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Classic Cinnamon Buns

Recipe Level: Moderate Recipes

Classic morning buns, perfect for sharing! These cinnamon buns are soft and doughy with loads of brown sugar, cinnamon and a thick cream cheese icing, that melts allover.

Baked by Alie Romano

Professional Baker and Recipe Developer

* For best results, read the entire article. Every step matters, and I’ll provide helpful tips along the way!

Classic Cinnamon Buns

Well it’s been almost 2 months without an oven while over in South Africa working and gaining new travel content for the blog. I never thought I’d miss my own baking as much as I do! Don’t get me wrong, I’m having a blast over here; hitting new cafes, finding the best wineries (on your request of course and I will not argue that) but the baking just isn’t the same as home. It’s like being homesick and all I want to do is bake a batch of scones, or muffins or have my mom’s baking for comfort. I try and satisfy my craving with store bought baking but my friends, it just doesn’t cut it!

Lately, all I’ve been craving is warm cinnamon buns straight out of the oven!  Buns that are a little sticky but soft and doughy with cinnamon and thick cream cheese icing melting over the tops! Is that too much to ask?? Apparently so! Cinnamon buns are not the most popular treat here in Cape Town, I’ve seen a few but honestly I just keep walking right on by! The other day I was at a cafe and opted for the croissant. The woman behind the counter asked me if I wanted the croissant heated up in the the microwave?! Seriously!! Have you ever heard such an obscene question? My mouth literally dropped in shock, clearly she doesn’t know the delicacy of a flaky croissant! I was almost offended, politely said no and took the croissant plain and not heated!

I think the first thing I’m going to make is a batch of classic cinnamon buns once I get home. And I don’t even care if I eat the whole batch! Well, maybe I’ll split the pan in half and freeze the other half for a rainy day! I love this recipe – it’s been a go to recipe of mine for years and years; nothing fancy just straight up doughy classic cinnamon buns. If you’re feeling lazy you can use the dough hook on your Kitchen Aid (which is how I wrote the recipe) but I love the process of kneading the dough so you can always do the kneading part if you like that part too.

It’s kind of funny writing this post, since these are old pictures I found from a cottage weekend with friends. I was going through some of my baking drafts from years ago and I never finished this post. Looks like timing works in strange ways. This post was just waiting for the right inspiration or craving for me to work on it! Well here we go, and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these classic cinnamon buns. 😉

Happy Baking from South Africa!

Classic Cinnamon Buns

Classic Cinnamon Buns

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.7 from 3 reviews

Classic morning buns, perfect for sharing. These cinnamon buns are soft and doughy with loads of brown sugar, cinnamon and a thick cream cheese icing, that melts allover!

  • Author: Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 55 mins
  • Yield: 15 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Swedish


Units Scale
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup sugar, separated (2 teaspoons of sugar)
  • 1/2 cup full milk (whole milk)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 33 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup (76 g) unsalted butter, melted

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a large mixing bowl add warm water, yeast and the 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Let rest approx. 10 minutes until frothy.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat milk, remaining sugar, butter and salt together until sugar has dissolved and butter is melted. Turn off the heat and let cool until lukewarm.
  3. Add milk mixture and eggs to your yeast mixture, mix until well incorporated. Add 3 cups of the flour to your yeast mixture (add more flour as needed). Using your dough hook mix on medium speed for 6 -8 minutes, scraping down the bowl every so often, until dough is smooth and elastic (you can also knead by hand).
  4. Form dough into a ball and place in a greased (oiled) large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest until doubled in size, approx. 1 – 1½ hours.
  5. Meanwhile, prep the filling. In a small bowl mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Melt butter and set aside.
  6. Once the dough is doubled in size, place it on a lightly floured work surface and punch the dough down. Shape and roll into a large rectangle approx. 12 inches x 9 inches.
  7. Brush melted butter over the entire rectangle leaving about ½ inch from the edges (make sure to add lots of butter).
  8. Spoon the sugar mixture over the butter and press down.
  9. Starting at the long side of the rectangle (12-inch side), tightly roll into a log pinching the seam to seal.
  10. Using a serrated knife, cut rolls approximately 1 inch thick. Using the leftover butter, grease/brush a 9 x13 baking dish.
  11. Place cinnamon buns in your prepared dish (if there is any remaining butter and brown sugar, brush the tops of the buns and add the sugar on top).
  12. Cover with plastic and let rest for a second rise. Approx. 25-35 mins.
  13. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350˚F.
  14. Once cinnamon buns have doubled in size, place them in the middle of your preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned and when tapped sound hollow.
  15. Let cinnamon buns cool on a cooling rack.
  16. Meanwhile, make your icing. Whip cream cheese and butter together. Add icing sugar. Whip in milk and vanilla extract. Add more milk or icing sugar to reach your desired consistency.
  17. Ice cinnamon buns and enjoy.


You can divide your cinnamon buns into two smaller baking dishes and freeze a batch to enjoy fresh out of the oven cinnamon buns on a later day. Just wrap ready to bake buns and place in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy, take them out of the freezer and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning bake at 350˚F oven for 20-25 mins.

The same applies if you want to make these the night before and bake fresh in the morning. Just place ready to bake buns in the fridge overnight. In the morning bake at 350˚F oven for 20-25 mins.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 279
  • Sugar: 18.7g
  • Sodium: 240mg
  • Fat: 10.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 41.8g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Protein: 4.6g
  • Cholesterol: 48mg

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I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie

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Alexandra S
Alexandra S
2 years ago
Rating :

I’ve made these a couple times and they are perfect to make on rainy days when you want warm comforting food. Also great in mornings with coffee or tea, I loved them so much I was excited to spread the deliciousness to friends and family as it makes about 12-15 rolls! Learn from my mistakes though, make sure your yeast isn’t expired!! (I learned the hard way and thanks to Alie she helped diagnose my baking issue)

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Alie Romano



I'm a professional baker, recipe developer & photographer behind Baking For Friends. I specialize in classic & comforting baking. I hope you enjoy the recipes & find inspiration of your own to bring your family & friends together over home-cooked food!

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