Father’s Day Traditions

cin_bun_rollYou know what the best thing about a tradition is? You can start a new one any time you want. You can even start one and not realize you started one until three years later. That’s kind of what happened in this house for Father’s Day. The first Father’s Day we celebrated after our daughter was born, I went all out. I started planning weeks in advance and had thoughtful and memorable gifts, perfectly wrapped and presented by our smiling baby girl. The pièce de résistance: homemade cinnamon buns. A special treat because, due to some really annoying food sensitivities (red wine, chocolate, cheese, need I say more?), my husband hadn’t eaten one in years. I found this recipe while searching for one that I could use my bread machine. Listen, I’m sure there are plenty of baking purists who would be horrified at this little act of laziness. To them I say, we’d never be friends. Just kidding. Kind of. Anyway, it’s been three Father’s Days that our little family has celebrated now and my husband is lucky if we let him sleep in until 8 before we wake him up with his only gift (a card). But you know what? We still let him have the cinnamon buns. And by let him have, I mean, I make them for me and let him (and the kids) have one too.

I’ve made this recipe the morning of, night before and even made the dough weeks in advance and frozen it. I’m pretty sure there’s no way to mess this one up.  Adapted from Marsha Fernandez’s Clone of a Cinnabon.

Bread Machine Cinnamon Buns
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 4½ cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2½ tsp bread machine yeast ( or 1 packet dry active yeast)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2½ tbsp cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup softened butter
  • 3 ounces softened cream cheese (or low fat cream cheese)
  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • 1½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. Warm the milk in the microwave for 30 seconds on high. Remove and stir. Check that milk is neither hot nor cold. Add milk, beaten eggs and melted butter to the bread machine followed by the bread flour, salt, sugar and, finally, the yeast.
  2. Set bread machine to 'dough' cycle and start.
  3. Once the cycle has completed, remove dough from bread machine. If freezing all or a portion of the dough for future use, freeze at this point. Otherwise, cover and let dough rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. If butter has not been left out to soften, place in the microwave to soften.
  5. Roll dough out to roughly 12x20 (if yours ends up circular, don't sweat it, you can trim the edges afterward).
  6. Spread the softened butter onto the dough using a flexible spreader or large spoon.
  7. Spread the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly over the dough.
  8. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll and cut evenly into 12 rolls (cut roll in half, then cut each half into thirds and each third in half--clear as mud?)
  9. Place each roll into a 9x13 baking pan that has been sprayed with baking spray (here's my favorite spray)
  10. If making the night before, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator at this point. If making them now (waiting is too hard), preheat oven to 400 degrees F, cover and let them rise about 30 minutes.
  11. Bake buns about 15 minutes, or until beginning to turn golden brown and brown sugar is bubbly.
  12. Meanwhile, make the frosting by combining the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt in a mixer. Mix until combined.
  13. Immediately spread frosting on buns when they come out of the oven.