Do you like cinnamon buns?  Brownie points if you love Cinnabon cinnamon rolls like I do?  If you’re a cinnamon roll fan, you’re going to love these donuts.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze on floral plate and white plate

Really, who doesn’t love a cinnamon roll?

Warm baked dough that’s sweet, dense, cinnamony and sugary, ooey gooey, with frosting everywhere.

Yes, please.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze on floral plate

I worked at the mall when I was in high school and between Panda Chinese food, Mrs. Field’s Cookies, and Cinnabons, I ate more sodium, grease, and sugar than should be legal or is good for the complexion.  But hey, you’re only 16 and working next to the food court once.

I have such fond memories of Cinnabons.  The dense texture of them, the flavors of the cinnamon, sugar, and melted butter, the warm dough, and that cream cheese frosting.

I always ordered extra frosting and it was 50 cents for that extra cup of frosting but when you’re in high school working at a minimum wage job, you notice the price of tea in China the price of extra frosting.  But best use ever of 50 cents.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze on floral plate

My grandma made the best cinnamon rolls, but since she’s not around and I had a cinnamon roll craving come over me, I knew I needed to figure something out.  Working with yeast-based doughs is a kitchen fear I still need to tackle.  Truth be told, I’ve never made traditional cinnamon rolls.

However, I thought that cinnamon bun style donuts was something I could handle.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze And my hunch proved successful.

These donuts are baked but they are not cake, or dry the way that most baked or cake-style donuts are.

Not in the least.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze on floral plate with fork

They are actually pretty heavy, dense, and very moist.   The texture reminds me of an underbaked muffin-top in some ways.  Gooey and thick, not light, airy or fluffy.

The flavor is what you’d expect from a cinnamon bun.   There’s cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar, melted butter.

And frosting.  I paired the donuts with a vanilla cream cheese glaze that makes you want to dive in and bathe in it.  I actually like a little donut with my frosting.  A little coffee with my cream.  Can you relate?

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze on green and red plate

No donut pan?  I’m sorry.  You can buy one for $8 bucks at BB & B with a coupon or $10 without a coupon.   You’ll be happy you did.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts in panAnd if you really don’t want to do that, you can make these donuts as muffins in a muffin pan.  I tried that with the leftover batter.  The recipe yields what would be 7 donuts in my donut pan but rather than waiting for my one donut pan to come out of the oven, I made the remaining batter into two small muffins in my muffin pan.  I baked the muffins for about 15 minutes and they turned out just dandy.

The whole donut recipe from start to finish, including making them, cooling, glazing, and doing the dishes is 30 minutes.  That’s success.

But the fact that they remind me of Cinnabons is the best.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

The recipe yields 6-7 donuts and we polished off 5 at once, right out of the oven.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Bu there was that one, lone, straggler donut.  The next day, that straggler had become the perfect sponge for the cream cheese glaze.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Soaking up all that magical stuff and getting even heavier in weight and more full-bodied with flavor, which is just the way I like my baked goods: heavy, rich, dense, and intense.

Couldn’t think of a better way to Christen my new donut pan than with these.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze
Yield: 6-7 donuts

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes

These donuts are what a Cinnabon cinnamon roll that met a vanilla glazed donut on the way to the oven would taste like. They’re soft, moist, and full of great cinnamon flavor. Donuts are a cinch to make at home, but if you don’t have a donut pan, recipe may be make in a muffin pan.

Ingredients

Donuts

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (add more if you like cinnamon or want a stronger ‘cinnamon bun’ taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
  • 6 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 1/2 cup+ confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon+ cinnamon
  • splash Milk, Half & Half, Cream, Heavy Cream, vegan milk

Instructions

  1. Donuts – Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and lightly grease or spray a Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan with cooking spray. Or, use a muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and optional salt.
  3. Add buttermilk, egg, vanilla and melted butter.  Whisk to combine.
  4. Use a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (or a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off) to pipe the batter into a 6-donut pan.  Or just be extra neat and do this with a spoon (my preference).
  5. Bake 8 to 11 minutes, or until doughnuts spring back when touched are are set.  Donuts will not be golden brown, but should be springy. Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan, about 5 minutes.
  6. Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze – While donuts are baking or cooling, make the glaze by combining powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract, cinnamon, with a small splash milk.  Whisk to combine, adding the milk as necessary, until desired consistency is achieved.
  7. Dip the donuts into the glaze. Donuts are best fresh, but will keep airtight at room temp for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

7

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 292mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 5g

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