Sourdough Cinnamon Buns

Sourdough Cinnamon Buns

Making sourdough has always been a therapeutic process for me, more so than anything else. I find peace in the ritual of it – the timing, the steps, the kneading, the waiting. There are very few things that calm my mind, but sourdough is one of them.

The other day my friend posted these to her instagram feed and I just had to make them. I’m a sucker for cinnamon buns and sourdough – so this was the perfect combination. I am not a sucker for inflation, and the Annie’s Cinnamon Rolls from the grocery store are now $9… which is literally my definition of insanity. So let’s save some money, find peace in the sourdough process, and make some delicious sourdough cinnamon buns!

If you’re new to sourdough:

The most important thing is going to be a strong starter. If your starter is not ‘work ready’ (is weak), you won’t end up with a good sourdough product. It’ll be dense and will not rise to the occasion (literally and figuratively). You can make your own starter but that will take about a weeks time. You can also purchase a couple tablespoons of sourdough from a local sourdough bakery, or a friend, and then feed it to make sure she’s robust. 

It’s tradition to name your sourdough starter, after all you will need to keep her alive and fed from here on out. She’s a labor of love, and if you can commit to her, she’ll provide you with all the sourdough your little heart desires. My starter is named Tilly, and she’s a work horse. 





  • 190 g milk (I used almond milk with a splash of heavy cream, because it’s what I had on hand).
  • 2 eggs
  • 35 g maple syrup
  • 250 g sourdough starter at 100% hydration (fully mature)
  • 500 g organic bread flour
  • g salt 
  • 115 g butter, room temperature 


  • 50 g butter (melted)
  • 145 g brown coconut sugar
  • tbsp ceylon cinnamon
  • tsp salt

Icing (optional)

  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 12 g melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Milk, cream, half and half – whatever you have on hand (I used almond milk again)




  • Feed your starter the morning she’s work ready in the evening when you start your recipe

Prepare the dough


  • Mix the milk, eggs, maple, starter and salt in a stand until combined.
  • Add the flour, mix at low speed until there are no dry bits of flour in the dough. Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Mix on low speed for 5 minutes. Check for gluten development with the windowpane test (stretch dough until you can see through it like a windowpane. If it breaks before it gets see-through, keep mixing until the gluten strands develop more. Test again after another 3-5 minutes in the mixer. Repeat until you pass the windowpane test).
  • Add butter in small bits at a time while mixing on speed 4. After 5 minutes of mixing turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue mixing for a few more minutes before lowering the speed by a notch. Mix for another two minutes. Lower speed again, mix for another two minutes. The dough should be smooth, shiny and elastic at this point.

Bulk fermentation

  • Transfer the dough to a clean buttered bowl. Fold the dough using the coil method to form a ball, then allow it to rest for one hour on the counter with a dish cloth over top.
  • Do another coil fold, resting another hour.
  • Do your last coil fold, rest for one and a half hours.
  • Place the dough in the fridge for cold fermentation overnight.

EARLY MORNING  – Day 2: this next series takes 3 hrs, so if you want cinnamon buns for the morning – start this process around 5am

Prepare the filling

  • Melt the butter on low heat in a small saucepan
  • Add the melted butter and the rest of the filling ingredients into a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined and almost paste-like

Make the buns

  • Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and brush the muffin tin
  • Dust a clean work surface with flour. Take the dough from the fridge, scrape it from the bowl, and place top-down on the working surface. If it’s too hard to work, allow it to rest for up to an hour before dusting with a little flour and rolling it out. You want to roll it using light pressure from the middle outwards, forming a rectangle measuring roughly 20in x 16in.
  • Sprinkle the filling evenly over the ⅔ area of the dough leaving a long strip of un-filled dough
  • Fold the clean ⅓ of the dough over ½ of the area with the filling.
  • Then fold the remaining filled dough over top to form a long flat log
  • Cut the long into 12 even pieces (short strips)
  • Now cut each short strip lengthwise into three ribbons leaving the top (½in) uncut.
  • Braid the three strips, starting from the top (the uncut part), then fold the braid under itself, forming a round ball.
  • Place each bun in the prepared muffin pan.
  • Cover the pan with a dish towel and allow to rise for 2.5 hours
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Prepare a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, place this on the bottom rack to catch any spilling that bubble over from the cinnamon bun muffin tin.
  • Melt a little butter and brush it over the top of the cinnamon buns.
  • Place the buns in the preheated oven and immidiately turn the oven down to 400ºF. Bake fo 15 minutes. The toothpick should come out clean if inserted in the middle of the bun. If not, bake for another 2-4 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and all to cool while making the optional icing drizzle

Icing Drizzle (optional):

  • Add melted butter into a bowl along with vanilla and powered sugar. Slowly drizzle milk as you whisk vigorously. Only add enough milk to thin out to your liking.
  • Drizzle over cinnamon buns and serve!



Recipe adapted from Adventures in Foodieland

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