The buns are made with brioche dough and layered with cinnamon sugar and just a touch of zest, what’s not to love? You can add more to the mix, like nuts, raisins, a dash of cardamom, or just leave them simple. The cream cheese icing is the crowning glory and makes these breakfast treats completely addictive.
FYI, you can double or triple the batch, or scale it up however you’d like.
1 pound Brioche dough (page 300 of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoon butter, melted
Cream Cheese Icing:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
Here is the secret to getting the right texture for the buns. You need to fold the dough over a few times and get that gluten all linked up and excited. This happens naturally with the master recipe, but all the butter in the brioche can stand in the way, so we need to give it a little help. Just 3 or 4 turns will do the trick, an extra 30 seconds of work will make all the difference.
Now that we have the gluten all excited and bunched up we need to give it a rest or it will be impossible to roll out. This may take 15-20 minutes. If your kitchen is warmer, it may go faster.
Once the dough is ready, roll it to 1/4-inch thick rectangle.
Brush the melted butter onto the entire surface.
In a small bowl mix together the sugars, cinnamon and zest. Spread the mixture over the butter topped dough. Use your hands to make sure you have an even coat of the sugar.
Roll the dough up, starting at the short end.
Use a Bread Knife, Kitchen Scissors or floss to cut the log into 4 equal pieces.
Set the buns on a parchment lined Sheet Pan or in a buttered baking dish. Give them about 1 1/2 to 2-inches between them. It is ok if they rise together in the oven.
Loosely cover the buns and let them rest between 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The long rest will insure that you have a fluffy bun.(You can set these up the night before and let them rest overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning take them out and let them sit on the counter for about 45 minutes to an hour.) You may get away with slightly shorter rise, but the buns will not be quite as soft.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, just until the centers are set when poked with your finger.
They should be caramel colored. Let them cool for about 10 minutes.
Mix together the ingredients for the icing and spread over the warm buns. Enjoy!
192 thoughts on “Cinnamon Rolls”
Hi Zoe and Jeff,
I was really excited to make your Cinnamon Rolls with the Brioche recipe but I think I may have done a couple things wrong. I made only half of the recipe (enough for 2 1lb loaves) but I also used King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour. I let the dough rise the first time for 2 hours the recipe said and then refridgerated for 2 days. Once I did all the butter, cinnamon, sugar roll up and cutting part, I let the rolls rise for another hour. I baked them for 30 minutes. They looked and smelled delicious but when we tried them, they had a weird aftertaste. What did I do wrong? Wrong amount of whole wheat flour? Too short of a cooking time? Any help to fix this would be wonderful because my poor kids (and me of course) really wanted to eat them today but they tasted too yucky. Thanks for your help and the other doughs I’ve tried were great (challah and boule). 🙂
Oh and all the ingredients were fresh. I had gotten the flour earlier that week.
Jill: First off, you can’t just swap out WWW for AP; they don’t measure the same and don’t absorb the same amount of water. And of course, the flavor’s totally different– and you’re saying the flavor’s not what you expected. Which of our brioche recipes are you using so we can help you figure out next step (which book, page number)?
If it’s a yeast smell, try a lower-yeast version, like 1 tablespoon, or even less (but don’t let eggy doughs sit at room temp for longer than 2 hours; into the fridge for the rest of the rise). That may be what you’re perceiving, see https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2007/12/19/low-yeast-version-of-our-master-recipe Only difference, again, is that slower/longer rise needs to be managed a little more carefully when you’re dealing with eggs.
I am so amazed at your quick response! Thank you! I used the recipe in your Artisan Bread book on page 187. I think you’re right that it may be a combination of both the flour and that I let the eggy dough stay out for awhile. I remember seeing something now that gave ratios for all the different kinds of flours if you were going to change them out but I can’t remember where I saw it (the book or on the website). Thanks Jeff. I will try again adjusting these things and let you know how it goes!
I have made these Cinnamon Buns numerous times with the Brioche recipe – AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing!
I was wondering what you might think about freezing these buns pre-made?
Casey: You can, but wrap them well, or find an airtight container. It’s OK, but don’t expect them to be as sublime as the fresh version– try to avoid using the microwave to re-heat…
I cannot get the Gluten Free Brioche dough to turn out…it always comes out runny and I end up throwing the paste away. I need help!…by the way I have to use rice milk instead of dairy milk… do I need to adjust the amount of liquid? or should I substitute the oil for a solid shortening/margarine? Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Allison: Flours aren’t standardized yet… just increase the flour(s) until you have something workable. And don’t make the swap that you are doing– that alone might be the problem.
I am still waiting for your new book to be delivered. In the meantime, I can’t wait to try out your cinanmon rolls. Would you mind emailing me your dough recipe first please?
In the meantime, we have some of the recipes here on the website, see https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2013/09/10/cinnamon-buns-childs-play-plus-brioche-made-with-platinum-yeast
Thank you very much for your info. Jeff.
I’ve got your new book, and I’ve started trying out here in Asia.
Which is preferred: the cinnamon rolls as these buns or as the crescent rolls? I have made these ones multiple times but I was thinking of switching to the crescent rolls from ABin5 to mix it up a little. I would plan on using the same sugars-cinnamon-orange zest filling and orange cream cheese frosting. Thoughts?
Seth: The crescents have a little more crust as opposed to chewy center, because the tips expose the dough with more surface area. Depends on what you’re looking for? Try it, just for the change.
I have made these several times with the whole wheat brioche recipe in your Healthy Breads book. They come out wonderful! Love the heartier texture. I actually prefer it to the AP version. Delicious!
great Becky, thanks for letting us know!
I love this recipe so much! I have made it several times without fail. I love to bake and have made many cinnamon buns but my family loves this recipe. I have now purchased the book and look forward to trying some of the other recipes.
Thanks for the note, we’re thrilled you are enjoying the rolls!
We loved the brioche swirl buns with chocolate ganache, we are so hooked! Will try this one next. Btw, I just received Healthy Bread in 5 min a day, still can’t believe how easy it is to bake fresh bread. Thanks!
You guys saved me! I totally forgot that I was supposed to bring something to the Mardi Gras lunch today, when I realized I had a full recipe of dough in the fridge. These cinnamon rolls were a huge hit. After I frosted them, I sprinkled them with purple, green and yellow sugar. Thank you!
That is fantastic! Thanks for the note and enjoy!
I am using the whole wheat brioche dough and am wondering what the rise time on these would be. Should i try to go longer than 2 hours? Also will the baking instruction 350 degrees for 25 min stay the same?
Octo: should be able to go the same, if it’s not baking through go a little longer
Thanks Jeff and Zoe love all your books, I let them rise for about 3 hours didn’t rise much in the pan but I baked them and they came up big, fluffy, and light. I think I like them better with the whole wheat brioche than the regular. Yay for healthier cinnamon rolls!
What is the difference in recipe for this Whole Wheat Brioche versus the Brioche as described in pg. 189 of ABin5?
I’m away from the books at the moment, but I’m remembering that the ABin5 brioche doesn’t have whole grain, don’t have that in that book…
hi i really like ur recipes although i have yet to try them.
i was wondering if ur recipes will b the same for a humid climate or during the monsoons ?
also can we freeze prechaped cinnamon rolls in the freezer?
Probably can use a shorter rest time in the heat, and probably don’t have to cover even with a longer rest time. Yes, can freeze pre-shaped rolls…
Love these!!!! I know for sure that my girls and hubby love me a little more when I make them. And I would much rather give them these as a special treat than any other cinnamon roll!
I have mastered your basic bread recipe so now onto brioche. I want to make your sticky pecan rolls and cinnamon rolls.
Thank you for all your generosity of posting and helping so many of us. Learning how to bake bread and now rolls was on my bucket list. Thank you for helping me check them off.
Thanks for the lovely note Lorraine!
Enjoy all the bread, Zoë
I have made master recipe using sour dough starter. Works great!! Today I made brioche cinnamon rolls. Wonderful!!!
I’m curious if these can be made with the challa dough instead of the brioche dough? Unfortunately, the brioche dough is a little rich for me to stomach (I know, I’m weird), but I wanted to make these for some guests that are coming in a few days. Thanks!!
Yep, I make that swap all the time for a lower-fat version.
So I made these this morning (formed them last night) and they were incredible! Exactly what a cinnamon roll should be. They didn’t rise much overnight in the fridge, nor while they were resting, but they sure rose in the oven! I used the challa dough and my grandma’s icing recipe (I don’t like cream cheese frosting), and everyone gobbled them up. Thanks for an easy, stress-free cinnamon roll recipe, my husband is eternally grateful!!
I’m trying your method for the first time, and am very excited about it. But I’ve just finished mixing the Gluten Free Brioche from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes and I was wondering if there might be a typo. 2.5 cups of milk seems like a lot. My dough is very, VERY wet. Almost more like batter than dough. Is that normal? I double checked all the measurements, and am pretty sure that I made no errors there. Any advice?
Andrea- did you swap any ingredients? Did you use Xanthan Gum? If no changes, what brands of flours did you use? These were tested with Bob’s Red Mill; other brands sometimes require liquid adjustments. Bu the 2.5 c of milk is correct. GF doughs are very wet by design.
I love your books and recipes. I have been wishing you would develop a good White Whole Wheat Belgian Yeast Waffle recipe using your style of dough. I made them once with the Soft Whole Wheat dough from Healthy Bread and though they were good they were a lot heavier than other waffles I have made. I keep checking back on this site to see if you guys have started making yeast waffle yet.
I keep meaning to give this a go, it sounds delicious and very doable with our dough!
I’ve made these cinnamon rolls several times and they’re great, but I was wondering if you had any tips for the proper way to roll up cinnamon rolls (or other filled rolls) tightly? Sometimes, even though I try to roll up the dough tightly, my rolls end up with gaps after they’re baked — they’re not as cohensive as I’d like. Are there any tricks of the trade I should know?
I’ve found that you need to pull it gently toward you as you roll, so there’s always some tension on the sheet of dough, that’s the key. Don’t worry about overhandling in this situation– I bet you’re just being a little too gentle.
Great — thanks for the tip!
Do I have to buy ur book for the brioche recipe or can I have it cuz I don’t see it posted on here????
The brioche is one the site, just search on “Brioche” in the search bar. But buy our books anyway! fyi– not all the recipes are in the website.
you are missing out on not having the books, Amazon has them at reduced prices…well worth full price IMO considering the knowledge I’ve gained
thanks for all the kind words!
AGREED! I have them all and use them all 🙂
I am new to using your recipes but I have made the HB5 master recipe a few times, and tried a couple of others all with great results. I am currently trying to make the whole wheat brioche for these cinnamon rolls. However my dough has come out VERY dry. I am halving the recipe, but I feel like I have done my measurements accurately. I have a daughter who is severely allergic to eggs, so I am using flax eggs instead. Otherwise I am following the directions exactly. Using King Arthur flours, if it matters.
Once I mixed the ingredients the dough was not even coming together in a ball, it was crumbly. If I were making regular kneaded bread I probably could bring it together in that process, but I am used to your recipes being much wetter. The recipe even states that it would be loose but firm up after refrigeration, so I feared something was wrong. I added probably 3/4 cup more water so that now I have a slightly sticky dough ball…but it still is not ‘loose’. Should I continue to add water? Is it too late? (It has only been resting for 5 min at the time of this post). Any advice on what to do now is greatly appreciated.
“Sticky” may be good enough. Why not bake it and see?
After further searching on your site I found the error in printing, 2 1/4 cups of vital wheat gluten insted of 1/4 cup, that was totally my problem. By the time I found that, I had already formed my cinnamon rolls (after rolling till I thought my arms would fall off!) So I went ahead and baked them. The texture is totally wrong, more like a bagel with some cinnamon and icing, but they don’t taste bad, and my kids are scarfing them up! I will make them again without the extra 2 cups of gluten! I was thinking, while making the dough, that I am going to go through A LOT of gluten at this rate!
So sorry Stefanie, those early printings. See our Corrections page at https://artisanbreadinfive.com/errors
I have some brioche dough in the fridge now…I made the sticky pecan carmel buns in the AB5 … the first sweet dough I have ever tackled…. dee-licious is n under statement…I have all your books except for the last one…I am gaining more confidence with every atch of dough I mAke…thank you both for your imparting to the home baker wannaB’s lie myself with this wonderful skills and knowedge…my family is reaping the benefits and loving it!
FYI….since studying many books, articles and comments I have found that the “bo-weavels” as I call them, (litlle critters that show up in everything from flour to pancake & biscuit mixes) can be stopped from developing by placing the flour, meal or any grain in the freezer for 3 days….it seems under specific conditions they develop (humidity & temp) but low temps disrupt this and no more worry of flour going bad!
In our climate (MN) we generally don’t have this problem, but thanks for all the kind words and suggestions!
Oh wow! For a couple years now I have been making cinnamon rolls (and apricot and cherry danish) using a recipe from the fabulous Ree Drummond/Pioneer woman (love her), but these cinnamon rolls from your brioche recipe are SOOO much better– and less work, too; how is that possible? This brioche dough is gorgeous — all that butter and eggs. Made two batches today. The rolls are so scrumptious that you don’t even need the cream cheese frosting, and I am normally an “extra frosting” girl. (I’ll just eat the frosting out of the bowl with a spoon, ha!)
I am absolutely delighted and telling all my friends about your book and recipes. I love that I can make just one or two rolls or a whole panful or three loaves of bread, as desired, no waste. And you (and the commenters here) have provided me with a much better understanding of how yeast doughs function and perform.
Fantastic Junie, thanks for your note!
I’m going to try to make these with the boule master recipe dough, as I have a family member who can’t have eggs and the pecan sticky buns are out due to the nuts. Anything you think I should do differently from this recipe? Looks to me like I would do everything the same way, just use master recipe dough instead of brioche dough, but I’m still a relative ABin5 newbie. Oh, also, I’ll be prepping them the night before, refrigerating overnight, then rising and baking in the morning. Thanks so much!
Should be able to just make the swap, won’t be as rich, but still great.
Yay! Thanks so much for the quick response and the great recipes. I love the books!
So,these make 4 cinnamon rolls?
This makes four huge buns, or 8 regular sized ones.
Just to say I made the pecan rolls with the brioche dough and they were the best I ever tasted, including from some very high end, very expensive bakeries! I am now known as Grandma Bread in my family and want to thank you for giving me this quick, simple way to make good, healthy inexpensive bread for my whole famiy, as well as the special treats.
Fantastic, thanks for the kind words…
Shalom, Zoe and Jeff!
I am making cinnamon buns for the first time, and I mixed the whole recipe dough, but I’d like to freeze half of it for later use. Should I do it after initial rise?
Correct, that’s the right time to do it.
Thanks! I made the buns and they are delicious! I used to make cinnamon rolls many years ago, but since I came to Israel nothing seem to bake right. I understood from your instructions that I used to overbake them. Now I know!!
Ah, fantastic Christie!
I made these cinnamon rolls today using the last of a batch of olive oil dough and they were incredible!
After years of kneaded dough failures, friendship dough failures and bread machine failures, your AB5 book has turned me into a successful bread-baker! I just love the simplicity of the process.
I’ve given several friends your book and a dough whisk for special occasions. They’re all having a great time making bread the easy way.
Thank you so much for sharing your methods via your books and this website. Your efforts are truly appreciated!
Thank you for the lovely note! We are thrilled that you are enjoying all the bread you bake. The olive oil cinnamon buns sounds great!!
found the rolls turn out to be quite nice when fresh and warm but as soon as they cooled they were of a rather dense consistency and not so fluffy as described.
I followed every step of the recipe but only took a quarter of each ingredient and made mini-rolls as I like them better than big ones.
Well… they’re meant to be eaten very fresh. Unlike supermarket products, homemade stuff has no preservatives so you’re a slave to freshness! Also, smaller things like rolls go stale much quicker.
I really like it when these types of buns bake “together” and attach to each other…less crispy sides and more soft dough (if you understand me). I was thinking of using about 2 lbs of dough and making twelve rolls in a 9 X 13 Pyrex dish. How do you think that will turn out?
My apologies if this has been asked. I glanced through the comments, but there were too many to read them all.
Thanks in advance!
Just to clarify above… I’m planning on making half of your brioche recipe to get 12 regular sized rolls…baked in the Pyrex dish. If that sounds right to you.
Haven’t tried that exact configuration, but I think you’re about right. We do this in the book, and in this post: https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2008/09/24/brioche-dough-recipe-and-all-of-its-wonderful-uses
Thanks! I’m never sure of the weight of the dough but I’ve got the master recipe down pat for this one container that I have…starting with 4 cups of flour. So, I was planning on cutting your brioche recipe in half and, based on how many rolls you described above, I though it would work. I need something to wow some coworkers! If I do it, I’ll report back. I love your books and especially love knowing that I can come here for any questions. Thank you!
Yeah, I think it’ll be about right.
I wanted to let you know that I made the cinnamon rolls as I mentioned above. I used about 2 lbs of challah dough, got about 18 decent sized rolls, and made them the night ahead and proceeded with the refrigerator rise overnight, in a 9 X 13″ Pyrex dish.
In the morning I baked them iced them, and sent them off to work with my husband. They weren’t quite warm by the time they were eaten, but the reviews were great and they baked exactly I had hoped in the dish. I should have taken a picture, they looked that good! All that before I left for work myself.
The only problem? Baking then in the dish meant that I never got to have one! They’re tough to transport so I think I’ll leave them for eating at home next time….but I’m sure there will be a next time.
Fantastic Elisa, thanks for the feedback. And save one for yourself next time!
Hello! These beauties are in the oven. I’m pretty sure I know the answer BUT can I freeze the formed buns for another time? Made too many…
Can I parbake, freeze, and then finish baking them at a later date?
With the cinnamon buns, they may dry out if you parbake and then try to bake them again. You may be better off rolling the dough into the log, cutting the pieces and freezing them before you bake. When you are ready to bake, just let the pieces defrost overnight in the refrigerator and they will be ready to bake fresh in the morning.
Thanks so much for the tip! So I made the brioche dough this morning. I want to have them for Xmas morning, so would you recommend I roll them out and just refridgerate them till then or freeze them tomorrow then defrost?
I would assemble them on Wednesday, then refrigerate and bake on Thursday morning.
Thanks for responding so quickly and I promise this will be my last question! So I need to roll them out today because I am traveling tomorrow and will not have any time to on Wednesday. Do you still recommend I refrigerate until Thursday or should I freeze? Thanks again and I will now leave you alone:)!
*i have a lot of people depending on these rolls so feeling a little bit of pressure to get it right:)
If you freeze them today, you will need to defrost them tomorrow (Wednesday) morning (just put them in the refrigerator, still covered), by Thursday morning they should be defrosted and had a chance to rise. Then bake and frost. I’m here, so don’t hesitated to ask questions! 🙂
Zoe, I had to follow up to let you know that the rolls turned out perfect!! I froze them on Tues, then defrosted them Wed, and cooked them this morning. They were a huge hit! Thanks again for your quick responses and help. Hope you and your family have a great holiday! Sloan
*I brought your cookbook with me and I think I have recruited a few new fans:)
Merry Christmas Sloan,
So thrilled they came out well! 🙂
Can you freeze the formed buns and bake them later? If so, how long will the keep in the freezer? I have a bucket full of leftover hot cross bun dough, and would like to try it out for cinnamon rolls later this month.
Yes, you sure can. You can freeze it already formed, or just as a piece of dough to be formed later. It should last for a few weeks. Wrap it very well.
Wanted to let you know I tried this with leftover pizza dough (with olive oil), and it came out great! It didn’t brown as much without butter or milk in the dough, but the flavor was fine. I might bake them close together in a cake pan next time — the rolls uncurled on the cookie sheet. Still, It was easy and a hit with the kids!
Fantastic! yes, that’s a versatile one.
I was just curious, can I use white lily flour for this recipe? Its a very light southern flour and I have a lot to use up but I haven’t bought your ABin5 yet.
White Lily flour is fantastic, but not for bread, at least not our recipes. It is too low in protein, which is what makes it so great for biscuits and pastry, but bread needs the gluten forming protein to have the structure it needs to rise well.
Hi! I made the brioche and used 2 1/2 lbs of it to
Make the cinnamon rolls…fantastic recipe by the way! I put the remaining brioche in the fridge and wanted to know the steps to use it again to make the cinnamon rolls. Would I just let the dough come to room temperature then proceed with rolling it out? Thanks in advance
You’ll want to roll it out while it is still chilled, so it isn’t too sticky, then you form and bake as directed here.
I’m planning on making either these Cinnamon Rolls or the Truck Stop version. I like raisins in my cinnamon rolls.
I plan on using the Briche dough recipe. I don’t want to add raisins to the whole batch or Brioche just to the part I’m using for the cinnamon rolls. I’m wondering what would be the best way to add the raisins? It wouldn’t seem to be preferable to knead them into the dough so would I just roll the dough, distribute the raisins and lightly roll the dough again to seat the raisins prior to adding the butter and cinnamon? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Roll them in, don’t knead them in. We have instructions for that in the books, or search for it here on the website using our Search Bar.
Thanks for your response. I’m currently looking in the New Artisan Bread and the Celebration and Holiday Bread books I have. I haven’t been able to locate, at least not using the index, the instruction you’re referencing. Could you be a little more specific, like a particular recipe or page number in these books?
This recipe looks fabulous, but I’m not a fan of orange flavor. Do you have a suggested substitute(s) for the orange zest in this recipe?
We wanted to cut the sweetness with the zest, so you can switch that out with lemon zest or just leave it out altogether.
Been using this method through my undergrad, unfortunately, didn’t have time during grad school. Been wanting to try the brioche with a new product I found about a year ago. So, I am going to try an experiment. Using red star sourdough for the brioche.
Have you tried using a mother dough from a previous batch to continue a yeast colony?
Yes I have– I assume you’ve seen my post on natural sourdough (though there’s much more in NewHealthy (http://amzn.to/1NdVkgj), but that post is at https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2020/04/20/easy-sourdough-starter-with-new-troubleshooting-tips/
Also have used the RS sourdough product https://artisanbreadinfive.com/2019/09/25/instant-sourdough-brioche/, is that the one you’re talking about. I think what you’re describing may be related to the pate fermentee method, which I discuss in all the books (https://artisanbreadinfive.com/buying-our-books/ (BreadIn5 earns commissions on purchases). This might also help: