Last year I shared my 10-minute Cinnamon Bun recipe and I promised to share my “from scratch” Copycat Cinnabun recipe soon… so one year later, I figured it was about time I actually shared it! And to make up for my delay, I’ve included a video for how to make these delicious homemade cinnamon buns so you can have guaranteed great results.
Homemade cinnamon buns are one of my favorite treats for a special family brunch or for bringing to a bake sale. Like my authentic beignet recipe, they require a bit of work up front (a bit of kneading and rolling out dough) but they are well worth it.
You can even freeze half of the batch after rolling and cutting into servings (before the second rise) if you don’t think your family will go through the generous number of cinnamon buns that this recipe makes, but I’ll be honest – I’ve never had that problem. I tend to gift a few containers of them to family members and before I know it, I’m cutting the last one in half for Miss G and I to share.
These cinnamon buns are soft and chewy with crunchy, caramelized edges. There’s a decent amount of cinnamon-sugar filling in each one, topped with a maple-vanilla cream cheese frosting that brings just the right amount of tartness to your cinnamon buns for the perfect balance of sweetness.
I may have called these “copycat cinnabuns” but these are way better than anything you can buy!
There are a few ways that my cinnamon bun recipe differs from other cinnamon bun recipes out there – and the first is the inclusion of buttermilk. It brings that delicious “country-style” flavor that I find missing with so many other homemade cinnamon buns. I know there are “baking hacks” out there to swap regular milk + vinegar for buttermilk… please, just don’t do it for this recipe! Those hacks are great for reproducing the acidity and fluffiness of buttermilk in baking, but they won’t replace that distinct taste.
Next, we use regular flour for a softer bun. Bread flour can make things more dense than they need to be and who needs a second bag of flour cluttering up their baking cupboard?
REAL BUTTER. (It needs no explanation, right?)
Cream cheese and maple syrup are both essential for that out-of-this world frosting. If you’re not sure, make half a batch and try it on one cinnamon roll. After tasting, I guarantee you’ll agree with me. (And real maple syrup – none of that Aunt Jemima stuff..)
To see just how easy it is to make these homemade cinnamon buns, check out my step-by-step video here and then scroll down to grab your printable recipe for these decadent buttermilk cinnamon rolls:
Ingredients to Make Homemade Cinnamon Buns
You will need:
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 4 1/2-5 cups all purpose flour
For the cinnamon spread filling:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
For the cream cheese drizzle:
- 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature (half a brick)
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, to taste