The nights are drawing in and the days are getting colder, so cosy, cinnamon-filled bakes are the order of the day. Cinnamon is one of my favourite spices – there’s something about it that’s so warming and evocative, whether sprinkled on porridge or baked into treats. Cinnamon buns are probably one of the most famous Scandinavian baked goods and since our trip to Denmark this Summer I’ve been trying to perfect my own. I made these ’50s-style quick cinnamon buns last year, but also wanted to find a good vegan-friendly option so all my friends and family can enjoy them. The recipe for these fragrant, caramelised buns is via Izy Hossack, one of my favourite food bloggers/ writers. Vegetable oil, almond milk and cornflour – replacing butter, cow’s milk and eggs – make for a deliciously light, soft dough. Don’t be put off by the shaping (mine are rather rustic!) as you could just coil the strips of dough into a spiral and bake as normal. To make the buns, you will need:
7g fast-acting yeast
250ml almond milk
60ml boiling water
50g demerara sugar
1/2 tsp salt
400g plain flour, plus more for dusting
4 tbsp cornflour
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
4 tbsp vegetable oil
100g demerara sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp corn flour
60ml vegetable oil
1 tbsp boiling water
1 tsp demerara sugar
Pearl sugar or chopped almonds, for sprinkling (optional).
Mix the almond milk and boiling water to make a warm mixture. Stir in the yeast and set aside.
Combine the sugar, salt, plain flour, corn flour and ground cardamom in the bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture and vegetable oil.
Using a dough hook, mix on a slow speed until a dough forms, then knead until smooth and springy – about 10 minutes (you could also do this by hand, with elbow grease!).
Cover the dough with a clean tea towel or cling film. Leave in a warm place to prove for an hour, or until doubled in size.
It should be soft and springy, like this:
When the dough has risen, make the filling. Combine demerara, ground cinnamon and cornflour in a small bowl.
On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 35cm x 35cm square (or the best you can!). Brush the surface of the dough with vegetable oil.
Cover the surface with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Fold the dough into thirds (like a business letter) and roll into a roughly 35cm x 20cm rectangle. Cut the dough into 20cm long strips, roughly 2cm wide. Take one strip and twist it like you would as if you were making a cheese straw, slightly stretching it as you do so, as per this gif.
Grab one end of the twisted strip and coil the dough around your hand twice, then over the top, tucking the loose end in at the bottom, like in this gif. Izy makes it look easy! Mine were far from perfect – Mary Berry would say ‘informal’ – but you want them to look homemade! Place the buns on a lined baking tray and leave to prove until double in size (about 30 minutes) while the oven preheats to 180C/ 350F/ Gas 4.
Make the glaze by dissolving the demerara sugar in the boiling water. Brush over the buns then sprinkle them with pearl sugar or chopped almonds (I made my own pearl sugar, which was easier than you’d think!).
Bake for 17-20 minutes, until dark golden in colour.
Delicious served warm from the oven for Sunday brunch.
What are you baking this weekend?