Cinnamon Buns

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Mrmmm…cinnamon buns. When I found this recipe for Fastest Cinnamon Buns, I just had to give it a try. This is the first time I’ve heard of cottage cheese being used in bread, so I was a little bit skeptical – but I figured using low fat cottage cheese instead of butter is much, much better for you. AND there’s no yeast involved. Even better.

Now I see why this recipe has received 5 stars from everyone who has reviewed it. It may just be the best cinnamon bun I’ve ever had. Forget buying cinnamon buns – these are so easy to make and so much healthier. (A Classic Cinnabon has 730 calories, and a Cinnabon Carmel Pecanbon has 1,100 – avoid these with your life.)

Nuke a cinnamon bun for 15 seconds in the microwave and you’re in heaven. What better way to start the day?

See more photos here »

Fastest Cinnamon Buns
by Kathy Kingsley on Fine Cooking

For the dough:
3/4 cup cottage cheese (4% milk fat)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for rolling
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda

For the filling:
3/4 oz. (1-1/2 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup (4 oz.) chopped pecans

Cooking spray for the pan.

For the glaze:
2-1/2 oz. (scant 2/3 cup) confectioners’

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2 to 3 Tbs. cold whole or low-fat milk

tsp. pure vanilla extract


Heat the oven to 400°F. Grease the sides and bottom of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

1. Make the dough:
In a food processor, combine the cottage cheese, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Process until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and pulse in short bursts just until the dough clumps together (don’t overprocess). The dough will be soft and moist.

Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with floured hands 4 or 5 times until smooth. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12×15-inch rectangle.

2. Make the filling:
Brush the dough with the melted butter, leaving a 1/2-inch border unbuttered around the edges. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Sprinkle the mixture over the buttered area of the dough and pat gently into the surface. Sprinkle the nuts over the sugar mixture.

3. Assemble:
Starting at a long edge, roll up the dough jelly-roll style. Pinch the seam to seal, and leave the ends open.

With a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 equal pieces. Set the pieces, cut side up, in the prepared pan; they should fill the pan and touch slightly, but don’t worry if there are small gaps.

4. Bake:
Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, 20 to 28 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Run a spatula around the inside edge of the pan. Transfer the rolls to a serving plate.

* Update 12/16/09: I found that baking these in a muffin pan gave me better results. They were taller, and cooked more evenly. Also thanks to Amy who caught a mistake in the recipe – I forgot to include how much time they needed to bake!

These are the ingredients I used. The beauty of this recipe is that almost everything comes from the pantry. One thing I substituted was regular milk instead of buttermilk – I can’t seem to find this in stores, so I used about a tablespoon of lemon juice in regular milk, and just let it thicken up for 5 minutes. (Neat trick, huh?)

Sifting the flour. I don’t know if you actually have to do this but I like my dough well mixed – especially since I don’t have the help of an electric mixer (sigh…one day).

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turned out on a surface before kneading.

How the dough looks when it’s kneaded. It’s very easy to knead – the dough is really soft.

Combing the ingredients for the filling. This is all the good stuff in the cinnamon bun – cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and brown sugar.

The pile of filling on rolled out dough.

I rolled the dough as thin as I could so I could get nicer looking rolls – I was able to get three rings into the spiral. I wasn’t sure about the amount of filling, but it turned out to be perfect.

Rolling it up!

Slicing it. Now this part was a little tricky, due to the soft dough. The recipe yields 12 rolls, but I was able to get 16 smaller ones.

All the rolls in a baking pan. Not at all perfect, but as you’ll see in the next picture – it doesn’t matter! They look great after they puff up.

Baked! They smell REALLY good.

A naked cinnamon bun. Half the joy of eating a cinnamon bun is the frosting so…

…here we go! Super simple frosting to go on top. I would recommend drizzling this on right before serving – the frosting soaks into the cinnamon bun if it sits too long.


Got something to say? Feel free, I want to hear from you! Leave a Comment

  1. Reimers says:

    Hey puzzle buddy! Remember that lemon cake we tried making with a ton of bicardi? =P

  2. Paula says: (Author)


    Hahaha, I do! Good times. :D

  3. AbraCadabRa says:

    OMG.. these good absolutely delightful

  4. Paula says: (Author)

    They were! Expect to see them in the office sometime soon – they passed the official Paula taste test.

  5. Brittany says:

    Man these posts are really making me want to get back into baking. Btw, did you slice these with a knife? If you did you should try dental floss on rolls like these. Its the cleanest way I’ve found to slice doughy stuff like this.

  6. Paula says: (Author)

    That’s such a great idea! I’ll have to try that. Yeah it was pretty hard to slice them, I kept flattening them out.

  7. Paula says: (Author)

    It worked it worked! I made them again tonight. So much easier than using a knife. Thanks for the tip.

  8. Mike says:

    Round two tastes even better :)

  9. Brittany says:

    Oh yay I’m glad! I can’t remember where I picked that tip up, I’m sure it was my mom though. :D

    • Rowena says:

      I love the idea of a baking day, and given that we svreiuvd without an oven for nearly a year (gasp!) I think it should be instated starting now. We had a gas stove that worked fine, but the stove components were electrical so the temp, time etc couldn’t be programmed but now we have a new gas stove and my boys love baking too thanks for the inspiration!~Erin

  10. Amy says:

    I see the temp (400 degrees), but no time for baking! Am I missing it? I’d like to try these!

  11. Amy says:

    Thanks for the update, Paula! :D I can’t wait to try these.

  12. Paula says: (Author)

    No problem! I included your name in an update note near the recipe :)

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