Quick Cinnamon Buns with Buttermilk Glaze

Let me quickly say that this recipe title is deceptive. Not so quick are these cinnamon buns, nor are they who eat them. By “quick” I assume Baking Illustrated simply means there is no waiting for yeast to rise. True. However, I was stymied for long periods of time by technical glitches. For one—do not forget to press the filling into the dough. Otherwise, there is no girth to roll against and the dough will rip when stretched. It will be like trying to swaddle wet sand with wet toilet paper. I was flummoxed by how perfectly their sketches showed the procedure. Also, you need to cut the loaf with a sharp knife. Otherwise, you get what I got—ugly buns. But the saving grace of cinnamon buns is that you could make a whole pan of Quasimodos which to your tongue are little Helens of Troy and Ryan Goslings. So, soo good. An easy 5 stars.


Quick Cinnamon Buns with Buttermilk Glaze

Baking Illustrated

Servings: Makes 9 Buns


For the Cinnamon Buns

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with knife, plus more for dusting work surface
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/4 cups low fat buttermilk

For the Glaze

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons low fat buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9-inch square cake pan with aluminum foil and brush with one tablespoon butter.
  2. Combine the brown sugar, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, cinnamon, cloves and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add one tablespoon melted butter and stir with a fork or fingers until the mixture resembles wet sand. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 3 tablespoons of the melted butter and buttermilk to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed (the dough will be sticky and look shaggy), about 30 seconds. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead, lightly dusting more flour as necessary, until just smooth and no longer shaggy, about 30 seconds.


  1. Lightly dust the surface again. Pat the dough into a small rectangle, then roll into a 12-inch x 9-inch rectangle, dusting more flour sparingly if necessary so the dough doesn’t stick to the rolling pin. Brush the dough with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the brown sugar filling, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Using your hand, press the filling firmly into the dough. Starting at the long side, roll the dough, pressing lightly, to form a tight log. (If the dough sticks to the surface, use a sharp knife or dough scraper to release it.) Pinch the seam to seal. Roll the log seam-side down and, using a serrated knife, cut it evenly into 9 pieces. Turn the pieces over on their flat sides, and slightly flatten each piece with your hand to seal the open edges and keep the filling in place. Place the rolls in prepared pan and brush with remaining tablespoon of butter. Bake until the edges are golden brown, 23-25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and buttermilk until thick and smooth (the mixture will look like cottage cheese at first). Add the confectioners’ sugar and whisk until smooth glaze forms.
  3. When the buns are done, use the foil overhang to lift them out of the baking pan and onto a wire rack. Let cool for 5 minutes, then carefully separate the buns, using a knife if necessary. Drizzle the glaze evenly over the buns. Serve warm out of the oven, or store in airtight container and reheat.

They are not kidding about the airtight container. These things go stale in a couple of hours! So eat ‘em while they are hot! I brought these to Beer Church and I believe someone asked why we don’t use cinnamon rolls for communion. It is a very good question, and quite a compliment to the body of Christ.

Now for the real news—a natural phenomenon right up there with double-yolk eggs—Observe exhibit A:


Notice anything peculiar? How about now?


While Izzy was sleeping (snoring) she blew a drool bubble that we both found rather impressive. KP woke her up while he was trying breathlessly to call me from the other room to get the camera. Enjoy!

13 thoughts on “Quick Cinnamon Buns with Buttermilk Glaze

  1. Is there no dignity? Can a dog not have a private moment with drool without it ending up all over the internet? As a dog lover… I protest…give her an extra cookie today. PS. The bunz look amazing.

    1. Izzy begged me to put this online. She hopes it will go viral so that the advertising revenues can dump into her dog treat social security account. Perhaps even allowing for dog treat scholarships for the less fortunate.

  2. Glad it’s drool, couldn’t quite tell where it was coming from! That robe looks familiar, is it one of mine that I might have give you? I love cinnamon buns, thanks for the fyi’s.

    1. I am actually now rather disappointed that my leopard print bathrobe is not a hand-me-down from my grandmother. I would like to be able to say that 🙂

  3. I simply must read more carefully; when I looked at the bigger picture of Izzy, I saw the bubble at the corner of her mouth. I missed your squib as well. I focused on the bottom picture and commented on that. I’m going fast…must be my environment.

  4. Rach, you in your leopard get-up (I just saw in another comment that you referred to it as a “bathrobe”, and here I was thinking it was a jacket that you wore outside! :), and Izzy with that spit bubble have both never looked prettier – I can see that this baking up a storm season is bringing out the best in all of you! 😉

  5. 13 minutes to go; what an undertaking! Rolling into a log was the hardest. You thought yours looked like Quasimodos, I can hardly wait to see mine! I should have brought the cream cheese to room temp before whisking. My chest is full of buttermilk globs, oh well! More later.

    1. WOW! Yes, go Grammie! I am so happy to hear that these experiments are being externally validated and repeated! Let me know how yours turn out, after you take a proper bath! (I should have commented on the mess factor)

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