Cranberry-orange morning buns


Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen post

Yield: 12 or 13 buns.


  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) butter, melted, plus additional to grease pan
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) buttermilk
  • Zest of 1 orange, finely grated (to be used in dough and filling, below)
  • 3 3/4 cups (470 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting counter
  • 1 packet (7 grams or 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse or kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable (no-taste) oil for bowl


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) butter
  • 3/4 cup (142 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1T ground cinnamon
  • 2 pinches ground clove
  • 1 cup (115 grams) fresh cranberries
  • a quarter of Orange zest leftover from above


  • 3 1/2 tablespoons (55 ml) orange juice
  • 1-2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar
  1. In the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, buttermilk and 3/4 of the orange zest together (saving the rest for the filling).
  2. Add 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; stir until evenly moistened.
  3. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining 1 3/4 cups flour and let the dough hook knead the mixture on low speed for 5 to 7 minutes. The dough should be soft and moist, but not overly sticky.
  4. Scrape the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl (I usually scrape my dough briefly onto the counter, oil the mixing bowl, and scrape the dough back into it) and cover it with plastic wrap or a towel in a warm area.
  5. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled, which will take between 2 and 2 1/2 hours. If your house is cold like mine, then put it under a lamp to warm it up.

Prepare the filling:

  1. Melt the butter and set it aside
  2. In a food processor, pulse the whole cranberries until they’re ground to a coarse rubble, but not fully pureed. You’ll need to scrape the machine down once or twice. Set them aside.
  3. Mix brown sugar, spices and zest in a separate bowl.

Assemble the buns:

  1. Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish, a heavier ceramic or glass dish is ideal here.
  2. Turn the risen dough out onto a floured work surface and roll it into a rectangle that is 18 inches wide (the side nearest to you, about the length of a rolling pin) and 12 or so inches long. (It’s okay if it goes longer/thinner.)
  3. Brush the dough with the melted butter. Sprinkle it with the brown sugar. Scatter the ground cranberries over it, then the remaining orange zest.
  4. Roll the dough into a tight, 18-inch long spiral. Using a sharp serrated knife, very, very gently saw the log into 1 1/2-inch sections (two fingers wide); you should get 12. Arrange the buns evenly spread out in your baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 16 hours.

The next morning, bake the buns:

  1. Take your buns out of the fridge 30 minutes before you’d like to bake them, to allow them to warm up slightly. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Bake your buns until they are puffed and golden (the internal temperature should read 190 degrees F), 25-30 minutes.
  2. Transfer pan to a cooling rack and let cool slightly.
  3. (First sift the powdered sugar?) Make the icing by whisking the orange juice and powdered sugar together. Spread a little on each bun, or drizzle it over the whole pan. Serve immediately.


Dec 7, 2013: Could use some cinnamon. Not as much frosting as the original calls for, nor the brown sugar.

Dec 15, ’13: did 1t cinnamon, plus a pinch of clove and a pinch of cardamom. Great results. Amma first wanted a taste, then stole an entire piece. M suggests putting the cardamom in the bread dough to spread out the flavors. Could use more zest. Maybe sift powdered sugar first.



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