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Cinnamon-Bun Bites


Serve these bites directly from the baking dish, or unmold them and place the whole mound on a serving dish or in a basket. Recipe adapted with permission from "Williams-Sonoma Family Meals: Creating Traditions in the Kitchen," copyright 2009 by Maria Helm Sinskey and Williams-Sonoma, published by Weldon Owen, San Francisco.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2012


  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (from two 1/4-ounce envelopes)
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus 1/2 stick, melted, and more for dish
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla Glaze for Cinnamon-Bun Bites


  1. Pour water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle yeast evenly over water, and let stand until foamy, 5 to 7 minutes. Whisk until smooth, then whisk in 1/2 cup flour to form a loose paste. Let rise in a warm place until yeast mixture has risen and fallen, about 30 minutes.

  2. Add eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and remaining flour to yeast mixture. Knead dough, using dough hook attachment on mixer, until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes.

  3. Add 1 stick butter, and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky). Turn out dough onto an unfloured work surface, and knead by hand until very smooth, about 3 minutes. Transfer dough to another bowl, and let rise in a warm place, covered with a damp cloth or plastic wrap, until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Punch down dough; press out air bubbles.

  4. Lightly butter a 9-inch pie plate or 9-inch square glass baking dish. Place melted butter in a bowl. Stir together remaining 1 cup sugar and the cinnamon in another bowl.

  5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls (you should have about 45). Working with 1 at a time, dip balls into melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar and place in pie plate. Stack balls to form a dome. Sprinkle with any remaining cinnamon sugar, and drizzle with any leftover butter. Cover with plastic wrap, and let balls rise by half, about 1 hour.

  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap balls, and place pie plate on a baking sheet. Bake until golden and firm, and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let bites cool in dish 15 minutes, then drizzle with glaze.

Reviews Add a comment

  • jkot
    8 APR, 2014
    Has anyone made this with frozen bread dough??
  • grannie4
    30 MAR, 2014
    Can the dough be done with a bread maker?
  • kimbb
    17 APR, 2013
    to the person who asked about pre-making this dish, I did it last weekend, I did all the prep the night before, I completely prepared the dish according to the directions, then left it in the fridge, wrapped tightly in saran, and baked it the following morning, it was delicious! One other tip I have, is put a tray under your casserole dish, it really boiled over quite a bit. happy baking!
  • AMTS
    31 MAR, 2013
    Jen, I just made this for Easter, but instead of waking up 5 hours early I made the dough and let it rise once the day before and then refrigerated it overnight for the second rise (in the pan). All you have to do is wake up in the morning and put it in the oven for an hour. It was delicious, the only comment I have is that because the second rise was longer the balls at the bottom of the pan baked together more so it was harder to tear. However, it was still delicious.
  • adelenne
    30 MAR, 2013
    1 stick of butter is about 125gms. Hope this helps.
  • jen 2012
    28 MAR, 2013
    Does anyone know if this can be made in advance and just put in the oven at the last minute? It requires a lot of prep time (for all the rising) for a breakfast dish, but something like this would be best served warm out of the oven.
  • JBear0002
    27 MAR, 2013
    A good butter conversion to various measurements can be found at
  • tanias716
    24 MAR, 2013
    Thank you ladies! Sharyn, Castor sugar is just white sugar that has been ground superfine - the granules are very fine (about halfway between table sugar and powdered sugar) and dissolve much more easily. It's much easier to make meringues with castor sugar! I think some places call it Baker's sugar or granulated sugar. Amazing how we can all speak the same language but have such difficulty understanding recipes!
  • Patti Geise
    23 MAR, 2013
    To answer tanis question a stick of butter is 4 oz or 1/2 cup. Hope this helps
  • Sharyn Comerford Bir
    23 MAR, 2013
    A stick of butter is usually 1/4 pound as the pound of butter is cut into 4 pieces lengthwise. Good luck - now what is castor sugar :-)