Overnight Cinnamon Buns

6:30 PM

For Christmas morning I wanted to make something special, something we don't eat everyday or even every week. Something that could quite possible become Christmas breakfast tradition. We settled for cinnamon buns. I liked the idea of that and so did my husband. I mean who doesn't like a freshly baked cinnamon bun? Well folks, I think we found our Christmas morning breakfast tradition. They were out of this world delicious!

And, for those of you with busy enough mornings as is, do not fear. I am right there with you. Most of the work is done the night before for these lovely cinnamon buns. And the result is fabulous, a super easy, yeast-y cinnamon bun. All you need to do come morning is give these buns a quick proof and a thirty minute bake in the oven. Just like that, breakfast is ready.

Overnight Cinnamon Buns
Yield: 8-10 large buns

The dough
3/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

The filling
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons butter, melted

The icing
1 cup cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
a splash of milk

Note: If you're in a hurry, you can skip the overnight chilling step. This brings out a yeastier flavor in the bun. It also saves you work in the morning to make your dough the night before. But maybe you are a total morning person. In that case, just proof the raw buns in a warm place for 2 hours and then bake. 

In the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook (alternatively a large bowl) add water, yeast and 1 tbsp of the sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes until the yeast starts to froth. In a medium bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg and oil. Add this to the yeast along with the rest of the sugar and mix until combined. Pour in 2 1/2 cups of the flour and mix, gradually add the rest of the flour while mixing. Knead for 5 minutes, until the dough comes away from the bowl and does not stick to your fingers. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let proof for 2 hours.

In a small bowl mix together the filling ingredients except the butter and set aside. Roll the dough out to approximately 12 inches by 16 inches and brush with melted butter, making sure to leave 1 inch around the sides. Sprinkle filling mixture over the butter. Tightly roll the dough from the shorter side (to make thicker buns) and pinch the ends together to stop the filling from spilling out. 

Score dough every 1.5 inches and slice through. Place buns in a parchment lined brownie ban, it doesn't matter if the buns are touching each other. Wrap pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight and/or up to 16 hours. When you are ready to bake, fill a jar with boiling water and place on the bottom shelf of the oven. Put the buns on the top shelf and let proof for 30 minutes. Take the water and the buns out of the oven of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F and bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown.

Let buns cool slightly while you prepare the icing. Whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth and runny. Pour over buns.  Best eaten the day they are baked, but will last covered and refrigerated for 3 days! Hopefully you won't have any leftovers. ;)

Do you have a cinnamon bun recipe to share?

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