Spelt Cinnamon Buns with Flaky Biscuit Dough

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Spelt cinnamon buns recipe: made with a flaky biscuit dough and filled with richly flavoured Demerara sugar.

Spelt cinnamon buns made with a flaky biscuit dough and filled with richly flavoured Demerara sugar.

When I was in my senior year of university my roommate Val and I rushed off every morning to the Sunflower Café for a cup of tea and a giant whole wheat cinnamon bun. The buns were made from biscuit dough and filled with dark damp Demerara sugar. We’d arrive just as the café opened so the buns were still warm from the oven with crunchy edges and soft, cinnamon centres. It was a very gentle way to start the day, especially before rushing off to an 8:15 class. On most days I’m sure it was the buns that got us out of bed.

During grad week of our senior year we arrived at the café to see posted on the board “Cin Twins Special”. It was very funny (we didn’t know they had a nickname for us) and a touching send off.

I have always loved cinnamon buns and those made with biscuit dough are my favourite. I never did get the recipe from the Sunflower Café but this version comes pretty close. I use my great grandmother’s biscuit recipe and a damp Demerara sugar that I have only been able to find at Bulk Barn. You can use brown sugar for the filling but it can’t compare to the flavour and texture of the Demerara.

The key to keeping these buns flaky is to use cold, hard butter, not work the dough too much and roll out the dough gently.

Spelt Cinnamon Buns 

For the dough:

  • 3 ½ cups flour (2 cups whole white, 1 ½ cups whole wheat or spelt)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, very cold and cut into pieces
  • 1 1/3 cups milk, soured with 1 Tbsp fruit vinegar (can use nut or seed milk)

For the filling:

  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup Demerara sugar

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
  2. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until it’s pea-sized.
  3. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk. Stir gently with a fork until the dough just comes together (there will still be flour in the bottom of the bowl).
  4. Scrape the dough onto a lightly-floured counter – leftover flour and all – and knead until it just comes together,
  5. Roll out gently into a 10” by 13” rectangle.
  6. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Starting with the long side closest to you, roll it into a log.
  7. Pinch the two ends together a bit and lay the log seam side down.
  8. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the log into about 12 pieces (1” to 1 ½ “ each).
  9. Lay them on a parchment lined baking sheet, with a little space in between.
  10. Bake at 400 F for about 25 minutes, until brown on the outside and set in the middle. 


One Comment

  1. Spelt cinnamon rolls, love the recipe, have tried a dozen versions prior to & not found the old fashioned "mom's biscuits like when I was a kid" Any of your recipes have proven a success. Keep up the great work & keep sending the wonderful recipes.



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