Cinnamon and winter holidays go hand in hand, and these fragrant homemade cinnamon twists with cinnamon maple glaze are beautiful additions to a Yuletide brunch or afternoon tea.
I love making these early in the morning so my household can wake up to the smell of cinnamon-laced bread filling the entire house. They are beautiful eaten fresh from the oven with a generous drizzle of cinnamon glaze, or even cold with a smear of salted butter. While they’re best served the same day, they’re really nice the day after if you cut them in half, toast them until golden brown, and butter lavishly.
Homemade Cinnamon Twists Dough
Cinnamon twists are similar to cinnamon buns but with their own unique shape and no raisins. They start with a simple sweet dough, soft and malleable. I like to add a bit of spice to the dough to make them especially fragrant. A pinch of cinnamon and another of nutmeg are a delicious combination, just enough to enhance the flavor of the dough without overpowering it. I also like to substitute ground cardamom for the nutmeg, or powdered ginger.
I used white flour for these twists, but they’re also nice made with whole wheat flour or half and half. If you do make this substitute, be sure to add more liquid to keep the dough nice and supple. Whole wheat flour also has a stronger flavor, so increase the amount of spices to keep the flavors balanced.
Filling and Shaping Your Cinnamon Twists
While the dough is rising, you can make the filling — a luscious mix of dark brown sugar, cinnamon, and salted butter. Melt the butter, stir in the sugar and cinnamon, and mix well. Then set the filling aside to cool slightly.
Once the dough is rolled out, simply spread the warm filling evenly over the surface and cut into narrow, 1-inch strips. Take each strip, fold in half, and twist several times, holding in place for a few seconds to ensure each cinnamon twist holds its shape.
Then you’ll place the twists on a baking sheet covered with baking paper and let them rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes. When doubled in size, bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Remove to cool.
Glazing and Serving
These homemade cinnamon twists are nice with a simple vanilla glaze, but I like to amp up the flavor by adding more cinnamon and a teaspoon of maple extract.
When the cinnamon twists have cooled about five minutes, drizzle with the spiced glaze and serve warm or cold with softened salted butter.
These homemade cinnamon twists are best served with a nice, hot drink like strong coffee, our Comfort Cocoa hot chocolate mix, or a steaming cup of tea lightly sweetened with honey, sugar, or maple dust.
Try one with our Spicy Caramel Apple Cinnamon herbal tea flavored with ginger root, apple pieces, and a heady array of spices; Comfort Blend black tea with orange, cinnamon, and a hint of vanilla; or Porch Sippin’ Pecan black tea, a bold, vibrant, malty Orange Pekoe black tea from India laced with cinnamon chips and pecans.
Homemade Cinnamon Twists with Maple Glaze
- 1/3 cup butter
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 eggs
- 3 1/2 cups white flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast
- 1/3 cup butter
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
- 2-3 tablespoon whole milk
Place milk, sugar, butter, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir just until warm and butter is nearly melted. DO NOT let it boil.
In large mixing bowl, stir together yeast and 1 1/2 cups flour. Add warm milk mixture and eggs and beat with hand mixer for 2-3 minutes until flour is incorporated.
Add in remaining flour and stir well until dough comes together. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Shape into ball.
Lightly oil a medium mixing bowl, add dough, turn to coat all sides, then cover and set in warm place to rise for 1-2 hours until dough has doubled in size.
Punch dough down, set on lightly floured surface, and rest for 10 minutes.
While dough is resting, place 1/3 cup butter into small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Stir in dark brown sugar and cinnamon, and mix well. Set aside.
Roll dough into rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Spread filling evenly over dough. Cut dough into 1-inch strips.
Fold each strip in half then twist several times, holding ends for a few seconds to help twists keep their shape. Set twists about 2 inches apart on baking sheet lined with baking paper. Set in warm place and let rise 45 minutes until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bake cinnamon twists for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set on cooling racks.
While cinnamon twists are cooling, get a small bowl and whisk together powdered sugar, cinnamon, maple extract, and whole milk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cinnamon twists and serve warm.