Oxbow's apple cinnamon buns

A recipe for this ever popular breakfast pastry (or snack) by chef Quinn Staple from the Calgary Eats cookbook.

Image for Oxbow's apple cinnamon buns

What's more comforting than a warm and gooey cinnamon bun when you wake up on a cold morning? At Calgary's Oxbow, located at Hotel Arts Kensington, guests can find these signature sweet apple cinnamon buns topped with streusel and warm bourbon caramel sauce--perfect for fall and winter--by chef Quinn Staple. If you can't make it to the hotel, try making them at home with his recipe from the 2019 Calgary Eats cookbook. 

Image for Oxbow's apple cinnamon buns



2 tsp dry active yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 cup pastry flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cubed and then left to warm to room temperature, plus extra for greasing

In a small bowl, combine yeast and lukewarm water and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the yeast mixture and eggs, beating for 1 minute.

In another bowl, combine both flours, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add to the stand mixer and mix for 5 minutes on medium speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Reduce speed to low and mix for 1 minute. 

Add butter 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) and beat for 1 minute. Repeat three more times with the remaining butter, then beat for 10 minutes on medium speed.

Grease and lightly flour a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 3 hours, or until doubled in size. 

Apple filling

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

In a bowl, combine sugar, butter and cinnamon. Add apples and toss.

Streusel topping

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except butter. Using your fingers, cut in butter until mixture is coarse and crumbly. Refrigerate until needed.

Bourbon caramel sauce

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp Bourbon
1 tbsp unsalted butter

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1/2 cup water. (Don’t get any sugar on the sides of the pot above the water.) Bring mixture to a boil, then add lemon juice. (Don’t stir, as it can cause the sugar to seize or clump and burn.) Cook for 4 minutes, or until mixture turns a dark golden colour.

Remove pan from heat. Carefully pour in cream and bourbon (they will splatter and spit) and whisk. Stir in butter and warm through over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside. 



all-purpose flour, for dusting
1 tbsp butter, melted, plus extra for greasing

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square cake pan. 

Turn dough onto a floured work surface and roll into a rectangle 1/2 inch thick. Brush dough with butter and liberally scatter apple filling on top. Cut dough in half lengthwise.

Roll dough up lengthwise into a tight cylinder, 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 1-inch-thick rolls. Loosely pack the rolls, face side up, into the prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. 

Sprinkle streusel over top and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside for 10 minutes, then pour over bourbon caramel sauce and serve.

Note: Any unbaked rolls can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 1 month. To bake, pack the frozen rolls into a greased baking dish and set aside for 3 to 4 hours, until doubled in size. Bake as directed in the recipe.

6 servings