Beautifully Braided Cinnamon Buns (Twisted Bun Recipe)

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When I'm looking to make an extra special treat I always reach for this braided cinnamon bun recipe. They are a twist on the classic cinnamon rolls we all know and love. They have a super soft dough and sweet cinnamon filling but are made in a really fun and unique pattern.

How to Make the Cinnamon Bun Dough

The first step in making cinnamon buns is the dough. This is probably one of my favorite doughs to work with because it is a super soft dough and not too sticky. To make cinnamon bun dough, add everything to a stand mixer with a dough attachment and mix for about 8 minutes or until it is super soft and pulling away from the edges.

If you don’t have a stand mixer, just add everything to a large bowl and mix together with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Then place the dough out on a clean work surface and knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes.

How to Shape Braided Cinnamon Buns

This is the fun part. Shaping these cinnamon buns may look complicated but it is actually fairly simple once you get the hang of it. (You can also watch the video above to see how to shape them.)

  • Step 1: Fold the dough with the cinnamon into 3 layers.
  • Step 2: Cut 1.5-inch strips
  • Step 3: Cut each strip into 3 sections, and braid
  • Step 4: Roll the braid

If the dough is starting to get sticky or hard to work with, place the strips in the fridge for a few minutes to let them harden slightly. If it’s too warm the butter may start to melt.

Three steps of braiding cinnamon buns.

Cinnamon Bun Timeline

Making these takes a little bit of time because you need to let the dough rest a couple of times. Since this is a yeast dough it needs some time to rise throughout the process. It takes about 30 minutes of active time, but since there is rising and baking, all together takes about 2 hours and 35 minutes. Here is a breakdown of each step.

  1. 10 min - Making the dough
  2. 45 min - First rise
  3. 20 min - Shaping and braiding the rolls
  4. 60 min - Letting the buns rise
  5. 20 min - Baking the buns

Tips for Making the Best Braided Cinnamon Rolls

  • Let your dough rise at room temperature or in a warm place. If it is too cold the dough will not rise properly or it will take extra long.
  • Make sure to cover the dough with a tea towel or plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out during the rising times.
  • If the dough is getting too sticky to work with, place it in the fridge for a few minutes. When you are working with a soft dough like this the heat from your hands can start to melt the butter making it harder to work with.
Cinnamon buns before baking.

Cinnamon Bun Topping

Traditional cinnamon rolls have a cream cheese frosting. With these cinnamon buns, I don’t add the cream cheese frosting because the braiding and layering is what makes these special and I didn’t want to cover that up with frosting. These are also very soft buns, so I don’t find a need for extra frosting.

With that said, I do like to top these with a little bit of powdered sugar. You could also do an icing or simple glaze and just drizzle it on the top. This makes it so you don’t completely cover up the buns but you add a little extra sweetness.

How to Store Cinnamon Buns

After you make these braided cinnamon buns store them in an airtight container. If you are enjoying them that day, you can leave them out on the counter at room temperature. If you want them to enjoy them the next day, store the container in the fridge.

Inside of a cinnamon bun.

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Beautifully Braided Cinnamon Buns (Twisted Bun Recipe)

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  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup (1 + 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups (550g) bread flour
  • 1 tbsp (10g) instant dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Cinnamon Filling

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon


  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
  • powdered sugar (for topping)


  1. Start by making the dough. Add all the dough ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer. (If you don't have a stand mixer, look in the notes for how to do it by hand.)
  2. With a dough hook, mix on a slow speed for 2 minutes then increase to medium speed and mix for a further 6-8 minutes until the dough comes away cleanly from the side of the bowl. It will be a very soft dough but it shouldn’t be too sticky. If it is, add a little extra flour.
  3. Form the dough into a ball and pop it into a clean floured bowl. Cover and leave for around 45 minutes or until double in size.
  4. While the dough is rising, make the cinnamon filling. Beat the butter, sugar, and cinnamon together with a paddle attachment in a stand mixer or just mix together with a fork or spatula in a medium bowl.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle roughly 12x16 inches.
  6. Spread the filling over the top of the dough. Make sure the filling covers the whole surface.
  7. With the long side facing you, fold the dough into a trifold by folding in one side slightly past the middle and then the other side to enclose the filling. It will be in 3 layers (see the video above for more detail). Now slice it width-ways into 12 strips each roughly 1.5-inches across. Next, use a sharp knife to cut twice down the length of each strip to make three strands. Braid the three strands together and then roll it up length-wise.
  8. Place each bun on a lined baking sheet and repeat to make 12 individual buns.
  9. Cover the buns with a tea towel and let rise for 1 hour or until double in size.
  10. When the buns are close to being done rising, preheat your oven to 350°F.
  11. Brush the buns with the egg wash and pop into the oven to bake for between 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
  12. Place the cinnamon buns on a cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes before enjoying.
  13. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if you must.


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4 stars3 stars2 stars1 star
5 stars
Beautiful and delicious! Easy to make a day ahead and warm up before serving. Thanks!
4 stars3 stars2 stars1 star
Raymond Joseph
5 stars
Good very very very nice
4 stars3 stars2 stars1 star
5 stars
Fantastic! They were a big hit for Christmas morning breakfast. Thanks for sharing 🥰
4 stars3 stars2 stars1 star
5 stars

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