If you’ve ever wondered how to make cinnamon rolls from scratch or thought it would be too difficult to bother, these easy cinnamon buns are a great starting point. This amazing sweet roll recipe is made with a soft yeast dough that’s filled with sweet cinnamon walnut and raisins. The yeast dough requires a double rise (as most do) but the steps are easy for these yummy breakfast buns.
You’ll want to start with the dough for this sweet roll recipe. It comes together in the stand mixer very quickly, but you can also mix the dough by hand.
Dough ingredients for breakfast buns
- All Purpose Flour
- Nonfat Dry Milk
Making dough for sweet roll recipe:
- For the stand mixer, blend until the dough is soft, smooth and elastic.
- If you’re mixing and kneading by hand, it’ll take a few minutes longer and require a bit of elbow grease, but it’s not difficult.
- When the dough is blended, form it into a ball and place it in a greased bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a clean towel and put it in a draft free place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
While the dough is rising, assemble the ingredients for the easy cinnamon buns filling.
Ingredients for cinnamon walnut raisin filling:
- Brown Sugar
- Powdered Vanilla
- Golden Raisins (or regular raisins)
- Walnuts (or pecans)
- Soft Unsalted Butter
Preparing the cinnamon walnut filling:
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and powdered vanilla (if using).
- Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast in a warm oven until fragrant and lightly browned.
- Measure out the raisins and set aside.
- Allow the butter to come to room temperature.
Tips for rolling the dough
The yeast dough for this sweet roll recipe is really easy to work with (which is why I like it). The only “exacting” part in making these easy cinnamon buns, is rolling the dough into an 11 x 20″ rectangle. It doesn’t have to be 100% perfect, but you’ll want to achieve those dimensions, thereabouts to have roughly equal sized breakfast buns. I use a ruler to make sure I’m on track.
Assembling easy cinnamon buns
- Roll out the sweet roll dough into the required size.
- Brush the dough with softened butter, I used an offset spatula to make it easy to spread. (Pro Tip: Try to leave a half inch border around the edge of the dough so it can be sealed when you roll it up — if you butter it to the edge, the dough won’t stick together.)
- Sprinkle the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture evenly over the butter.
- Sprinkle the toasted, chopped nuts and golden raisins over the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Roll the long edge of the dough over on itself and continue to roll the breakfast buns into a relatively secure spiral. (Don’t squeeze too hard or you’ll lose your filling, too loose and the rolls won’t hold together.)
- Cut the easy cinnamon buns into 1″ slices and transfer to a prepared 13 x 9″ baking pan. For the two end pieces place the “outside ends” down on the baking sheet so that the interior spiral is showcased.
- Cover with a clean dish towel and let the sweet roll recipe rise again.
Want to make these sweet buns ahead of time?
Assemble the buns up to step 7, then cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, take the pan out of the oven and let them rest and rise for two hours. Then continue with the rest of the recipe.
After the second rise, bake the rolls until they’re golden and smell out-of-this-world-good. (That’s a technical baking term.) The last step is the glaze.
Glazing cinnamon walnut breakfast buns
- Mix together cream and powdered sugar until smooth.
- Drizzle and gloop the glaze over the baked sweet rolls.
- Yes, I said gloop. Don’t try to achieve perfection. They should look rustic, it’s more inviting that way.
Even if you’ve never been a big baker, you can see how to make cinnamon rolls from scratch is pretty easy when you break it down into small, manageable steps. I guarantee these easy cinnamon buns won’t last long if you’re serving them for breakfast or brunch. No one can resist a warm gooey cinnamon walnut raisin roll with sweet glaze. Am-I-Right?
More breakfast buns & sweets:
- 2-Bite Cherry Vanilla Scones
- Light and Fluffy Gluten Free Strawberry Muffins
- Lemon Berry Sweet Buns with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
- Apricot Almond Fruit Pastry
- Best Blueberry Banana Bread Recipe
- Raspberry Almond Cream Cheese Braid
Cinnamon Walnut Raisin Sweet Roll Recipe
FOR THE DOUGH:
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour I like King Arthur's
- 2 teaspoons Instant Yeast (not active dry -- and not the whole package)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 large egg + water to make one cup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
FOR THE FILLING:
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground vanilla (optional)
- 3/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pecans chopped
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
FOR THE GLAZE:
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with your hands) combine the flour, yeast sugar, nonfat dry milk, salt, egg and water, vanilla and butter. Mix on low speed until dough starts to come together, then increase speed one notch until the dough is soft and smooth.
- Lightly coat a bowl with vegetable oil, to prevent the dough from sticking. Form the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl. Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until about doubled in size.
- While the dough is proofing, Preheat the oven to 300° and toast the walnuts on a sheet pan for about 15 minutes or until fragrant and toasted. Let the nuts cool, then chop them and set aside.
- Take the butter out to soften. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla and whisk to combine. Set aside. Measure out the raisins and set aside until you're ready to assemble the rolls.
ROLL OUT THE DOUGH:
- Lightly spray a 13 x 9" pan with vegetable spray. Line the the pan with a piece of parchment paper cut to the size of the bottom of the pan and spray again with vegetable spray. Set aside.
- Lightly grease a work surface and place the dough in the center. Roll out the dough to a rectangle measuring 11 x 20 inches. Spread a thin layer of soft butter over the dough, leaving about 1" uncovered on the long side furthest from you.
- Sprinkle the butter slathered dough evenly with the brown sugar mixture, then top with chopped walnuts and golden raisins.
- Starting with the long side (covered with filling), roll the dough into a log. Use a sharp serrated knife or a pastry cutter to divide the dough into two equal logs. Cut each log into 6 equal portions.
- Place the rolls into the prepared pan, pressing down slightly. Cover the rolls and let them rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours to rise and become very puffy.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake the buns in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and let the rolls cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning them out of the pan. When the rolls are just slightly warm, glaze them.
FOR THE GLAZE:
- Combine the cream and confectioners sugar in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon the glaze over slightly warm buns and serve.
Want to make these sweet buns ahead of time?Assemble the buns up to the point where you fill them with the cinnamon filling, roll and cut. Cover the pan of sweet rolls and refrigerate them overnight. The next morning, take the pan out of the oven and let them rest and rise for two hours. Then continue with the rest of the recipe.
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