A Fancy Take on a Food Court Favorite (Cinnamon Haters Need Not Apply)

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Cinnamon bun recipe
Photo: Courtesy of Sheetal Bhagnari

Regardless of whichever mall you end up at over the weekend, there’s a sweet, almost seductive scent wafting through the food court that manages to get you every single time – and the culprit is none other than the globally beloved Cinnabon. If your love-hate relationship with those freshly baked cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting is still going strong, this one’s for you.

In honor of the upcoming Eid Al-Fitr (expected to fall on Friday, June 15th according to the latest astronomical predictions), Savoir Flair tapped food and lifestyle blogger Noreen Wasti for a delicious dessert recipe that’s as fancy as it is festive. Her take on the kanelbullar – a type of cinnamon bun native to Sweden – is just the ticket, particularly as it’s topped with a dollop of raw date caramel. Enjoy these buns warm with an icy cold glass of milk for comfort food at its finest.

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Makes 18 buns 3.5 Hours
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  • Buns
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 packet instant yeast
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • ¼ cup unsalted butter
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
    • ½ tsp salt
  • Filling
    • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, softened
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • ¼ cup light brown sugar
    • ¼ tsp vanilla powder
    • ¼ tsp salt
  • For Finishing
    • 1 beaten egg, whisked with ¼ cup of milk
    • pearl sugar
  • Date Caramel
    • 10 dates, pitted
    • ¾ cup warm water, more if needed
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • Step 1

    Heat the milk and butter in a saucepan on medium-low heat until the butter is melted, and then set aside. In a stand mixer with a dough hook, mix together the flour, cinnamon, sugar, and yeast. Add in the milk and butter mixture, vanilla paste, salt, and egg, and let the dough come together on low speed for eight to ten minutes. It should form quite easily into a ball.

    Step 1
  • Step 2

    If you don’t have a stand mixer, add the flour, cinnamon, sugar, and yeast together in a large mixing bowl. Add in the milk and butter mixture, vanilla paste, salt, and egg, and mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon until combined. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead with your hands for seven to ten minutes until the dough comes together into a ball.

    Step 2
  • Step 3

    Transfer the dough ball into an oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and leave in a warm place on your counter to rise for about one hour.

  • Step 4

    In the meantime, make the filling by mixing together the softened butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, vanilla powder, and salt in a bowl. It should resemble the consistency of a paste. Set aside.

  • Step 5

    After an hour, the dough should have doubled in size. Transfer it to a floured surface and roll it out into a 35x35cm square-ish shape. Next, evenly spread the filling all over the dough.

    Step 5
  • Step 6

    Fold the square into thirds (like a business letter) and roll it into a 35x20cm rectangle shape. Next, cut the dough into strips that are approximately two centimeters wide and twist them. Take one end of the strip and coil it around your three fingers (index, middle, and ring) and then wrap the end underneath the bun.

    Step 6
  • Step 7

    Place the buns on a lined baking tray, cover with a kitchen towel, and leave to rise for another 50 minutes. After the buns have risen, preheat the oven to 350°F/176°C. Brush each bun with the egg wash and sprinkle the pearl sugar on top. Bake the buns in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool for five minutes before serving with a dollop of date caramel.

    Step 7
  • Step 8

    For the date caramel, blitz the dates, warm water, vanilla extract, and sea salt in a high-powered blender or food processor. Blend for about 60 to 90 seconds until the consistency of a thick, sticky paste is achieved. If the dates are too dry, add more water to get them moving and soft.

    Step 8
View Recipe

Noreen Wasti is the creator of Noni’s Place, a food and lifestyle website.

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