Cinnamon Buns Just Like Cinnabon or Cinnzeo!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and although most find it to be a cheesy Hallmark holiday. I still enjoy celebrating it! There’s nothing wrong with wanting to spend more quality time with the special man in my life. Celebrating can consist of anything from just hanging out together to eating at a fancy restaurant. If you’re like me, Valentine’s Day typically involves food in one form or another.

Recently I was requested by my husband to bake him some cinnamon buns for his birthday instead of a cake. After trying out the recipe that was recommended online that it supposed to make copycat cinnzeo cinnabons, I realized that there was just something still missing from that recipe. The gooey factor wasn’t quite there. So I tweaked the recipe a bit and really enjoy the changes that I’ve made (eg. Lowering the amount of flour used and increased the wet ingredients in the recipe).

I know that I typically stick to pretty healthy recipes and have a healthy version of the cinnamon bun on my site already but every now and again I do indulge and I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. I believe this is would be great for Valentine’s Day
because it’s decadent and indulgent, a perfect way to celebrate a sweet holiday!

Dough Ingredients:

1 cup warm milk
2 1/4 tsp, active dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs

Assembly Ingredients:

1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened

Icing Ingredients:

1 pkg 8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2-3 cups icing sugar, to taste – based on your sweetness preference


In the warm milk, measure in the active yeast and let sit for 10 minutes to activate. Make sure the milk isn’t too hot or else it will denature the yeast and the dough will not rise. If you’re using instant yeast you don’t have to wait for the 10 minutes for it to dissolve.

In a large mixing bowl, add in the flour, sugar, salt, softened butter, eggs and milk. Mix until everything is combined and let the dough sit for 5 minutes to allow the ingredients to settle.

If you’re using a mixer, use the paddle attachment and let it mix for 10 minutes. If doing this by hand (my favorite method) knead the dough either in the bowl or on a lightly floured counter top for 10-15 minutes until the dough is no longer sticky. Make sure not to use too much flour on the counter top or else it’ll make the dough slightly more dry.

Once ready, put the dough back in the bowl, cover with either a wet paper towel or cloth and let sit for at least an hour or until it’s doubled in size. I let mine rest for up to 2 hours.

While you’re waiting for the dough to rise you can prep the icing.

In a medium sized glass bowl, soften the cream cheese in the microwave. Beat on low until all the lumps have been removed.

Add in the softened butter and beat until combined. Add in the milk and vanilla and continue to mix.

Slowly add in the icing sugar, be careful when you turn on the beater so that the sugar doesn’t get stirred up. I typically add in 1/2 – 1 cup at a time and taste until my desired sweetness is achieved.

When ready, cover the icing and refrigerate until ready to use.

Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and set aside. Butter a 9x13 baking pan and also set aside.

Once the dough has risen to double its size. Place some flour on the counter top and roll out the dough to roughly 16” by 20” rectangle.

Spread the softened butter over the entire rectangle. Sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Pick up one end (long edge) and slowly roll it over. Cut the roll in to 12 equal pieces and place in the baking pan. Cover the dough with a dish towel until they have risen to double their size.

Preheat the oven to 350F for 25-30 mins or until they start to brown on top.

Spread the frosting on the rolls when they’re still warm to allow the icing to melt in to all the nooks and crannies of the cinnamon buns. Save the extra icing for later when you’re ready to eat them.


Recipe makes 12 large cinnamon buns.


  1. great buns !! very moist. I generally add less sugar to the icing but that's just my preference

  2. Bonnie, can I just say... I have made this recipe at least five times for my family and these are hands down the best cinnamon buns I have ever made. They absolutely rival CinnZeo buns that we can get in the mall. So delish! Maybe one day, I'll try your healthier version - maybe... ;)

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  4. Wow! I made this recipe and it just like cinnzeo! Thank you it is the best recipe

  5. Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm so glad to hear that they turned out well!

  6. Wow! Everyone in my family and just love it!
    It's just like cinnzeo
    Thank you very much

  7. I've made these before and they're the best, I'm actually in the process of making another batch tonight and I'm so glad I found this recipe again! Can't wait to have a nice, warm bun with some coffee <3

  8. Thank you so much Sine for the kind words! So glad you enjoyed them!

  9. I’m very new to baking breads. Can you add raisins to this this recipe?


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