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  • Silk Road Cinnamon Buns

    September 16, 2021 3 min read 13 Comments

    Silk Road Cinnamon Buns

    Posted by Colin

    I’m kind of particular about cinnamon buns, as I suppose we all are. I mean, I’ll eat anything, but there are very few cinnamon buns in the world that I think are getting it exactly right. They’re mostly too doughy and dry. Like buns rather than pastries. Anyway, top of the list for me is the cinnamon bun at Solly’s Bagelry in Vancouver. It’s the best ever. Many coils of thin, moist pastry, tons of cinnamon, no raisins or nuts or frosting to clutter it up.
    After several years of casual searching, I’ve finally stumbled upon a recipe that approximates those wonderful Solly's buns without requiring a lot of effort or ingredients I don't always have on hand. 3 or 4 tries and I can basically whip these up the night before a Sunday brunch without even thinking about it.

    I've adapted it minimally and altered the instructions somewhat, but this recipe is from the beautiful Vancouver blog Climb Eat Cycle Repeat.


    (makes 8 buns)

    3 cups (400g) all-purpose flour
    3 Tbsp sugar
    1 tsp sea salt
    2½ tsp (10g) instant (quick-rise) yeast
    300ml milk, warmed in the microwave
    ¼ cup (60g) butter, melted

    ½ cup dark brown sugar
    2 Tbsp white sugar
    2 Tbsp cinnamon (I like a combination of Vietnamese and Indonesian)
    2 Tbsp butter, melted

    Sticky Goo:
    7 Tbsp (100g) butter
    ½ cup dark brown sugar
    2 Tbsp maple syrup
    4 Tbsp water



    For the dough:


    1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt, and quickly sift together with a fork.
    2. Add the instant yeast, warm milk, and melted butter.
    3. Knead until the dough is smooth and clean but not sticky. You’ll probably need extra flour to get to this point. Start with the 3 cups but be prepared to add at least ½ cup more than that. At some point, you’ll be able to take the dough out of the bowl and knead it on a lightly-floured counter.
    4. Place the dough back in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. Inside the oven works great. I often pre-heat it to the lowest setting and then turn it off when I start making the dough. By the time you’re putting the dough in it, it should be warmer than the room but not at all hot.

     For the filling:

    1. Mix together the brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
    2. Melt the butter when you’re ready to roll out the dough.

     For the goo:

    1. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and add the brown sugar, maple syrup, and water. Stir until combined. This mixture will be fairly thin – not at all gooey yet.

    To assemble the cinnamon buns:

    1. On a lightly floured counter, roll the dough into a very long, narrow rectangle (approx. 12” x 30”). This step is crucial – you’ll want to do some tugging and stretching to get it just right. The more regular and square-cornered you can get it, the better.
    2. Brush on the melted butter, and sprinkle on the cinnamon-sugar mixture, making sure you get both right to the edges. Especially to the edges! Whoever gets the end pieces (not you!) always feels a little shafted anyway, so the least you can do is make sure they get lots of delicious filling.
    3. Roll the dough up as tightly and squarely as you can (without squishing it).  Pinch to seal the edge.
    4. Slice the dough into 8 equal pieces using a damp, sharp knife. Start in the middle and keep dividing in two to ensure equal slices!
    5. Pour the thin goo mixture into the bottom of a 9” x 13” baking pan. Place the rolls into the pan on top of the goo. A good trick here is to put the two end pieces upside-down so that the irregular edge is flattened by its own weight. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or proof back in your warm spot until completely risen (a couple hours). If you are refrigerating overnight, take the buns out an hour before baking to bring them up to room temperature.
    6. When you’re ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Remove the plastic and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are a light golden brown.
    7. Let cool for a few minutes, and then invert the buns onto a sheet of parchment.
    8. Invite everyone in the house to attack them like the Bumpus’ dogs.

    13 Responses


    November 30, 2023

    Very delicious as is but just a suggestion as I have done it both ways.When making the filling add 1/2 tsp of sea salt, and in the goo try 2Tbsp of whipping cream and less water. It’s wonderful! Got this idea partially from Rosens cinnamon buns.

    Lynn Chisholm
    Lynn Chisholm

    October 05, 2023

    Hi, this post is not for public comment unless you want. I love cinnamon buns and have a very similar dinner roll recipe to yours. I roll the bread out a bit thicker than yours and I always put washed currants that have plumped up in hot water for half an hour or so and patted dry. No goo, not needed. The cinnamon, butter, brown sugar mixture spread on the bread achieves the same effect. My family recipe dates back to my Grandma Chrissie who was born in 1896 in England. My mum and her three sisters, my cousins and now our adult kids are making them and we have passed the recipe on to countless others. The cinnamon buns truly are a treat and the currants make a big difference to the flavour. I agree with you on no raisins or nuts :)


    February 18, 2022

    I can’t wait to try these! It’s been 15 years since I had a Solly’s cinnamon bun, but I still crave them. This is definitely happening this weekend. Thanks!

    Joy Mackenzie
    Joy Mackenzie

    February 18, 2022

    Just about ready to make buns. Did you use salted butter or is unsalted butter fine.

    Susanne Sherring
    Susanne Sherring

    February 18, 2022

    Oh my these look delicious!


    May 26, 2021

    These were awesome! My first time making cinnamon buns, my first time with a stand mixer, and only my second attempt at baking with yeast (the first didn’t go well) and they turned out great. Even for someone with little experience baking this was an easy recipe to follow and they tasted delicious. Thank you!


    March 30, 2021

    The best cinnamon bun recipe!! Perfect amount of sweetness!
    I split the dough in half and rolled it out to ~12×15″ each to make the buns smaller, it turned out really well.
    The dough rose abundantly after placing in a warmed oven for 2 hours as suggested and I did not have to wait overnight to bake them.
    I also topped with a basic sugar glaze of icing sugar and milk (~1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp) after baking.
    I loved the combination of the 2 different kinds of cinnamon, it really added a complexity and decadence to the flavour.
    Thank you!


    March 16, 2021

    This is an excellent recipe. The pictures and “tips” helped a lot! I had left over whipping cream that I substituted for the milk and butter quantity amounts because of its high fat content and it worked amazingly well! Thanks


    January 24, 2021

    Tried these and they were amazing! Best cinnamon buns I’ve ever made/had. Thanks for the recipe!

    The Silk Road
    The Silk Road

    April 08, 2020

    Hi Ivan. I haven’t found it necessary to activate the yeast first in the milk or butter. It has worked fine to simply add the yeast, warm milk, and melted butter at the same time and knead together. I’m sure it would probably be fine either way.

    Ivan Landry
    Ivan Landry

    April 08, 2020

    Hi, this recipe sounds great. I have a question on the dough directions. Are you supposed to put the active yeast in the warm milk to dissolve before putting it into the flour? How about the butter, does it go into the warm milk and yeast as well before mixing it into the flour?


    April 01, 2020

    Just made these and they were delicious! Solly’s hands down makes the very best cinnamon rolls, so was very happy to find this recipe! Thank you!!


    March 09, 2020

    These are just as good as Solly’s, my former, pre-vegan favourite, if not better! Thank you so much for posting this recipe. Everyone that we made these for loved them.

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