Homemade Cinnamon Buns

We streamlined the original recipe for these homemade cinnamon buns, but the result is tender, easy-to-work dough, stuffed with plenty of cinnamon and brown sugar.

By Amy Traverso

May 17 2022


Cinnamon Buns

Photo Credit : Heath Robbins

Over the decades, Yankee has featured hundreds of recipes from talented New England home cooks. These delicious homemade cinnamon buns are one example, adapted from an April 1980 recipe by Mabel Gray of Putney, Vermont. We streamlined the original, but the result is true to Mabel’s tender, easy-to-work dough, stuffed with plenty of cinnamon and brown sugar.


12 servings


1 tablespoon plus 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups warm milk
1 packet (2¼ teaspoons) dry yeast
6 tablespoons salted butter, melted, plus more for bowl and baking pan
1 large egg, at room temperature
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface and as needed
1 teaspoon table salt


Make the dough: In a medium-size bowl, stir 1 tablespoon of sugar into the warm milk. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk (don’t stir) and let it sit 5 minutes to activate yeast (it should look foamy). Whisk in the butter and egg.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the flour, the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar, and the salt. Replace the whisk with a dough hook and add the liquid ingredients. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together; then increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough becomes cohesive and smooth, 4 to 5 minutes. If the dough still feels sticky, add more flour, 2 tablespoons at a time.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly grease the mixing bowl with butter; then return the dough to the bowl, turn it to coat it with butter, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1½ hours.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling.

Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan. Punch down the risen dough and turn it back out onto the floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 12×15-inch rectangle, with the long side facing you. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border at the top. Roll the dough up from the bottom to make a cylinder, pinching the top to seal. Slice the cylinder crosswise with a sharp knife to make 12 buns.

Transfer the buns to the prepared baking pan, leaving space between them. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Heat your oven to 350°. Bake the buns until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze.

Set up two cooling racks with waxed paper beneath. Transfer the buns to the racks. When lukewarm, drizzle the buns with glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature.

For the filling and glaze:


4 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
2–3 tablespoons half-and-half


Prepare the filling:
In a medium-size bowl, stir together the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon with a fork. Set aside.
Prepare the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar and half-and-half.