As a long haul content creator, you never know exactly what’s going to hit, or when. In fact, it’s usually the pieces that seem the least likely to catch on that strike a chord, haunting you for years. Nothing dies on the internet, after all.
Such is the case for my big batch cinnamon buns, first whipped up in a frenzy of holiday baking back in 2007. Imagine, starry-eyed youth that I was at 18 years old, discovering the joys of yeasted doughs while the mere concept of vegan eggs, meat, and even dairy was still in its infancy. So much has changed since then, and yet that simple recipe not only survived, but continues to thrive.
It’s about time that original recipe gets more than a re-make, but a complete revamp. Now with better ingredients, better photos, better instructions, and more ideas for personalization, my Big Batch Cinnamon Buns can reach their full (and fully risen) potential.
What you’re getting here are the most buttery, pillow-soft, tender rolls twisted around a warm cinnamon sugar filling and then slathered in creamy maple icing, made for a crowd. They’re perfect for holiday gifts, make-ahead breakfasts and brunches, and late night desserts with all your loved ones. It would be hard to share if it was just one pan, but you’ll have enough to sweeten up everyone’s day, with seven full pans of these luscious treats in all. It takes very little work, which will be repaid ten fold in sugary satisfaction.
I’m sure you have questions about how such humble ingredients can be transformed into such lavish gifts. Luckily, I’ve made them quite a few times over the years now, and I have answers for you.
How can you modify these spiraled sweets to fit your tastes?
Easy, my dear! Consider spicing things up with a blend of pumpkin pie or chai spice to replace the simple cinnamon swirl, for starters. From there, amp up the icing with lemon or orange zest, replacing the maple extract with vanilla, almond, or even chocolate exact. Oh, did I mention chocolate? For real chocoholics, go ahead and use 2 cups (12 ounces) mini chocolate chips to sprinkle evenly over the filling for a gooey, gloriously melted center. If you’re feeling colorful, go crazy with rainbow sprinkles over the top.
How can these be prepared in advance?
For an overnight rest, fully assemble the buns in their pans, cover with plastic wrap, and let them chill in the fridge for up to 12 hours. Let come back up to room temperature before baking off, to have warm, fresh buns early in the morning. For long term storage, stash baked but un-iced buns in the freezer, again wrapped in plastic, for 4 – 6 months. Just prepare the icing fresh when you need it, because it will harden over time.
Is it possible to downsize for smaller appetites?
Of course! This recipe is easily halved, but you may end up with one half-filled pan. You can also use fewer pans and bake a half batch in one 11 × 7-inch rectangular baking dish + 1 8 x 8-inch square baking dish, or a full batch in three 11 × 7-inch rectangular baking dishes.
Do I really have to share?
Well, I don’t make the rules here and I won’t tell… But everyone will probably be happier if you do. Trust me.
Dough and Filling:
- 4 Cups Plain, Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
- 1 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 (1/4 Ounce) Packets Active Dry Yeast
- 10 Cups All-Purpose or White Whole Wheat Flour, Divided
- 1 1/4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 1 Cup Vegan Butter or Coconut Oil, Divided
- 2 Cups Firmly Packed Dark Brown Sugar or Coconut Sugar, Divided
- 4 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon, Divided
- 1 (2-Pound) Bag (About 7 1/2 Cups) Confectioner’s Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Maple Extract
- 3/4 Cup Plain, Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
- 1/4 Cup Vegan Butter or Coconut Oil, Melted
- First, combine the non-dairy milk, oil, and granulated sugar together in a large pot and place it over medium heat on the stove. Bring it just to a boil while stirring to dissolve the sugar, and then immediately take it off the heat. Let it sit for about 45 - 60 minutes to cool to below 110 degrees, as anything hotter will kill the yeast.
- Once lukewarm, sprinkle in the yeast and let it rest until reactivated and frothy; about 5 - 10 minutes. Then, dump in 8 cups of the flour, stir well so that it’s fully incorporated, and cover the whole pot. Let it sit for another hour to rise.
- After that hour has passed, stir in the last 2 cups of flour, along with baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Now you’re finally ready to get rolling!
- On a well-floured surface, take out half of the dough and use a rolling pin to flatten it into a very long rectangle. Don’t worry about the exact measurements, as long as it’s about 1/4 inch thick and longer than it is wide. Mine was 28 x 14 inches, for what it's worth.
- Pour 1/2 cup of the melted vegan butter or coconut oil all over the dough. Spread it out evenly using a spatula, and then top it with 1 cup of the brown sugar or coconut sugar. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon to coat the whole slab evenly and generously. Finally, roll the whole thing up into one long spiral, and cut it into buns about 1-inch wide. Place the buns into lightly greased 8-inch round pans; it should make about 7 pans in all.
- Repeat with the remaining half of dough.
- The buns will need to sit for another 30 minutes, but in the meantime, you can start preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Once plump and fully risen, you can slide those rolls into the oven for 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown and smelling incredible.
- While they’re baking away, you can go ahead and make the glaze. Simply combine all the ingredients and whisk thoroughly until smooth.
- Once those buns come out of the oven, either drench or drizzle them while still hot, depending on how much holiday cheer you’d like to bestow. Enjoy, but make sure you share the holiday spirit around!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 199Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 186mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 3gSugar: 11gProtein: 4g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.