The Best Cinnamon Bun Recipe

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4.7 stars from 9 ratings of Best Cinnamon Buns

The Secret to Soft Cinnamon Rolls

Soft, fluffy cinnamon rolls have a secret ingredient: potatoes! Believe it or not, potatoes add a great deal of soft texture to bread recipes - the flavor of the potato is not detectable in the final product, but the soft, light texture will be appreciated by everyone who tries the rolls.

The reason potatoes work in this recipe is for the starch. Nearly all bread recipes require kneading, because the gluten in the flour must be broken down to yield a soft, springy bread. The addition of a small potato to a bread recipe adds starch without extra gluten, which makes for a softer bread.

Cook Time

Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in: 3 hours 40 min
Yields: Approximately 12 cinnamon buns.

The Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls are amazingly light and soft, thanks to a secret ingredient: mashed potato!
These cinnamon rolls are amazingly light and soft, thanks to a secret ingredient: mashed potato! | Source

Cinnamon Roll Dough Ingredients

  • 1 small potato, boiled and mashed
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water used to boil potatoes
  • 4 1/2 cups flour, plus more flour for kneading
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • One 1/4 ounce packet active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg

Making Cinnamon Bun Dough

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Boil and mash a small potato for use in this recipe.Mix the egg, potato, and water/butter mixture with the dry ingredients.Mix in the additional 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time.Knead the dough for about 10 minutes.
Boil and mash a small potato for use in this recipe.
Boil and mash a small potato for use in this recipe. | Source
Mix the egg, potato, and water/butter mixture with the dry ingredients.
Mix the egg, potato, and water/butter mixture with the dry ingredients. | Source
Mix in the additional 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time.
Mix in the additional 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time. | Source
Knead the dough for about 10 minutes.
Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. | Source

How to Make the Dough

  1. Peel and cut a small potato into 1" cubes. Boil the potato for about 20 minutes or until it is tender.
  2. Place 1/4 cup butter into a small bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups hot water from the potato pot to the butter. Allow the butter to melt in the hot water.
  3. Thoroughly mash the potato until no lumps remain.
  4. Add 2 cups of flour to a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 packet of active dry yeast to the bowl. Mix to combine.
  5. When the water/butter mixture has cooled to about 100 degrees F (warm, but not hot), add the liquid to the flour mixture. Add the egg and the mashed potato to the mixture.
  6. Use an electric mixer set to slow speed and mix the dough for 1 minute. Increase the beater speed to medium and mix for one additional minute.
  7. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour in 1/2 cup increments, stirring the dough to combine.
  8. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes. Add more flour to keep the dough pliable - if the dough gets too sticky to knead, add a few tablespoons of flour until it is smooth and elastic again.
  9. Grease a large mixing bowl. Place the dough into the bowl and turn the greased side up. Cover the bowl and place in a warm location. Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  10. Punch the dough down. Roll the dough out into a rectangle 8" wide and 12" long.

Cinnamon Filling Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon.

Baked Plain Cinnamon Buns

Golden brown cinnamon rolls! The next step: cream cheese icing!
Golden brown cinnamon rolls! The next step: cream cheese icing! | Source

Finishing the Cinnamon Buns

  1. Add 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon to a small bowl. Mix to combine.
  2. Spread the melted butter onto the cinnamon roll dough. There will be a lot of butter!
  3. Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the buttered dough.
  4. Starting from the long side of the cinnamon bun, roll the dough up.
  5. Cut the dough into 1" slices and place them (cut side up) in a greased 9" x 13" baking dish.
  6. Cover the baking dish and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour (until double) in a warm location.
  7. Bake the rolls at 350°F for 40 minutes. If not ready to bake the rolls, they may be frozen or refrigerated: simply allow them to return to room temperature before baking.

Cream Cheese Icing Recipe

Cream together 4 oz. cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Cream together 4 oz. cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. | Source

How to Make Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and cream together until a smooth frosting is formed. When the rolls are done baking, spread the icing on the rolls while they are still warm. Eat and enjoy!

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Comments 27 comments

LetitiaFT profile image

LetitiaFT 4 years ago from Paris via California

WSow! Surprising ingredient, adorable video, this is a winning hub!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

Thanks, Letitia! Nolan loves to cook, and we turn a lot of our cooking activities into listening skill activities - my older son was upset that he wasn't home to do the rolls. Bread takes time to rise, so we had to start it while my six year old was still at school.


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 4 years ago from Illinois

Oh my gosh. I wish I had one of those cinnamon rolls right now. Nolan is absolutely adorable and I love how he punches the dough down - too cute. This looks like a very delicious recipe and your video shows that it's very do-able.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

It is the best cinnamon bun recipe yet - I have tried to get that chewy, moist dough, and the potato really does the trick. These taste and feel like Cinnabon cinnamon rolls - soft and gooey! Thanks for the comment, ktrapp - I think he's adorable, too.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

Potatoes? Really? How interesting! My hubby loves cinnamon buns so I'll have to bookmark this recipe and give it a go sometime. Thanks so much for sharing :)


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

Yes - potatoes! Believe it or not, it makes the finished bread very light and soft. The potato provides starch without tough gluten - you can't taste the potato in the finished buns, but the bread is so wonderful! We really enjoyed these this past weekend - the dough takes a while to rise, but you can always make the rolls the day before and then refrigerate overnight (or freeze indefinitely). Just let them come back to room temp before baking!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

How interesting! I had no idea that you could use potatoes. Thanks for the great recipe and tips.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

A lot of breads do use potato (if you go to the grocery store and see the "potato hamburger buns," you now know that they really do have potato in them)! Some people use mashed potato flakes in place of real potatoes, but I like to use the real thing!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

Who knew...potatoes! I will definitely be making these when my aunt and mom come to visit this summer. I can't wait because I LOVE cinnamon rolls but just don't indulge in them too often. And as a side note, I am LOVING watching these kids cook. Our kids will be able to start their own culinary school soon. What a cutie and awesome helper Nolan is!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

There should be a kid's cooking network! Nolan loved making the bread, especially kneading it. It's better than playdough! They are really good - we devoured them. The only problem with them is that they are going to significantly expand my waistline! Ha!


Robert Erich profile image

Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

Awesome recipe! I am sold and ready to make some now. Great use of videos as well. Well done. Voted up and shared!


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona

What a unique recipe! I must give it a try. I absolutely LOVE cinnamon buns. You and Nolan did a great job. The video is perfection! Voted up and useful.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

That's a great idea Leah! Are you going to contact Food Network or should I? We have their first kid stars right here on HubPages! :)


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 4 years ago from Illinois

It could be "Kids in the Kitchen" starring Matthew, Nolan, Grace and Alex. I need to borrow all your kids for a recipe video I want to do next week. I'm pretty sure my 18 and 20 year old kids aren't going to go along with it. But I do have a few neighborhood kids in mind. Again Leah, great cinnamon roll recipe! My waistline is getting bigger just thinking about them.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

Robert, you definitely have to try them. They're really delicious!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

It is a pretty easy recipe, lindacee, though it does take a bit of time. They have an amazing flavor, though, and are much better than anything you can buy at the grocery store!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

I'm all for it, Cara! Our kids have it all - they're adorable, cute, and can cook!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

ktrapp - I love that idea. They would be so great at it - I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be as interested once they hit the 18-20 age range, haha - but hey, maybe we could work on a kid loan, lol! They're great cinnamon rolls - I need to quit buying yeast because I keep making them! They're great for a cozy Saturday morning.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

As many have expressed, I would never have thought to use a potato to add moisture to a bread recipe. Your video is well done and the recipe is one that will bring much enjoyment over a cup of coffee.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

Thanks, teaches! I am sort of sad, because we are out of cinnamon rolls and I'll be having my coffee sans deliciousness. I need to make some more!


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

I'm SO surprised by the surprise ingredient- though the more I think about it, the more I realize how perfect it is! I'd really like to give this recipe a try.

LOVE the video and your son's awesome demonstration! He's quite good in the kitchen! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

Every time I see a comment on this hub, I get hungry and then disappointed because we have eaten the cinnamon rolls and I am out of potatoes! Time to go to the store and make some more - they are really wonderful, Simone. Horrible for the waistline if consumed on a regular basis, but all of the ingredients are natural and there are no dyes, artificial colors, or high fructose corn syrup in them!


Natalie 4 years ago

HI, adorable video but I'm wondering...

If the reason for the potatoes is the starch would it not also work to just substitute a half cup of corn starch in place of the mashed potato?

Or maybe remove a half cup of flour and substitute a half cup of corn starch.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

Hi Natalie - you could definitely try it. It would probably work... though the potato is moist and yields the right dough consistency, so you'd have to play with the amount of cornstarch vs. flour. Cornstarch does gel when liquids are added, so it would be a bit of an experiment.

I did find some information stating that 1 tablespoon of cornstarch per cup of flour will yield a softer bread texture.

The "gooey-ness" of these cinnamon rolls is due to the potato, though - the moisture and starch yield a Cinnabon-style roll. They're REALLY good!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

Natalie, I just wanted to add that I recently tried to make the dough without potatoes and added starch, and they simply didn't get the same texture. To get the gooey, deliciousness of these cinnamon rolls, you need the potato. :)


Randy M. profile image

Randy M. 3 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

I am going to do this tomorrow morning. I have had these before and know they are good.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 3 years ago from Western New York Author

Randy, this is my favorite cinnamon roll recipe. They are so wonderful! I might have to make some over the weekend - it is so snowy and cold that nothing sounds better than some hot coffee and a cinnamon roll!

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