The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cinnamon buns fall while cooling - a problem

GAPOMA's picture

Cinnamon buns fall while cooling - a problem

I made a 9x12 pan of cinnamon buns and I've got a problem.  I have made this recipe several times, and the buns taste Great!  In making them the dough feels great, it rises nicely, the buns roll out and cut just fine, and after the second rise they look simply awesome!  Even when they come out of the oven they look (and smell) wonderful.  However, as they cool, the center two buns "fall".  I make 12 buns in my 9x12 metal cake pan (3 rows of 4 buns).  The outer buns stay nice and tall on the side next to the pan wall, but slope toward the center of the pan.  The center two buns are maybe half the height of the outer edge, and maybe half as tall as they were when they came out of the oven.

I suspect my problem has to do with oven temperature and time, but I follow the recipe I have religiously (375' oven; 18-20 minutes).  After 20 minutes the buns are quite brown on top, and I would hesitate to leave them in longer as I fear they would become too dark.  Any suggestions???

alabubba's picture

Do you take the breads temp? It sounds like the middle of the pan is not getting cooked all the way. Bread is generally done at 195°C

Marni's picture

Have you checked to make sure your oven is truly at 375?  The temperature is off by quite a bit in many ovens.  You'll need an oven thermometer to check. The falling center sounds underdone to me too.


GAPOMA's picture

Thanks Alabubba and Marni.  I agree, they sound underdone. 

Alabubba, I have not taken the temperature of the buns.  I usually do this from the bottom of a loaf when I make bread.  I assume I can do this through the top of the cinnamon buns?

Marni - I actually have taken the temperature of my oven, and I'm not off by much (<5'F).  In addition I allowed the oven to warm up a full hour before baking yesterday.  I do have a baking stone, but didn't use it yesterday.  I have used it before and had similar "falling" results.  I always kind of blamed the stone for this, so I decided to go without the stone yesterday.  Guess I was wrong :)

May try another batch tonight to see if I can measure the temperature in both the center and outer edge of the pan.

Does anyone think I should try lower temperature and longer time?  (Say 350' for 40 minutes?)


dghdctr's picture

To allow the center two buns to bake completely without significantly over-baking the rest of the pan, you'll need to lower the temperature by anywhere from 10 to 25 degrees F (a guess).  This can happen when baking lots of different panned products that have a relatively wide dimension.  For that matter, it can happen when you bake a very large loaf of bread -- like a Miche -- and the temperature is set a little too high.

Baking has its scientific components that should be adhered to where appropriate, but there's no author out there who can definitively tell you what temperature will work for their product with your ingredients and baking conditions.  All the writer can really do is give you the figures that worked for them, with their ingredients and equipment, on the day the recipe was tested.  The numbers they give you -- when applied to your conditions -- are good estimates at best.

The better authors, I think, will explain this fact somewhere in their book -- possibly in an introduction or sidebar near the formulas.  In any case, if we wait until a special occasion to bake a recipe for the first time, we'll find out the hard way about how almost any unfamiliar recipe and its procedures may need to be adjusted -- anywhere from a tad to a whole lot.  If you take it casually and play with a recipe with an eye toward making some minor adjustments the next time around, you should get optimal results by just the second or third try.  That's the best way to bake for special occasions -- only make items you've made at least several times before successfully, and don't change the ingredients or temp conditions for your baked items once you're happy with them.

Moving the temperature of an unfamiliar recipe 5 or ten degrees one way or the other is common, especially since an oven's interior dimensions, its heat source, and its heat-retentive abilities can be so different one from one to another.  Even a 20-25 degree adjustment isn't unheard of when calibrating things to your own oven characteristics or other baking conditions.

--Dan DiMuzio


Rockyrd's picture

Have you tried either a different sized pan or a pyrex pan? Just wondering.....


GAPOMA's picture

Made another batch last night, and they turned out fine.  I dropped the temperature to ~360'F, baked them for 35 minutes, and checked the temperature of the center buns.  At 25 minutes they were only at 150', but by 35 minutes they were up to 197'.

They were getting pretty brown on top, so after 20 minutes I put a loose layer of foil on top which seemed to slow down the browning.

Thanks to all for your great advice!!