Christmas Cinnamon Buns

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For tips, how-to’s and FAQs make sure to read the whole post. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.

These easy Christmas cinnamon buns are the festive breakfast you’ve been looking for! Soft, fluffy and are ready in one hour, they’re filled with a festive fruit mincemeat, cinnamon sugar and drizzled with a classic cream cheese glaze, they are they. And as there’s no yeast and no proving, they’re the perfect Christmas morning bake as you unwrap gifts!

Cream cheese glaze running off a spoon and drizzling over the top of swirl bun
Lou's Recipe Overview

Lou’s recipe overview

SKILL: Intermediate

TASTE: Sweet and spicy – Christmas morning in a bun

PROS: No yeast, no prove, ready in 1 hour

CONS: Absolutely none!

Picture the scene… it’s Christmas morning. There’s piles of wrapping paper in the middle of the room. The squeals of delight as a gift ticks the box. And from the kitchen comes the sweet and spicy smell of freshly baked Christmas cinnamon buns that you’ve made.

Grab one! Sit down in that wrapping paper pile. Take a bite into that fluffy cinnamon dough, let the glaze dribble down your chin and enjoy!

Let me tell a bit more about these fluffy festive cinnamons rolls. They’re made with a super easy, no yeast, no prove spiced dough. This gets layered with a classic cinnamon sugar filling and on top of that is a rich and glossy homemade fruit mincemeat. And let’s not forget that Cointreau cream cheese glaze that finds its way into all those ridges; it’s the icing on the cake!

We love mince pies in this house and these are our festive breakfast twist on a classic treat.

They’re absolutely no faff, so you really can make them on Christmas morning!

Christmas cinnamon bun on a plate with a fork waiting to be eaten

Ingredients

Check out my shopping list for ingredients and equipment

Making cinnamon buns is easier than you think. There’s nothing fancy in the way of ingredients. The only thing you might not have is the mincemeat, but you’ll find it in the baking aisle around Christmas time or why not give my homemade version a try. Here’s everything you need to know about the ingredients…

  • Self-Raising Flour – As there’s no yeast, the raising agent in the flour will give you the rise on the buns as they bake. You can swap for plain flour and include 1 teaspoon of baking powder for every 100g of flour
  • Light Soft Brown Sugar – I like the slight caramel flavour light brown sugar brings, but you could use white or golden caster sugar instead. I would not recommend a dark brown sugar as this will complete with the richness in the fruit mincemeat
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Mixed Spice
  • Unsalted Butter – Unsalted gives you more control of how much salt you have in your recipe, just add a pinch of fine sea salt. You can also use slightly salted butter if you prefer
  • Egg Yolks
  • Lemon Zest
  • Orange Zest
  • Full-Fat Milk
  • Fruit Mincemeat – I love making my own mincemeat; I can leave out the fruit peel that I don’t like. Check out my recipe, it’s so quick and easy. Alternatively you can use a store-brought, readymade mincemeat. They’re just as good!
  • Icing Sugar or Powdered Sugar
  • Cream Cheese
  • Cointreau – I like to add a little orangey flavour to the cream cheese glaze. You could use another orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier, an orange extract or leave it out completely

Recommended ingredients

CONVERT TO CUPS: There is a cup conversion option in the recipe card to convert the ingredients. This is automatic and I can’t guarantee the accuracy. For best baking results, I recommend using digital scales and weighing the ingredients.

Equipment you will need

To make the dough, I prefer to use a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. However, you can make the dough by hand if you prefer. Just make sure to knead it properly to develop the gluten strands.

These are the other tools I use to make the buns, and yes I do recommend using dental floss. Keep reading to find out why…

Overhead view of a white baking dish filled with cinnamon buns with icing on top, next to a plate with a christmas cinnamon bun on it

How to make Christmas cinnamon buns

Full measurements and instructions can be found on the recipe card

As these cinnamon buns are no prove, the time you need to make these is not much at all. Most of the time is waiting for them to bake. Here’s everything you need to do…

The cinnamon dough

I make my cinnamon dough using a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, but you can knead the dough by hand if you prefer.

  • Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly
  • Add the milk and egg yolks to the melted butter and whisk together
  • Sieve together the flour, ground cinnamon and mixed spice in a large mixing bowl
  • Add the soft brown sugar, lemon zest and orange zest to the flour and stir through
  • Add the cooled butter mixture to the dry ingredients and begin to combine on low speed
  • Continue to knead the dough on medium speed for 5-8 minutes together until you have a smooth dough
  • Leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes before rolling out.

TOP TIP: As the dough comes together, it builds elasticity for it’s rise when baking. If the dough is the right consistency the sides of the bowl will be clean. If it is too wet and leaves a residual, add a tablespoon of extra flour to help the dough mix properly.

Filling the cinnamon dough buns

While the dough rests, make the cinnamon sugar filling then roll out your dough.

  • Melt the butter and mix in the soft brown sugar and ground cinnamon
  • Place the dough between two sheets of baking parchment about 30cm x 25cm
  • Roll out the dough between the parchment, until it is about 5-8mm thick, then remove the top sheet of baking parchment
  • Spread the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the dough with a pastry brush
  • Spread the fruit mincemeat over the top of the cinnamon sugar, making you get an even coverage

TOP TIP: Don’t roll out your dough too thin otherwise you won’t get those fluffy dough walls in your cinnamon buns.

Baking the cinnamon dough buns

Once you’ve spread the fillings over the dough, roll up straight away so the dough doesn’t get soggy.

  • Begin to roll the dough into a swirl, starting along one of the long edges. Use the bottom sheet of baking parchment to help start the swirl and keep it tight, so the filling stays in place
  • Gently continue to roll the dough until it forms a long sausage
  • Slice the dough sausage into bun rounds about 1 inch thick and place in your baking dish. Remember to leave room for them to spread as they bake. Continue until all the dough has been cut
  • Bake the cinnamon buns for 30 minutes before drizzling over a cream cheese glaze

TOP TIP: Use dental floss to cut the buns and get that perfect cut without squashing the swirls is to use dental floss. Check out the video to find out how.

Step-by-step live video

Tips for success

Although this is an easy recipe, handling the dough can sometimes be challenging. Here are a few tips for making these cinnamon buns…

  • Tacky to the touch dough – When all the dough ingredients are combined and kneaded together, your dough should be slightly tacky to the touch and will pull away from the sides of the bowl without leaving any residual. If your dough is too wet and sticky, add a little extra flour until the dough feels tacky.
  • Leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes – Although the dough is no-prove, I highly recommend giving it at least 10 minutes to rest before you start rolling it out – it will make it easier to work with. Leave it to rest while you make the cinnamon sugar filling by which time it will be ready to roll out
  • Roll out the dough between baking parchment – This is my Number 1 tip for rolling out dough or pastry. Avoid over-flouring and handling your pastry too much when you roll out, by rolling between two sheets of baking parchment. It also makes it easier to turn the pastry and fill the pastry to line your tart tin
  • Use dental floss to cut the buns – You might not believe me but the best way to get that perfect cut without squashing the swirls is to use dental floss. Place a strand of floss underneath the dough, lift both ends of the floss and cross over at the top. Pull down so that the floss cuts through the dough and you’ll get the perfect cut every time, no squashing!
  • Give the buns room to grow – When you place your cinnamon buns in your baking dish, leave some space between them. As they bake the heat of the oven will cause them to fluff up. The gaps give them room to do so. To0 close and they can’t grow and the swirls will become tight. rising upwards giving you an uneven bake

Make ahead for Christmas morning

The best thing about these cinnamon buns are they are super easy to make; so if you wanted to make them fresh on Christmas morning you could. But who really wants to be kneading dough when there’s presents to unwrap, so this is what I do…

  • Make and fill the dough, and prepare the cinnamon buns the night before
  • Put the buns into the dish you want to bake them in
  • Cover the dish with clingfilm and pop in the fridge overnight
  • On Christmas morning, remove the baking dish from the fridge and allow the buns to come up to room temperature
  • Remove the clingfilm, bake as normal then enjoy them as you start your celebrations
Cream cheese glaze running off a spoon and drizzling over the top of swirl Christmas cinnamon bun

FAQs about Christmas cinnamon buns

How long should I let the dough rest for?

The best thing about this recipe is there’s no yeast and no proving. However I do recommend that you let the dough rest for 10 minutes before rolling it out.

Can I prove the dough?

As there is no yeast in the dough, you don’t need to prove the dough. Also if you tried to prove the dough, nothing would happen.

How long will the buns keep for?

The buns are best eaten warm from the oven, but if you have some left over they will keep for 2-3 days. Make sure you store them properly by popping them in an air-tight container and storing at room temperature. The buns can also be keep in the fridge but you may find they dry out.

Can I freeze the cinnamon buns?

Yes you can! Place the buns in a freezer bag, with as much air squeezed out as possible or in an air-tight container if you have room in your freezer. The buns will keep for up to 2 months. Remember to completely defrost them and warm up before eating.

White baking dish filled with baked christmas cinnamon buns and coated with a white icing

More Christmas recipes to try

If you liked these Christmas cinnamon buns here are some other festive desserts that I think you’d enjoy…

Christmas Cinnamon Buns

Serves : 10 rolls
These easy Christmas cinnamon buns are the festive breakfast you've been looking for. Soft, fluffy and ready in one hour!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients
 

For the Dough

For the Filling

For the Glaze

VIDEO

Instructions
 

To make the dough

  • Preheat oven to 180°C or 350°F, and lightly grease or line a baking dish.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter and allow to cool slightly. Alternatively melt in the microwave in 30-second blasts.
    75 g Butter
  • Add the milk and egg yolks to the melted butter, then whisk together.
    120 ml Whole Milk, 2 Egg Yolks
  • Add flour, ground cinnamon, mixed spice, soft brown sugar, lemon zest and orange zest into a stand mixer bowl. Then mix together on low speed with the dough hook attachment. until a sticky, thick dough begins to form.
    300 g Self-Raising Flour, 2 tbsp Light Soft Brown Sugar, 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon, 1 tsp Mixed Spice, 1 Lemon, 1 Orange
  • While the dry ingredients are being mixed together, gradually pour in the melted butter mixture and the dough will start to come together. At intervals, you may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula
  • Continue to mix together on a medium speed for 5-8 minutes, until the dough forms a smooth ball. The sides of the bowl should be clean. If the dough is too sticky, a residue will be left on the bowl. Add an extra tablespoon of flour and continue to knead.
  • When the dough has formed, leave it to rest for 10 minutes.

To make the cinnamon sugar filling

  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Alternatively melt in the microwave in 30-second blasts.
    50 g Butter
  • Add the soft brown sugar and ground cinnamon and mix together until well-combined.
    3 tbsp Light Soft Brown Sugar, 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

To fill the dough

  • When rested, place the dough between two large pieces of baking parchment and roll out into a rectangle, approximately 9 x 13 inches, and 5-10cm thick.
  • Remove the top layer of baking parchment and use a pastry brush to evenly spread the cinnamon sugar filling all over the top of the rolled out dough.
  • Using a spoon or angled palette knife, spread the fruit mincemeat out, over the top of the cinnamon sugar.

To roll the dough

  • Starting along one of the long edges begin to roll the dough. Use the bottom sheet of baking parchment to help start the swirl and keep it tight, so the filling stays in place.
  • Continue to gently roll the dough until complete. You may need to carefully lift the dough when rolling to make sure the filling is kept between the layers.
  • Carefully slice the dough roll into swirls about 1 inch in thickness, and place in the baking dish. Make sure to left space between the swirls to allow them to grow when baked. Alternatively you can use dental floss to slice the dough roll – check out the video.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until golden in colour and soft to touch. Leave the cinnamon buns to cool in the baking dish.

To make the cream cheese glaze

  • In a small bowl add the cream cheese, icing sugar and cointreau, and mix together with a spoon until smooth and runny. If the glaze is too thick, add a drop of milk to loosen it up.
    50 g Cream Cheese, 150 g Icing Sugar, 25 ml Cointreau
  • Drizzle the glaze over the still warm swirl rolls and serve.

Notes

How long should I let the dough rest for?
The best thing about this recipe is there’s no yeast and no proving. However I do recommend that you let the dough rest for 10 minutes before rolling it out.
Can I prove the dough?
As there is no yeast in the dough, you don’t need to prove the dough. Also if you tried to prove the dough, nothing would happen.
How long will the buns keep for?
The buns are best eaten warm from the oven, but if you have some left over they will keep for 2-3 days. Make sure you store them properly by popping them in an air-tight container and storing at room temperature. The buns can also be keep in the fridge but you may find they dry out.
Can I freeze the cinnamon buns?
Yes you can! Place the buns in a freezer bag, with as much air squeezed out as possible or in an air-tight container if you have room in your freezer. The buns will keep for up to 2 months. Remember to completely defrost them and warm up before eating.
Use dental floss to cut your buns!
You might not believe me but the best way to get that perfect cut without squashing the swirls is to use dental floss. Place a strand of floss underneath the dough, lift both ends of the floss and cross over at the top. Pull down so that the floss cuts through the dough and you’ll get the perfect cut every time, no squashing!

Nutrition

Serving: 1rollCalories: 388kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 6gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 217mgPotassium: 113mgFiber: 2gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 486IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 1mg

DISCLAIMER

The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.

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Hi I’m Lou

… Dessert obsessed baker, busy 9-to-5er, and the recipe developer and photographer behind Crumbs and Corkscrews. Based in the UK, I live in the beautiful Cotswolds. I’m so glad to have you here with me and I can’t wait for you to start trying some of my recipes.

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