Cinnamon Roll Muffins
Who doesn’t love a hot, gooey, sticky cinnamon roll? Who also doesn’t have 24 hours of forethought and planning to make them happen from scratch? Sorry, Alton, but prepping dough overnight and waking up before the rooster in order to have breakfast feels a little … well, prehistoric, to me. As a result, I’ve been relatively obsessed with the idea of cinnamon roll muffins for awhile now. The thought of cramming all that gooey cinnamon goodness into a neat little muffin cup (and cutting out the hours of preparation … and painful waiting!!) was almost too much to handle.
I finally narrowed my search down to two different recipes. One recipe was invented by Nicole over at Baking Bites and adapted into muffin form by the always delightful Joy the Baker. This version uses a yeasted dough that only calls for minimal rising time (if I can wait 15 minutes, you can wait 15 minutes). You just scoop the dough into muffin pans and press the cinnamon sugar filling in with your fingers. The other recipe doesn’t use a yeasted dough and instead uses a fairly basic muffin dough that can be rolled out, filled with the good stuff, cut into two inch pieces and baked in a muffin pan.
Lately my rolling pin has been calling to me. Literally calling to me from the back of the kitchen drawer! Perhaps it’s because we are so far removed from the holiday cookie and pie season that it’s feeling unloved. Anyway, I couldn’t decide between the two recipes so I figured I would try them out in a side-by-side taste test extravaganza! It was like a Bobby Flay Throwndown against myself! (Of course, I totally won.)
The yeasted cinnamon roll muffins clearly had the advantage when it came to taste and flavor. The yeast made them sweet, light and slightly tangy. The rolled version was more dense and bread-like, but you get the benefit of the beautifully rolled, classic cinnamon roll presentation. Truth be told, if I were to make these again, I’d probably take my rolling pin out just to remind it that it was loved but make the yeasted rolls instead! Besides, once you drizzle enough icing on top, you can hardly tell that they are less than beautiful. But I suggest you try these for yourself and figure out which one you like better. Come back and let me know what you think. I’ll be right here waiting.
Hurry up, I’m still waiting!
Easy (Yeasted) Cinnamon Roll Muffins
For the Dough:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp active dry or rapid rise yeast
2/3 cup warm milk (roughly 100-110F)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
For the Filling/Topping:
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground cardamom
For the Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk or cream
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt.
- Dissolve the yeast in a measuring cup filled with the warmed milk, then stir milk mixture, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and egg into the flour mixture. Mix well, until very smooth. Divide the batter between 12 greased muffin cups and let rest for 15 minutes.
- While the dough rests, mix together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and cardamom in a small bowl using a fork until all the butter has been incorporated into the sugar and mixture is crumbly.
- Sprinkle filling evenly on top of rested dough and press the mixture down into the dough with your fingertips (or swirl in with a spatula.)
- Place pan into a cold oven, then set the oven temperature to 350F.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until bread is lightly browned at the edges and the center of the bread springs back when lightly pressed. Some of the sugar mixture on top may still be bubbling.
- Cool for at least 30 minutes before whisking the powdered sugar and milk together to form an icing and drizzling it onto the bread.
- Serve warm!!! Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave.