Daring Bakers: Cinnamon Rolls

There’s a number of challenges I’ve fallen off the bandwagon with lately. My favourite of which is the Daring Bakers Challenge. Last month I was absolutely determined that I’d jump back in. Well, I did the challenge. But I didn’t get around to getting the blog done in time. ‘Better late than never’ has been my motto lately, so I figured I’d pop these recipes up belatedly. Cinnamon is certainly one of my favourite things on this planet, so skipping it felt like a crime.

Cakecrumbs' Cinnamon Rolls da

The challenge was of course cinnamon rolls. Shelley from C Mom Cook dared us to create our own dough and fill it with any filling we wanted to craft tasty rolled treats, cinnamon not required! They are one of my favourite things on the planet. There are so many varieties it was so hard to choose any given one. So in the end I went with one very traditional, and the other not so traditional.

First of all, the traditional. A cinnamon scroll. Not gonna lie, I could eat one of these every day of the week. There’s nothing quite like a home made cinnamon scroll. And besides, while I’ve posted cinnamon twists and knots, I’ve never blogged about the basic bun.

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It starts off with a very basic dough. The only dissatisfying thing about baking bread is the agonisingly long time you have to wait. This one takes 2 hours for the first proof, so plan to hang around the kitchen waiting a while.

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Once the first rise is over we roll out the dough into a long rectangle(ish) shape. Rolling out things into a neat shape is certainly a skill I’ve never acquired.

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The it’s time for the filling. For this I’m using a basic brown sugar and cinnamon mixture I use for just about everything cinnamonny.

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Then it’s time to roll it up and cut the scrolls. Now, everyone has a preferred method, but this is the one I have found to be fool proof. It’s essentially the same way I layer my cakes.

First I mark the roll every 4cm down its length. Then I take my piece of string and wrap it around the log. All you have to do it pull it tight (as if tying a knot) and the string will slice through the dough. The log itself will barely move it’s that smooth a process (great for rolls with squooshy fillings).

Cakecrumbs' Cinnamon Rolls 05 Cakecrumbs' Cinnamon Rolls 06

Cakecrumbs' Cinnamon Rolls 07 Cakecrumbs' Cinnamon Rolls 08

Pop them on the tray for a second rise, then it’s time to bake. The smell of these scrolls baking is maddeningly divine. For the last 15 minutes of the bake the smell drew out my sister and my partner out, who then spent that time basically circling the kitchen asking if they were ready yet.

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The hardest part was getting them to leave some so I could take pictures the next morning. I will admit that exercising my own restraint was almost as challenging.

Now, these buns are pretty sweet so I’m not into glazing them. But if you want it by all means go for it. I drizzled a little icing here made from icing sugar and lemon juice mostly for effect.

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The next day they were still fresh and yummy, but they do become slightly dense after cooling completely.

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Easy settled by throwing them back in the oven or microwave to reheat, which brings back that gorgeous stringy pull-apart texture I so love in a cinnamon bun.

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For the next bake I decided to go as far away from the traditional as possible. I toyed with the idea of different flavour combinations, but when I hit the part about biscuit doughs being allowed I just had to hit the cookie path.

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These are very similar to swirl cookies I’ve made previously, but with a cinnabun twist.

In this case we’re only making the vanilla dough. I made a whole batch of vanilla, but feel free to just do the half if you don;t want piles of cookies.

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Much like the cinnabuns we roll the dough out into a rectangle. I trimmed one edge just because you want a nice flat edge to get a really smooth swirl through the cookie.

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Before rolling, spread the cinnamon sugar mixture all over, much like with the cinnabuns. But in this case you’ll want to be a bit more pedantic about making it as even as possible, making sure it gets as close to the edge. I ended up tripping it again on the smae side to make sure the cinnamon was properly touching the centre.

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Then you only have to roll it up and chill it for a while.

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All that’s left to do it to cut it and bake!

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Now, normally I am a huge lover of cookies straight out of the oven. My it must be said that these vastly improve with age.

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At first they tasted fairly mild and I was unconvinced about how successful the bake was. But after a day the cinnamon flavour had really infused throughout the cookie and they were absolutely addictive!

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Here’s how to make your own!

Cinnamon Scrolls
90g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
80g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 free range egg
1 tsp grated lemon rind
450g plain flour
7g (1 sachet) dry yeast
270ml buttermilk, room temperature


50g butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp ground cinnamon

  1. In a large bowl combine sugar, salt, and butter; cream until light and fluffy, then beat in egg, lemon rind and vanilla.
  2. Fold in the yeast flour and milk alternatively in thirds. If the dough is too dry you can add a little more milk, if it’s too wet knead in more flour
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic (approx 10 minutes)
  4. Lightly oil a bowl; place dough inside bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rest for 2 hours (or until dough has doubled in size)
  5. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Mix the butter, cinnamon and brown sugar together.
  6. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle shape around 1-2cm thick. Spread cinnamon mixture over surface, then roll dough up into a log from its longest side.
  7. Cut the log into 4cm lengths, then place on the baking tray 2 cm apart. Cover and allow to rise again for 30 minutes. After that time the scrolls should be touching.
  8. Preheat oven to 180°F (160°C fan-forced/350°F)
  9. Bake the scrolls for 20-25 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown on the surface. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Cinnamon Swirl Cookies
200g butter, softened
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2 1/2 cups (375g) plain flour


40g butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 – 3 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  1. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy; beat in the vanilla and the egg.
  2. Knead dough separately, on a floured surface until smooth. Cover; refrigerate 30 minutes.
  3. Combine butter, sugar and cinnamon. If mixture is too runny, add a little more sugar and cinnamon until it is of a paste-like consistency.
  4. Divide mixture in half. Roll each between two sheets of baking paper into a 25cm x 35cm rectangle; remove top sheets of baking paper from dough and trim one of the shorter ends.
  5. Spread cinnamon mixture evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Beginning at the trimmed end, tightly roll up the dough into a long roll. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate fo at least half an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 180°F (160°C fan-forced/350°F). Grease oven trays or line with baking paper.
  7. Remove plastic from roll. Cut roll into 1cm slices, Place slices about 2cm apart on trays; bake for 10 – 15 minutes. Stand cookies on trays 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.

11 thoughts on “Daring Bakers: Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Mm. . . cinnamon rolls. . . . I love the way the cookies turned out, simply beautiful swirls! I’m sending a link to the family baker, we’ll see if we get any soon. 😉

    • Thanks so much for the wonderful challenge. My other half was absolutely thrilled when he came home to discover the scrolls, so thank you from him as well for getting me baking them again!@

  2. Nicelooking rolls, can almost smell them coming out of the oven. A warm bun with cold milk, absolutely delicious.
    Adding lemonrind to the dough was a new thing to me, have to try it next time. I usually add cardamom instead, about 1-2 tbs freshly crushed seeds ( or saffron at cristmas).
    Thank you for all your lovely ideas, always an inspiration to read.

    • What a wonderful idea! Will definitely have to try net time. Have also been meaning to try lemonade scones as well. It sounds like such a versatile product in baking — a complete untapped resource for me!

  3. Hi Cake Crumbs. I’m not particularly versed on blog land but I recently subscribed to you because you have fantastic looking recipes and great tips. I was looking for a cake recipe for a friend who is a Hawthorn fooy fan. I made your choc banana cake with the ganache. I went a bit further by doubling the recipe and making a square cake.

    I decorated the top as the goal square and 50m line. I used white candles for the goal posts and found some footy candle decorations.

    He thought the top was the thing so he was thrilled when he cut it to have the stripes revealed! A big success. But more than that the cake recipes was delicious! So thanks so much. Cheers Sue

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