Although today is not anyone in particular's birthday, February is definitely a month filled with birthdays in my family and friend group. Because of all of these birthdays I've been experimenting with a few birthday cake alternatives, for when a full cake isn't the most practical option. These birthday cinnamon buns are essentially the breakfast version of birthday cake. Perfect for breakfast in bed!
I like them with a very small amount of frosting (or none at all) because the dough and the filling are both sweet as well, but feel free to double the icing recipe if you want more. Although these little guys take some time to make because the dough has to rise twice, they're way better than a store-bought bun and I promise they'll be well worth it!
Birthday Cinnamon Buns
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Makes 12 large buns
For the dough:
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 cup milk, lukewarm
- 2 eggs
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sprinkles
- canola oil, for greasing the bowl
For the filling:
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
For the icing:
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- sprinkles, for garnish
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and butter. Add the wet mixture to the dry and knead using the dough hook attachment until dough comes together and is smooth. Place in a lightly oil bowl, and cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm, dry area. Allow to rise until almost doubled, about 60 minutes.
Transfer dough to a work surface and roll it into a large rectangle (about 1' by 2') using a rolling pin. For the filling, rub the entire surface with butter. Combine sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom in a small and sprinkle over the buttered dough. Tightly roll dough into a log starting with the long edge. Cut the ends off the log and discard them. Then cut the remaining log into 12 even pieces.
Place the rolled and cut buns in a greased 9x13 pan. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise again until increased in size by half, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F.
When buns have risen again, uncover and bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the icing. In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Slowly add confectioner's sugar and continue to beat until smooth.
Spread icing over buns when they're still warm and top with sprinkles. Serve warm.