I made these cinnamon buns as part of our Mother’s Day brunch this past weekend. A few months ago I’d made cinnamon rolls with a recipe calling for yeast and while they were amazing, I probably spent 3 hours pulling them together. I just didn’t have that kind of time this weekend so when I found this recipe I definitely wanted to give it a try.

As promised, these were quick to pull together and relatively simple as well. I think I overcooked mine a tad but everyone still really seemed to like them. I thought they were really good too and found the small amount of the ground cloves in the recipe really added a lot to the finished product. I will absolutely make these again sometime, especially since Shane really loved them and will no doubt be requesting them!

Quick Cinnamon Buns with Buttermilk Icing
from Baking Illustrated, by Editors of Cooks Illustrated Magazine

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, for greasing the pan

Cinnamon-Sugar Filling
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Biscuit Dough
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for work surface
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Icing
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 425 F. Pour 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a 9-inch nonstick cake pan; brush to coat the pan. Spray a wire cooling rack with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Filling:
Combine the sugars, spices and salt in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of melted butter and stir with a fork until the mixture resembles wet sand; set the filling mixture aside.

For the Biscuit Dough:
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the buttermilk and 2 tablespoons of melted butter in a measuring cup or small bowl. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed (the dough will look very shaggy), about 30 seconds. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until just smooth and no longer shaggy.

Pat the dough into a 12 by 9-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with the filling, leaving a 1/2-inch border of plain dough around the edges. Press the filling firmly into the dough. Using a bench scraper or metal spatula, loosen the dough from the work surface. Starting at the long side, roll the dough, pressing lightly, to form a tight log. Pinch the seam to seal. Roll the log seam-side down and cut it evenly into 8 pieces. With your hand, slightly flatten each piece of dough to seal the open edges and keep the filling in place. Place 1 roll in the center of the prepared nonstick pan, then place the remaining 7 rolls around the perimeter of the pan. Brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter.

Bake until the edges of the buns are golden brown, about 23 to 25 minutes. Use an offset metal spatula to loosen the buns from the pan. Wearing oven mitts, place a large plate over the pan and invert the buns onto the plate. Place a greased cooling rack over the plate and invert the buns onto the rack. Cool about 5 minutes before icing.

For the Icing:
While the buns are cooling, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set the rack with the buns over the baking sheet. Whisk the cream cheese and buttermilk in a large nonreactive bowl until thick and smooth (the mixture will look like cottage cheese at first). Sift the confectioners’ sugar over the mixture; whisk until a smooth glaze forms, about 30 seconds. Spoon the glaze evenly over the buns; serve immediately.

Make 8 rolls.