Soft cinnamon roll dough, melted butter, and a cinnamon sugar mix rolled and braided into these pretty little cinnamon twists. A little extra effort but the ingredients for this recipe are simple and this makes a really nice weekend breakfast or afternoon snack with a cup of tea or coffee.
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A delicious, different twist on a cinnamon bun
This cinnamon twists recipe has all of the great flavors of cinnamon rolls but an extra step or two turns them into pretty little pastries worthy of a bakery display case.
You can make these breakfast buns for a weekend brunch, for an afternoon coffee date or for a special dessert at home with your family.
You can serve them as is or make a powdered sugar glaze to decorate them. They're good either way.
I'll explain how to form the shapes for these cinnamon twists below. The process of filling the dough, rolling it, and slicing it is similar to my Cheddar Jalapeno Twist Loaf. You'll find step by step photos in that post.
In that recipe, I make one large loaf, but it's the same process as these twists. For that recipe, I take all of the dough and roll it out and fill it and shape it into one log.
For this recipe, instead of rolling all of the dough out into one long log, I portion the dough out first and roll out each portion for each bun and make each one a mini log.
I tried the other way (one long log, divided into 8) but each piece was just too short and then the twists were more like little knots. I'll show you photos of those as well, in case you're thinking about taking that shortcut. But I've made the twists several times and trust me, making them one by one gets you way better results.
Ingredients you need
Baking basics like flour, yeast, sugar, oil, plus an egg and some milk for a soft dough. Melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon for the filling.
Filling: You could substitute the white sugar for brown sugar. Any other filling might be too messy for these twists but you could try something like Nutella. Let me know if you do try something else!
How to make the dough
As I've said above, you can refer to my Cheddar Jalapeno Loaf for more photos. I had a memory card mishap with my camera and lost my step by step photos for this recipe, but I'll show a few from the knots version for now and come back and update this later.
For the twists, start by mixing the dough. I do this in my stand mixer, although you can do it by hand if you prefer.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the warm milk, the sugar, oil, and yeast. If you're using instant yeast move on immediately. If you're using active dry yeast, then let sit for 10 minutes, or until foamy.
Add the egg (make sure it's at room temperature!) and mix it in. Add the flour and salt. Mix the dough and let knead for 5 minutes or so. You'll have a soft dough that doesn't stick to the side of the bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for an hour or so, until doubled in size. To rise dough, I always set it in the oven with the oven OFF but the light on.
How to make the twists
Punch down the dough and divide it into 10 portions. Roll each piece of dough out into a rectangle. You want the rectangles to be about 8-10 inches long on the longest edge. It'll give you better looking twists.
Divide the ¼ cup butter between each piece and use a pastry brush or spoon to cover the dough. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle it on the dough, dividing equally. Leave one long edge bare.
Start rolling from one of the long edges. Roll the dough into a log and pinch the seam together. (As the photo below shows, that's how I made the knots. I just wanted to share that, although I don't prefer that method.)
To continue with the twist, slice the individual logs down the center, keeping a small portion attached at one end to making braiding easier (Photo 1 below). Twist each of those dough pieces around each other and then roll up the twist so it looks like the far right photo. (Again the middle photo is there just to show the knots, for reference). Tuck the end under the twist, lightly pinching it to the dough.
Place each twist on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat.
Cover the pan with a towel and let rise for 20 - 30 minutes. Preheat the oven during this time.
Bake the twists at 375°F for about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
Optional: Mix together some powdered sugar with a bit of milk or water for a glaze and drizzle on top of the twists.
Tips and Tricks
Keep the butter away from the edge of the dough that you'll be pinching - it'll help the dough keep closed.
These cinnamon twists are made with soft cinnamon roll dough and filled with butter, sugar, and cinnamon. These are not like the Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists. This recipe is baked, not fried, and not made with puff pastry either.
More breakfast recipes with cinnamon
For the Dough
- 1 cup milk (warm)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup oil
- 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 large egg (at room temperature)
- 500 grams all-purpose flour (about 4 cups or so (see notes))
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the Filling
- ¼ cup butter (melted)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
For the Dough
- Mix the dough by adding the milk, oil, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. If using instant yeast, move on immediately. If using active dry yeast, let sit for 10 minutes or until foamy on top.
- Add the egg and mix it in.
- Add the flour and salt and mix to bring together. Knead for about 5 minutes or so.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set somewhere to rise for an hour or until doubled in size. (I use the inside of my oven with the temperature turned OFF and the light turned on).
- Portion the dough out into 10 equal pieces.
- Roll each portion into a rectangle, about 8-10 inches on the long edge.
- Spread melted butter on.
- Cover with cinnamon and sugar.
- Roll each rectangle into a log, rolling along the long side.
- Cut each log down the middle, leaving a small portion attached at one end.
- Twist the two pieces of dough around each other to make a braid. Form the braid into a circle and tuck the end of the dough underneath, pinching together.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat, cover and let rise for about 20-30 minutes. Preheat oven at this time to 375°F.
- Bake twists for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Optional: Mix together icing sugar and a small amount of milk or water to make a glaze to drizzle each twist.
- Use your oven, with the temperature turned OFF and the light turned on for rising dough.
- When measuring flour, I go by 120 grams per cup. If you’d like to use cup measurement for the flour, then measure lightly by scooping your flour into the measuring cup, and not digging your cup into the flour. You’ll get the best results by using a scale though.