From Angie’s Kitchen – Cinnamon Buns Revisited

Round 2….

The rules for this round are slightly different – in round one we tried our best to follow the recipe as written without comparing thoughts on how it should be done.  After we finished, we talked about our findings and we were each free to make any changes to the recipe that we thought would help us with round two.

For my second round I was interested in sticking somewhat closely to the original recipe with a few tweaks.  I liked the idea of having a cinnamon bun made with baking powder instead of a yeast based dough for one simple reason – they can be prepared much more quickly!  Don’t get me wrong, I love the other kind as well but it’s nice to have an alternative that you can prepare in a shorter time.

First, as I hinted in the last post, I decided the spiral roll was definitely the way to go.  The buns I made in round one were nice, but very much like a cinnamon raisin biscuit instead of a cinnamon bun.  Going with the spiral roll keeps the filling moist and gooey because it isn’t fully incorporated into the dough and also allows it to be distributed more evenly.

Second, after some thought about the biscuit like dough I decided to remove the one ingredient that is used traditionally to give biscuits that more flaky and crumbly consistency – the butter.  The original recipe actually called for shortening, but I didn’t have any on hand and butter is a good substitute.  In addition to the removal of the butter, I increased the amount of milk to make the dough smoother, more pliable and easier to roll out thinner than the more biscuit like dough.

Third, I made a glaze and drizzled it over each roll for a little extra sweetness and to give it the look of the cinnamon rolls you see more often today.

Finally, when I tested the first round I cut the recipe in half to save some ingredients – in doing so I still ended up with 10 buns which made me stop and wonder “exactly how many people were you making these things for grandma?!?”  So I decided to cut my round two recipe in half as well.  Depending on the length and width of your dough when you roll it out, the recipe will still produce 10 to 12 rolls – if you need the original 20 to 24, then by all means double it! 

In the end I felt that my changes worked out pretty well.  After baking them, the dough was a more tender and chewy consistency than the original recipe and because this dough could be rolled out more thinly, it was easy to roll it up into a tighter spiral which meant more layers of filling per roll!

Ray’s second round recipe:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups cold milk


  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup raisins

In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

Add the cold milk to the dry ingredients and stir together until well combined and a loose dough forms.  Allow the dough to sit for 5 minutes – during this time melt the butter for the filling.

While the melted butter begins to cool, turn your dough out onto a floured surface.  The dough will be a bit sticky – dust it with some flour to reduce the stickiness and form it into a ball.  Roll the dough on the floured surface into a rectangle approximately 10×12 inches in size – it should be about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick.

Brush the melted butter onto the dough – the dough will still be cold from the milk and the butter will solidify a bit.  Sprinkle the dough evenly with the cinnamon, brown sugar and raisins.

Starting on the longer side, roll the dough into a tight spiral log and trim off each of the sides of the log to get clean edges.  Slice the log into 1 inch thick pieces and place on a greased cookie sheet.   I recommend measuring and cutting a slit every inch in the log before fully slicing them.  A metal bench scraper with a ruler on it is a great way to measure them.

Bake them at 375 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes.  Allow them to cool for only a minute or two before transferring them to a wire rack – if you wait too long, all of the melted brown sugar will cool and solidify and they will stick to the pan.

If desired, while the rolls are still warm drizzle them with a simple glaze made of 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk.  You can also add a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla if you would like the additional flavor.

Now I’ll hand this off to Karen to share her second round results.

Well, shall we call this round 3 for me? I had an idea of where I wanted to go with this, but didn’t get it exactly where I wanted on round 2 so had to make adjustments and go from there. One aside before I get going. Didn’t Grandma’s parents own a boarding house? If so, the large quantity of cinnamon buns would certainly make sense!

After thinking about how the first round went, I decided that to achieve what I wanted in a cinnamon bun, I would need to prepare an enriched, yeasted dough. I did a little research and discovered that many countries have their own version of the cinnamon roll. In England it is the Chelsea Bun, and Norway has the Skillingsboller and Kanelboller, and Germany has the Franzbrötchen which is sort of like a cross between a croissant and a cinnamon bun.

For my recipe, I would take inspiration from the Norwegians and add cardamom to the dough because it just sounded too good not to do! I also learned a few helpful things along the way. One was to soak the raisins for about an hour in some warm water. They become plump and the flavor is much more pronounced in the final product. Another is to tuck the little tails under before baking which makes the final product look nicer.  I’m not going to lie, this version is time consuming. I suspect this might work well to make the dough ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator overnight, but I admit that after 3 rounds, I have yet to try that. One more thing… I confess that I like to scale ingredients and I like to scale in grams.  I have done my best to make conversions for those of you who do not care for such nerdy OCD things.

Karen’s second third round recipe:

  •  350 grams (2 3/4 cups) flour
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 160 ml (2/3 cup) milk
  • 60 grams (4 TBSP) butter
  • 2 large eggs


  • 60 grams (4 TBSP) butter
  • 60 grams (1/3 cup) brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50 grams (1/3 cup) raisins                                                                                                                                               

In a large bowl whisk together flour, cardamom, salt and yeast. Set aside.

In a small pan melt 4 TBSP butter. Once butter is melted, stir in milk. The mixture should measure about 90 to 95 degrees F. Pour mixture into a large bowl and then add the dry ingredients. After mixture has started to come together add 1 lightly beaten egg.  Stir the mixture until well incorporated and then remove dough from bowl and knead by hand for 8 to 10 minutes. Place dough in a bowl that has been oiled, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm location for an hour until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

While dough is proving, soak raisins in warm water and make filling.

The filling is made by melting butter then adding cinnamon and brown sugar to form a paste.

Once the dough has risen, remove from bowl and roll out into a roughly 8×12 inch rectangle. Spread a thin layer of the filling to the edges of the dough. Drain and pat dry the raisins. Sprinkle the raisins evenly across the dough. Roll the dough from the long side, then cut crosswise into one inch pieces.

Place on parchment lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 while rolls are on the second rise.

After buns have risen, beat 1 egg and one TBSP water together and brush over buns.

Bake for 15 minutes.

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