Shortcut Cinnamon Buns With Cream Cheese Buttermilk Glaze

We came across this recipe a few years ago, and fell in love with how easy these made-from-scratch cinnamon buns are. Instead of traditional yeast dough, we use cottage cheese (or plain Greek-style yogurt) to make the pastry tender and richer. With this recipe, you won't need a lot of time or plan ahead to enjoy warm cinnamon buns. Now that's a real treat!



  • 3/4 cup cottage cheese (4% fat) or Greek-style plain yogurt (6% fat)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour plus more for rolling
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup raisins or chopped pecans, optional
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar


Make the dough:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.  Grease a 9 or 10-inch springform pan.
  2. In a food processor, combine cottage cheese, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter and vanilla.  Process until smooth, about 10 seconds.  Add the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda and process in short bursts, just until the dough clumps together (don’t over process).  The dough will be soft and moist.
  3. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with floured hands 4 or 5 times until smooth.  With the rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12 x 15-inch rectangle.

Make the filling:

  1. Brush the dough with melted butter, leaving a 1/2-inch border unbuttered around the edges.  In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves.  Sprinkle the mixture over the buttered area of the dough and pat gently into the surface.  Sprinkle the raisins/nuts over the sugar mixture, if using.
  2. Starting at the long edge, roll up the dough, jelly-roll style.  Pinch the seam to seal and leave the ends open.
  3. With a sharp knife, cut the rolls into 12 equal pieces.  Set the pieces, cut side up in the prepared pan (they should fill the pan and touch slightly, but don’t worry if there are small gaps.
  4. Bake about 25 to 28 minutes until golden and firm to the touch.  Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.  Run a spatula around the inside edge of the pan and remove the springform ring.  Transfer the buns to a wire rack.  Let cool 5 minutes before glazing.

Make the glaze:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and buttermilk until thick and smooth (the mixture will look like cottage cheese at first.)  Add the icing sugar and whisk until a smooth glaze forms.
  2. Drizzle the glaze evenly over the buns.  Serve warm.  (Note:  These cinnamon buns are best served warm out of the oven, but can be stored in an airtight container and reheated with excellent results.)



Makes 12 buns

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