Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Frosting

"Soft and pillowy cinnamon rolls that stay soft and tender for days after baking."
-- @curlygirlkitchen
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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 30mins
Cook time 3hrs 30mins
Serves or Makes: 12

Recipe Card

For the Dough


  • 3 cups bread flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 packet rapid-rise yeast, or instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup whole buttermilk, warmed to between 110-115ºfahrenheit
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

To Make the Dough


  • Step 1

    In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, cornstarch, salt, nutmeg and yeast. Add the warmed buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, and softened butter. Mix to combine for two minutes. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead for 10 minutes on medium-low speed, scraping the bowl down several times, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be very soft and loose, and will not form a firm dough ball. Scrape the dough into a large greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (but not too hot, or the dough can dry out) until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

  • Step 2

    Tip the dough out onto a well-floured surface, sprinkle more flour over the dough, and knead 5-6 times to bring it together. Roll out into a 20x16-inch rectangle, sprinkling with more flour as needed to keep it from sticking.

For the Filling


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 ounces almond paste, crumbled, optional

To Make the Filling and Assemble

  • Step 1

    Brush the melted butter all over the dough. Combine the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, and sprinkle evenly over the dough, pressing it in slightly. Sprinkle with the almond paste, if using.

  • Step 2

    Starting at one of the 16-inch edges, tightly roll the dough up into a log, keeping it as tight as possible. Use a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen scissors (scissors are easier since the dough is so soft) to cut 12 rolls, dipping the knife in flour between cuts.

  • Step 3

    Grease a jumbo muffin pan with non-stick spray and place the rolls, cut side up, in the muffin cups. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until the rolls fill the cups and are puffing up above the edges.

  • Step 4

    If baking in a 9x13 pan, line the pan with parchment paper and arrange the rolls in the pan, cut side up. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until the rolls fill the pan and are puffing up.

  • Step 5

    Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bake the rolls, uncovered for 20 minutes (for the muffin pan) and 25-30 minutes (for the 9x13 pan) until golden brown. While the rolls are baking, you should get your frosting ready.

For the Frosting


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk, or cream, to thin to desired consistency

To Make the Frosting

  • Step 1

    In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Continue to cook the butter, swirling occasionally, until the water has evaporated and nutty brown solids form at the bottom of the pan. Scrape the butter, including the browned bits, into a bowl to cool to room temperature. You can even make your butter the day before.

  • Step 2

    Add the vanilla, salt and powdered sugar to the browned butter and mix with a spoon until smooth and well combined, adding milk or cream if necessary, for your desired consistency.

  • Step 3

    After baking the rolls, spread a small amount of the frosting over the rolls, letting it melt into all the swirls, then let the rolls cool for about 20 minutes. Spread the remainder of the frosting on the rolls and serve.

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