Muffin Tin cinnamon rolls made with traditional ingredients, then braided & baked in a muffin tin. Made from scratch, these braided cinnamon rolls are so delicious!
Making this cinnamon muffin recipe is a great way to keep your braided buns from sticking together and unraveling. These cinnamon roll muffins are a fun and unique variation on a traditional cinnamon roll, but with all the wonderful flavor you know and love!
What are Muffin Tin cinnamon rolls?
This braided rolls recipe is pretty much as you’d expect. It’s a 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 like a traditional cinnamon roll. While the appearance is different and unique the flavors are still as you’d expect from your favorite cinnamon roll recipe.
Why you’ll love these Cinnamon Roll Muffins
- Simple ingredients. This recipe has a few ingredients but they are simple ones. The chances that you have a majority of them in your kitchen already is pretty high.
- Kid friendly. I love this recipe because I can get my kids involved, it is easy enough for them to help and be a part of the baking fun! Plus, they love cinnamon and sugar muffins, so they are really invested in this tasty treat.
- Cinnamon. Roll. Muffins. I feel like the recipe name speaks for itself and you won’t need much convincing to give it a try.
Braided Cinnamon Rolls Ingredients
Water: You will need ¼ 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: Use 2 ½ teaspoons of active dry yeast, this is amount you would get from a single packet.
Sugar: Add ¼ cup of raw turbinado sugar, plus another tablespoon’s worth. Alternatively, you can use plain granulated sugar as well.
Butter: You will need 6 tablespoons of melted butter, you can use salted or unsalted butter for this.
Eggs: Using 3 eggs will help make the dough taste great and give it amazing texture too.
Milk: You need ½ cup of milk to help moisten the dough nicely.
Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract helps enhance all the wonderful flavors in this recipe.
Salt: Use 1 ½ teaspoons of salt to balance all the great flavors in these muffins.
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 that is what you have on hand.
Butter: Use ¼ cup of melted, salted or unsalted, butter to help bind the cinnamon sugar to the dough.
Brown sugar: Add in ¼ cup of packed light brown sugar to make the filling sweet and give it a lovely 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.
Vanilla glaze ingredients
Powdered sugar: You will need 2 cups of powdered sugar to make the glaze smooth and sweet.
Vanilla extract: 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
Start by pouring the 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 until blended.
Then add in the salt and the flour, mixing at low speed until blended. Your dough should be thick and sticky.
Knead and rise
Continue to mix the dough on medium speed for 4-5 minutes.
While that is mixing, pour about 1 tablespoon of oil into a large bowl and then transfer your dough to this bowl once mixing is complete.
Now, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place into a draft-free warm place to rise for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
Roll and filling
Once the bread has doubled in size sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of flour onto the clean surface and place the dough on it. Then roll the dough out into a rectangle about 12 x18 inches in size.
After that, melt ¼ cup of butter and brush it onto the insides of your muffin cups, set the pan aside.
Proceed to brush the dough with the remaining melted 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, stir until combined.
Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the top of the dough. Gently press it down with your hands or slightly roll the rolling pin over the top.
Now, 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.
Next, slice the dough into 12 vertical pieces. Then 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.
Now, roll the braid and then place it into your prepared muffin pan. Make sure to place the pinched pieces at the bottom so that the braid is on top. Repeat with 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.
Now, get the oven preheating to 350 degrees F and bake the muffins 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.
Serve the muffins warm and enjoy!
MUFFIN TIN CINNAMON ROLLS
- ¼ cup warm water temperature must be between 95 to 100 degrees.
- 2 ½ tsp active dry yeast or 1 packet 0.25 oz
- ¼ cup raw turbinado sugar + 1 tablespoon divided (you can use granulated sugar)
- 6 TBSP butter melted. I used salted butter, but you can also use unsalted
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup salted butter melted. you can use unsalted.
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 TBSP hot water
- Bloom yeast: 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!
- Dough: 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.
- Knead and rise: 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 & Filling: 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.
- 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.
- Braid: 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.
- Second rise: 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: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until nice and golden.
- Glaze: Whisk together vanilla glaze and drizzle on top of each roll while still warm. Serve warm and enjoy!
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How to make regular cinnamon rolls using this recipe:
You can make regular cinnamon buns with this 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. I highly doubt there will be any left overs, but hey, you never know!
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.
Here are more tasty 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
Muffin Tin cinnamon rolls are made with basic kitchen ingredients, then braided & baked in a muffin tin. These homemade braided cinnamon rolls taste so incredible and are always a hit with family and friends!