Cinnamon Buns- Schnecken


Luscious, soft, cinnamony, sticky, caramelly and nutty-  there can only be one thing I’m talking about- my Cinnamon buns, and yes it’s time to share with you how to make them. This is a recipe for special occasions- I tend to make them for Christmas morning and family Birthdays.

This recipe is adapted from two sources. The first is the fabulous book, ‘The Village Baker’s Wife’, by Gayle and Joe Ortiz, from one of my very favourite bakeries, ‘Gayle’s’ near Santa Cruz in California. However, I don’t make it with Danish pastry, because not even I can quite bring myself to use all that butter in the dough, as well as in the caramel mixture for the outside. The second source is form Nigella Lawson’s ‘Domestic Goddess’, which I imagine is a book that needs no introduction, but if you haven’t come across it, I suggest you go and find yourself a copy straight away.

I find this recipe does guarantee you popularity with teenage children- actually with just about anyone come to that.

It’s made with  a yeasted dough, and I often make the dough the night before and leave it in the fridge until the morning and then roll it up and bake it for breakfast.

The term Schnecken relates to its  German origin, and means snail.


The dough:

  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 ¼ cups mile
  • 3 oz butter
  • 2 eggs

The butter syrup:

  • 4 oz  butter
  • 2 tblsp demerera sugar
  • 4 tblsp maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • a few handfuls of broken pecan/walnut pieces (omit if you want)

The glaze:

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk

The filling:

  • 1 1/2 oz caster sugar
  • 3 oz demerera sugar
  • 1 tblsp cinnamon

You will need a 12 bun muffin tin and a baking parchment-lined roasting tin or baking tin for turning out the sticky buns.

Making the dough

1.Combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl.

2.Melt the butter in a pan and add the milk and stir.

3. Beat the eggs and add them to the milk and butter and stir into the dry ingredients to make the dough.

4. Knead for 10 minutes. It should be soft, but not too sticky, so add more flour if you need to.


5. When its springy and satiny, form it in to a ball, put into a bowl, and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place for one or two hours or until doubled in size. At this point, you can put it in the fridge over night, and it will need about 1 1/2- 2 hours to come to room temperature, before you can roll it as below.

Making the butter syrup

1. Beat the butter until soft and smooth, and add the sugar and continue to beat and then beat in the syrups.

2. Put about a teaspoon of  the mixture in each of the  the muffin cups. Top with a sprinkling of the walnuts.


Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C

Rolling the dough into buns

1.When the dough’s ready, knock it back, knead once or twice and then roll out to a large rectangle, approx 60×90 cm, with the long side nearest you. Its’s worth measuring it and trying to keep each side very even.

2.Make the glaze by beating the egg and adding the milk. Glaze the dough, using a pastry brush

3.Mix the filling ingredients in a little bowl and sprinkle onto the dough.

4. Roll up the dough, from  long side, rolling up away from you. Do it carefully and firmly (not too tightly) keeping a firm sausage shape.


5. If you want them fairly large, cut into 12 even slices, but if you want them smaller (which I did today) cut them about 2cm thick (which will give you about 21 buns, which you’ll need to bake in 2 batches)

6. Lay each slice spiral cut side up, on top of the nuts and syrup in the muffin cups.


7. Leave to prove for about half an hour ( you can also put it in the fridge overnight at this point, and then let it come to room temperature before you bake it)

Baking the buns

1. When they’re risen and puffy, put the buns into the oven and bake for 20-25 mins, by which time they should be golden and cooked.


2. Place the lined baking sheet or roasting tin on top and turn the whole thing the other way up.


3. Remove the muffin tray and dislodge any nuts that are still stuck in it, adding them , along with any residual syrup, to the upturned buns.

4. Leave to cool. By this I mean try and persuade your friends and family to hold off from devouring them for as long as possible, at least as long as it takes to avoid serious mouth burns



I’ve sent this post to Yeast spotting


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