Enjoy this easy cinnamon roll muffin recipe, these deliciously soft mini brioche buns, are filled with a cinnamon sugar mixture, and topped with an irresistible cream cheese frosting.
Perfect for a cozy breakfast or a sweet afternoon treat, they're a delightful twist on the classic cinnamon roll.
Why you'll love this recipe
These cinnamon roll muffins, baked in a muffin form, are based on my classic cinnamon roll recipe. Prepared in a muffin tin, they turn into small, soft brioche buns, perfect for individual cinnamon rolls.
These rolls are distinguished by their soft, richly buttered brioche dough, generously filled with a delicious cinnamon sugar mixture, creating a delightful cinnamon swirl of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, all topped off with exquisite cream cheese icing.
Easy to customize and versatile, these cinnamon roll buns are perfect for a decadent breakfast or a comforting snack, offering a multitude of flavor options.
- Perfect Portion Size: Cinnamon roll muffins offer the ideal individual serving size. Each muffin is a self-contained treat, making them perfect for gatherings, packed lunches, or simply as a controlled portion for a sweet indulgence.
- Convenient and Easy to Serve: Unlike traditional homemade cinnamon rolls, these muffins don't require cutting and are easy to serve. They are perfect for on-the-go snacks or quick breakfasts, with no mess or need for plates and cutlery.
- Unique Texture and Presentation: Baking cinnamon rolls in a muffin format offers a delightful twist in texture, with a slightly crispy exterior and a soft, fluffy interior. Additionally, their muffin shape makes them visually appealing and a fun alternative to the classic roll presentation.
- Versatility in Flavor and Toppings: Like traditional cinnamon rolls, these muffins can be customized with various fillings and toppings, such as nuts, fruits, or different types of icing, allowing for a range of flavors to suit any taste preference.
If you love Cinnamon rolls
*You'll find quantities and full instructions in the recipe card at the end of this page.
Cinnamon roll dough
- Milk: Use lukewarm semi-skimmed milk, ideally between 95-105°F (35-40°C), to effectively activate the yeast without killing it. This temperature is crucial for the rise of the dough.
- Yeast: Choose instant or active dry baker's yeast. Instant yeast can be mixed directly with the dry ingredients, while active dry yeast should be dissolved in warm milk first. This ingredient is key to leavening the dough and creating a light texture.
- Flour: Type T55 flour is ideal, which is similar to all-purpose flour in the U.S. It provides the dough with enough gluten to become elastic and airy, yet it's not as heavy as bread flour.
- Sugar: Either white granulated sugar or brown sugar can be used. White sugar will give a more neutral sweetness, while brown sugar will add a hint of molasses flavor and more depth. The sugar not only sweetens the dough but also feeds the yeast.
- Salt: A fine grain salt is recommended for even distribution throughout the dough. Salt balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor of the brioche.
- Egg: Use a large egg at room temperature for better incorporation into the dough. Eggs enrich the dough, giving it a richer taste and a tender crumb.
- Butter: Unsalted butter, either softened to room temperature or melted butter and cooled, is essential. This fat adds flavor and creates a tender, rich crumb in the finished brioche. If melted, ensure it's cooled so it doesn't cook the eggs or deactivate the yeast
- Butter: Use unsalted butter, softened to room temperature. This makes it easy to spread over the dough and adds a rich, creamy texture to the filling. The soft butter will blend seamlessly with the other ingredients, creating a smooth and spreadable mixture.
- Brown Sugar: Opt for dark brown sugar for a deep, sweet flavor with a hint of caramel. These types of sugar add moisture and richness to the filling, creating a gooey and flavorful layer within the rolls.
- Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon is essential for that classic, warm, and spicy cinnamon flavor. The amount can be adjusted according to taste, but a general guideline is about 1 to 2 tablespoons for a standard batch. Cinnamon not only adds flavor but also infuses the rolls with a comforting aroma as they bake.
- Vanilla: A teaspoon of vanilla extract or paste enhances the overall flavor profile of the filling. Vanilla adds a subtle, sweet fragrance and complements the cinnamon and brown sugar beautifully.
Glaçage cream cheese
- Cream Cheese: Use full-fat cream cheese at room temperature for a creamy base. It should be soft for easy blending and adds a rich, tangy flavor.
- Butter: Unsalted butter, also at room temperature, contributes to a smooth, velvety texture and adds richness.
- Powdered Sugar: Sifted powdered sugar provides refined sweetness and ensures a smooth, lump-free icing. Adjust the amount for desired sweetness.
Vanilla: A teaspoon of vanilla extract or essence adds a subtle, sweet aroma, complementing the cream cheese and sugar.
How to make Easy Cinnamon roll muffins recipe
- Mixing Milk and Yeast: Rehydrate the dry baker's yeast in warm milk and let it rest for a few minutes.
- Combining Dry Ingredients: In your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Then add the milk/yeast mixture, the egg, and the softened butter to the flour mixture.
- Kneading the Brioche Dough: Knead for 5 to 7 minutes, then cover the dough with a plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 1.5 to 2 hours until it doubles in size.
Cinnamon sugar filling
- Mixing the Filling: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients: softened butter, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and vanilla.
- Preparing the Brioche Dough: Punch down the brioche dough and roll it out on a floured surface with a rolling pin to form a large rectangle.
- Applying the Cinnamon Mixture: Spread the cinnamon mixture evenly over the entire surface of the dough.
- Rolling the Dough: Roll the dough lengthwise to form a long log.
Assembly and Baking
- Cutting the Dough: Cut the dough log into 12 pieces, each 2-3 cm wide, using a large knife or dental floss.
- Placing in the Muffin Tin: Place the dough pieces into a muffin pan or in muffin cups tin that has been greased with butter for easy removal.
- Second Rise: Cover again with a kitchen towel and let rise for a second time for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Baking: Preheat the oven to 356°F (180°C) and bake the cinnamon rolls for about 20 minutes or until they are golden brown on top.
- Leave to cool: Leave them to cool slightly in the tin before placing them on a wire rack.
Cream cheese glaze
- In a large bowl, place all the ingredients: cream cheese, powdered sugar, softened butter, and vanilla.
- Mix with an electric mixer or a hand whisk for about 2 minutes until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
- Spread this icing over the top of each muffin rolls and enjoy the buns while they are still warm.
Storage and Freeze
At room temperature: Store cinnamon roll muffins in an airtight container for up to 5 days (without the icing). You can gently reheat them in the microwave or oven to refresh them.
Freezing: Once completely cooled and when that irresistible cinnamon rolls craving hits, place your buns in freezer bags and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw slowly at room temperature before reheating in an oven to satisfy that warm cinnamon roll craving.
- Milk Temperature: Ensure that the milk is lukewarm (not too hot) to effectively activate the yeast without killing it.
- Kneading the Dough: Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Do not over-knead it to prevent it from becoming tough.
- First Rise: Let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. (Use your oven heated to 104-113°F to speed up the rising time.)
- Rolling Firmly: Roll the dough firmly to achieve distinct spirals and prevent the rolls from unraveling during baking.
- Perfect Baking: Monitor the baking to avoid overcooking the rolls, which would make them dry.
- Applying the Icing at the Right Temperature: Wait for the rolls to be warm (not hot) before applying the icing, to prevent it from melting completely.
- Freshness: Serve the cinnamon rolls fresh to fully enjoy their taste and texture.
- With Caramel: Add a layer of salted caramel sauce to the dough before rolling it like my caramel cinnamon rolls. You can also incorporate soft caramel pieces into the filling for a melting effect.
- With Fruits: Sprinkle dried fruits such as raisins, cranberries, or apple pieces over the filling. Or use a fruit puree like in these blueberry cinnamon rolls.
- With Chocolate Chips: Add chocolate chips to the cinnamon and sugar filling. They will melt slightly during baking, creating pockets of molten chocolate.
- With Chocolate: Substitute some of the sugar in the filling with cocoa powder for a chocolate flavor, like in my chocolate cinnamon rolls. You can also spread a thin layer of chocolate spread on the dough before rolling.
- With Nuts: Incorporate chopped nuts, such as pecans or almonds, into the cinnamon and sugar filling. They will add a pleasant crunch and a flavor of toasted nuts.
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