Melted butter is used in both the filling and the dough, and to grease the pan — its easiest to melt the total amount (8 tablespoons) all at once in a heatproof measuring cup and then measure it as needed. The cream cheese makes the glaze thicker and less grainy, but it can be omitted.–Editors of Cook’s Illustrated
Fastest Cinnamon Buns Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 40 M
- 1 H, 10 M
- Makes 8 buns
- For the cinnamon buns
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup packed (5 1/4 ounces) dark brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat)
- For the glaze
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
- Make the buns
- 1. Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Brush a round 9-inch nonstick cake pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Spray a wire cooling rack with nonstick cooking spray.
- 2. Combine the brown sugar, 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon melted butter and stir with a fork or fingers until the mixture resembles wet sand; set the filling mixture aside.
- 3. Whisk together the flour, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the buttermilk and 2 tablespoons butter in a measuring cup. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed (the dough will look shaggy), about 30 seconds. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until just smooth and no longer shaggy about 30 seconds.
- 4. Pat the dough with your hands into a 12 by 9-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the brown sugar filling, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Press the filling firmly into the dough. Using a bench scraper or metal spatula, loosen the dough from the work surface. Starting at a 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. Turn the pieces over on their flat sides, and with your 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 pan and then place the remaining 7 rolls around the perimeter of the pan. Brush the rolls with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
- 5. Bake until the edges are golden brown, 23 to 25 minutes. Use an offset metal spatula to loosen the buns from the pan. Wearing oven mitts, place a large plate over the pan and invert the buns onto the plate. Place the greased cooling rack over the plate and invert the buns onto the rack. Cool about 5 minutes before glazing.
- Make the glaze and finish the buns
- 6. While the buns are cooling, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy cleanup); set the rack with the buns on the baking sheet. Whisk the cream cheese and buttermilk in a large bowl until thick and smooth (the mixture will look like cottage cheese at first). Sift the confectioners’ sugar over the mixture and whisk until a smooth glaze forms’ about 30 seconds. Spoon the glaze evenly over the buns; serve immediately.