Aunt Lucy’s Cinnamon Buns

  • prep time15 min
  • total time 135 min
  • serves 24

This recipe is more than 100 years old, passed down from mother to daughter for as long as our family can remember. My great-aunt Lucy made us a batch of these sweet, gooey buns whenever she visited and always let my brother and I eat as many as we pleased.

Courtesy of Colleen Fisher Tully, Toronto

152 Ratings
Directions for: Aunt Lucy’s Cinnamon Buns



¾ cup (175 mL) packed brown sugar

½ cup (125 mL) soft butter

1 - 2 Tbsp (15 ro 30 mL) cinnamon


1 ½ cups (375 mL) hot water

1 cup (250 mL) milk

½ cup + 2 tbsp (155 mL) granulated sugar

½ cup (125 mL) butter

1 tsp (5 mL) salt

1 cup (250 mL) lukewarm water

2 Tbsp (30 mL) sugar

3 pkg (approximately 21 g each) active dry yeast

6 - 7 cups (1.5 to 1.75 L) all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp (15 mL) melted butter, for brushing dough



1. In bowl, mix together brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Set aside.


1. In large bowl, stir together hot water, milk, ½ cup (125 mL) of the granulated sugar, butter and salt. Set aside to cool (butter will melt).

2. In medium bowl, combine lukewarm water and remaining sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Stir in yeast; let rise until foamy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir.

3. Stir yeast mixture into butter mixture. Stir in 2 cups (500 mL) of the flour. Stir in 3 cups (750 mL) of the flour, 1 cup (250 mL) at a time, until dough is sticky and soft.

4. On floured work surface, knead dough for 10 to 15 minutes. Continue kneading, sprinkling in flour just until dough is elastic. Place dough in greased bowl; brush with melted butter and cover with tea towel. Let rise for 25 to 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

5. Punch dough down; divide in half, leaving half in bowl. On floured work surface, using rolling pin, roll half of the dough to about ½-inch (1 cm) thickness, forming rectangle.

6. Brush dough with brown sugar mixture. Roll up, jelly roll–style, ending seam side down. With sharp knife, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick slices. Place, cut side down, in greased 13- x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish. Cover with tea towel; let rise until doubled in size, about 25 to 30 minutes.

7. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly. Carefully turn out over parchment paper (buns should come out as one piece with gooey cinnamon-sugar sauce resting on top).

8. Tip: The other half of the dough can be made into dinner rolls.

See more: Bake, Brunch, Comfort Food, Dessert, Eggs/Dairy, Great Canadian Cookbook, GCC comfort food, GCC cinnamon buns

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