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Monday 24 January 2011

Baking for Beginners: Cinnamon Whirls

So, on the downside, it's January, we're skint and it's freezing. On the upside, it's an excellent excuse to stay in and bake, and then pummel in as many hot carbs as possible before slipping into a delicious, yeasty coma. Mmmm. These cinnamon whirls are comforting, cheap and easy to make, and ideal for breakfast. Or brunch. Or, you know, lunch and dinner. Make a trayful, invite your friends over, expect to have done left.

This is a Nigella recipe, of course. No-one does comfort food like her.

Recipe slightly adapted from Nigella's Norwegian Cinnamon Buns recipe

Cinnamon Whirls - makes about 20

You will need:

For the dough:
  • 600g plain flour
  • 100g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 21g dried yeast. Yes, 21g, as in 3 sachets. Honest.
  • 100g butter
  • 300ml milk
  • 2 eggs
For the filling:
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 150g sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
Make it!
  1. Preheat the oven to 230C / gas mark 8.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Melt the butter, whisk it into the milk and eggs, then stir it into the flour mixture. Mix it to form a soft dough, then knead it until it's soft and springy, adding more flour if it's too sticky. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise for about 25 minutes.
  3. Line a roasting tin or large brownie tin with baking paper. Take a third of the dough and stretch it to fit the base of the tin - this will form the base of your buns.
  4. Roll out the rest of the dough into a rectangle of roughly 50 x 25cm. Mix the filling ingredients in a small bowl and spread it evenly over the rectangle.
  5. Roll it up from the longest edge into a giant sausage. Cut it into 2cm thick slices which should make about 20 rounds. Sit them on the dough in the tin, swirly cut-side up. Don't worry if they don't fit snugly as they will puff up (thanks to all that yeast). Brush them with egg and let them rise for about 15 minutes.
  6. Bake them for 20-25 minutes, until they're risen and golden-brown. Don't worry if they slightly burn in places. Leave them to cool slightly on a rack, then tear them off to eat warm.
Add whatever you want to the filling; I'm tempted by trying raspberry jam, ground almonds or hazelnuts next time. So what are you waiting for - why not give them A WHIRL? (Sorry. I tried not to make that joke but the temptation was too great. It won't happen again.) (It almost certainly will.)


  1. Sounds super... I'll be making these soon!

  2. YUM! I AM tempted to run over to my kitchen and start. I have all I need in the pantry!
    I have to study...
    So Now I'm going to stop thinking about these, really, I am. No really...
    Darn it!

  3. Charlotte, they can be a lovely treat once you've finished studying. Give yourself a deadline, work super hard, then get baking!

  4. Funnily enough I'm skint and thinking of things I can bake with what I have in my cupboards. I do believe I have just found the perfect recipe. My family and I love cinnamon so these are bound to be a hit. Thank you!

  5. Hahaha, that made me smile!
    Thank you Sara.
    I think I will save them for the weekend, for breakfast.
    And now, I will stop lingering here and get back to work. Really I am!

  6. Ooo these look yum! Having one of these for breakfast would definitely set me up for the day, mentally at least!

  7. *drools* I love cinnamon. And apparently it speeds up the metabolism so eating these is going to make me lose weight, non?

  8. My flatmate doesn't like Cinnamon or Jam, so I plan to try Chocolate Spread... quite excited now! x

  9. Pops, there are people who don't like cinnamon?!

  10. Wow I just tried this recipe out last week, but mine has a big change to it, not quite nigella has a wonderful recipe for coconut pullapart rolls, the coconut is suppose to last for the entire amount of dough, but instead I do half and half. Half the dough for cinnamon, half for coconut. We like the stronger taste of coconut. We really love this recipe. I have made it 3 times this week. And it doesn't last very long!
    And I add cinnamon and ground Ginger to the dough, if like me you found it bland, not to much so you can taste it over the filling but enough to give the dough some kick.

  11. I'll be honest, cinnamon isn't my favourite spice. It's great in small doses, or with something else (usually apples), but people tend to be very heavy handed with it so I avoid it a lot of the time. But if someone made me a batch of these, I wouldn't complain. In fact I need some just to see if I like them...

  12. I made this last night - and it turned out to be absolutely gorgeous!! I now am addicted. Literally. Cinnamon whirls are fabulous.

  13. Yay Mitra! They are an excellent thing to be addicted to.


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