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Sticky overnight cinnamon buns

plate of cinnamon buns with a vanilla glaze

Cinnamon buns sticky - sticky overnight cinnamon buns

When you have a special morning planned, it’s nice to take care of some of the prep the night before; yeast breads in particular can take time, but refrigeration slows the rise enough to keep the dough overnight. And fresh bread baking in the oven provides the best possible welcome to guests as they come in the door.


1 1/2 cups (375 ml) water
1 tbsp (15 ml) active dry yeast
1/3 cup (85 ml) sugar
5 cups (1.25 L) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (125 ml) butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 tsp salt

1/2 cup (125 ml) butter
1 cup (250 ml) packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (85 ml) maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup (60 ml) water

1/4 cup (125 ml) butter, melted
3/4 cup (185 ml) packed brown sugar
2 tsp (10 ml) cinnamon

Vanilla Glaze (optional):
1 cup (250 ml) icing sugar
2–3 tbsp (30–45 ml) milk or cream
1/2 tsp (2 ml) vanilla


In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast and a pinch of sugar; let it stand for 5 minutes, until it gets foamy.

Add half the flour, the butter and eggs and stir until you have a sticky dough. Add the remaining flour and the salt and stir until the dough comes together. Knead by hand or with the dough attachment of your stand mixer until smooth and elastic. Return to the mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and let stand for an hour, or until doubled in bulk.

In a small saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, syrup and water over medium-high heat and stir often until the butter is melted. Divide between two pie plates or 9-inch cake pans.

To shape the buns, divide the dough in half and on a lightly floured surface, roll each into a rectangle that’s about 10×15-inches. Brush each piece with melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Starting on a long side, roll the dough up into a log, and using a sharp serrated knife or dental floss, cut it crosswise into thirds. Cut each piece into three, and place the pieces cut-side-up into the pans, placing one in the middle and the rest around it.

Cover with a towel and let rise for another hour, until doubled in bulk, or cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight; take them out and leave them on the countertop for 1/2 hour or so before baking to come back to room temperature.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Put a baking sheet on the rack underneath to catch any drips and bake the buns for 30–40 minutes, until deep golden. Let cool for 5–10 minutes, and invert onto a plate while still warm. Alternately, whisk together the icing sugar, milk and vanilla until it’s a drizzling consistency and dribble over the warm buns before serving.

Makes 18 cinnamon buns.

Per bun

359 calories, 12.8 g fat (8.4 g saturated fat, 3.6 g monounsaturated fat, 0.9 g polyunsaturated fat), 54 mg cholesterol, 55.3 g carbohydrate, 4.2 g protein, 1 g fibre.

Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, April 2015.

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