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Cinnamon Buns With Buttermilk Icing

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Member since 2006
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Serves 8 | Prep Time | Cook Time 25

Why I Love This Recipe

Yet another Cook's Illustrated recipe. A 9" round cake pan is recommended for this. The recipe is multi-staged, but not too complicated. They came out great the first time I ever made them.

Ingredients You'll Need

1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted for greasing the pan

3/4 c packed ( 5 1/4 oz) dark brown sugar
1/4 c (1 3/4 oz) granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2 1/2 c (12 1/2 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for work surface
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c buttermilk
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 tbsp cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp buttermilk
1 c (4 oz) confectioners sugar


Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Pour 1 tbsp of the melted butter into a 9-inch nonstick cake pan; brush to coat the pan.

Spray a wire cooling rack with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

FOR THE CINNAMON-SUGAR FILLING: Combine the sugars, spices and salt in a small bowl.

Add 1 tbsp of the melted butter and stir with a fork until the mixture resembles wet sand; set the filling mixture aside.

FOR THE BISCUIT DOUGH: Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

Whisk the buttermilk and 2 tbsp of melted butter in a measuring cup or small bowl.

Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed (the dough will look very shaggy), about 30 seconds.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until just smooth and no longer shaggy.

Pat the dough with your hands into a 12x9-inch rectangle.

Brush the dough with 2 tbsp of melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with the filling, leaving a 1/2" border of plain dough around the edges.

Press the filling firmly into the dough.

Using a bench scraper, loosen the dough from the work surface.

Starting at the long side, roll the dough, pressing lightly, to form a tight log.

Pinch the seam to seal.

Roll the log seam-side down and cut it evenly into 8 pieces.

With you hand, slightly flatten each piece of dough to seal the open edges and keep the filling in place.

Place 1 roll in the center of the prepared nonstick pan, then place the remaining 7 rolls around the perimeter of the pan.

Brush with the remaining 2 tbsp melted butter.

Bake until the edges of the buns are golden brown, 23 to 25 minutes.

Use an offset metal spatula to loosen the buns from the pan.

Cool on rack about 5 minutes before icing.

While the buns are cooling, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy cleanup); set the rack with the buns over the baking sheet.

Whisk the cream cheese and buttermilk in a large nonreactive bowl until thick and smooth (the mixture will look like cottage cheese at first). Sift the confectioners sugar over the mixture; whisk until a smooth glaze forms, about 30 seconds.

Spoon the glaze evenly over the buns; serve immediately.

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