Fluffy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Buns

Eight large fluffy sourdough discard cinnamon buns cooling in a large baking dish.

Up at the tippity top of the Sunshine Coast is a quaint and cozy bakery tucked into the forest called the Skookumchuk Bakery & Cafe. Once upon a time I worked there. While my stay was brief (my Mom’s health took a serious downturn shortly after I started) and the long, twisty drive there in the dark made my stomach turn a little, it was one of the best baking experiences I’ve had so far.

If you’ve ever had the privilege to visit this bakery you know that they make the most epic cinnamon buns around. They are called a “Skookum” cinnamon bun for a reason. Huge, super fluffy and soft with the just right amount of cinnamon and sugar swirled in the bun, these cinnamon buns are to die for… and I’ve been trying to re-create something even remotely similar ever since.

I tried, and failed, when I worked at a local bakery here in town. They just did not compare and I didn’t have the time or energy to tinker and get it right. Then last Summer my hubby, daughter and I went camping up the coast, visited the Skookumchuk Bakery and managed to snag one of the last cinnamon buns. It was as delicious as I remembered and had me driven to try again.

When I tasted these fluffy sourdough discard cinnamon buns still warm from my oven, it took me right back to last Summer. I knew I had found my mark. These buns are BIG, they are fluffy and soft and they are filled with a decadent swirl of cinnamon and brown sugar. While its not required to use sourdough discard (see my note at the bottom of the recipe below), it adds additional flavour, suppleness to the dough and is a very tasty way to use up extra discard!

Happy baking!

Sophie

One fluffy sourdough discard cinnamon bun covered with cream cheese icing sitting on a small round white plate.

If you liked this recipe you are going to love these ones!

Cinnamon Raisin No Knead Spelt Bread
Chocolate Hazelnut Swirl Spelt Bread
Bavarian Walnut Spelt Stollen

Fluffy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Buns

Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Keyword Cinnamon Buns
Servings 8 large buns
Author Sophie

Ingredients

Cinnamon Bun Dough

  • 14 grams active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 135 grams granulated sugar
  • 115 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 190 grams homogenized milk
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 100 grams sourdough discard at 100% hydration (ie. half flour, half water)
  • 525 grams all purpose flour

Cinnamon/Sugar Filling

  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 100 grams dark brown sugar
  • 76 grams unsalted butter at room temperature

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 56 grams full fat cream cheese
  • 28 grams unsalted butter
  • 150 grams icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Cinnamon Bun Dough

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast and sugar. Set aside. In a medium saucepan add the butter and milk then warm on low until the butter melts and the mixture reaches 95 degrees F. Add the warm mixture to the yeast/sugar and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Let sit for approximately 10 minutes to allow the yeast to dissolve and get foamy (skip this step if using instant yeast). Fit the stand mixer with the dough hook and turn to low speed. Add the eggs one at a time and then the salt. With the mixer running on low add the sourdough discard and then the flour. Increase to medium speed and beat the dough until it is soft, smooth and supple, approximately 5 minutes.

  2. Cover the bowl and allow to proof in a warm spot for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size (proofing at 82 degrees F took approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes).

  3. Grease the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper. Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Roll the dough out evenly into a rectangle approximately 10×16 inches.

Cinnamon/Sugar Filling

  1. In a small bowl combine the cinnamon and sugar for the filling. Spread the butter all over the dough leaving the top 1 inch uncovered. Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture evenly over top of the butter. Roll up the dough tightly to form a 16 inch log. Pinch the uncovered dough at the top to the log to seal it closed. Cut into 8 large buns and place them in the greased baking dish. Cover the rolls tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rise for about 2 hours or until doubled OR place in the fridge overnight for up to 12 hours.

  2. If the buns were in the fridge overnight, remove them and allow to proof in a warm spot for 1-2 hours until they are puffy (at 82 degrees F this took about 1 hour).

  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, remove the aluminum foil from the buns and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top. If the buns are browning too quickly cover them loosely with the aluminum foil about halfway through the bake time. Remove from the oven and allow the buns to cool in the pan on a wire rack while you make the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a medium bowl with a hand held mixer beat the cream cheese and butter together on high until smooth. Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract then beat again on low to combine. Once combined, beat on high for 2 minutes. Spread the frosting over the warm rolls before removing them from the pan or remove the rolls first and let everyone serve themselves frosting.

Recipe Notes

  1. To make these cinnamon buns without sourdough discard, replace the all purpose and milk in the dough with the following amounts:
    • 575 grams all purpose flour
    • 240 grams homogenized milk

6 thoughts on “Fluffy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Buns

  1. I made these and they came out really delicious but I struggled at a couple of points. When I mix the dough, it is extremely wet and doesn’t come into a ball. On my first attempt, I added more flour, and that worked but on my second attempt today, I decided to go strictly with your recipe. I have one hell of a mess to clean up right now. Although I love the recipe I think you could add a few more details. I also went by 25 minutes bake time, they certainly were browned, but felt that they were still a little under done. My oven temperature is correct. Again, a few more details about consistency would be helpful. I’m still keeping this recipe and will figure it out on my own if I have to because they were really delicious.

    1. Hi Kim, sorry to hear you’ve had troubles with the recipe! I have made these a bunch of times and haven’t had issues with the dough being too wet. Is it possible that you are using all purpose white spelt flour instead of all purpose wheat flour? I’m not sure what else would be the culprit. Definitely bake them longer if needed, hence the “or until golden brown on top” in the instructions. 😉

    1. Hi Cassandra, yes I’m sure that’s a possibility. I have not tried a straight sourdough version of these yet. Let me know how it goes!

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