Christmas Morning Maple Cranberry Cinnamon Buns

What’s the best way to kick off Christmas morning? It definitely involves a brew, maybe a stocking and probably some form of bucks fizz. But if you want to kick it up a notch, why not serve up cinnamon buns for breakfast? Maple cranberry cinnamon buns sprinkled with chopped pistachios and drizzled with an orange glaze are the perfect way to make Christmas morning even more indulgent, especially as most of the hard work can be done the day before, so they’re ready to just stick in the oven first thing.

maple cranberry cinnamon buns

This is a combination of a couple of my older recipes, it takes the maple cranberries from my Christmas pancake recipe, and the overnight cinnamon buns I made last year, then it adds an orange wash, pistachios and a glaze. The cinnamon buns are delightfully light, especially when they’re fresh, perfect to pull apart. Arranged like a Christmas tree they’re also very visually impressive, ready for hungry and excited people to devour first thing in the morning.

Do you have any Christmas morning traditions?

Christmas cinnamon buns
Orange glazed cinnamon buns

Maple Cranberry Cinnamon Buns

Soft cinnamon buns filled with maple cranberries, drizzled with orange glaze and dusted with pistachios.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Overnight Proving8 hrs
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 12

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 235 ml warm milk not hot
  • ½ tbsp fast acting dried yeast
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 385 g + 2-4tbsp all-purpose flour divided
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • ½ tsp salt

For the filling

  • 90 g unsalted butter softened
  • 20 g granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 75 g fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp water

For the toppings

  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Zest of one orange
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 20 g pistachios chopped

Instructions

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle the yeast into the flour. Leave for a few minutes then whisk in 65g of the flour and 2tbsp sugar until combined. Cover with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature for 35-40minutes so it puffs up.
  • Whisk in the remaining sugar, egg, melted butter and salt.
  • Using a dough hook attachment, set to low and add in 320g of flour, 60g at a time, making sure the flour has incorporated well after each addition. Add flour a tablespoon at a time after this until the dough is no longer sticking to a fingertip. Set to knead for 10 minutes. It should be coming away from the sides of the bowl at the end.
  • Cover and allow to rise at room temperature for 2 hours (1 hour in an oven set to 35°C), until it’s doubled in size.
  • In a small saucepan heat the water with the cranberries for a few minutes until the water starts cooking off. Add the maple and cinnamon and cook over a low heat until it starts turning syrupy. 
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough into a 17″x10″ rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the top.
  • Whisk together the cinnamon and sugar, sprinkle the buttered dough generously all over. You’ll use all of it. Then, sprinkle over the prepared cranberries as evenly as you can.
  • Roll tightly, away from you along one of the long edges, to make a long a log.
  • Pinch the very ends together slightly, then cut them off to neaten. Divide into 12 even cinnamon rolls.
  • Place them cut side down in a prepared tin, spacing evenly to allow some space to rise, or else in a 2, 4, 3, 2, 1 formation to form a Christmas tree.
  • Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 7 hours. Overnight is preferable.
  • Remove from the fridge an hour before you want to cook them so they can return to room temperature. They’ll be puffy.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C(160°C fan assisted).
  • Remove the cling film, transfer to the center of the pre-heated oven and bake for 22-24 minutes, until the tops have gone golden.
  • While they are baking, combine the caster sugar in a small pan with the water and orange zest, whisking until the sugar has dissolved. Heat until it just starts to boil.
  • As soon as you’ve removed the cinnamon buns from the oven, brush them generously with the sugar syrup.
  • Leave to cool for a few more minutes before sprinkling with the pistachios.
  • Whisk the orange juice with the icing sugar until you’ve got a thick icing that should dribble off the whisk when lifted. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe over the buns in whatever pattern you desire.
  • Best served fresh.

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