BAKING breads

The Fluffiest Cinnamon Sugar Rolls

October 26, 2010

Cinnamon Sugar Buns

I’ve got to admit, I’m quite a hoarder when it comes to hard-to-find ingredients. The problem with food shopping for me is that I always buy more than I should because, you know, I am utterly positive that I will never find it anywhere else. I bring sneak it back home and then find a spot for it in my ‘special’ cabinet, never to see the light of day. What’s worse is that many a time a lot of the stuff ends up in the trash can because it’s crossed its prime. Oops!

Today I pulled out my pack of Swedish Pearl Sugar that I got from Ikea last year. Don’t roll your eyes; the sell by date is Nov 2011. So, in fact, you should be patting me on my back for breaking into this well before time. So, what prompted me to reach into my special cabinet? The awesomeness from Spain, of course. Every time I get my hands on more ‘exotic’ ingredients, I feel like I deserve to use some of the precious ingredients from that cabinet.

Cinnamon Sugar Buns

I set out to make cinnamon sugar rolls, just like the pack of sugar suggests. I used my go-to book for bread these days, Artisan Bread Every Day for the sweet dough recipe. And as the name suggests, I packed it with a very generous spread of cinnamon, sugar and butter. Here’s a tip: add vanilla extracts to make your sweet dough. It makes the dough smell unbelievably irresistible. You just might eat it raw.

Cinnamon Sugar Buns

Cinnamon Sugar Rolls

Yeild: 10 big rolls
Adapted from: Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day (US | UK | India)
2 ½ tsp instant yeast
8.5oz / 240g milk
14 oz / 400g flour
1 tsp salt
45g sugar
50g melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

50g butter, softened
100g sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon

Eggwash (beaten egg with a little milk)
Swedish Pearl Sugar

  1. Whisk the yeast into the milk until dissolved.
  2. Combine the flour, salt and sugar together. Pour the milk, melted butter and vanilla extract over the dry ingredients.
  3. Knead the dough either by hand or using the dough hook attachment of the KitchenAid and knead until the dough is soft and slightly sticky. If using a KA, it should clean up the sides of the bowl and only stick a little to the bottom.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a plate or some plastic wrap and let it rise for 1-2 hours (depending on how hot it is where you are), or until doubled in size. You can refrigerate this after this point for up to 4 days.
  5. Punch the dough back down and roll it out in a 12×15 inch rectangle. Spread the butter evenly on the dough and sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over it. Roll up the dough tightly and cut into 1½ inch slices.
  6. Place it into a buttered 9 inch pan, making sure to keep it well spaced out. Let it rise for 1-2 hour.
  7. Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle on the pearl sugar.*
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 175C/350F for 18-20 minutes, making sure to turn the pan halfway through baking.
  9. Wait for it to cool a bit and then transfer the pillow-y goodness to your mouth!

* Of course, you don’t need to use pearl sugar – you could make a caramel glaze or perhaps coat it with some Dulce de Leche.


  • Reply Sharmilee October 26, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    Looks so fluffy and soft….I can feel it here…Looks so delicious

  • Reply Kulsum at JourneyKitchen October 26, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    This looks sinful. I have been meaning to make cinnamon rolls for so long but the recipe I want to try is from Pioneer woman and ofcourse it has way too much butter, which makes me shy away from it. Not that I will shy away after its made! :)

    And Ditto! I have the same problem of stuffing my special cabinet. When things are not usable any more you can’t imagine the pain I feel! OMG! Reminds me of the lavender, turkish pepper, etc I need to work on

  • Reply Tweets that mention The Fluffiest Cinnamon Sugar Rolls -- October 26, 2010 at 3:30 PM

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  • Reply Aditi Maliwar October 26, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    I want some!!!! OMG… i think ill become fat just looking at your pictures

  • Reply Sanjeeta kk October 26, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    Lovely clicks, Shaheen. The cinnamon rolls look perfect with the Swedish sugar on top.

  • Reply Happy Cook October 26, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    I love that book and these rolls look perfect.

  • Reply Debjani October 26, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    Aaaaw! Those buns look fantastic, you´re really starting to get to grips with your new camera. And don´t you DARE hide my presents away in the special cupboard, I shall come over to Bombay and kick your ass.

  • Reply suma October 26, 2010 at 7:37 PM

    Cinnamon rolls have been featuring in my dreams since quite some time!! Adding vanilla to the dough is such a delicious idea:-)) I can’t wait to try this!!

  • Reply Disha October 26, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    Wow S! They look so fluffy! I wanna pull one out from my iPhone screen! Have u used yeast from arife?
    – D

    • Reply The Purple Foodie October 26, 2010 at 7:59 PM

      Ya D – used instant yeast from Arife. I don’t see it there anymore though. It’s called Prime yeast and it’s available at continental stores at Crawford Market.

      • Reply Disha October 26, 2010 at 8:51 PM

        Thanks! Will look out for it.
        Your pictures are beautiful btw!

  • Reply Poonam October 26, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    these look so good i think i put on some weight just ogling :D

  • Reply Tanvi October 26, 2010 at 8:41 PM

    These rolls looks absolutely gorgeous and the flowers are sooo pretty .I shop as if there will be no second time and that too given the fact that grocery store is less that 1 mile away.I dun know but grocery shopping is really addictive for me..its less about stocking but more about ensuring that I knw the use of each n everything in the aisles ..crazy I knw :P

  • Reply matt gordon October 26, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    love the pictures and the unique ingredients. right now, maca root and Filmjolk or Piima yoghurt are in my rotation. by the way, i am a huge fan of vanilla extract in dough.

  • Reply Priya October 26, 2010 at 11:14 PM

    Gorgeous, beautiful and irresisitble cinnamon rolls..just drooling here..

  • Reply anushruti October 27, 2010 at 8:27 AM

    These look gorgeous! Can’t wait to meet you! Coming to think of it, did we need Grazia for this to happen?

  • Reply Divya Vikram October 27, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    Cinnamon bread looks adorable! The first paragraph suits me a lot!

  • Reply Susan October 28, 2010 at 12:29 AM

    That looks so light and airy – and delicious to boot!

  • Reply Mags@OtherSideOf50 October 28, 2010 at 5:19 AM

    These look fantastic!

  • Reply Jolene October 28, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    My husband said that he’d be okay with it if I made these every day. Very yummy!

  • Reply Prerna@IndianSimmer October 30, 2010 at 9:02 AM

    Hey thr!
    Just bumped into your blog and absolutely love it! And what a cute name for a blog :-)
    Looking forward to seeing around!
    Keep up the good work!

  • Reply stephchows November 1, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    mmmmmmmm seriously delicious!

  • Reply thecoffeesnob November 2, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    I’m exactly the same way with exotic ingredients! I hate it when I dig into the cupboard all excited to use them, only to find it’s past their use-by date.

    Anyway these cinnamon rolls look so incredibly light! I’ve been thinking about getting Artisan Bread Every Day for a while now (love The Bread Baker’s Apprentice!) and this might have just pushed me over the edge! :)

  • Reply L November 3, 2010 at 5:14 AM

    Great photos! I will definitely try this recipe and even pick up the book!

  • Reply Alicia Souza November 3, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    Wow, I was just told about your website and was floored especially since the first recipe is of one I was meant to look out for…cinnamon rolls..umm..
    You’ve got a delightful blog:)

  • Reply Pretty. Good. Food. November 3, 2010 at 10:28 PM

    Mmm, sounds delicious :)

  • Reply Nick @ Gourmetornoway November 4, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    Oh wow, these look amazing! Did your neighbors come over while those were still in the oven? I bet the smelled great!

  • Reply Tamanna November 5, 2010 at 4:55 AM

    oh my gosh…those rolls are fluffy alright! looks seriously delicious and will enjoy one with my tea right now

  • Reply Anonymous November 5, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    You should deliver to Europe ;-)

  • Reply Dee D. November 5, 2010 at 10:57 PM

    Oh they look delicious! I love cinnamon rolls :)
    yours look so fluffy!

  • Reply hannah November 13, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    These look so good. I have a recipe from Sweden for cinnamon rolls (kanelbullar), and they sound very alike, just that the swedish version calls for cardamom in the dough. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply skaps November 21, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    Just wnated to know if you melted the yeast in warm milk or at room temperature?these rolls look so delicious……just feel like making them right away and gobbling them.also if i dnt have the peral sugar you suggested a caramel glaze. Could you help me with a recipe.Love your blog….glad there are people like you to share. Thanks.

    • Reply The Purple Foodie November 30, 2010 at 2:33 PM

      Dissolved the yeast in room temperature milk… I’m always worried that the milk might be too hot and I might kill the yeast. This seems safer to me.

      You could make the caramel topping like I’ve made in the other cinnamon buns recipe I’ve shared.

  • Reply Merich Menezes November 30, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    Quick question with regards to point nbr 8
    Bake in a preheated oven at 175C/350F for 18-20 minutes, making sure to turn the pan halfway through baking.
    * when you say turn the pan halfway through baking do you mean turn each roll upside down?

    • Reply The Purple Foodie November 30, 2010 at 2:35 PM

      No, you don’t have to turn each roll upside down, you simply have to change the position of the baking tray… the side that was closer to the inside of the oven, will now be on the outside.. this ensures even baking.

  • Reply Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Rolls) « My Kitchen From Scratch March 20, 2011 at 7:22 AM

    […] adapted from “The Fluffiest Cinnamon Sugar Rolls” by The Purple […]

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  • Reply Giza June 22, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    The picture is great.. but has anyone tried these buns?? Would like some feedback about how they taste rather than about the photos….

  • Reply Sonia March 25, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Hey…you’ve turned this mom into the “best cook ever” for her kids!!! This recipe was a winner and I got all the accolades-merci, merci, merci!!!

  • Reply Mahrukh February 23, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Shaheen, I love your blog and was miserable that I couldn’t make it to your classes in Mumbai. Just a question, if I want to substitute the instant yeast with dry yeast, how much should I use?

  • Reply Shaheen February 26, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Twice the quantity of instant yeast. (hope I see you next time!)

  • Reply Sithara June 13, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Tried the rolls and with this overcame my fear of yeast and bread!! The rolls rose beautifully and baked all brown and cinnamonny…..Delicious!!! Thank you for a great rec.:)

  • Reply Sithara August 3, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    Tried the rolls with whole-wheat flour (ashirwad atta) and it came out really well…

  • Reply Sithara August 27, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    Hi Shaheen- fab recipe. Can’t wAit to try it. One question- what is 240 grams milk in cups?

    • Reply Shaheen August 27, 2014 at 11:23 PM

      That’s ~1 cup. (236ml = 1 American cup). For milk/water 1g=1ml is fine.

  • Reply Prerana Parnerkar April 28, 2015 at 5:30 PM

    Hi, tried the recipe and it was just heavenly. Infact the aroma while baking was so tantalising that my daughter gobbled 1 as soon as they were out of the oven.

  • Reply mooshka December 13, 2015 at 2:22 AM

    Hi dear Shaheen
    Thanks for the recipe, i have a question, what do you exactly mean by turning the pan halfway through ?

    • Reply Shaheen December 27, 2015 at 9:05 PM

      Ho Mooshka – this means that you need to turn the pan around such that the part that was at the back of the oven is now in the front. This is done for even baking because the back corners are inevitably the hottest.

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