Almond cinnamon buns from the Island Eats cookbook

A no-fail recipe for delicious cinnamon buns from the new Island Eats cookbook

Image for Old Town Bakery's almond cinnamon buns

If you ask us, decreasing temperatures call for a correlative increase in one’s comfort food consumption, so having a no-fail recipe in your culinary arsenal is a must. 

In the latest installment in the Figure 1 award-winning city cooks series, Island Eats: Signature Chefs’ Recipes from Vancouver Island and the Salish Sea, authors Joanne Sasvari and Dawn Postnikoff combine a collection of signature dishes from Vancouver Island chefs.

This delicious almond cinnamon bun recipe comes courtesy of Ladysmith’s Old Town Bakery, where chef-owner Kate Cram’s creative cinnamon bun creations are considered among the best you can find on Vancouver Island.

Image for Old Town Bakery's almond cinnamon buns


1 ⅓ cups milk
4 cups flower, plus extra for dusting
2 ½ tsp instant yeast
¼ cup sugar
¾ tsp salt
2 eggs beaten
¼ cup (½ stick) butter, melted
canola oil, for greasing

Warm milk in a small saucepan to a temperature of 110°F. This is warm enough to activate the yeast, but not hot enough to kill it or cause it to overproof.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, warmed milk and butter and whisk together. Add wet mixture to the dry mixture. Using a dough hook, mix dough on low speed for 90 seconds, until just combined.

Increase speed to medium and mix for another 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky and may not completely clear the bottom of the bowl—this is to be expected.

Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, then cover with a dish towel. Set aside for 1 to 1½ hours, until dough has doubled in size.

Cinnamon-sugar filling

1 ¼ cups golden yellow brown sugar
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Set aside.

Cinnamon buns

Non-stick cooking spray, for greasing (optional)
flour, for dusting
½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
cinnamon-sugar filling
½ cup sliced almonds

Prepare a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.

Place dough on a floured work surface. Roll dough into an 18×10-inch rectangle. Using a spatula, spread butter evenly across the surface of the dough. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar on top. Scatter almonds evenly on top. Starting at one long side, roll up the dough into an 18-inch log.

Cut the log into 9 pieces, each 2 inches wide. Place cinnamon rolls face up into the prepared pan in 3×3 rows, evenly spaced. Cover with a dish towel and set aside for 30 minutes to rise.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

When the oven is ready, uncover the pan—the rolls will have risen and filled it—and place on the middle rack in the oven. Bake for 36 minutes in a convection oven (or 45 minutes in a regular one), until buns are lightly golden on top and the centre springs back when gently pressed. Set aside for 3 minutes to rest.

Carefully invert pan onto a baking sheet, being mindful that the sugar is very hot. Set aside for another 10 minutes to cool slightly.

Cream cheese frosting

½ cup cream cheese (half a 250g package)
3 tbsp butter, room temperature
¾ cup icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth and fluffy.

Ice buns and serve immediately.

Makes 9 cinnamon buns