Fabio's Gooey Cinnamon Buns

This dessert is so good you'll want it all day long.


  • Secrets to perfect pastries. Making the right dough for the job, creating an easy filling and learning how to glaze are all simpler techniques than you might think.

  • "Proofing" means activating the yeast in the dough. Once it's activated, the yeast should be added to dough containing just enough flour to incorporate it. After mixing and kneading the dough, Fabio double proofs his cinnamon buns in place slightly warmer than room temperature before baking to give them a great size and doughy texture.

  • Perfect cinnamon buns are the result of good dough that's rolled loosely and topped with brown sugar and cinnamon. Yum.

Gooey Cinnamon Buns

Recipe by Fabio Viviani

Yield: 6-8 large buns



1 packet active dry yeast

½ cup warm water

½ tsp granulated sugar, plus ¼ cup

1/3 cup sweet cream butter, melted

½ cup whole milk

1 tsp kosher salt

1 large egg

4 cups all-purpose flour


1/3 cup sweet cream butter, melted

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1 tbsp ground cinnamon


1 ½ - 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

3 tbsp whole milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

zest of ¼ orange



In a small glass bowl, combine yeast and warm water. Sprinkle with a pinch of sugar to "feed" the yeast. Stir to combine and let sit for about 10 minutes. The yeast should become foamy and bubbly. This means it's active.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add melted butter, milk, salt, egg and 2 cups of flour.

Mix on a medium speed to combine.

Add the yeast mixture and continue to mix, slowly adding the remaining 2 cups of flour. Mix for about 3 minutes, until a dough forms around the hook.

Remove dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for about 5 minutes.

Form the dough into a ball and place in a well-greased bowl.

Cover the bowl with a damp towel, and set the bowl in a warm, dry place for 1 hour, or until the dough almost doubles in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl onto a floured work surface and punch it down, releasing the air bubbles.

Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 9 x13" rectangle.

Once the dough is rolled out, use a pastry brush to cover the dough rectangle with melted butter.

Evenly spread the brown sugar across the dough and sprinkle with pecans.

Dust with cinnamon.

Starting from the edge of dough closest to you, roll from the bottom up, like a jelly roll.

Trim the ends, and then slice the roll into 2-2 ½-inch pieces with a very sharp knife, yielding 6-8 rolls.

Place each piece into a greased 9x13" baking dish.

Cover the pan once again with a damp towel and return it the warm, dry place for another 30 minutes, or until the dough is risen.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake cinnamon buns for 30 minutes, or until light-golden brown.

Meanwhile, construct the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients until smooth.

Add more powdered sugar (for a thicker glaze), or milk (for a thinner glaze).

Pour the glaze over the hot cinnamon buns, and serve hot.