Baking - Breads, Ingredient Insights

Perfect Cinnamon Buns

I think I’ve mentioned before about how much I love cinnamon buns. But they have to be good. A lot of cinnamon buns I buy from bakeries have a very thick dough, which is often a bit dry, so it’s basically like eating a big hunk of day-old bread with a touch of cinnamon. That is not for me. My definition of a good cinnamon bun is one that is somewhat dense, moist and chewy, with a thin spiral of dough surrounding the delicious sticky sweet cinnamon filling. And a nice glaze of icing on the top really hits the spot.

So I set out to try and make myself my ideal cinnamon bun. I used a recipe from my favourite bread cookbook, and without even trying it first, I made some modifications that I thought would improve my chances for success, and decrease the chances of disappointment.

First, the sweet dough recipe. It called for sugar, so I used brown instead of white, because I find that brown sugar adds more moisture. It called for one egg, so I used two, in the hope that it would also add more moisture and some extra chewiness. And because I used these added ‘moisturizers,’ I had to add a bit more flour to keep the dough from being extra sticky and difficult to roll out.

For the filling, I followed all the directions as they were, except I omitted the raisins, because although I like raisins in general, I don’t like them in my cinnamon buns.

Then when it came time to bake, the recipe said to bake them for 25-30 minutes. I baked them for 22, and was not disappointed. I was indeed successful at making a cinnamon bun I really loved, and spread on some leftover buttermilk frosting I had which made them all the better!

Baking - Desserts, Recipe

Chocolate Log Cake

For my dad’s birthday in the fall I gave him the gift of a baked good of his choosing, which he only recently cashed in. He told me that he would like a chocolate log cake at the next big family dinner. So Easter dinner it was!

I made a simple chocolate sponge on a baking sheet, and whipped up some vanilla bean buttermilk frosting to spread on the inside. I was actually able to beat the egg yolks and whites at the same time (whites in the stand mixer, yolks with the handheld), which saved me some time. I decided not to frost the outside because I thought that would be excessively sweet. It was a rich treat, so it was a good thing most of the family was there to share it all!

Chocolate Cake Roll

  • 1/3 c flour
  • ¼ c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ c sugar
  1. combine flour, cocoa and baking soda and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl beat egg yolks and vanilla with electric mixer on high speed for 5 min., or until thick and lemon coloured. Gradually add the 1/3 c sugar, beating until sugar is nearly dissolved. Thoroughly wash beaters.
  3. In another bowl beat egg whites on med. Speed til soft peaks form. Gradually add the ½ c sugar, beating til stiff peaks form.
  4. Fold yolk mixture into beaten egg whites. Sprinkle flour mixture over egg mixture; fold in gently just until combined.
  5. Spread batter evenly onto greased parchment lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake at 375F for 12-15 min.
  6. Immediately loosen edges of cake from pan and turn cake out onto parchment lined cooling rack. Once cool, remove rack but keep paper. Spread buttermilk frosting to within 1 inch of edges. Roll up cake, using parchment paper to keep it even.

Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Frosting

  • ¾ c softened butter
  • 3 c icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2-4 Tbsp buttermilk
  1. beat all ingredients together, adding buttermilk gradually until desired consistency is reached.