flannery

    Deb knocks it out of the park, as always ! I’ll never make cinnamon buns the traditional way again, these are simply superior! I also want to give a shout out to this the stellar community effort behind the SK comment section. I find myself thanking the folks who took the time to leave their tips/experience at least once a week (because I’m making SK recipes at least 3x a week – eeee!). I found that my dough did not rise (used the fridge method), but (thanks to others who had shared that everything worked out when this happened to them) I did not panic, and trudged onward. They still turned out beautifully! Definitely going to make again for Christmas. I had meant to halve the recipe but forgot, so my husband and I have had delicious leftovers for days – an excellent mistake! We think they’ve gotten better with time. Next time I’ll bake the day before I plan to eat and will reheat. Thank you for sharing your gifts, Deb! And thanks to all who contribute to your rich comment section!