Sticky and sweet. A crunchy topping that you tear through to reveal a smooth light dough. The makings of the perfect cinnamon bun.

Cinnamon buns epitomise festive baking. There are so many different variations to a cinnamon bun – it can be light and airy or dense and chewy. It can be laden with maple syrup and topped with crunchy pecans or drizzled with white icing and sprinkled with sugar.

I went for the classic cinnamon bun. A light dough packed with a rich cinnamon butter filling that oozes out as it bakes. The sticky cinnamon butter coats your fingers as you bite into the soft centre. The cinnamon filling has a great balance of flavours – sweet, buttery with a little hint of spice.

Despite looking complicated to the unknowing eye they are actually rather simple to make. The dough can be kneaded in a machine making the process quicker and easier on the arms. The cinnamon filling is comprised of butter, cinnamon, sugar and salt and can be easily beaten by hand. This makes them the best Christmas bake – deceivingly simple with an impressive appearance.

The buns can be made in advance and frozen before baking. This helps to eliminate the last minute Christmas rush. Just pop them out of the freezer and bake on Christmas Eve for a festive Christmas breakfast. All that you need to go with them is a glass of Buck’s Fizz.

cinnamon
The Recipe (taken from Felicity Cloake)

300ml milk
1 tsp. cardamon seeds
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
50g butter
425g plain flour
7g fast action yeast
60g caster sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten lightly
Oil for greasing

Filling:

2 tsp. cinnamon
75g butter
50g dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Finish:

1 egg, beaten
Demerara sugar

– In a small pan place the milk, cardamon seeds and seeds of the vanilla pod. Heat until just under the boil.
– Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg and the sieved milk.
– Knead in a machine or by hand until light and airy.
– In a clean bowl (greased with oil) place the dough. Cover with cling film and leave in a slightly warm place for 30 minutes. (Don’t worry if it doesn’t rise too much)
– Meanwhile beat all the filling ingredients together and set aside.
– Grease and line a 23cm cake tin with baking parchment.
– Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough out to about 25x35cm.
– Spread the filling over the dough and roll from the long side.
– Slice into 8 slices and place in the tin with a little space between each one.
– Cover and leave for another 30 minutes.
– Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
– After the second proving remove and brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with the sugar.
– Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.