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  • Megan

cinnamon sugar (and cardamom) buns

Updated: May 29, 2023

In this dish:

- sugar

- cinnamon

- cardamom

- salt

- puff pastry (one frozen sheet*, thawed)

- butter

One thing I miss during these quarantine times—quite possibly the thing I miss most—is going for Friday morning coffee with my mom and sister. It’s our time to relax, catch up, and make plans; it’s also my day to splurge on a café au lait and a pastry.

One of my go-to picks is the cinnamon bun from Rustica Bakery. It’s a light, soft ribbon of buttery pastry, rolled up and crowned with a shattered shell of cinnamon sugar.

Do you want this? You can have it! Rustica is open for take-out!


You can make your own cinnamon buns, and you can make ‘em lazy. That’s what I did here with a trusty sheet of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry.

I’ll be clear: these are nowhere near as good as Rustica’s cinnamon buns, or the cinnamon buns of any bakery that conjures yeasted dough and pulls it fresh from the oven. These buns are but a humble workaround for the sleepy, lazy, cinnamon sugar addict who’s jonesing, but not hard enough to put on socks and shoes.

I’ve said “lazy” twice now, which is silly, because these do after all take some effort.

It goes like this:

Take a sheet of puff pastry from the freezer and let it thaw (this takes about 40 minutes). While that’s happening, mix up a bowl of cinnamon sugar. Proportions here are flexible, in my opinion, but I went with 3 tablespoons sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. I also added

¼ teaspoon cardamom and ¼ teaspoon salt. (Fun fact: a little salt is good, even when what you’re making is supposed to be sweet; it just helps enhance flavors. Don’t skip it!)

When your pastry is thawed, unfold it onto a lightly sugared** surface.

Spread about two tablespoons of room-temperature butter all over the puff pastry. Then cover that butter with your cinnamon sugar—I smooth it all out with my hands to ensure full coverage and a nice even layer.

Next, go over the pastry with a rolling pin (or wine bottle) to stretch out the sheet a bit and make sure the cinnamon sugar has become one with the butter.

Now roll up the sheet, cut it into six pieces, and plop each piece into its own lightly greased muffin cup.

Top each little roll with a swipe of butter and a dusting/pile of cinnamon sugar. Then send the pan into a 400°F oven for 20 minutes. You want these rolls to be golden, not pale.

That’s it. Let ‘em cool, make your coffee, bite into a bun, and enjoy being lazy at home.

And next week, don thy mask and get thyself to a bakery. Those people who make cinnamon buns and sourdough bread and [insert fun quarantine baking project that takes several hours and lots of sweat] for a living? They need us, and damn, do we need them.

*Your box of frozen puff pastry probably comes with a second sheet, so if you want 12 buns, make both sheets. I’m so proud of you.

**Yes, sugar. For the love of God use sugar! I used flour back when I didn’t know what I was doing (three weeks ago) and it dries the puff pastry right out.


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