Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easy Cinnamon Bun Muffins

cinnamon bun muffins

I’ve always wanted to make cinnamon rolls. I love cinnamon rolls. They are gooey and delicious and a totally perfect baked good.

But I’m afraid of yeast. I don’t like baking with it. It never seems to work right for me and it just grosses me out in general. I had seen Joy the Bakers recipe for these cinnamon bun muffins a while back and bookmarked the page, hoping some day I’d conquer that fear.

cinnamon bun muffins

That day was today. Well, not completely. Me and yeast aren’t bff’s yet or anything, but I’m starting to understand it better.

I’m totally glad I did too, these little things are delicious. It’s a cinnamon bun without all the hassle. The dough is super simple to throw together, as is the topping. I think next time I'll make them in a mini cupcake pan so they are bite size. You can’t really eat more than one full size muffin at a time.

cinnamon bun muffins

Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins

from Joy the Baker

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp active dry or rapid rise yeast
2/3 cup warm milk (100-110F; low fat is fine)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg


2 tbsp butter, room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground cardamom

1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp milk or cream

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Dissolve the yeast in a measuring cup filled with the warmed milk, then stir milk mixture, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and egg into the flour mixture. Mix well, until very smooth. Let rest for 15 minutes.

While the dough rests, mix together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and cardamom in a small bowl using a fork until all the butter has been incorporated into the sugar and mixture is crumbly. Divide the batter between 12 greased muffin cups. Sprinkle evenly on top of rested dough and press the mixture down into the dough with your fingertips (or swirl in with a spatula.)

Place pan into a cold oven, then set the oven temperature to 350F.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until bread is lightly browned at the edges and the center of the bread springs back when lightly pressed. Some of the sugar mixture on top may still be bubbling.
Cool for at least 30 minutes before whisking the powdered sugar and milk together to form an icing and drizzling it onto the bread.
Serve warm. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave.

note: this recipe only gave me about 9 muffins, not 12.


  1. Those look yummy! Way to go. If you keep trying yeast recipes, you'll find some that work for you. Warm weather is a great time to start, because things rise so well.

  2. Those look great! I love homemade bread, but yeast kinda scares me.. the part about it being alive..haha

  3. Yes! it's the whole being alive thing that freaks me out too. haha

  4. live yeast=good i'm sure you already know. fear not, it is well worth it :)

  5. You and me were on the same page today with this cinnamon bun thing- I made a biscuity version.
    These look great, and I like that there is yeast in there to give the flavor of real yeasted cinnamon buns...
    If you're thinking of trying a yeast bread at some point, I recommend with no-knead. It's pretty fool-proof. And for me, I was always okay with yeasts being alive, but was terrified of kneading and gluten development.

  6. Hey Hannah,
    I just saw your tweet about the whole coucous thing. My mom found a GREAT summertime tomato and coucous dish two summers ago, and whenever we make them for the first time that particular summer, we always say, "Wow, it really is summer!"
    Tell me if you'd like the recipe!

  7. Hey Hannah, these look so... good. I like you, I'm afraid of yeast it never seems to come out right for me either. I will have to try these.

  8. These look so warm and tasty. Glad to hear you conquered your fear, yeast is so fun to bake with. The outcomes are always pretty impressive.

  9. Hi Hannah! Once again I leave your page hungry... :)

    I would love the bread recipe, thanks so much!


  10. They looks tasty. I, too, have a fear of yeast but I've made a coffee cake with it recently and it wasn't as scary as I thought!!!

  11. Oh wow these looks delicious! Yeast isn't my problem, it's all the kneading that comes with bread-ish items. I hae the mess and I hate that there is really no time for how long you do it, but could overdo!

    Will give these a try! Thanks for the recipe.

  12. hey sarah-anne, I'd love the recipe!

    and Kaitlyn, I'll type up the recipe tomorrow!



    yeahh! you are so good a food photography! I love it.

  14. These are so cute! A great alternative to those fussy cinnamon buns!

  15. These look great. My brother would absolutely love them and he's the hardest to please when it comes to sweets. :)

  16. Hello!
    I just started following your blog, mainly because of the blood orange cake, and then i also saw that you do love Jesus, and that's a valid reason too!
    I have the best recipe for cinnamon rolls, they end up tasting like a superior version to cinnobon (I can't really remember the name of that place over there) but if you want it, I'll email it to you!

  17. These cinnamon muffins look fantastic! But if you are afraid of yeast, I highly suggest easy pecan buns by the Barefoot Contessa - you use frozen puff pastry. Delicious and easy! Perfect for a Sunday morning - put in the oven and everyone will wake up to a glorious smell.

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