Move over cinnamon rolls, Cinnamon Twists are easy and delicious! Just imagine a soft bread twist with brown sugar-cinnamon spread in the center and topped with cream cheese frosting (or on the side for a dip)! Yep, you want them!
We love cinnamon rolls at our house, but I don’t like the time it takes to make them! So I decided to make my easy breadsticks into cinnamon twists! They are so much faster, and I don’t miss cinnamon rolls at all! These Cinnamon Twists are amazing!
The Dough for Cinnamon Twists
If you have made my Easy Homemade Breadsticks, you know they are pretty easy and pretty much fail proof. They raise easily and bake up perfectly! Many times I have made cinnamon rolls only to have them not raise all the way or bake all the way, leaving me disappointed! With these Cinnamon Twists I never have to worry about them raising or baking correctly! They turn out perfect every single time and are so easy!
I use my Easy Homemade Breadstick recipe for these twists and you can have them out of the oven in under 90 minutes!
I use my stand mixer for this recipe with the dough hook attachment. First, you will proof your yeast in warm water and sugar, and then add in your salt and flour. I know I have enough flour when the dough is still soft but it pulls away almost cleanly from the mixing bowl. It will not be too sticky when you touch it.
After you have mixed the dough, you will cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let it raise until it is doubled in size. The time this takes is usually about 30-45 minutes. The time can vary depending on the temperature in your kitchen and a few other things that are boring so we won’t get into them! TIP: Set the bowl by the warm oven (preheat at 425 degrees) and it will raise faster!
The Cinnamon Twist Filling
The best part about a cinnamon roll is the filling. These Cinnamon Twists have the same filling you find in a delicious cinnamon roll!
You will take some very soft butter (not melted), brown sugar and cinnamon and mix it up! This will be the spread for the cinnamon twists!
I make the filling while my dough is raising. Also line a baking sheet (I use a half sheet pan) with parchment paper, or spray it with cooking spray so the twists don’t stick to the pan! See below for the sheets pan I use!
Making the Cinnamon Twists
Once the dough has doubled in size, place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll your dough into a large rectangle. Mine is roughly 12 x 18 inches. It shouldn’t be too thick, maybe 1/4 inch.
After you have rolled out a large rectangle, gently spread your cinnamon filling evenly on the dough, covering the entire piece of dough.
To cut the twists, you will cut them into 12 even long pieces. Cut them the width of the dough not the length. (so cut the them the fat way…they should be shorter than longer if that makes sense). **I am really mad I didn’t get photos of this…next time I will!
Take each piece of dough and fold it in half on top of each other, from one end to the other. Then hold each end and twist it up, turning each hand in the opposite direction of the other, making a twist! You should be able to see some of the filling peek out, it may even fall out and that is ok!
Take each twist and place then on your parchment paper lined baking sheet/half sheet pan. (Make sure you grease your pan if not using parchment paper!) 12 twists should fit perfectly on a half sheet pan.
Put a clean kitchen towel over your twists and let them raise again until noticeably bigger. Not quite doubled in size but they will most likely raise enough to touch each other! TIP: Put your baking sheet of twists near the warm oven and they will raise faster!
Baking your Cinnamon Twists
After the twists have raised again on the baking sheet, into the oven they go! Bake them at 425 for 8-10 minutes, or until they start to get golden brown on the tops and edges!
After they are done baking take them out of the oven!
Cream Cheese Frosting
I LOVE Cream Cheese frosting and prefer it over regular frosting. It’s a bit more rich and creamy and super sweet-perfect for a cinnamon twist!
While my cinnamon twists bake, I make my frosting. You can use a hand mixer or your stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Mix all the ingredients and set it aside while the twists bake.
To Frost or Not to Frost?
This one is totally up to you! In my opinion, there is nothing better than a hot cinnamon twist slathered in frosting right out of the oven (the same can be said for a cinnamon roll). I always steal a hot fresh cinnamon twist and cover it in cream cheese frosting.
So the question is do you frost them all, or leave them un-frosted and dip them in the frosting? It is really up to you! We do both at my house! Some like them frosted, some like to dip…and some do not like any frosting at all! (I know…unacceptable!) It is also up to you if you want them frosted while they are warm so the frosting melts on them, or you can wait for the twists to cool before frosting!
No matter how you eat them, frosted or not, I am betting these will be a new favorite treat at your house!
The Cinnamon Twists
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1 tbsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 to 4 cups all purpose flour *add more as needed when mixing- see notes
Brown Sugar Filling
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter, softened – NOT MELTED
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened *one block
- 1/2 cup butter, softened – NOT MELTED *one stick
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar *you can add more if you want it thicker, or more if you want it sweeter!
The Cinnamon Twists
- Preheat your oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease your baking sheet. ( I use a half sheet pan).
- In a stand mixer, using the dough hook, add your sugar and warm to the mixing bowl. Next, add in your yeast and give it a quick stir. Let the yeast proof, or sit for about 5 minutes, until it is foamy and bubbly.
- Add in your salt and 2 cups of your flour. Mix on medium speed. You should need at least 1 more cup of flour, if not more. (Mine usually take right about 3 1/2 cups of flour.) Keep adding flour, letting it mix in well until the dough pulls away from the mixing bowl. You will know you have added enough flour when the dough is slightly sticky but does not stick to your fingers too much. You can see the photos in the blog post above.
- Once the dough has enough flour let it continue to mix for 3-4 minutes on a higher speed. This will knead the dough for you. Let it continue to mix/knead until the dough becomes soft and smooth-5 minutes at the longest.
- After it has kneaded, take the dough hook out of the dough and keep the dough in the mixing bowl. Cover the mixing bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let it raise until doubled in size. Usually about 30 minutes. If you set your bowl of dough near the oven the heat will help it raise faster!
- Make your brown sugar filling while the dough raises. Just mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until mixed well. Set aside.
- After the dough has raised, take the dough and put it on a lightly floured surface.
- Roll the dough into a large rectangle. About 12 x 18 inches (it doesn't need to be perfect).
- Gently spread your brown sugar filling all over the dough making sure it is evenly spread and fully covered. I have found it is easiest to use my hands!
- Cut the dough into 12 strips. Make sure to cut them the shorter (width) way, so the dough is being cut into shorter strips not super long ones.
- Fold each strip in half (from one end to the other) so the filling is in the center. Twist the dough. Twist each end in opposite directions and it will make the perfect twist! It is okay if the filling comes out of the twist when you fold and twist them!
- Lay the twist on the parchment paper lined baking sheet (or greased baking sheet). Repeat until all of the strips of dough are twisted. **12 twists should fit perfectly on a half sheet pan.
- Cover the twists with a clean kitchen towel and let them raise until doubled in size. Mine usually only take 15-20 minutes. If you set your baking sheet of twists near the oven the heat will help them raise faster! They most likely will raise enough to touch each other – that is ok!
- Make your frosting. Just add all of the ingredients and mix well. I use my stand mixer with a whisk attachment or my hand mixer for the frosting, but you can mix it by hand also!
- After they have raised, place them in the oven at 425° and let them bake for 8-10 (or longer if needed). You will know they are done when the tops and edges get a little brown.
- Take the twists out of the oven when they are done!
- You can frost the cinnamon twists immediately after they come out of the oven so the frosting melts on them, or you can wait for them cool. We even like to leave them un-frosted and dip the twists in the frosting!
- Enjoy! Twists can be reheated for about 10 seconds in the microwave and will test fresh even the next day!