These cinnamon buns/rolls are very special, sweet, gooey and irresistible. You fill the dough with sugary pecans, mixed with cinnamon, butter, and cocoa powder, that produces beautiful, buttery layers. These bear no resemblance to anything store-bought.
“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
― Mark Twain
Cinnamon-Pecan Buns with Butter Frosting
Makes about 20 buns/rolls
- 1 package yeast (1 Tbsp.), dissolved in 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- about 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more if needed
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp salt
- For the filling:
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 Tbsp. brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 5 Tbsp. pecan nuts, ground
- 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- For the butter frosting:
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the water, allow to bloom for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth. Add the milk, sugar, salt, melted butter, and mix. Whisk in 1 cup of the flour and mix until smooth. Add the egg and the remaining flour to the mixture. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead on medium speed until smooth, 5 to 6 minutes or until the dough feels satiny and smooth. Cover the dough and let rise for 30-40 minutes.
To make the filling: In a food processor pulse all ingredients (pecans, butter, cinnamon, sugar, cocoa powder) until smooth, buttery paste.
To make the buns: Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Roll out into a 15-by-10-inch rectangle. Spread the cinnamon mixture all over the dough. Starting at the long side, roll up the rectangle snugly and pinch the seam together. Cut into 18-20 equal pieces. Place the pieces, cut side up, in the prepared pan. Cover and let it rise for another 30 minutes until double in bulk.
Bake at the preheated oven 425F for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350F and bake until light brown, about 10 more minutes.
To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Spread the warm cinnamon buns generously!