Homemade Cinnamon Buns

Today is a good day.

You want to know why?  Because any day we’re making homemade cinnamon buns is a good day.

homemade cinnamon buns

Honestly, out of all the pastries I could eat, I’d have to say the cinnamon bun is my favorite.  It just screams comfort and deliciousness.

Today’s recipe is not my own.  It comes from a dear friend of mine.  Well, actually, it’s not hers either.  It was passed down to her somewhere along the line.  But there’a story about how these cinnamon buns hold a special place in my heart.

At the end of my grade 11th year I found myself in a very difficult situation of needing to find a place to live that summer.  It’s a long story that I’m not going to share all the details of, but basically I needed somewhere to live while I finished my last year of highschool.

I had a friend come up to me in the halls of our highschool and say, “my parents said you could live at my house.  You can have my room since I will be at University.”  She was two years older than me and would be heading off to post-secondary school that Fall.  Her parents knew me a little bit, but honestly, not ALL that well.  Yet they were willing to open up their home to me.

And so,  just a few boxes in hand of all my belongings I moved into her parents house at the end of that summer.  And honestly, it was one of the best years of my life.  I loved my time there and grew to love that family as if they were my own family.  Every year or two I am able to visit with them and my kids have grown to love them just as much I think. 🙂  That year helped shape me and provided a refuge at a time I needed it most.

But- what does this have to do with cinnamon buns?

Many Saturday mornings I would wake up to the smell of fresh bread baking.  I was a lazy teen who dragged myself out of bed way too late every weekend (I’ve since changed my ways  🙂 ) and while laying in bed I would hear the Christian radio station playing downstairs and I would smell the sweet aroma of homemade bread, pizza dough, and homemade cinnamon buns.

While it may seem like something small and insignificant, there was a peace in my heart and a safety and security I felt while I heard my friend’s mom working away downstairs while listening to uplifting music.

In all fairness, it may be the memory attached to it, but these are the best cinnamon buns I’ve ever had.

And ever since I started this blog I pictured myself sharing this special recipe on the blog.  So, today is finally the day. 🙂

This is totally going to sound corny, and cliche, but I have to say it.  The secret ingredient to these cinnamon buns is love.  I know.  So, so corny.  But it’s true.

There are a lot of steps in this recipe, but I promise you, it’s worth it.  Also, while the first couple of times it may seem like a lot if you have never made cinnamon buns before, the more you make them the easier it becomes to whip up a batch.

So, before I get into the recipe, I want to point out that you can use this same recipe for bread, buns, and pizza dough.  You can also add cheese and make cheese buns.  My friend’s mom would HUGE batch and use the same dough for a variety of things.  Talk about multitasking!

When I made the buns this past week I used half the dough for cinnamon buns and I also made a loaf of bread from it.

I’ve also swapped out half of the white flour for spelt flour in this recipe, but you can use all white if that’s your preference.

Another key tip for these cinnamon buns.  Layer the pan you bake them in with a good coating of butter AND brown sugar.  The brown sugar caramelizing on the bottom makes these buns amazing.  I mean, check out this photo of the ones I flipped over in the pan just so I could show you the sweetness on the bottom of these buns:

I mean, does that not look absolutely amazing?  I don’t add any kind of frosting to these buns because they are just so sweet as they are.  I always found icing on cinnamon buns a little too sweet for my liking.  And that’s saying something because I have a crazy sweet tooth.

You can make these the day before and bake them for breakfast.  All you need to do is, instead of letting them rise the second time after you’ve formed the cinnamon buns, you put them in the fridge overnight.  In the morning take them out about an hour before you want to bake them.

And, a final note:  be careful. It’s hard to stop at eating just one of these cinnamon buns.  That’s probably why I only make these once in a while. No regular Saturday cinnamon buns here unfortunately.  I’m not so good at will-power if they are sitting around.  But I do make them every Christmas morning and every Easter and sometimes in between just for fun. 🙂



3 cups warm water

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup oil (I use canola but you could probably use whatever you have – I would avoid using olive oil though because of the strong taste)

1 tbsp salt

1 egg

4 cups spelt flour

4 cups white flour

1 Tbsp INSTANT RISE yeast (make sure it’s instant rise)

3/4 cup butter

2 tbsp cinnamon

3/4 cup brown sugar


Combine the warm water, white sugar, oil, salt, and egg.

cinnamon bun ingredients

Add 2 cups of the spelt flour, 1 cup of the white flour, and the instant rise yeast.  Mix well.

cinnamon bun mixing

Now add the rest of the spelt and white flour. The dough should not be too dry, but it should not stick to your hands.  If it’s sticking to your fingers be sure to add some more flour.

Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes.

kneading the dough

Roll the dough into a smooth ball and put it in a greased bowl.  Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, about two hours.

dough rising

After the two hours punch the dough down and divide it into two.  Roll one part of the dough out onto a floured surface.  You want to roll it into a rough rectangle.

rolling the dough

Cut up half of the butter into chunks and drop it onto the dough evenly.

Sprinkle half of the brown sugar all over the dough.  Then sprinkle 1 tbsp of the cinnamon all over the dough.

Brown sugar

Roll the dough up from bottom to top to form your cinnamon buns.

Slice the dough into cinnamon buns, about 2 inches thick.

Now take the second part of the dough you put aside and do the same to it as you did to the first section to make your buns.

Grease your pan GENEROUSLY. You want a good coating of butter in it.  Then sprinkle a bunch of brown sugar in there.  This step is SO important as it gives you that nice gooey caramelized sweetness on the bottom of the buns.

sugar in the pan

Place the buns in the pan with space in between.  Cover with a towel and let rise for about 45 minutes.  Alternatively you can also put the pan in the fridge at this point to bake them in the morning.  When I do that I just make sure to take them out about an hour before I want to bake them so they have some time to warm up and rise abit.

homemade cinnamon bun

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Bake the buns for 22-24 minutes. You don’t want to overcook them or they won’t be as soft in the middle.  You want them to start to become golden brown, but not too dark.

homemade cinnamon buns

I know, I know…confusing, right?  If you bake them too long you’ll just have to keep trying until you find the perfect doneness for you and your family.  I mean, no one will mind if you make bun after bun after bun….

And there you have it.  Homemade cinnamon buns.  They taste amazing when they are warm.


baked cinnamon rolls

Homemade Cinnamon Buns

Servings 24


  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups spelt flour (you can substitute white flour if you want)
  • 4 cups white flour
  • 1 tbsp INSTANT yeast
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • extra brown sugar and butter to coat pan


  • Combine warm water, white sugar, oil, salt, and egg in a mixing bowl.
  • Add 2 cups of the spelt four, one cup of the white flour, and the instant yeast. Mix well.
  • Add the rest of the spelt and white flour to the dough and mix well again.
  • Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes. If the dough is sticking to your fingers while kneading then add more flour.
  • Roll the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and put it somewhere warm to rise until double the size (roughly 2 hours.)
  • Divide the dough into two and take one section and roll it onto a floured surface into a rough rectangle shape.
  • Take half the butter and cut into chunks. Drop the chunks evenly onto the dough.
  • Take half the brown sugar and sprinkle it onto the dough.
  • Sprinkle 1 tbsp of cinnamon onto the dough.
  • Starting at the bottom, roll your dough into a long log shape.
  • Cut the dough into 2 inch pieces.
  • Take your second section of dough that you put aside earlier and do the same as you did with the first section of dough.
  • Coat your baking pan with butter and then sprinkle the bottom with brown sugar.
  • Place your buns into the pan with a bit of space in between.
  • Cover the buns with a towel and set aside to rise for about 45 minutes, or until double in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Bake the buns for 22-24 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE. You want them to start to turn golden brown but to not be too dark.
  • Let cool - but not too much - they taste best when warm!


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