Better than Cinnabon Cinnamon Buns

The cinnabon has long been held as Eric’s gold-standard for junk-food consumption. That is, if he/we are going to give in to sugary temptation, it better be as delicious and as satisfying as the cinnabon!


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For those who might not know what a cinnabon is, it is the most perfect, gooey, sticky, chewy kind of cinnamon filled bread pastry! It exemplifies the concept of sweetness perception – it has the same amount of sugar as a lot of cakes, yet tastes even sweeter. Their recipe has inspired many copy-cat recipes from All-recipes and popular bloggers. But they’re all lies! We tried their recipes and they just didn’t hold up to the original cinnabon. Maybe some people aren’t as picky as Eric and I?

Eric wanted to leave comments like “Pillsbury tastes better!”.

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The first batch that we made using online recipes came out dry and definitely didn’t have enough of the butter-cinnamon mixture to create the gooey-ness that is so remarkable from a cinnabon. So, back to our EP Test Kitchen (Jen started using that hashtag for our creations:)!

We realized there must be something about the cinnabon dough that released moisture as it cooks, creating the chewy soft cinnamon bun dough. Rather than try to reverse-engineer the dough, we thought we could just needed a way to add more moisture.

He went out and bought a spray bottle (the kind used for misting plants) and filled it with milk to lightly mist the cinnamon mixture before rolling. He also figured that extra butter and extra cinnamon would make a huge difference in creating a richer, and more satisfying filling. He was right!


The other modification was our generous use of breakfast cream 🙂


I wrote about breakfast cream earlier and our use of it during the great cream shortage of 2015… we needed cream for our sous-vide Steak Arromanchoise recipe (an old world French dish with baked apples and calvados) and since all the stores were sold out, we used this! It’s like marscapone’s cousin in richness and Eric describes the flavour as “dulce de leche-like, but without the sweetness”.


Here we are getting our ingredients ready.


The bread dough rising.


After about an hour, the dough will double in size and is ready to roll!


Spreading lots of butter around. I never said this was health food 😉


Extra hands from Owen and Jen to help us roll this massive cinnamon roll!


Close up of the misting bottle – our holy grail item for this recipe.


Here are the cinnamon buns all ready to bake. The kitchen smelled AMAZING.


Jen was documenting the product development happening before our eyes.


Meanwhile, we whipped up some cream cheese frosting. This needs to go on the buns right away so it can seep into the dough. The rest of the pictures speak for themselves.


Jen’s instagram compilation 🙂

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And now for the recipe!

Recipe better than cinnabon

Let me know what you think in the comments below! Wondering if there are other famous recipes we should try to copy-cat next?

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