Quick Cast-Iron Cinnamon Buns

I may be a fairly neat and organized person, but somehow I’m a disaster when cooking. This morning– since it’s December and apparently that means I must bake all the things– I spontaneously decided to make cinnamon rolls for breakfast. In the process, I managed to knock over a jar of ground cinnamon and spray a good amount of carefully-measured flour out of its mixing bowl… and onto the countertop, down the cabinets, and all over the floor (and my apron).

Gabe walked into the kitchen, took one glance at my mess, and said in his most solemn voice (as if surveying a crime scene), “Ahh, I see a baking has taken place here.”

Indeed. Usually I have a fair amount of time to clean up my messes while waiting for dough to rise/cookies to chill/sauce to thicken/etc. but these cinnamon rolls are magical and only need 30 minutes to rise (!!!) so I had to hustle. In the end, the kitchen was clean, breakfast was on the table, and the only evidence of my mess was a very floury apron hanging on its hook. Until next time.

Quick cast-iron cinnamon buns

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Quick Cast-Iron Cinnamon Buns

Buns

  • 3/4 cup (5 1/2 oz.) packed brown sugar
  • 6 Tbs. granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • salt
  • 8 Tbs. unsalted melted butter, divided
  • 2 3/4 cups (13 3/4 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk, warmed
  • 4 tsp. instant yeast

Glaze

  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbs. whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Make filling: In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and 1/8 tsp. salt with a fork until well combined. Stir in 1 Tbs. melted butter until evenly distributed. Set aside.

Make dough: In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and 3/4 tsp. salt until well combined. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together milk, yeast, 2 Tbs. granulated sugar, and 2 Tbs. melted butter until yeast is dissolved. Pour milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until a rough dough starts to form. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes, until the dough forms a smooth ball.

Shape buns: Roll the dough into a rectangle about 9 x 12 inches, with the long side facing you. Brush 2 Tbs. melted butter onto the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch edge on the perimeter unbuttered. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture on the dough and spread it out evenly with your hands. Press lightly to adhere the mixture to the dough. Roll the dough up tightly away from you to form a 12-inch cylinder. Pinch the ends together, and the seams as well. Use a serrated knife to gently slice the log into 8 equal pieces.

Brush the bottom and sides of a 10-inch cast iron skillet with 1 Tbs. melted butter. Place the cinnamon rolls, cut side down in the skillet, one in the center and seven in a circle around the center. Lightly cover with a piece of plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Brush rolls with remaining 2 Tbs. melted butter. Bake rolls on the center rack until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes.

Make glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together glaze ingredients until smooth. Spread over warm rolls and serve immediately.

Source: America’s Test Kitchen.

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