Daring Bakers in September: Cinnamon and Sticky Buns

September 30, 2007 at 1:56 pm | Posted in breakfast things, daring bakers, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads | 56 Comments

cinnamon buns

What smells better than bread, cinnamon and sugar baking in the oven?  Not a whole lot, really.  And that’s why I was so pumped to see that Daring Baker Marce, aka Pip in the City, chose cinnamon/sticky buns for the September DB challenge!   She went with a recipe, which you can see here, from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.  The recipe gives instructions for making a cinnamon-swirled dough that can be customized into either basic cinnamon buns with a white fondant glaze or sticky buns with a caramel/nut topping.

sticky buns

We could pick either variation (cinnamon or sticky), but why make one when you can make both?  I thought they would be a great weekend breakfast, but I didn’t want to wake up at 4:00 AM on Saturday to start the long dough making and proofing process.  The recipe says that unbaked, formed buns can be retarded for up to two days in the refrigerator, and since I’ve successfully employed this method with other types of bread dough, I thought I’d make this my plan of attack.

On Friday evening, I made the dough (using mostly AP flour combined with about 1/2 cup of bread flour) and gave it it’s first rise.  The dough really a cinch to make, and once risen, was beautifully silky smooth and easy to roll up with cinnamon sugar and form into large buns.  Half of my rolls were put, just as they were, into a baking dish for cinnamon buns.  The other half were put into a separate dish slathered with a sugar, butter and pecan mixture that would bake up into a gooey sticky bun topping.  (In other words, I prepared the recipe through Step 4 of the instructions.)  Then they both when into the refrigerator for a good night’s rest.

On Saturday morning I pulled out the cinnamon buns to come to room temperature and proof for a couple hours before baking.  On Sunday morning I did the same thing with the unbaked sticky buns.  I admit that I did get up early both days to do this!

cinnamon buns-- insides

The baked and slightly cooled cinnamon buns got a healthy drizzle of powdered sugar and milk glaze, flavored with a vanilla.  The warm sticky buns were turned out to reveal a buttery caramel topping.  Both variations were great with a cup of coffee, but which were better?  I’d say the sticky buns.  The cinnamon rolls were a bit dry inside, but with the sticky buns, the topping oozed into the dough, eliminating any dryness problem there.

sticky buns-- insides

I don’t make this kind of thing often (my real buns don’t need this kind of breakfast every week), but when I do, I normally make a sort of hybrid variation of the two…I make a cinnamon swirl using brown sugar instead of granulated and add chopped nuts to it.  The brown sugar makes the cinnamon buns bake up caramely and gooey on the inside.  Then the baked buns are frosted with a heaping amount of glaze.  I’d like to retry Reinhart’s dough recipe using that filling.

Thanks for a great challenge Marce, and if you want to see some more hot buns, be sure to visit the ever-expanding Daring Bakers’ Blogroll!

DB whisk


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  1. Oh my do they look good! Well done! I would lick the screen if I thought it may give me even a little taste of those. Ours have been long gone for weeks. I may have to whip up another batch! xo

  2. Steph. What a wonderful job you have done!

    I noticed my buns are a bit dry, too. It was strange since I used this dough for my ricotta and blueberry buns before and it was fine. I think the dough works better with the caramel or some fruits to lift up the moisture content.

  3. Hi Steph, your buns look terrific. I’m with you, I thought the sticky buns were the best of the two. I admire your dedication in getting up early to get them ready for breakfast. I always plan with the best of intentions to do things like this, but come morning it just never actually happens.

  4. I´m with you, the regular cinnamon buns are a touch dry, though I think that can be averted cooking them a touch less and your brown sugar filling also sounds like a good idea. I was thinking of using apples in the filling too to add extra moisture. But either way, the buns look absolutely gorgeous!

  5. They both look delicious–but I’m a sticky bun person and your caramel is to die for!

  6. Beautiful buns Steph! I’m going to try your approach to making them next time… I’d have loved mine warm with breakfast coffee!

  7. Way to be an overachiever and do both!
    Everyone’s buns needs cinnamon and sticky buns.

  8. Your sticky buns look absolutely stunning and soooo delicious. I so wish I had made them too.

  9. My cinnamon buns were a bit dry too but I used brioche flour because that was all I had on hand (like a dumbbell) and I used brown sugar in the second batch too, which I think tasted better. Both of your kinds of buns look gorgeous. I’m going to have to try sticky buns one of these days.

  10. What a great job, they look fantastic. I agree that the sticky buns were the best (I didn’t try the normal ones, but I can imagine how dry they would be without the caramel 🙂

  11. they are simply lovely…beautiful pictures as well 🙂

  12. Steph, you are so good! I’m definitely going to try making these.

  13. Simply incredible looking buns! Well done!

  14. Your buns look great, nice and soft dough. I also found my cinnamon buns a bit dry, so maybe the sticky buns were the way to go. Also very clever of you to save and bake them for a nice fresh-baked morning treat. I’m taking notes!

  15. Oh, Steph!

    You’re killing me over here! Your picture are just unbelievable and your buns are gorgeous (I still can’t say that without giggling …)

  16. Bless you for having a cup of coffee in most of the pictures, these simply can’t be eaten without it!

    My cinnamon buns were a touch dry too but no worries, nothing a scoop of ice cream can’t fix.

  17. Great job! I liked the sticky buns as well – but I did find the actual dough a bit on the dry side.

  18. Those look so so so good…I love that you did both recipes! The glaze on your sticky buns looked like it turned out perfect too!

  19. Mmmmmm…look at all that golden caramely essence. I can practically smell them.

  20. Excellent photos! I made both, too, and agree that the sticky buns were excellent. Yes, a variation that combines the two just might be the ticket. But only occasionally, as these darlin’s are sure to put on the poundage!

  21. Wow, love your photos.
    I’m so with you. The rolls seemed a little dry though the dough was lovely. When I’ve done these before I always use brown sugar (just seems more flavor) and more cinnamon. The cardamon I used was excellent. I would use a cream cheese drizzle next time.
    You had a great challenge here!

  22. Love how big and puffy your rolls are…delicious!

  23. Wow! I absolutely love the way you presented these buns…both versions of them! They look gorgeous! I wish I had been brave enough to make both…now I’m craving one of the sticky ones too! 🙂

  24. They look wonderful 🙂

  25. Steph, I found them a bit dry too. More breadlike than I normally like but good none the less. Great rise on your cinnamon buns too!

  26. OMG, your buns look amazing! I love the shot of the bun’s innards, lol, they look so soft and doughy!! I loved this challenge, such a tasty little treat!

  27. Looks flaky and fabulous!

  28. Your buns turned out amazing! Great job.

  29. Ooh, I want to try brown sugar now too. 🙂

  30. Oh but your making it so hard to choose between cinnamon and sticky! I’ll just have to have both I think.

  31. Great job on both! I only did the cinnamon rolls. You’re making me wanna make the sticky bunz!

  32. Your pictures look amazing! My mouth is watering!

  33. Stunning photos! Sounds like weekend breakfast at your house was quite tasty!

  34. Beautiful buns Steph!

  35. Yum! Both your buns rock!

  36. I’m kicking myself for not making the sticky buns, those look amazing!

  37. Oh my! Those sticky buns look absolutely delicious! Great job.

  38. I agree on the brown sugar! I can feel another round of sticking buns coming…must. try. next!

  39. The buns look fabulous! Love the writeup and love the pics even more! Well done

  40. Wonderful-looking buns (great photography!!!) I made both buns, too 🙂

  41. They both look fantastic! I only made the sticky buns and I really loved how moist them became 🙂

  42. It’s good to know that you were able to refrigerate and bake for the next day – I was wondering about that. I do like freshly baked ones in the morning. Those are indeed yummy buns , especially the gooey sticky ones.

  43. Gosh! Your sticky buns look so delicious. I wish I could taste it.

  44. Hmmm, I’ve just had tea and you’ve still managed to make me hungry ^__^ Good job!

  45. Your photography is stunning. Love the coffee cup in the background, and, of course, your rolls look great too. After I made this recipe I thought about the holidays and how nice it would be to “retard” the rolls a few days in advance and how lovely the house would smell in the morning. Because you are right cinnamon bread smells wonderful. Wendy

  46. I shall try your way too, I do prefer them when they’re a little gooier on the inside. I found the caramel topped ones too rich. Your photos and write up are, as always, inspiring. On another subject, do you have anything wonderful in your repitoure that I could do with excess vanilla beans?

  47. Pretty! I love the picture of the sticky bun opened to reveal that rich swirl of cinnamon.

  48. wow those are some gorgeous buns! so light and fluffy…excellent job!

  49. That is how I plan to do my next batch – make ’em on Friday when I have some time and bake ’em on Sunday!
    Nice work!

  50. Mmm, I love the torn edges on buns. Yours look so tasty!

  51. I didn’t want to choose just one either! Your photos are beautiful – wonderful job!

  52. Oh, these look super fabulous! I am so excited i joined fo next month!

  53. Your sticky buns look just like my grandma’s used to. Very nice!

  54. They Look awesome Steph! I just discovered your blog today and I love it!!

  55. Well done you cupcake hero you, and your buns are fab. They are sooo cinnamony, excellent.

  56. I just found you blog and I loved it (we share the same wordpress theme:)). The buns look mouthwatering and make me want to bake them right away! Thanks for posting!

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