Another week, another muffin in Muffin Month!
Cinnamon rolls are a pretty rare treat around here. They’re a lot of work to make, so we usually end up ordering some from a fancy semi-local gourmet cinnamon roll shop. They’re really good, but they’re huge, and about a million calories.
My partner made them once before, years ago, and they were amazing. I love a good cinnamon roll for breakfast, but it’s way too much work for a regular breakfast muffin. Sure, you could make some the day before, but honestly, these muffins are a great replacement. Best of all, they’re easy to mix up and don’t require a stand mixer the way a lot of other muffins do.
This muffin recipe has three parts, and two of them can be customized.
First up is the muffin base. It’s a muffin, not a cinnamon roll, so it’s not a yeast dough. It’s a lot more like, well, a muffin, or a coffee cake; sweet, crumbly, not too dense but not as fluffy as a cinnamon bun.
Second is the topping. Some of the topping gets mixed into the batter for the muffin, but most of it goes on top. It’s basically a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and pecans. If you’re not a fan of nuts, replace them with an equal amount of raisins. If you don’t like raisins, add more nuts instead. If you don’t like either one, you’re kind of out of luck. I don’t think the recipe would be all that great without the texture the mix-ins add.
Third is the icing. Most cinnamon roll recipes call for just plain cream cheese icing, which is fine, but I think it’s a little boring. I add cinnamon to mine, to further accentuate the taste of the muffins. Leave it out if you like. Honestly, the muffins don’t even need it if you don’t want it, but it adds to the experience.
Enough with the chit-chat, though. I’m sure you want to know how to make them. You’re in luck! They’re super easy, and you can go from “gathering ingredients” to “eating a warm muffin” in 30 minutes. Here’s how.
Cinnamon Roll Muffins
- Muffin Tins
- Mixing Bowl
- Rubber Spatula
For the Muffins
- 2 Cups Flour
- 3 Tsp Baking Powder
- ½ Tsp Salt
- 3 Tbsp Butter Melted
- 1 Egg
- 1¼ Cups Milk
For the Topping
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
- ¾ Cup Pecans Coarsely Chopped
- ¾ Cup Raisins Rehydrated, See Recipe
- 3 Tbsp Butter Melted
For the Icing
- 2 Oz Cream Cheese Softened
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Milk
- ½ Tsp Vanilla
- ½ Tsp Cinnamon
Make the Topping
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Re-hydrate your raisins. Soak them in hot water for about 5-10 minutes, then let dry somewhat on paper towel. This step is technically optional or can be done somewhat in advance, but it helps with the texture of the raisins once baked.
- Combine the topping ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir in the melted butter until it's well incorporated, and set aside.
Make the Muffins
- Line your muffin tins with muffin cups, or simply grease them if you prefer.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center, and set aside.
- In another bowl, combine the milk, egg, and melted butter, stirring to mix up the egg.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients and stir until just barely combined, careful not to over-mix.
- Add half of the topping mixture and fold it in; this will finish mixing the muffins too.
- Fill your muffin cups with about a quarter of a cup of batter each, and top with the remaining topping.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 or so minutes while you prepare the icing.
Make the Icing
- Mix together the icing ingredients. Start with just 1 tablespoon of milk and add more if it's too thick.
- Once the muffins are mostly cool, drizzle icing over the top, and serve.