These are the best Gooey Sticky Cinnamon Buns you’ll ever make! They are fluffy and soft cinnamon rolls with the best gooey caramel sauce in the bottom of the pan. So easy to make them ahead and they’re also freezer friendly!
It's a good thing I don’t eat like this every day! This could seriously wreck all your resolutions and wreak havoc on your life. I am not making any promises of low-fat. I am not going to tell you that you will just have a little bite. This is the kind of breakfast, dessert, or snack (maybe even dinner) that will make you get teary-eyed. These Gooey Sticky Cinnamon Buns are a very special treat for those you love. I've shared quite a few rolls over the years. These pumpkin cinnamon rolls and sweet orange buns are also very special!
I’m also not going to lie and say my kids eat these gooey sticky cinnamon buns every week. This is a new tradition that I will make for my cuties. A very rare and special tradition. Not only for Christmas morning. I will treat them with this ooey gooey yumminess when I feel like spoiling them with a little more sugar. Because this is so ooey and gooey and dreamy, only sometimes!
HOW CAN I MAKE THESE CINNAMON ROLLS AHEAD OF TIME?
The first way to do it is to prep the dough until step 6 of the “DOUGH” directions. Without letting them rise, you cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a slow cold rise overnight. The next day, remove the dough, roll it out, fill, cut and shape into the buns. Let rise again and bake.
Another option is to bake the rolls the night before and skip adding on the glaze. Let them cool completely and cover with plastic wrap. The next morning, remove the wrap and tent with foil paper. Reheat them at 325F oven for about 10 minutes, or until completely warm. Remove from oven and glaze them.
I do not recommend filling the unbaked rolls and letting them rise overnight in the fridge. We have done that and it resulted in rolls that were not as fluffy and the filling doesn’t stay snug inside the buns.
CAN I USE INSTANT YEAST INSTEAD OF ACTIVE YEAST
Yes, you could use instant yeast. If you do use instant yeast, you will not have to proof the yeast like you do when you use active yeast. When you use instant yeast, you just add to the flour.
HOW TO FREEZE CINNAMON BUNS
The unbaked buns could be frozen for up two 3 months. As we have tried it and found they don't turn out as fluffy as baking the same (or even next day if you do slow cold rise), we don't recommend it.
A better way to do it is freeze the already baked cinnamon buns with the glaze. Simply cover tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. , with frosting, covered tightly, up to 3 months. Another idea is to leave the glaze off and heat in the oven at 225 degrees F for 20 minutes. This is the way to get rolls that taste as if they were just baked for the first time!
TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE THE BEST CINNAMON BUNS
The first thing is the dough. Be sure not to rush through the yeast prep. The water shouldn’t be too warm and not too cold or the yeast won’t activate. The yeast will start to bubble and that’s when you know you’ll be good to go to begin the dough. If you don’t have a bubbly yeast, start all over again.
The second step is to make sure it rises. No rushing on the rise time, as this will ensure the fluffiest rolls. I like to find the warmest part of my kitchen or dining area. It has to be a place without a draft so the dough will proof and you’ll get the softest rolls!
Next, once the dough is ready to go, and rolled out, make sure you roll your buns up very tight. If you roll them in a loose way, the filling will leak out.
The last and important step in prepping the buns is the knife. I always use a serrated knife when I cut the rolls. This makes sure they don’t lose their shape and it cuts them in a clean way so they stay puffy, keeping their cinnamon sugar snug inside.
PIN for later!
SOME FINAL NOTES
source: Family Circle-with slight adjustment by me. Slight updates from original post Jan 2011. We recommended when first writing this post in 2011 to not prep the rolls and let them rise overnight in the fridge. A reader back in 2011 mentioned that it "ruins" the rolls. The reader didn't expound on this comment, but we assume it's because of what we found (and mention above), that the rolls are not as fluffy as baking same day as prepping dough.
Gooey Sticky Cinnamon Buns
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 ounce envelope active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water 100 to 110 degrees
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- 4 1/2-5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons cinnamon depending on how much cinnamon you like
- 1 cup pecans coarsely chopped –optional
- 1 cup raisins optional
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 -3 tablespoon milk
- Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and let stand until cooled to room temperature. Meanwhile, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, eggs and butter. Beat in cooled milk.
- Gradually add the flour and salt, scraping down side of bowl, until a soft dough forms.
- Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead the remaining flour into the dough, adding more flour if too sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth. The dough will be soft.
- Grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Or leave covered in the fridge for a slow cold rise and prep the rolls the next day.
- Coat two 9-inch round baking pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper; coat paper with spray.
- Mix butter, both kinds of sugar and cinnamon together in a medium-size bowl.
- PREP BUNS
- Punch down dough.
- Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to an 18 x 12-inch rectangle.
- Spread the butter-sugar mixture over the dough.
- If you are using nuts and raisins in the recipe, sprinkle them on now. I chose to not use nuts and raisins. Starting on one long side roll up jelly roll fashion and pinch seam to close. Cut crosswise into 12 generous 1 1/2 inch pieces.
- Arrange 6 pieces, cut-side down, in each prepared pan.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot until buns double in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Uncover pans and bake buns until they are golden-brown and bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Tent with foil halfway through baking so they will not brown too quickly. I did bake my second batch of roll for less time (closer to 30 minutes). So check the rolls around 30 minutes to see if they are done.
- Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.
- Mix confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon of the milk, adding more milk as necessary, to make a smooth glaze. Invert buns to a serving platter.
- Drizzle glaze on top of buns (about 1/3 cup per pan). Serve warm! ENJOY! If you have any left, refrigerate them. I doubt you will have any leftovers.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
- Make Ahead Instructions: This dough can be made the night before through step 4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise in a warm environment, about 1 hour. Continue with step 6.
- Freezing Instructions: Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2–3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up before enjoying. You can also freeze the unbaked rolls and here’s how: bake the rolls in step 6 for only about 10 minutes at 375°F (190°C). Cool completely, then cover tightly and freeze. To serve, take the pan of rolls out of the freezer and put into the refrigerator a few hours before serving. Then, finish baking them for the remaining 15–18 minutes.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Electric Stand Mixer or Glass Mixing Bowl with Rubber Spatula/Wooden Spoon | Rolling Pin | 9- inch Round Cake Pan, 9-inch Pie Dish, or 9-inch Square Baking Pan | Instant Read Thermometer | Cooling Rack | Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) for icing | Icing Spatula
- Yeast: I highly recommend instant yeast. If you only have active dry yeast, you can use that instead. Active dry and instant yeast can be used interchangeably in recipes (1:1). Active dry yeast has a moderate rate of rising and instant dry yeast has a faster rate of rising; active dry yeast will take longer to raise the dough.
- Milk: This recipe used to call for 1/2 cup (120ml) milk and 1/4 cup (60ml) water. The rolls taste much richer using all milk, and that is what I recommend. Whole milk or even buttermilk are ideal for this dough. If needed, you can substitute 3/4 cup (180ml) lower-fat or nondairy milk.
- Coffee Icing (or Vanilla Icing): Whisk 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and 2–3 Tablespoons (30–45ml) strong brewed coffee together until smooth. Or swap milk for coffee for regular vanilla icing. Drizzle over warm rolls.