Cinnamon buns (known as kanelbullar here in Sweden) are lovely. What’s not to like? The soft, gently fragrant dough, irresistible cinnamon butter filling and sweet drizzle of frosting. But what if you could have all that only lighter? Yes, lighter cinnamon buns. Oh my life.
This spelt skillet giant cinnamon bun has much less butter and sugar than regular cinnamon buns but all of the taste. And yes, you may be rolling your eyes wondering how many times you’ve heard that claim before, but this is no claim. This is bona fide fact, my friends.
The cinnamon bun is made with spelt flour because, as I find myself incessantly rabbiting on about, spelt flour is easier on my stomach. If too much gluten makes you feel groggy or bloated, switching to spelt flour might mean you see a difference in how you feel.
If you don’t know much about spelt flour, this informative article from The Spelt Bakers might help you understand why spelt features in pretty much most of my recipes these days, and how using it is nothing more difficult than a straight 1:1 swap with regular flour. Spelt makes beautiful bread, delicious cookies, soft cakes; you name it, really. That said, you don’t need to use spelt flour. Use any regular or bread flour.
The idea of making a giant cinnamon bun isn’t a new one. I sat drooling watching this video from Tasty and wanted to create a similar effect. Although the method of cutting the dough into strips and rolling it up is theirs, the recipe and ingredients are mine and bear no real resemblance.
It is a little fiddly to do, I will admit, and took a couple of goes before I got it right. The first time my strips were the same thickness as those in the video, but I found it made the bun too tall. This time around, I made the strips of dough much thinner but that meant they were harder to manoeuvre. But you know what, the little trouble it did give me was worth it in the end. So worth it.
The dough is the softest dough I have ever eaten on a cinnamon bun. The way it has rolled produced layers and layers of deliciousness. It was divine. Be careful though because one slice is, in reality, probably five cinnamon buns. Nah, just kidding. It’s only three.
- 1 egg
- 250ml (1 cup) milk
- 50g (1/5 cup) butter
- 400g (3+½ cups) spelt flour (see note 1)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
- 7g dried yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1½ tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
- 1-2 tablespoon cinnamon (depending on how much you like it)
- 2 tablespoons milk
- just enough icing sugar to make a thick paste
Add all ingredients for the dough to your bread machine and make the dough as per manufacturer's instructions. If you don't have a bread machine, check out note 2 (below).
When the dough is ready, pre-heat the oven to 175ºC (350ºF) and grease a small-medium skillet.
Heat the butter and set to one side. Take the dough from the machine (it is very sticky) and quickly knead for around 30 seconds on a well-floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a large rectangle (around 40x50cm) with one of the shorter sides facing you (you will need to work the dough hard as it will be so elastic it will fight you every step of the way - that's a good sign).
Mix the sugar, vanilla sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon together in a bowl and add the melted butter. Mix to combine. Dollop little bits of the filling all over the dough and spread it about with a knife (there will not be enough to fill every inch of the dough but you don't need it to). If you love cinnamon, sprinkle a further 1 tablespoon over the gaps not covered by the filling.
Taking a pizza slicer, cut the dough into around 8 strips of about 4-5cm thickness. Starting with the first strip, roll it all the way up to the top. Move it over to the start of the second strip and repeat. Continue to do so until you've used up all the strips of dough. It's not an easy process at all especially when your bun roll gets bigger, but it doesn't have to be perfect - mine most certainly wasn't. If you are unsure what I mean with these instructions, take a peek at the video link above.
Place on the skillet, cover and let rest for around 20-30 minutes. Then bake in the oven for around 18-20 minutes. Make sure it is baked but don't over-bake it. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
For the drizzle: add two tablespoons of milk to a bowl and gradually add just enough icing sugar to make a thick paste. Pour it over the giant bun, slice and enjoy.
1 - Please note that measurements from grams to cups may not be totally accurate. I use online converters so if you feel that something doesn't seem right, it is a good idea to work out your own conversion.
2 - To make the dough by hand, please follow the instructions for my overnight cinnamon buns dough.