Instructions

  1. To make the dough: Mix together and knead all of the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a smooth, soft dough.

  2. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to grease all sides, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise until it's nearly doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

  3. To fill and shape the buns: Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Roll the dough into a 16" x 21" rectangle.

  4. Spread the dough with the 1/3 cup butter. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle it evenly over the dough.

  5. Starting with a short end, roll the dough into a log and cut it into 12 slices.

  6. Place the buns in a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan. Cover the pan and let the buns rise until they're nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.

  7. While the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.

  8. Uncover the buns, and bake them until they're golden brown, about 15 minutes. While the buns are baking, make the icing.

  9. To make the icing: In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla.

  10. Remove the buns from the oven. Spread the icing on the buns while they're warm.

  11. Serve buns warm, or at room temperature. Wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for a day or so; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Counting calories? Feel free to make 2 dozen smaller buns. Roll the dough the long way instead of the short way, and cut it into 24 slices. Place them in the pan in six rows of four buns each; they may seem crowded, but that's OK. Bake as directed.
  • Want to make these rolls ahead of time, freeze or refrigerate, and bake in the morning? To freeze, see our blog posts, Freeze! Time-savers for the holidays. To prepare the night before, place the shaped buns in the pan, cover the pan, and refrigerate overnight. Next morning, let the buns warm at room temperature for about an hour, covered. Uncover, and bake as directed.