Cinnamon Roll Doughnut Twists

"Cinnamon Rolls or Donuts? Now you don’t have to pick! These donuts are a twist (HA!) on the traditionally breakfast cinnamon roll."
-- @goodthingsbakingco
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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 30mins
Cook time 30mins
Serves or Makes: 9

Recipe Card

For the Doughnuts


  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Filling


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

For the Glaze


  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

For the Drizzle


  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

To Make the Doughnuts


  • Step 1

    Pour the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer that has been fitted with a dough hook. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved, then add the yeast and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes or until it becomes bubbly.

  • Step 2

    Mix in the eggs and butter. While the mixer is running on medium-low, stir in the flour and salt until completely combined, about 5 minutes. Turn off the mixer and let rest for 10 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Transfer the dough to a clean, oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.

  • Step 4

    Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it is 12x18-inch rectangle, stretching it gently as you roll to get straight sides and fairly square corners. The dough will be soft, so be sure to flour your surface and rolling pin as needed to prevent sticking.

  • Step 5

    Let the rolled dough sit for about 5 minutes so that the gluten can relax before filling. Use a pastry brush to spread the 3 tablespoons melted butter over the whole surface. Stir together the white sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle it in an even layer over the entire surface.

  • Step 6

    Using a bench knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into 9 rectangles that are 4x6 inches. Roll each rectangle into a swirl along the long side, pinching the dough to seal it when you’ve reached the edge. You should end up with nine 6” long tubes of dough. Take each one and roll it along a surface, pressing down gently with flat hands to lengthen it to about 12 inches. Place one index finger on the side of the dough roll at the mid point and twist both ends around it. Make sure to maintain a gentle tension on the twist with the stationary index finger, and twist fairly tightly. It will loosen up and possibly untwist a little as the donut fries.

  • Step 7

    Once all of the donuts are shaped, set them on a lined baking sheet and cover gently with plastic wrap. Allow them to rise in a warm area for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until the dough has softened and gotten puffy.

  • Step 8

    In a medium, heavy-bottomed pan, heat at least 2" of oil to 350°F. Carefully drop in 1-2 donuts and fry for about 2 minutes per side, or until each side is golden brown. Remove from the oil to a cooling rack and repeat with the rest of the donuts. Monitor the oil to keep the temperature around 350°F.

To Make the Glaze

  • Step 1

    Combine the milk and vanilla in a small saucepan and heat over low until warm. Sift the powdered sugar into the pan, then whisk until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat, then dip both sides of the donuts in and allow it to set for about five minutes.

To Make the Drizzle

  • Step 1

    Make the same way as the glaze. Immediately pour or drizzle over the doughnuts.

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