The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Cinnamon Buns - Alternate fillings

peppermintschnapps's picture

Cinnamon Buns - Alternate fillings

Can anyone suggest some alternate fillings for cinnamon buns (the roll up ones)? Would be interested in other sweet fillings, but don't want to have to change the dough, only the filling you spread on the dough before you roll it up.

I would like to try apple somehow, but not sure what to do with the apples, and maybe chocolate of some sort?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :-)

dstroy's picture

chocolate - would nutella work?

apples: fry them in a little butter? I've done that with cinnamon and poured the resulting goop over ice cream - it's very good that way.

Paddyscake's picture

Here are 2, one sweet,one savory :

I recently made Blueberry Cinnamon Buns. I tossed fresh blueberries with cinnamon and sugar and then rolled them up as normal.

Do the same with some chopped apples, toss with some cinnamon and sugar.

You could add chopped nuts, orange or lemon zest. Try the combos you like..



deblacksmith's picture

Of course I still am using my basic cinnamon and sugar fill first but I like roased pecans as one filling and rasians as another.  When I do this I use less of my cinnamon sugar mix.

One of the great things I learned here on TFL was to use a whole egg wash before adding my "filling"  It keeps the dough together for the most part.  I just wisk a whole egg with a little cold water and brush that on before my filling.

I think any fruit filling would work but I haven't tried that.  Sounds good so I think I would first try with a canned pie filling.


apprentice's picture

try pastry cream, i.e. a cooked custard. Then add your filling. To die for. Goes well with fruit of any kind. Try grated apples with your favourite spices and raisins.

For an upscale occasion, macerate dried strawberries in dark rum with a bit of simple syrup overnight. Drain the excess in the morning, so the fruit can air dry. Spread dough with softened butter instead of egg wash or pastry cream. Sprinkle dried strawberries on dough, top with toasted almond flakes. Roll up, slice. Apply a chocolate glaze. Add a few chopped almond slivers.

How about a poppyseed filling on top of the pastry cream "wash"?

Egg wash, cinnamon sugar and orange peel chopped very fine. Orange juice and icing sugar glaze on top after baking.

Apricot glaze instead of egg wash, then cinnamon sugar, streusel topping, finely chopped walnuts and craisins.


AKAlicious's picture

I absolutely love the strawberry idea.  I've printed it out and will be making it for my next houseguests!!!

eva_stockholm's picture

my favourite is custard mixed with a little heavy cream and soft butter and maybe some extra vanilla powder if the custard is on the bland side

another favourite is a mixture of ground hazelnuts, brown sugar and butter

or simply substitute the cinnamon in your standard filling with LOTS of ground cardamom

MaryinHammondsport's picture

What about apple butter? The best one I know of, brand name "Silver Forest", is pure apple and apple cider, cooked down with no sugar added. I'm sorry, but I'm afraid it's a local brand found at health food stores and the like, but maybe you could find something similar where you live. Then I might add finely chopped English walnuts.


The problem I see with using commercial apple butter for this is that it is too thin. One could probably boil it down some (preferably in a low oven) but then it would be overly sweet, because of the added sugar commercial brands have.


jenniferw's picture

I love the combination of dark chocolate and apricot. If you chop up some good chocolate in chunks like they do for pain au chocolat, and sprinkle them on top of the apricot jam (maybe add a T or 2 of flour to help keep it from melting too bad, I've dont that before)....

apprentice's picture

An excellent thread! Thought I would contribute this, too. Home bakers often don't have access to commercially prepared apricot glaze, which adds such a nice shine and extra flavour to cinnies when applied after baking. Might also work inside with some of the suggested fillings.

Here's the Culinary Institute of America base formula:

9 oz/255g apricot jam

6 oz/180 ml water

9 oz/255g corn syrup

1.5 oz/45 ml liquor such as rum

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and stir so that ingredients are well mixed. Bring to a boil, continuing to stir frequently. Use while still warm, applying to the items with a pastry brush.

Makes 25.5 fl oz/765 ml. I use about half the recipe to glaze one dozen large buns. Keeps well. Just reheat to use again.

txfarmer's picture

My favorite is cherry jam/preserve then a layer of chocolate cake crumbs, black forest rolls! Here's a picture:

xaipete's picture

Beautiful photo. The roll looks delicious.


ejm's picture

I made an apricot roll using dough that is very similar to cinnamon bun dough. It worked out quite well.

apricot filling ingredients for one apricot roll

  • ½ lb (225 g) dried pitted apricots, quartered
  • water, to cover apricots
  • small cinnamon stick
  • ¼ c (60ml) sugar
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • lemon zest

Wash the apricots to rinse off any coating that has been put on them for packaging. Quarter each apricot to ensure that there are no pits. Put the apricots in a small pot and just cover with cold water. Toss in a small cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, cover and turn the heat down to a simmer to allow the apricots to bubble gently for about 15 minutes til they are fork tender.

Apricot Roll recipe and instructions

The recipe that I was following was based on this Kuchen Roll filled with prune jam, which would probably be really good too. Or you could try using the prune filling I put into our vinarterta (Icelandic layer cake).

prune filling ingredients for one 9-inch-round 5 layered cake:

  • 1 lb pitted prunes
  • cold water
  • ¾ c regular sugar
  • ½ c cooking liquid
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon (yes, that really is a tablespoon)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla (yes, that really is a tablespoon)

Cut each prune in half to check for pits. Don't be tempted to leave this step out. Put prunes into a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil then simmer 10-15 minutes (til tender) Watch for burning! Drain and reserve liquid. Put prunes into food chopper and purée. Return prunes to pot. Add sugar, cooking liquid and cinnamon. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly until thick. Again, watch for burning! (Trust me, I know....) When the prunes resemble molten lava and allow you to see the bottom of the pot for a longer bit of time after a stir, they're probably ready. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Cool.

vínarterta recipe and instructions


In the first photo: apricot roll. In the second photo: sliced vínarterta on left; (Ginger Shortbread on right)

apricot roll (March 2008) Vínarterta and Ginger Shortbread - December 2006

xaipete's picture

Those look really delicious, Elizabeth. The apricot filling is esp. appealing to me.


ejm's picture

Both are really good, Pamela. I do have a weakness for apricot jam (but still haven't managed to make apricot jam that comes even close to the spectacular apricot jam I had years ago in a small hotel in the middle of France).

The prune filling is fabulous and I think it would work really well with cinnamon bun dough, especially if some freshly ground cardamom were added to the dry ingredients before kneading.


xaipete's picture

I use a French technique for my jam. Basically layer 1500 g pitted halved apricots with 1200 g sugar (3 layers of fruit-sugar, fruit-sugar, fruit sugar). Let macerate in the pan you are going to cook them in for 24 hours. Put apricots in a strainer and let them sit over the pot for about 20 minutes to drain off any remaining syrup. Boil the syrup with the juice of 1 lemon until it reaches about 234º, add apricots and 'almonds'*, boil 9 minutes or until thick enough. No pectin and less sugar than conventional apricot jam.

*'Almonds': crack open pits, boil 'almonds' for 1 minute. Slip skins and separate into halves.

This book's title is a bit of a misnomer: it has the recipes for all types of jams and jellies.


ejm's picture

Many thanks for this, Pamela. This is apricot season right now  and I'll look for some decent apricots. (It's been a pretty terrible year for fruit growers though - cool and rainy....)


apprentice's picture

Hello Elizabeth. Your mentioning the prune filling for vinartarta reminded me of an incredibly delicious prune filling I used with chocolate macaroons. Have to give David Lebovitz credit for the recipe; found it on his website. Am guessing it would need thinning with something like creme fraiche or whipping cream to serve as filling for sweet yeasted rolls.

Prune Filling

15 medium prunes, pitted (about 5 oz/150g)

2 1/2 oz/70g best-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped

2 T Armangnac

Cut prunes into quarters and pour boiling water over them. Cover and let stand until prunes are soft. Drain. Squeeze most of the excess water from prunes and pass through a food mill or food processor.

Melt the milk chocolate and the Armangnac in a double boiler or microwave, stirring until smooth. Stir into the prune puree.

This is probably the point at which I would add creme fraiche or similar. The mixture thickens upon cooling. So if adding cream later, you might have to use a blender or some such to whisk it in.

ejm's picture

Oh my!! (I'm afraid to look at this too closely. It sounds fantastic!)


P.S. Oops. Couldn't stop myself.

I think I'd be inclined to use dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate and not drain off so much of the soaking water or thin it with a little extra Armagnac.



Kuret's picture

I have made a filling with dried figs that were pureed in my blender (got smoking hot) mixed with almond paste and orange rind and everything held together with a bit of egg white.

i did

100g figs, 200g almond paste, 10g orange rind, 2 small or 1 large egg white enough to make the mixture spreadable.

This was enough for 20 buns.