Food & Drink

Christina Tosi's Famous Cinnamon Bun Recipe

Momofuku's Pastry Chef Remakes Mom's Classic

momofuku christina tosi's cinnamon bun pie!

You’ve got seasonal spirit, but you’re short on dough. Head to the kitchen armed with recipe riffs from our favorite bakers, pastry chefs, and chocolatiers, and you can bake, melt, and sugar-glaze your gifts this year.

Here’s a taste from Christina Tosi, who recalls the cinnamon buns her mother used to serve for breakfast on special occasions. (They were made with margarine and, well, “not so good,” she says now). Tosi took it upon herself to restore the doughy pastry to glory, and the (now) beloved swirls inspired the cinnamon bun pie (seen here) she created for Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City.

Christina Tosi’s Cinnamon Buns
Yields fourteen pieces


For the dough
2½ tsp. dry active yeast
¾ c. warm water
1½ c. warm milk
6 c. bread flour
2 tbsp. salt
1 c. sugar
2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature

For the filling
1 c. butter, at room temperature
1½ c. light brown sugar
2 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. salt

For the cream cheese frosting
½ c. butter
1½ c. cream cheese
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp. salt

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water and milk.

2. Knead in dry ingredients. Add butter. Let rise for 45 minutes.

3. After the 45-minute rise, roll out dough into a long rectangle and spread butter over its surface. Sprinkle it with a generous amount of light brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

4. Roll up the rectangle into a long cylinder. Cut into fourteen, 2-inch pieces. Place in a greased 9-by-13-inch pan or two 10-inch pie pans and cover with plastic. Let rise another 45 minutes before baking 12-22 minutes at 375°.

5. To prepare the frosting, mix butter, cream cheese, extract, sugar, and salt thoroughly.

6. While the buns are still warm, spread the frosting generously over them and serve immediately. Watch as they disappear before your very eyes.

Photo: Janelle Jones

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