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Frosted cinnamon buns

Matthew Jones

A recipe from the brilliant new baking book by the founder of Bread Ahead

Recipe Meta


35 mins (plus resting and proving)


25 mins


Makes 12




For the dough

  • 50g rye flour
  • 450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 10g fine sea salt
  • 300g full-fat milk
  • 10g fresh yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 100g unsalted butter, cubed

For the filling

  • 180g soft unsalted butter
  • 225g soft dark brown sugar
  • 75g soft light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp ground cinnamon

For the glaze (optional)

  • 200g caster sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick

For the frosting

  • 50g soft unsalted butter
  • 125g cream cheese
  • 150g icing sugar, sifted
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice


Start with the dough. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, sugar and salt, and whisk together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, yeast and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and bring together with a spatula or dough scraper to form a rough, sticky dough. Turn it out onto a work surface and knead for about 3 mins until you can feel the dough has become a little more elastic. It won’t look like a smooth dough yet. You will need to use a scraper or spatula throughout the kneading process to bring the dough back together.

Add the butter into your dough a third at a time. Place the cubes of butter over the surface of the dough, then knead it in, ensuring it is fully incorporated before adding the next quantity. Continue to knead the dough for 3-5 mins, using the spatula or scraper to bring it together as before. You will know the dough is ready when it stops sticking to your hand and the work surface. With the dough now smooth, elastic and glossy, place it in a clean mixing bowl, cover with a plate or shower cap, and rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

While the dough is resting, make the filling. Beat the softened butter, sugars and cinnamon together in a bowl until combined. Take the rested dough out of the refrigerator and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a rectangle, about 50cm x 40cm.

Spread the filling mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a small strip clear of filling along one of the long sides. Brush this clear strip with a little water (this will be used to seal the dough once it’s rolled). Roll up the dough lengthways, starting from the long side opposite the clear strip, and gently press the final exposed edge into the dough to seal it.

Rest the dough seam-side down for a moment. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with baking paper. Alternatively, you can bake these in a 12-hole silicone or metal muffin pan. Cut the roll of dough into 12 pieces, each about 5cm thick.

Carefully transfer them to the prepared baking sheet (or place them in the holes of the muffin pan) and gently press them down so they are each about 4cm high. Cover with a clean dish towel. Leave to prove in a warm place for about 1 hour until almost doubled in size and touching each other.

Meanwhile, make the glaze, if using. The glaze is optional but it does add a real sweet decadence to the buns. Place all the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and set over a low heat. When the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer fast for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

For the frosting, ensure the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature. Beat the butter in a bowl until completely smooth. Add the cream cheese, icing sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice for flavour. Beat until you have a smooth and creamy frosting. You can chill this in the refrigerator until needed.

Heat the oven to 200C. Bake the buns for 15 mins, then turn the baking sheet around in the oven and bake for a further 10 mins until golden brown.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool but leave the buns on the baking sheet. When cool, brush generously with the glaze, if using, then spread over the frosting. You can add a drizzle more syrup over the top, if you like.

Image: Matt Russell

Recipe from Bread Ahead: The Expert Home Baker by Matthew Jones (Hardie Grant)

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