Friday, 4 April 2008


cream cheese frosting slathered cinnamon bun

I have a 15 year old Black and Decker bread machine stashed away in my cupboard.

You didn't know Black and Decker made bread machines, didja? (no, I didn't buy it at Home Depot!) I have gotten some good use out of my machine and it's still chugging along no problems...knock-on-wood! Though it's an ugly beast it does the job. It doesn't have a little glass window so you can watch the bread mix, rise and bake. I just lift the lid and take a peek. What I discovered is that it's perfect for making really wet and sticky doughs. I just use the "dough" setting and when it's ready I do the rest by hand. I've made foccaccia, brioche and of course cinnamon buns with this great dough setting.

I was flipping through my collection of cinnamon bun recipes and I came across a couple of favourites...

In Vancouver, we have an institution that makes the best Cinnamon Buns ever. They're unique and you have to be a starving university student to understand the cult-like following that these buns have. In fact, you have to be on campus to purchase these buns. The University of British Columbia has the best caramelized cinnamon buns out there. There's no stupid raisins sticking out of the dough. There's no nuts and there's no cream cheese frosting. The texture is lighter and they're not as rich as the ones you buy at the mall. But these suckers are HUGE. Each bun is about 3 inches tall and the size of a side plate. The centres are of course the best with all their sticky gooeyness.

When I was attending UBC, I'd buy one and it would sustain me the whole day. Not a very balanced diet, but this wasn't what I did every day. I acquired the UBC Cinnamon Bun recipe from the local newspaper, The Vancouver Sun, and made them many times. The last time I made it, as I was pulling the roasting pan out of the oven, (yes, they're so huge you need a roasting pan for them) the pan touched my inner forearm and I had the nastiest burn ever. I haven't really made them since.

However, if you're a daredevil and think you could eat the whole batch, I'll include the recipe for UBC Cinnamon buns in this post. It's a traditional recipe, made by hand, and yields enough buns to feed a small country or your kids' soccer team. Just scroll to the bottom.

The next best thing to UBC Cinnamon buns are those that you get slathered with cream cheese frosting. There are different chains producing them in the food courts in malls and some bakeries and coffee shops carry them too.

I have a quick and easy Bread Machine Cream Cheese Frosting slathered Sin-Amen (hey, I coined an oxymoron!) Bun recipe.

The dough is all mixed in your Bread Machine according to manufacturer's instructions...on just the dough cycle. You take out the dough, roll it out and fill it and then roll it up like a jellyroll. You don't even have to wait for a second rise. You just pop it in the hot oven and by the time you finish creaming together the frosting, the buns are ready!

So you can choose your cinnamon bun style today: traditional (i.e. time-consuming), light and caramelized or quick (i.e. bread machine), dense, gooey, creamy and rich


1 T (1 pkg) dry yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 t salt
4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup unsalted butter, cut up into 1 cm cubes

    1 cup packed golden sugar
    2 1/2 T cinnamon
    1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
    8 T unsalted butter, softened
    1/2 cups powdered sugar
    1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 t vanilla
    1/8 t salt

  • PREHEAT the oven to 400 degreesF

  • DOUGH: following the manufacturer's instructions, dump all the dough ingredients into the bread machine in the correct order. Press the dough setting.

  • While the dough is being processed in the machine, prepare the Filling and the Icing.

  • FILLING: mix the golden brown sugar and cinnamon well.

  • When the dough cycle is complete, roll out the dough to approximately 21 inches by 16 inches. [cakebrain's secret tip: I do all of my rolling on a plastic wrap-lined counter. I sandwich the dough between two layers of plastic wrap and roll with a rolling pin until I get my desired measurements. Yes, it's unorthodox, but I don't make a mess, it isn't sticky, I don't use additional flour and it's a breeze to clean up! Scoff if you must, you professional pastry chefs, but I'm not wasting time cleaning up afterwards!]

  • Using a pastry brush, brush the melted butter evenly on the rolled out dough. [don't forget to peel off the top layer of plastic wrap before you do this!]

  • Sprinkle the sugar & cinnamon mixture evenly over the dough.

  • Roll it up jelly-roll style, starting at the long edge. [cakebrain tip#2: If you were following my tip about the plastic wrap, you'd be doing this step easily. Just pick up one long edge of the plastic wrap underneath, and use it to lift the dough and roll it. I also gently press on the roll to make sure it's not too loose. When you get to the end, just use the plastic wrap to help you move the roll around. You don't have to actually touch the's super sticky. Of course, when you're all done, discard the plastic wrap.]

  • Using a serrated bread knife, and a sawing action, cut the dough equally in half. Then cut each half equally in half again. You should have 4 equally long pieces. Cut each of these into 3 equal lengths. You will have a total of 12 cinnamon buns.

  • Place the buns cut side down an equal distance apart in a buttered baking pan

  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until light golden brown.

  • FROSTING: cream the softened butter and cream cheese until smooth. Mix in confectioners' sugar, vanilla and salt until well combined. Frost the cinnamon buns with the frosting after they've cooled. [I usually frost half of the buns because some people don't like frosting or like to control how much they have. I just keep the rest of the frosting in a bowl for them to serve themselves]

  • these freeze well!


Now, what some of you UBC alumni may have been looking for high and low. These are the legendary, gargantuan


(as published in the Vancouver Sun)

3 cups (750mL) milk (2%M.F.)
6 T (90 mL) butter
6 T (90 mL) granulated sugar
1 T (15 mL) salt
1 t (5 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) lukewarm water
2 (8 g) packages traditional active dry yeast
2 large eggs
9 cups (2.25 L) all-purpose flour, about
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) granulated sugar
2 T (30 mL) ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (175mL) melted butter, divided

  • For the dough: scald milk. Stir in butter, 6 T sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm
  • Dissolve the 1 t sugar in lukewarm water. Sprinkle yeast over water mixture. Let stand in warm place for 10 minutes; stir
  • In large bowl, combine lukewarm milk mixture and eggs. Stir in dissolved yeast. Add 4 to 5 cups flour and beat well for 10 minutes. With wooden spoon, gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.
  • Turn dough out on to lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding additional flour as needed. (This is a soft dough). Place in well greased bowl and roll dough over to grease the top. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in warm place for 1 hour or until double in size.
  • Meanwhile, prepare filling: In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside
  • Punch down dough and turn out on to lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half
  • Roll out each piece of dough into 18 x 9 inch (46x23cm) rectangle Brush each rectangle generously with melted butter. Place remaining melted butter in bottom of a large 16.5x11.5x2.5inch roasting pan (42x29x6cm)
  • Sprinkle an equal portion of sugar-cinnamon mixture evenly over each rectangle. Roll each dough rectangle up tightly like a jelly roll, starting from the long side; pinch seam to seal. With sharp knife, cut into 2inch (5cm) slices. Arrange slices, cut-side down, in prepared pan and cover loosely with greased wax paper. Let rise in warm place for 45 to 60 minutes or until double in size.
  • Bake at 350degreesF (180C) for 35-45 minutes or until baked
  • Remove from oven and immediately invert on to serving tray.
  • Makes 18 large cinnamon buns
  • approx. nutritional analysis for each serving: 433 cal, 9 g pro, 14 g fat, 69 g carb


Manggy said...

Those are lovely! And the second recipe has as much calories as a Big Mac, haha!! I wonder how much more it would carry if it were frosted with cream cheese ;) Really decadent! I hope you shared them, lol :)

Kevin said...

Those cinnamon buns look so good! I have only tried one cinnamon bun recipe. It sounds like I am going to have to start making some different ones to compare them. :)

cakewardrobe said...

These look so tasty! I can see why they would last you all day at school. Ahh the starving student days :(....

Zen Chef said...

If you want an honest comment you have to send me a bunch right away so i can taste them. haha. I will give you feedback within a day of stuffing myself. :-)
They really look delicious!

giz said...

Ok, first time on your blog and I already gained 3 lbs just looking at the cinnamon buns. I have to resist jumping through my monitor.

Marc @ norecipes said...

Wow, these look gooey and great!

Patricia Scarpin said...

They look so tender!
And I had no idea about Black and Decker + bread machines either. :)


You're right, they ALL look so good. There's nothing like walking into a mall and getting a good whiff of CINN-A-BONS ;-)

Lina said...

oh my gooooood! don't do this to me! Now im craving cinnamon rolls at midnight BIG TIME!

amandalwh said...

cinnamon buns!! *drool* these are so yummilicious looking!


LOLfitness said...

I tried the bread maker recipe, and after the dough cycle, it presented me with batter instead of dough. I had to work in a 5th cup of flour to get workable dough. They turned out well though!

Cakebrain said...

Geez, a batter? that's too bad! I've made this recipe dozens of times (not consecutively!) and haven't had a batter. The dough is extremely sticky, but that's the idea so it stays ooey gooey moist after you bake it! I don't use extra flour because I work everything between sheets of plastic wrap so nothing sticks! I wonder if there's a difference between flours that would create that situation? Glad the extra flour make it okay!

Eric Leyland said...

Cinnamon buns are the way to true bliss. My grandmother, "Grace Hasz" was the baker who first started making the UBC Cinnamon Buns. I've been trying to recreate her recipe as the one UBC posted is not what she baked. I've also written a little bit about her and the cinnamon buns



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