I make a version of these cinnamon buns nearly every year for Christmas. The first time I made them was in 2010, inspired by the version in Lotta Jansdotter’s book. They’re beauties. I thought I’d do a bit of an update to that initial post today, where I list off some of the tweaks I’ve made over the years, in addition to some insights I’ve had. The base recipe is for a version of Lotta’s beautiful, homemade, hot from the oven, loaded with sugar and spice, golden, buttery, classic cinnamon buns.
One of the great things about them, is that you can prepare them ahead of time, and freeze the pre-baked rolls. The night before you’re ready to bake them, leave them to thaw, covered, on your counter, and bake them in the morning. I’ve done versions with whole grain flours, different spice blends, and boozed-up icings – which I’ll note in the recipe and headnotes. There are some great insights in the comments as well.
Cinnamon Bun Basics
To make cinnamon buns you start by making a buttery yeast dough. I know some of you shy away from all recipes yeasty, but these really are fun to make. They take some time, because you need to let the dough rest and rise at various points, but most of that time isn’t active. Once you get the hang of things, you can play around with all sorts of different fillings in future batches. If you want to explore something beyond cinnamon sugar, the filling can be anything from jam, a sweet compound butter, a flavored cream cheese filling…you get the idea.
How to Make Cinnamon Buns: The Process
So, in short, making cinnamon buns goes like this: Mix the dough. Let it rise. Roll it out. Put down the filling. Roll. Slice. (Freeze here, if you’re going that route). Another rise. Bake. Lotta sprinkles her cinnamon buns with pearl sugar before baking, which gives them a nice crunchy top, but I know a lot of people like a thick slathering of icing – to the horror of some Swedes, I might add ;)… I served these w/ raw sugar on top and icing on the side, and used the icing from these hermit cookies. Might I suggest a splash of bourbon as well? You can actually flavor the icing any number of ways…
Happiest holidays and Merry Christmas to all of you. xo -h!