Bread, Breakfast

Cinnamon Buns

March 5, 2017

There seems to be a debate on whether or not you call these delicious baked goods rolls, or buns. I guess it depends what your parents called them growing up, or where you live. They could be sweet buns, sticky rolls, sticky buns, cinnamon rolls or cinnamon buns. Either way, they’re delicious. 

For the purpose of this post, I’m going to call them buns.

Because, when you say you’ve got a ‘roll in the oven’ – it doesn’t quite have the same meaning. 

Yup – We’ve got a ‘bun in the oven’ – and not just the cinnamon type 🙂 

Adam and I are so insanely excited to announce we have a new little baker arriving this august.

photo: paige hilker photography

It was so hard keeping it a secret for three months. And today, I’m actually four months pregnant. It’s crazy how everything changes once you find out you’re going to be parents. The first few months went by slowly, keeping a secret during the holidays, being exhausted, sleepless nights (hello insomnia) and some definite cravings (toasted tuna sandwiches at 4 am….)

However, the second trimester has brought energy and sleep (thank god for snoogles).

This is also a reason why it’s been a little quieter on the blog front. Not a whole lot of baking has gone down, and even less energy to blog and upload posts. I’ve actually been really lucky (fingers crossed) that I’ve felt pretty good so far. No real morning sickness (thankfully) and no other crazy pregnancy symptoms. I actually didn’t think I was pregnant when we found out – though we were planning on it. I’m hoping this stays the same for the rest of the pregnancy!

I’ll share some pregnancy updates and stories on the blog as we go. And there will be lots of cinnamon buns in the future.

For now, old man winter has decided to stick around forever. It’s currently snowing outside – again. Just when you think it’s over, and spring is around the corner, it snows. Personally I’ve had enough of it. I’m ready for sunny days – heck, even rainy ones. Anything but snow. Enough with the snow.

Snow just means more days cozying up inside baking. These cinnamon buns are a labour of love (pun intended).

If you’ve never made cinnamon buns before, don’t be intimidated by the lengthy process. It’s actually quite easy and the end result, a warm sticky cinnamon scented treat, is well worth the effort. Kind of like babies. 

Make these on the weekend to enjoy all week long.

And pray that winter is over. Soon.

Cinnamon Buns
Deliciously soft, fluffy cinnamon rolls topped with pillowy cream cheese frosting.
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  1. Dough
  2. 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  3. 1/4 cup warm water, 105-110˚ F
  4. 1/3 cup sugar
  5. 1/4 cup coconut oil
  6. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  7. 3 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour (plus more for kneading)
  8. Filling
  9. 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, softened
  10. 3/4 - 1 cup, packed brown sugar
  11. ground cinnamon
  1. 1 cup vegan cream cheese OR regular light cream cheese, softened
  2. 1/2 cup vegan butter / butter
  3. 3-4 cups powdered icing sugar
  4. Almond Milk
  1. Add yeast a small bowl and add warm (not too hot) water; gently stir to combine then add a pinch of sugar and set aside until foamy (15-20 minutes). A thermometer helps to ensure water is not too hot, otherwise it will kill the yeast (i.e. dough will not rise)
  2. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the coconut oil then whisk in the sugar and almond milk. Cook for about 2 minutes, just until the mixture is hot, then remove from heat and set aside to cool. Use a thermometer to gauge when the temperature has dropped below 110˚ F.
  3. In a large stand mixer with mixing bowl, whisk flour. Create a well in the center and pour in the prepared yeast and cooled almond milk mixture.
  4. Using the dough hook gently stir on low setting until the flour is completely combined. You may stop the mixer and use a spatula around the outside to ensure all flour is combined.
  5. Continue to knead dough until it is elastic and soft. About 4-5 minutes on speed setting 4/5 (medium speed).
  6. Alternatively, you can knead dough by hand on floured surface.
  7. The kneaded dough should be slightly sticky.
  8. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover with a towel, and store in the warmest part of your house for 1-2 hours, or until doubled. I like to set it near the heater, and wrap a blanket around it as well.
  9. Line a 9″ square baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.
  10. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon (as much as you'd like, about 1 tbs); set aside.
  11. Clear off a workspace on your counter and sprinkle with flour.
  12. Gently punch down the dough then remove from bowl and knead between your hands for 1-2 minutes, just until you’ve worked out the big air bubbles.
  13. Once kneaded, place the dough on the prepared surface and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. If you don’t let it rest, it will be difficult to roll.
  14. Roll the dough out into a 12×18 rectangle. Use a pastry brush (or the back of a spoon) to spread the coconut oil/butter then sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar.
  15. Starting at the long end, roll the dough into a log, slice into nine segments, and place them in the prepared pan. Cover pan with a towel and let the rolls rise for (1) one hour in the warmest part of your house.
  16. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350˚F. Brush the tops of the cinnamon rolls with coconut oil (if desired) then bake at 350˚ F for 26-28 minutes, or until golden.
  17. Remove rolls (along with the paper) from pan and set on a wire rack to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
To make the frosting
  1. You can leave the cinnamon rolls as they are, but my favourite part is the gooey cream cheese frosting on top.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy with stand mixer or hand-held mixer.
  3. Add the butter and continue to whip until soft.
  4. Add in the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time and beat until fully incorporated. You may wish to add more depending on consistency.
  5. Add almond milk a few Tbs. at a time, until you've reached desired consistency. You may want a thicker frosting, or a thinner one.
  6. Once finished, spread evenly over top slightly cooled cinnamon buns. Serve warm.
  1. Store cinnamon buns on counter for 2-3 days.
  2. I have also frozen fully cooked cinnamon buns. Thaw, and frost when ready to serve.
Adapted from Oh, Ladycakes
Adapted from Oh, Ladycakes
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Caramelized Peach Compote

February 25, 2017

Caramelized Peach Compote //

Caramelized Peach Compote //

During the week breakfast is usually something quick like oats, a smoothie, cereal or even sometimes just a banana. Monday to Friday breakfasts are quick – i.e. bland or boring. 

The weekend? Well that’s reserved for more extravagant, labour of love breakfast types like waffles, french toast, omelettes, or, pancakes. Pancakes are my go-to for the Saturday morning. I love to make a big batch that will last until Sunday. 

However, plain ol’ pancakes can get boring too. Sometimes they need to be kicked up a notch. The best, easiest way to take your pancakes to the next level is to top them off with a warm, saucy compote. 

That’s why the best part about going out for brunch – or even better, a buffet when on holiday, or the weekend – is the pancake bar. Stacks upon stacks of steamy hot pancakes and an endless choice of toppings like fresh fruit, whipped cream, sauces and fruit compotes. 

With canned California cling peaches, you can create that same brunch-worthy compote at home any day of the week – any time of year. 

Caramelized Peach Compote //

You can find California cling peaches packed in their own juices with no preservatives – which makes it perfect for creating a caramelized compote. The sugars in their own juices make for a great sauce. In fact, California cling peaches are picked and packed usually within 24 hours to ensure they retain their appearance, texture, flavour and nutritional content.


Did you know that when cooked, canned peaches maintain their shape and firmness better than fresh or frozen? That means they’re perfect for compote!

Caramelized Peach Compote

  • 1 can California cling peaches, drained and juices reserved
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbs. coconut sugar
  • cinnamon, optional 
  1. Drain and reserve juices from the can of cling peaches. Set aside.
  2. Dice peaches, set aside.
  3. Over medium heat, add 1 tsp. coconut oil and 4 tbs. reserved peach juice to small saucepan.
  4. Add 1 tbs. coconut sugar and stir with spatula to combine.
  5. Allow to heat slowly for three to four minutes until beginning to caramelize, turning down to simmer. Add more reserved peach juices if you like. 
  6. Add diced peaches and allow to continue to cook on simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. You can sprinkle with cinnamon if you like. 
  8. Serve warm, over your favourite pancakes or waffles. 

Thanks to California cling peaches for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

You can follow California Cling Peaches on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest for more recipes.

Bars & Squares, Chocolate

Peanut Butter Cup Bars

February 12, 2017

Husband, take note. The way to my heart is with peanut butter and chocolate. 

Hands down the best, most delicious, flavour combination. You can’t go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate. 

Valentine’s Day has become the hallmark holiday for heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. However, those chocolates are usually waxy, filled with cherry goo (yuck), and milk chocolate creations. Unless, you shell out the big bucks. 

OR – you could take the square approach, and make these Peanut Butter Cup Bars that are sure to beat out any store-bought confections. 

I had made these puffed rice bars once before with brown rice syrup and wasn’t too impressed because they got too soggy. This time, I took a recipe from Minimalist Baker’s new cook book and adapted it – it was definitely a winner.


The recipe is simple to make, and only requires minimal chill time before you get to indulge in this delicious treat. And bonus, you can make these as often as you like – like, once a week. No need for a holiday to indulge. 

Plus, you don’t need a valentine to make these. I urge you to make them for yourself – just try not to eat the entire pan in one day – or do. 

Peanut Butter Cup Bars
A delicious peanut butter puffed rice base topped with chocolate.
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For the base
  1. 1 cup natural peanut butter
  2. 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  3. 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  4. 3 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal
  5. sprinkle of sea salt
For the topping
  1. 1/4 cup dark chocolate
  2. 3/4 cup coconut oil
  3. 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  1. Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Add peanut butter and coconut oil to a small pot over medium-low heat. Stir to combine. Add maple syrup and stir to combine. Alternatively, microwave on medium power for minute intervals until melted.
  3. In medium bowl, combine puffed rice cereal with peanut butter mixture. Use a spatula to mix together.
  4. Stir until fully incorporated.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, and spread to an even layer.
  6. To help press the mixture down, use piece of parchment or saran wrap to press firmly down with your hand.
  7. Place the mixture in the fridge firm up for about 15-20 minutes.
To make the chocolate topping
  1. In double boiler, melt coconut oil. Add chocolate and cocoa powder and stir to combine with a whisk. Remove from heat.
  2. Alternatively, melt chocolate and coconut oil in microwave safe bowl on one-minute intervals until melted. Stir completely, add cocoa powder and stir until fully incorporated.
  3. Remove base from fridge, and pour chocolate over top in even layer. You can tilt the baking dish slightly to cover or use spoon to spread out.
  4. Return to the fridge and let set 20-30 minutes.
  5. Once firm, remove from baking dish and slice with sharp knife into squares.
  1. Keep refrigerated. Keeps in container in the fridge for 2-3 days, or freeze.
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
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