© 2013 Mel IMG_5237

Carrot Cake Cinnamon Buns



Hello, gooey cinnamon-y goodness. How I missed you!

Cinnamon buns are something I never get sick of. Even after making hundreds of them on a hot summer afternoon at the end of a long day in the bakery. That cinnamon-y dough-y smell… almost intoxicating. They were always my favorite “It’s 1 pm and I’ve already put in an 8 hour workday and need something sugary and delicious” treat. I’ve been missing them lately and it was time to have them back in my life.

These ones are extra special though… they combine the best of two worlds: carrot cake and cinnamon buns! A basic, sweet and tender cinnamon bun dough is studded with shredded carrot and cinnamon, then rolled up with lots of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, just like your traditional cinnamon bun. A simple vanilla glaze adds that little bit of vanilla-scented sweetness which I found they were lacking without. So, if you make these, don’t skip the glaze!


Carrot Cake Cinnamon Buns 

Adapted from Whole Wheat Carrot Sticky Buns by Anna Olson

For the dough:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled grated carrot
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup spelt flour(whole wheat bread flour would also work)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature

For the Filling:

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the buttermilk, vanilla, yeast, carrots, flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt. Mix on low until combined, then increase speed to medium and mix for 5-7 minutes. The dough will be sticky and will not clean up the sides of the bowl. That’s okay!  Its a very moist dough and will make for soft and tender rolls. You just want to make sure the dough is uniform and stretchy.

2. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and into a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.

3. Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface. Form into a rectangle and roll to a 20X12″ rectangle with the long side facing you.

4. Pour the melted butter over the dough and spread evenly over the dough. Your hands are your best tool for this. Yup, get right in there. Then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over top.

5. Time to roll! Starting with one corner, work your way back and forth across the wide edge of the dough, forming a tight roll along the width of the dough. Cut your roll into 12 equal portions.

6. Place the 12 rolls in a parchment-lined 9X13 pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof for 45 minutes. At the end of the 45 minutes they will look puffy and will have increased in size. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 F.

7. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and the rolls are fully cooked in the creases in between them. Allow them to cool in the pan before lifting the parchment to remove and place on a cooling rack.

8. While you are waiting for them to cool, make the glaze. Whisk together, by hand, the icing sugar, water and vanilla. Using the same whisk, drizzle the glaze on top of the cinnamon buns. These are best served warm the day they are made but will keep in an airtight container for a day – just warm them before enjoying!


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