Baking · Bread · Breakfast

Clone of a Cinnabon

I used to love Cinnabon. Really, I still do. I just can’t afford them anymore. Financially or physically. For a playoff Sunday of football, I figured I could make an exception. At least on the physical part. These are exactly like the real thing – and a dozen don’t cost anywhere CLOSE to $30. Best served warm from the oven, but if you zap them in the microwave a few seconds they are practically good as new. I actually had to “borrow” a photo from because when I brought these to my sister’s house, they were gone in about 12 seconds. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture – so sorry for the stretched version here. Someone there (who shall remain anonymous) – actually grabbed the baking dish from me as I was heading to rinse it off and proceeded to eat all the extra filling/frosting that has leaked out. I’m actually a little jealous I didn’t think to do that myself. The frosting especially. I wanted to eat it with a spoon. The filling is delicious too. Every other cinnamon bun recipe I’ve seen uses white sugar in the filling. The brown gives it a caramelly richness that’s fabulous.
The other really cool thing about this recipe is that you can prepare it the night before. I’m not such a fan of waking up at the crack of dawn to make a yeast dough that has to rise for an hour and a half before I can start making breakfast. Just put these in the fridge after placing the rolled buns in the pan. Then in the morning, put them in a cold oven – turn it on to 350° and allow to cook for 25-30 minutes. I popped mine in, went and took a shower and by the time I was dressed and mostly ready, my house was filled with the fragrance of sweat bread and cinnamon. Perfect. 

Cinnabon Clone

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start. (*non-bread machine directions below)
  2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, butter and cinnamon.
  3. Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with sugar/butter/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough starting along the short side and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt. As soon as rolls come out of the oven, place them on a plate upside down. Spread any filling that has seeped out over the top and then spread frosting on rolls before serving.*Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl. Mix in the sugar, margarine, salt, and eggs. Add flour and mix well. Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour. Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Proceed from step 2 above.

6 thoughts on “Clone of a Cinnabon

  1. I wondered what kind of cinnamon you used, since there are different types. Saigon, Canela Molida, ceylon, tung hing etc. I always thought that the actual Cinnabon roll was a stronger cinnamon flavor. I do look forward to making these. Thanks!

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