gooey cinnamon buns on two white plates and in a baking dish with blue dish cloth underneath

Gooey Cinnamon Buns

If you like your cinnamon buns to be ooey-gooey and loaded with cinnamon, these are for you! And the cream cheese frosting is the literal icing on the…cinnamon buns!

This gooey cinnamon bun recipe is what I have been searching for ever since discovering Cinnabon as a teenager. Whenever I made a trip to my local mall, I almost always had to stop at Cinnabon in the food court to take a cinnamon roll home. And the summer in college when I worked at the mall? Let’s just say I stopped at Cinnabon very regularly.

Ever since then, anytime I’ve made cinnamon buns at home, they’ve always fallen a bit short. They are either too dry, skimpy on the cinnamon filling, or never gooey enough.

But this gooey cinnamon bun recipe is a game-changer, with the key ingredient being heavy cream. It creates super moist cinnamon buns with that familiar gooey and sticky texture I have been chasing after all these years. The cinnamon-butter-brown sugar paste becomes slightly caramelized after baking in the oven, and it creates those lovely chewy bits that are one of the best things about eating cinnamon buns. And, of course, no cinnamon bun would be complete without velvety and tangy cream cheese frosting.

gooey cinnamon buns proofing in a baking dish
cinnamon buns being rolled out on a counter with flour and a rolling pin

Step-By-Step Instructions

Make the Dough:

  • Into the bowl of a stand mixer, pour the warm milk, yeast, eggs, soft butter, and sugar. Use a rubber spatula to combine.
  • Fit the mixer with the beater blade, and add 4 cups of flour (start with 4 cups and add more as needed) and salt. Mix at low-to-medium speed, just until ingredients are combined.
  • Remove beater blade (removing dough from blade) and fit the dough hook. Knead at medium speed until the dough is very smooth and pliable. If dough is too wet, add 1 tbsp. of flour at a time. The dough will still stick to the sides of the bowl, so only add additional flour if necessary.
  • Grease a large bowl with butter or cooking spray. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Make the Filling:

  • While your dough rises, make the filling. In a medium bowl, add softened butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until well combined. Set aside.

Shape the Dough:

  • Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Flour a rolling pin and use to shape the dough into a 24×15-inch rectangle.
  • Spread the filling mixture all over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the far edge. Brush the border with water to help seal after rolling. Starting on the long end near you, roll the dough up, pulling with your hands to keep it tightly rolled until it’s an even log shape. Press the border to seal.
  • Grease a 13×9-inch baking dish or two 9-inch pie pans. Trim the edges and cut the roll into 12 equal slices using a sharp serrated knife or unflavored dental floss. Place the rolls cut side up in the prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. *See notes for make ahead instructions.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Warm the heavy cream just until no longer cold. (You don’t want it hot, just slightly warm). After rolls have risen, pour the heavy cream over the top of rolls, allowing it to soak down in and around the rolls. Bake the rolls until lightly golden brown, 22-27 minutes.

Make the Frosting:

  • While the rolls bake, make the cream cheese frosting. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter using an electric hand mixer. Add confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and salt and mix until smooth.
  • Spread the frosting over the rolls after they have cooled slightly.
cinnamon bun dough rising in a bowl
cinnamon bun dough being mixed with a dough hook

Why This Gooey Cinnamon Bun Recipe Works

  • Ease – This recipe is easy enough for beginner bakers!
  • Taste – These gooey cinnamon buns are sweet but not cloyingly so. And the butter and cinnamon provide so much rich flavor and warm spice.
  • Texture – Soft, fluffy, gooey, sticky, and chewy. In a nutshell: INCREDIBLE.
  • Time – Cinnamon buns do take time to make, but they can be proofed overnight for more convenience.
cinnamon buns covered in heavy cream in a baking dish

Recipe Notes and Helpful Tips

  • When rolling out your dough, it does not have to be exact. Making an imperfect rectangle is part of what makes them homemade!
  • If using active dry yeast in place of instant yeast, add it to the bowl with the warm milk, butter, and sugar, and allow it to proof for 5 to 10 minutes, or until foamy.
  • If you don’t have heavy cream on hand, you can easily substitute half & half or whole milk.
  • If rolls start to become too brown, cover loosely with foil.
  • When cutting dough, be sure to use a very sharp knife (preferably serrated) or unflavored dental floss.
unfrosted cinnamon rolls in a baking dish
cinnamon buns baked in a baking pan with cream cheese frosting

Enjoy your week, and feel free to drop me a line in the comments – I would love to hear if you try this recipe! Or tag me on Instagram @maryannehoekstra to let me know how it turned out! Also, if you are enjoying my blog, please consider recommending it to your friends. They can subscribe here.

More Breakfast Recipe Ideas!

sticky and gooey cinnamon bun with cream cheese cut open and sitting on a white plate
gooey cinnamon buns in a white baking dish

Gooey Cinnamon Buns

If you like your cinnamon buns to be ooey-gooey and loaded with cinnamon, these are for you! And the cream cheese frosting is the literal icing on the…cinnamon buns!
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 22 mins
Rise Time 5 hrs 30 mins
Course Breakfast, breakfast for dinner, brunch
Cuisine American
Servings 12 buns

Equipment

  • stand mixer

Ingredients
  

For the Dough:

  • 1 cup warm whole milk (about 110 degrees F)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast (one envelope)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (softened)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (softened)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream* (Add AFTER rolls have risen)

For the Frosting:

  • 6 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (softened)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (softened)
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions
 

Make the Dough:

  • Into the bowl of a stand mixer, pour the warm milk, yeast, eggs, soft butter, and sugar. Use a rubber spatula to combine.
  • Fit the mixer with the beater blade, and add 4 cups of flour (start with 4 cups and add more as needed) and salt. Mix at low-to-medium speed, just until ingredients are combined.
  • Remove beater blade (removing dough from blade) and fit the dough hook. Knead at medium speed until the dough is very smooth and pliable. If dough is too wet, add 1 tbsp. of flour at a time. The dough will still stick to the sides of the bowl, so only add additional flour if necessary.
  • Grease a large bowl with butter or cooking spray. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Make the Filling:

  • While your dough rises, make the filling. In a medium bowl, add softened butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until well combined. Set aside.

Shape the Dough:

  • Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Flour a rolling pin and use to shape the dough into a 24×15-inch rectangle.
  • Spread the filling mixture all over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the far edge. Brush the border with water to help seal after rolling. Starting on the long end near you, roll the dough up, pulling with your hands to keep it tightly rolled until it's an even log shape. Press the border to seal.
  • Grease a 13×9-inch baking dish or two 9-inch pie pans. Trim the edges and cut the roll into 12 equal slices using a sharp serrated knife or unflavored dental floss. Place the rolls cut side up in the prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. *See notes for make ahead instructions.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Warm the heavy cream just until no longer cold. (You don't want it hot, just slightly warm). After rolls have risen, pour the heavy cream over the top of rolls, allowing it to soak down in and around the rolls. Bake the rolls until lightly golden brown, 22-27 minutes.

Make the Frosting:

  • While the rolls bake, make the cream cheese frosting. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter using an electric hand mixer. Add confectioner's sugar, vanilla, and salt and mix until smooth.
  • Spread the frosting over the rolls after they have cooled slightly.

Notes

To make ahead: Let the shaped rolls rise until they’ve grown in size by about 25%. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Allow to come fully to room temperature and continue to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours, before baking as directed above.
Keyword all-purpose flour, cinnamon, cinnamon buns, cream cheese, heavy cream, instant yeast, milk, unsalted butter

14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These cinnamon buns turned out to be so gooey and delicious!! Perfect for our breakfast this morning!

  2. Amanda Dixon

    5 stars
    These are the ultimate cinnamon buns! The texture is just so soft and fluffy — just how I like them.

  3. 5 stars
    Oh yum! Love that gooey texture! These cinnamon buns look absolutely incredible coated in that cream cheese frosting.

  4. 5 stars
    Ooey Gooey deliciousness right here! They are very addictive!

  5. 5 stars
    Step by step instructions for recipes like this are really helpful. Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    Oh wow! This looks amazing and so delicious! My daughter and hubby are going to love love love this recipe! So excited to make this with my daughter!

  7. Barbara Haner

    5 stars
    Making these when I get my mixer unpacked from our move!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




*