Cinnamon Bun Cake

Weekends are precious time. There is nothing more blissful than wallowing around in bed for an extra hour (or three) and pottering around the kitchen. I’ve tidied up the baking cupboard, and there’s a batch of cinnamon buns on the go.

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There’s something rather amazing about obtaining such a fragrant spice from the bark of trees. When you’re not using it in the infamous cinnamon challenge, its comforting properties are unparallelled. It’s almost as good as chocolate. Perhaps some would argue it’s better. Just think – you’ve had a bad day at work, it’s been sheeting down with rain, you’re wet, cold and miserable – but awaiting you is a gently warm, soft baked round of fragrant spice.

I’ve based this bun cake on Signe Johansen’s recipe for scandinavian cinnamon buns. After baking, you even be a little more indulgent by adding a drizzle of icing, or a crackly glaze. The dough is so easy to use that I am considering adapting it for Chelsea Buns next time, or even some Christmassy themed ones in the coming months?

Cinnamon Bun Cake

Makes 9 buns

For the dough

  • 165ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 200g strong white flour
  • 84g wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5g yeast
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 1 egg

For the cinnamon filling

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 70g butter
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Infuse the milk by warming it gently with the cinnamon stick, then add in the butter and let it melt. Set to one side and allow to cool. Remove the cinnamon stick.

Mix the flours, salt, yeast and sugar together. Beat the egg in a bowl. Into the bowl of dry ingredients, mix in 2/3 egg. The remaining 1/3 save for glazing. Add the cooled milk in after the egg, mixing until combined into a soft sticky dough. Leave this in a covered bowl in a warm place to prove until doubled in size.

Make your cinnamon filling by combining the butter, sugar and cinnamon together into a paste.

Line a large cake tin with baking paper. It will catch any lost filling, and also stops the base of your buns from browning too fast.

Take the proved dough, and roll out into a large rectangle. Spread the cinnamon filling over the dough evenly, then roll the dough up along the longest side like a swiss roll. Cut into 1 inch wide pieces, and lay them out in a large cake tin, with space for spreading between each bun. Cover and allow to prove again, until the dough no longer springs back when you press a finger against it.

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Preheat the oven to 200˚C then pop the buns in, and bake for around 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 180˚C and bake for a further 10 minutes until done. Whip them out of the oven, and serve them whilst still warm.

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