Muffin Tin cinnamon rolls made with traditional ingredients, then braided & baked in a muffin tin! Made from scratch these braided cinnamon rolls are fun & delicious!
Making these cinnamon rolls in muffin pan recipe is a great way to keep your braided buns from sticking together and unraveling. It also helps them to get a unique shape that’s pretty cool to look at thanks to the cinnamon swirls and baked bread.
What are Muffin Tin cinnamon rolls?
This braided rolls recipe is pretty much as you’d expect. It’s a homemade, made from scratch yeast dough filled with a cinnamon sugar mixture and then assembled in a way that the bread is braided together instead of rolled and sliced like a traditional cinnamon roll. While the appearance is different and unique the flavors are still as you’d love and expect from your favorite cinnamon roll recipe.
Braided Cinnamon Rolls Ingredients
For the dough, you will need:
-Water: You will need 1/4 cup of warm water (between 95-100 degrees F) to help activate the yeast. Too cold of water and the yeast won’t bloom, too hot and you will kill it and cause the dough to not rise properly.
-Yeast: You will need 2 ½ teaspoons of active dry yeast. This is what you would get from a single packet.
-Sugar: Use ¼ cup of raw turbinado sugar plus another tablespoon’s worth. Alternatively, you can use playing granulated sugar instead.
-Butter: You will need 6 tablespoons of melted butter. You can use salted or unsalted butter for this.
-Eggs: Use 3 eggs to help make the dough taste even richer.
-Milk: You need ½ cup of milk to help moisten the dough.
-Vanilla: 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract helps to make the bread taste even better.
-Salt: Use 1 ½ teaspoons of salt to get the flavors to be well enhanced and tasting delicious.
-Flour: For the base of the dough you will need 4 cups of unbleached all purpose flour. Note you could use bleached all purpose flour if desired.
For the filling you will need:
-Butter: Use ¼ cup of melted salted or unsalted butter to help bind the cinnamon sugar to the dough.
-Brown sugar: Using ¼ cup of packed light brown sugar will help to make the filling sweet and give it a richer depth of flavor.
-Cinnamon: You will need 2 teaspoons of cinnamon to make these rolls taste great and well spiced.
-Ginger: To kick up the flavor just a notch add in ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger.
For the vanilla glaze you will need
-Powdered sugar: You will need 2 cups of powdered sugar to make the glaze smooth and sweet.
-Vanilla: Use 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to help make the glaze taste incredible.
-Hot water: To get the glaze to the perfect consistency you will want to use about 1-2 tablespoons of hot water.
How to make Muffin Tin cinnamon rolls
Bloom the yeast
Pour your water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment and allow for it to rest for about 5 minutes or until the yeast is foaming up. If the yeast doesn’t foam up after 10 minutes, throw it out and restart. The dough will not rise properly unless the yeast is working.
Once the yeast has bloomed add in the remaining sugar, milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix together until blended.
Add in the salt and the flour, mixing at low speed until blended. Your dough should be thick and sticky.
Knead and rise
Mix together on medium speed for 4-5 minutes.
Pour about 1 tablespoon of oil into a large bowl and transfer your dough to this bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and place into a draft-free warm place to rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Roll and fill
Once the bread has doubled in size sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of flour onto the clean surface and place the dough on it.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 12 x18 inches in size.
Melt the ¼ cup of butter and brush it onto the insides of your muffin cups. Set aside.
Brush the dough with the remaining butter and make sure to leave a ½ inch gap around the edges of the dough.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and ground ginger. Mix until combined.
Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mix evenly over the top of the dough. Gently press it down with your hands or slightly roll the rolling pin over the top.
Take the longer side of the dough and fold it ⅓ of the way over, like you were folding a letter. Then take the opposite side and do the same by folding ⅓ of the dough over the top.
Slice into 12 vertical pieces.
Take one piece and slice 2 cuts in it so that you have 3 strands but leave ¼ inch at the top intact so that it holds together.
Braid the pieces of dough together and pinch the end to hold.
Roll the braid and then place it into your prepared cupcake pan. Make sure to place the pinched pieces at the bottom so that the braid is on top. Repeat for all 12 pieces.
Once all 12 pieces have been rolled and placed into the pan, loosely place a piece of plastic wrap over the top so that it can rise for 30 minutes in a warm draft-free place.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown.
In a small bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients and then drizzle on top of the rolls while they are still warm.
MUFFIN TIN CINNAMON ROLLS
- ¼ cup warm water temperature must be between 95 to 100 degrees.
- 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast or 1 packet 0.25 oz
- ¼ cup raw turbinado sugar + 1 tablespoon divided (you can use granulated sugar)
- 6 tablespoons melted butter I used salted butter, but you can also use unsalted
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup melted salted butter you can use unsalted
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 TBSP hot water
Prepare the Dough
- In a bowl of a stand-up mixer, with a dough hook, pour the water, add the yeast, and 1 tablespoon of raw sugar. Let it stand for 4 to 5 minutes until the yeast foam up (activate). *NOTE* If the yeast doesn't foam up, throw mixture away & start again. This likely means your water was too hot & killed the yeast. The dough will not rise properly unless yeast is working properly!
- Once the yeast has bloomed, add the remaining sugar, milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix until blended.
- Add the salt and flour. Mix at a slow speed until all ingredients are blended. You will have a thick and sticky dough. Mix the dough on medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Pour about 1 tablespoon of oil into a large bowl. Transfer dough into this bowl & cover with a plastic wrap. Place in a draft-free, warm place to allow to rise for 2 hours or until it doubles.
Roll Out Dough
- Once it doubles, sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of flour on a clean surface and put the dough on it. Roll the dough into a rectangle, 12 x 18 inches.
- Melt the ¼ cup butter. Brush butter on the inside of a cupcake pan. Set aside.
- Brush the dough rectangle with the remaining butter, leaving ½ inch from the edge clean.
Add Brown Sugar Filling
- In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and ground ginger. Mix until all combined. Evenly sprinkle the sugar mix over the buttered dough. Gently press it down with your hands or slightly roll the roll pin over.
Fold, Cut & Braid Dough
- Take the longer side of the rectangle and fold 1/3 of the way over. Take the opposite side on the bottom of the rectangle and fold over the top. (Like you’re folding a letter!)
- Cut into 12 vertical pieces.
- Take one piece and make 2 cuts, so that you have 3 strands, but leave ¼ inch on top in tact. Braid the pieces and pinch the end.
- Roll the braid and place in the cupcake cavity. Note: When rolling the braid, place the pinched end on the bottom, then roll on itself, arranging the roll so that the braided side is on top. Repeat for all 12 pieces.
- Once all 12 pieces are rolled, place a loose piece of plastic wrap on top and let it rise for 30 minutes in a warm, draft-free place.
Bake Muffin Tin Cinnamon Rolls
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until nice and golden.
- Whisk together vanilla glaze and drizzle on top of each roll while still warm. Serve warm and enjoy!
How to make regular cinnamon rolls
You can make regular cinnamon buns with the same recipe. On step 12, roll the dough starting on the long edge away from you. Tightly roll the dough. With a knife, or I like to use dental floss, cut into 12 pieces. Place in a buttered 9 x 13 dishware and let it rise for 30 to 45 minutes. Cook in the oven for 23-25 minutes or until nice and golden
How long are muffin tin cinnamon rolls good for?
Keep the leftovers, if any, in an airtight container on the counter for 2 to 3 days and in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Can I make cinnamon rolls in advance?
If you want to make ahead, make the recipe but instead of having the second rise being 30 minutes, freeze them. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the fridge and cook as directed.
More cinnamon roll recipes to try soon:
- CINNAMON ROLL BREAD PUDDING
- CINNAMON ROLL BREAD
- CHRISTMAS CINNAMON ROLLS
- CINNAMON ROLLS WITHOUT YEAST
- HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLLS
- CINNAMON ROLL CAKE RECIPE
- CINNAMON ROLL FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE
- CINNAMON ROLL SNICKERDOODLES
- PUMPKIN CINNAMON ROLLS WITH CARAMEL FROSTING
- MINI 15-MINUTE CINNAMON ROLLS
- EASY CINNAMON ROLL QUICK BREAD
These muffin tin cinnamon rolls are amazing. You can serve them as is, pour some maple syrup on them, sprinkle some powdered sugar, or a simple glaze.