Admittedly, I have a fear of yeast. I've tried to make bread a handful of times in my life and have yet to produce anything that didn't require a hacksaw to cut through it. This yeast-anxiety has a detrimental effect on my pastry repertoire, excommunicating me from the land of breads and buns. You can imagine my mixed feelings when my friend Kendra sent me a recipe for cinnamon bun cupcakes. I love cupcakes. I can't go a week without baking some or posting about them. I once told someone back in CT that one of the best parts about living in PA was there's a Cinnabun in our mall (the one at our mall back home left a long time ago... twas a sad, sad day for me). I wanted to be confident enough in my baking skills to try baking some, but the memories of cardboard bread were enough to make me doubt myself. I decided to go for it, even though I wasn't expecting much.
Overall, they came out okay. I'd give them a 6 out of 10. I hemmed and hawed so long about actually making them that by the time they were done with their first rise, I had already left to go see HP7 (priorities... priorities...). The dough rested for a little too long and I think it may have impacted later rises because the dough didn't puff out as much as I expected (either that or I rolled the dough too thin to begin with). I also should have put more butter and cinnamon/sugar on the dough before rolling. Plus, I didn't have any bread flour, so I used all-purpose. The former has a higher protein content, so they would have come out softer and more delicate had I followed the recipe. They weren't inedible by any means (I had two), but they certainly weren't up to my standard. Then again, considering my fear of yeast, maybe I should shut up and be thankful that they looked and tasted like what I set out to bake.
- 2 1/4 tsp. or 1 packet dry active yeast
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 cup warm milk (approximately 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar
Dissolve the yeast and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar in the warm milk in a large bowl and let stand for about 10 minutes until foamy.
Mix in the eggs, butter, salt, and other 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Add flour and mix until well blended and the dough forms a ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead about 5-10 times. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about one hour).
After the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners, and lightly spray over the top of them with cooking spray.
Roll dough into a 12x22 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 24 rolls using dental floss or a pastry cutter. You may have to unroll each roll and re-roll in order for the dough to fit in a cupcake tin.
Place each roll in a cupcake liner. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Alternatively, allow to rise overnight in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Let rolls cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting, mix cream cheese and butter using the whisk attachment of a mixer. Slowly add the powdered sugar until desired consistency has been reached.