Cinnabon Clone

Cinnabon Clone

Back to school, back to the bake sales (or “cake stalls” as we call them here.) I have even less time to bake since I’ve returned to the office, but I get a bit of cake stall mummy angst and feel like I should contribute something when they pop up.

Our cake stalls are popular but, in my opinion, they don’t charge enough for the cakes. People will pay for cakes –  they’re big sellers and who doesn’t want a bagful of cake at 3:15pm? But for whatever reason, our school doesn’t charge that much for them so I have to consider that when I bake. Once I made Ina Garten’s “Super Mega Huge Brownies That Will Feed a Small Country” (paraphrasing slightly) and realised that I actually spent more money on the brownies than they would fetch at the sale. Drat, I said. (Paraphrasing again.) I needed to find something a little more frugal.

I love cinnamon rolls and they are a bit difficult to come by here. I came across this recipe a few years ago, and it caught my eye: It looked easy and it promised me the flavour of Cinnabon! A taste of home! I dusted off my bread maker, set it to “dough”, and crossed my fingers.

They turned out very well. Like eat the whole batch in less than an hour well. Soft and bursting with cinnamon on the inside, slightly crunchy, sticky, and dripping in icing on the outside. Plus, the house smelled amazing after baking these. So hey, if you’re ever selling your house and you want it to smell good AND you want to stuff your face with buns, this is the recipe for you.

I either make mini versions of these in one tray or small individual rolls in muffin cases (i.e. make a thinner, longer roll to get more rolls.) I can get about 48 small rolls out of this recipe, for very little cost. The priciest ingredients are the butter and brown sugar, really. They’re pretty and get snapped up fast as they’re a little different, especially to the English crowds.

You can make the dough ahead of time, cut it into rolls, and freeze it. Pop them into muffin cases and bake a little longer, if you cook them from frozen. Otherwise, let the defrost on the counter for about an hour or so and cook as usual. You can also freeze cooked rolls, without the icing, and reheat in the microwave later.


Cinnabon Clone


  • 1 cup warm milk (I test it on the inside of my wrist – if I can’t feel it, it’s just the right temperature)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast (or 1 sachet of quick action yeast)
  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • For the icing:
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


Place the dough ingredients in your bread machine and follow your manufacturer’s instructions for making dough.

Alternatively, if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, put the ingredients in the bowl and mix for about 15 minutes.

Cover in plastic wrap and let it rest for about an hour in a warm place.

After the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll the dough into a rectangle – the longer you roll it, the smaller your rolls will be.

For “normal” sized buns, roll the dough out until it’s about 16x21”.

Spread the dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Roll up the dough and cut into 12 rolls (or more if you’ve rolled it smaller.)

Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan.

You can also make these in cupcake liners or a greased muffin tin.

Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.

Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract, and salt.

Spread or drizzle the icing on warm rolls before serving.


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1 Comment

  1. Jan @ Family Bites
    September 17, 11:14 Reply

    These are adorable. Cinnamon buns are definitely a family favourite in my house and I love how you baked them in muffin tins.

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