Holiday Eggnog Cinnamon Buns

by Donna Cain

I believe in holiday traditions. I remember as a child always loving the same Christmas decorations, cookies and meals. Our family celebrations usually included turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, green beans, butternut squash, turnips, apple sauce with plenty of pies for dessert. This year we followed that tradition with a few changes and additions. Our daughter April started making homemade Eggnog Cinnamon Buns for our Christmas breakfast. She made them last year and everyone was so pleased when she offered to make them again this year. The buns are light, “gooey”, decadent with complex flavors that are over the top delicious!


Everyone thinks they are hard to make but really the steps are quite easy and just take a little time.

Holiday Eggnog Cinnamon Buns
Recipe type: Breakfast Rolls
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
We like to make these buns the day before and have them ready in the refrigerator to pop in the oven Christmas morning. We also make the creme fraiche a few days before by whisking together 2 cups heavy cream with 2 Tablespoons of buttermilk. Cover and place in a warm spot for 1-2 days until thick. The mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • 4 cups AP flour, plus ¼ cup for rolling
  • 1¼ cup eggnog, warmed
  • 1 packet (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup creme fraiche
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, browned and warm for filling
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 8 ounces creme fraiche
  • center beans from one whole vanilla bean
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon eggnog
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  1. Warm the eggnog gently in a small pot until lukewarm. Remove from the heat and stir in the yeast. Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes until bubbles form.
  2. While the yeast proofs, melt and brown 8 Tablespoons of butter in a stainless steel skillet. Swirl the pan often until the butter bubbles, foams and turns brown. This will take about 5 minutes. Pour the butter into a heat proof bowl.
  3. In a large bowl combine the yeast, eggnog mixture, eggs, creme fraiche, sugar, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, vanilla, brown butter and salt. Stir to combine well.
  4. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon, adding the flour in increments to make sure it is mixed well. Cover the bowl loosely with a plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place until double in size- about 2 hours
  5. After the dough has risen, sprinkle the additional ¼ cup flour onto a clean work surface. Turn the dough out and gently knead the additional flour into the dough to get a workable dough texture. Pat out into a 9 x 12 rectangle.
  6. In a bowl combine the dark brown sugar, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, 2 Tablespoons cinnamon. Smear 6 Tablespoons of butter onto the dough surface, leaving a 1 inch border on each side. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture on top of the butter.
  7. Gently roll up the dough and use your hands to pinch the dough to seal it. Shape into a long , even log. Cut the logs into 10-1 inch pieces using a bread knife and place in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Reshape each roll as needed. Cover loosely with saran wrap and let rise for 1 hour or place in the frig overnight.
  8. If you place in the frig, bring the rolls to room temperature before baking.
  9. Bake in a 350 oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  10. Allow to cool fully before frosting.
  11. In a medium bowl whisk together the 8 ounces creme fraiche, powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoons egg nog, vanilla beans and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg.
  12. Pour the icing over the cooled rolls.
These buns are not only delicious to eat and also the smells while baking are intoxicating:) We have decided to include a similar version (without the eggnog) in our summer meal rotation in 2016.


Enjoy and Happy New Years!

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