My Weekend Baking, Part 1: Mini Cinnamon Buns!

This past Sunday was TBECC, a celebration of women talking, baking, eating, crafting, and cooking. I’m still recovering from the combination of too-much sugar, coffee, tea, and in general, excitement over such good conversation and company. I’m currently trying my hardest to fight off a sinus-infection-cold-hybrid thing that has been plaguing my life since Thursday, as well as catching up on papers and readings. The good news: it’s exactly ONE MONTH to my Gallatin graduation!

I’ll post more on the TBECC event later this week, but for now I just wanted to share one of the many recipes featured on my living room table for the day: Mini Cinnamon Buns! The recipe was adapted from the wonderful Smitten Kitchen.

Mini Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Glaze
Originally taken from Smitten Kitchen

Makes about 24 mini buns, with some leftover dough which bakes nicely in a ramekin for some cinnamon-sugary-doughy goodness

1 cup almond milk (SK calls for whole milk)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise or instant yeast (from 1 envelope yeast)
1 teaspoon salt
Extra butter to slick the dishes, I usually just use the butter wrapper (SK called for non-stick veggie spray)

3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar (SK called for 1 cup, but having made icing a bajillion times, 1 cup of powdered sugar ALWAYS produces an icing too sweet for my taste)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120°F to 130°F, about 30 to 45 seconds. Pour into bowl and add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Mix thoroughly using a rubber spatula. (SK’s recipe called for a stand mixer, but mine is gathering dust at my mom’s house in upstate NY. However, me and my beloved Kitchen Aid will be reunited soon at me and Noah’s new apartment in Brooklyn that has a kitchen about 3 times the size of my current set-up! But more on that later…)
2. Add an additional 2 1/2 cups flour. Mix until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl.
3. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. Form into ball.
4. Lightly oil large bowl with the butter wrapper. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
5. For the filling, mix brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt in medium bowl.
6. After 2 hours of rising time, press down the dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15×11-inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife (I used a steak knife), cut the rolled out dough down the middle length wise. (If you don’t want minis, simply leave the rolled out whole and follow the same directions for the filling.) Spread butter over both sections, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon mixture evenly over the butter for each section.
7. Starting at the longer side of one of the rolled-out doughs, roll dough into a tight log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, trim ends straight if they are uneven and cut remaining dough crosswise with a knife, each one about 3/4-1 inch thick.
8. Butter a standard glass casserole dish and arrange the buns cut side up, pinching the seam into the side of the roll so they stay intact as they bake. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, then a kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes. (Mine did not rise too much, which may have something to do with the fact that I used almond milk instead of whole milk, but the buns were delicious and fluffy nonetheless.)
9. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.
10. For the glaze, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Using electric hand mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature. (I served my glaze on the side in a mason jar with a icing spatula. DIY!)


2 Comments on “My Weekend Baking, Part 1: Mini Cinnamon Buns!”

  1. […] A continuation of my weekend baking – part two! Yes, that’s right, I spent all Sunday morning in my kitchen baking not one, but two different recipes. I was up at 8AM and still baking at noon. I call it “therapy baking.” Which I will be doing some more of tonight: I’m just beginning to come out of my week-long sinus infection (thank you roommate’s humidifier!) and last night I began reading the “History of Agricultural Price-Support and Adjustment Programs, 1933-84,” which is a 52-page historical report by the USDA’s Economic Research Service on, you guessed it, the evolution of agricultural legislation in the U.S. from 1933-1984. It’s dense, but the report is only the calm before the storm; my Food Systems professor assigned it as merely a prep document for understanding the actual 2008 Farm Bill, which is over 1770 pages long by the way. Yeah, no big deal. […]

  2. […] Julia brought buttermilk pie and honey and jam; and I baked some honey whole wheat pound cake and mini cinnamon rolls. (More recipes to follow!) To drink, I sorted my out-of-control collection of Harney and Sons tea, […]

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