Cinnamon Swirly Buns

This weekend I have mostly been making cinnamon swirly buns. I’ve had some disasters with making my own bread in the past, but these turned out pretty well, even if I did forget to sprinkle sugar on top after doing the egg glaze. Oops.

To make them you need to warm 175ml of milk until it is warm but not hot (or it will kill the yeast). Put the warm milk in a large mixing bowl and stir in 2 crushed cardamom seeds(which smell amazing), an egg, 1 tsp easy bake yeast, 85g caster sugar, 1tsp salt and 100 grams of soft unsalted butter chopped up. Mix it all up then gradually add in 500g of strong white flour. I added in about 5 tablespoons at a time and it still gave my arms a good work out combining it all, so I dread to think how much you would ache if you added it all at once.

Once the ingredients are all mixed into a dough, put this down on a floured work top and knead for 10 mins until it feels like warm, smooth, stretchy playdough. Don’t worry about overworking it. I always worry because I’m so used to making pastry, but with this you really have to knock it about a bit.

When that’s done and your arms ache, leave it to double in size in a warm place for 2-3 hours, I finished reading The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers while I was waiting. Leave 50g of butter in a warm place too.

About 15 mins before your dough is ready, mash up your now very soft 50g of butter with 2 tsp ground cinnamon and 75g muscavado sugar until you have a smooth paste. Then grab your dough and punch it down to knock some of the air out of it and roll it into a rectangle which is about 55cmx20cm. Try and make it symmetrical as this will help when you roll up. When you’re happy with the shape, spread the mixture evenly all over the top of the dough and, rolling from the long edge, roll it up into a long tight sausage, pinching the edges to seal them.

Slice into buns about 5cm wide, pop on a greased baking tray leaving enough room for expansion, paint with egg and sprinkle with sugar then put back in your warm place for 20mins while your oven preheats to 200c. When they’ve rested for 20 mins, stick them in the oven for 15 mins until golden brown. Wait 5 mins to eat as they will be very hot.

Excellent with a cup of tea.


  • Use golden caster sugar for a better colour. I used white because I had it in the baking cupboard
  • Put the snail shaped buns loose edge down on the baking tray so gravity helps them keep their shape
  • Eat as many as possible on the day of making. They’re okay the next day but go stale quite quickly because they don’t contain the preservatives of shop bought bread.

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