Cinnamon Raisin Buns

I adore cinnamon rolls.  Love them.  There’s something about the way the brown sugar and cinnamon combine in those tight spirals, topped with a sweetened cream cheese frosting (which I put on while the buns are still nice and hot – it’s just…heartwarming.

Yeah, that’s it…heartwarming.


I wish I could say I make them often, but the truth is, I don’t.  That’s probably a good thing for my metabolism, but still.  I think it’s because they always feel like they are going to be time consuming.  Like, they are a commitment.

But it’s barely even a commitment.  So what’s my problem?

I’ll tell you what I think it is.  The PAST.

You see, before KitchenAid outfitted my newly improved kitchen, yeasted breads and I really stood no chance of success.  None.  I keep it a balmy 68-69 degrees in here at all times, which simply means – no bread is a risin’ in MY kitchen.  In the summer, I would attempt things like puff pastry and sweet rolls or pizza dough, but only if it was sunny, and only because I would cart the dough out to my car, where the heat built up inside would act as a proofer.

It’s hard to rely on Mother Nature for yeasted dough, though, I tell you.  Hit or miss.

But, skip ahead to present day.

Gilda is the name of my gorgeous, stainless steel 48 inch commercial KitchenAid range.  She is a stunner.  She is a genius.  She has yet to fail me, on any level. 

One of the many amazing features Gilda possesses is a Proofing Feature.  In fact, the proofer is available on both sides of the range, in both ovens.  Sweetness.  Just the push of a button brings the oven to a balmy 100, ideal for proofing.  So, breads are a cinch for me now, no treks out to the car, no pathetic failures in the bread department.

These Cinnamon Raisin Buns are proof of that.

I always use the same dough recipe (or a version of) given to me many years ago when I first met my friend Carrie of Fields of Cake.  I drove up to Maine over three years ago to meet her, and tasted her cinnamon rolls.

Sweet mercy and goodness.


So now, I’ll add something here and there, switch it up a bit, but I always stick to the base that I know works. That Carrie can bake – why mess with perfection?

I had a hankering for these cinnamon rolls the other day, but as I was spreading out the butter and sugar, I remembered a huge bag of Golden California Raisins hanging out in my baking drawer.  Of course, I knew I had to use them.  So plump and juicy, the perfect amount of sweet.  They added just the right texture and flavor.  I hope you’ll agree!

Cinnamon Raisin Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 4 1/2 tsp. dry yeast
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 1/2 oz. pkg. instant French vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 3/4 cups cold whole milk
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cardamom
  • 6 cups flour (maybe a little more to attain the proper consistency)
  • 1 cup very soft butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 2 cups Golden California Raisins



  1. Mix water, orange juice, yeast, and sugar together until yeast and sugar are dissolved. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl prepare pudding mix according to package directions.
  3. Add butter, eggs and, orange zest, and salt; mix to blend well.
  4. Add yeast mixture and blend well. Gradually add flour and cardamom; transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough until smooth. (the dough should be soft but not sticky)
  5. Place in a greased bowl; cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down dough and let rise again.
  6. Roll out on a floured surface. Take 1 cup soft butter and spread over surface.
  7. In a bowl mix 2 cups brown sugar and Cinnamon; sprinkle over the top. Evenly sprinkle raisins across the sugar. Roll up tightly.
  8. Put a notch every 2 inches. Cut with a good serrated knife.
  9. Place swirls on lightly greased cookie sheet or in 4 -8×8 disposable pans; lightly press each roll down.
  10. Cover and let rise to double again.
  11. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and top with frosting.  Serve and enjoy!

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese and milk with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract.


I’d like to thank The California Raisin Commission for treating me so well as an Ambassador.  While this particular post was not sponsored or paid for, I AM in fact an Ambassador, and I love it!  Therefore, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  If you are coming to Blissdom in Dallas next month, come see us – the entire Raisin Blogger Bunch will be there!  Are you coming?

*Disclaimer – KitchenAid provided all of my new cooking appliances in 2012.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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