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Honey Buns for Two

Spend your morning in bed instead of running to the donut shop. These simple homemade Honey Buns for Two will be the perfect breakfast recipe to start your day!

honey buns on baking rack

There’s nothing more romantic than a snuggly breakfast in bed! If you whip up these light and airy Honey Buns for Two, your honey bun will be forever in your debt!

No matter if it’s a special weekend or a random Tuesday, homemade food is the most thoughtful gift you could give someone. Matt and I try to keep a house full of healthy snacks these days like this PB&J Snack Mix or these Air-Fryer Maple Blueberry Oatmeal, but back in the day, he was all about the prepackaged honey buns from our childhood.

I’ve never made a homemade version for him because I really don’t want to have 15 honey buns laying around, but now I have the perfect solution! This recipe makes only four buns that are sure to be devoured in 5 minutes flat, or save one for the afternoon, or my favorite, a midnight snack.

If making homemade yeasted doughs scare you, this small-batch recipe is a great place to start! It’s so so easy and the hardest part is waiting for the dough to rise. Patience really is a virtue.

Pastries are a weakness of mine I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made these Overnight Cinnamon RollsThere’s something about a soft doughy baked bread with sweet icing to wash down with a good cup of coffee. 

Ingredients & Subs

  • Active dry yeast — You could use instant yeast if you like! To use instant yeast in place of active dry, skip the step of dissolving the yeast in liquid and add it directly to your dough. You’ll then add the water directly to the flour as well instead of mixing it with the yeast. When you’re using instant yeast instead of active dry, reduce the amount used by 25 percent.
  • All-purpose flour — You can sub for another flour blend if you like. I haven’t tried with GF but I’ve used wheat flour with success.
  • Whole milk — We need the fat content of the whole milk here.
  • Unsalted butter — You could use salted, just maybe reduce the salt added by a pinch.
  • Egg yolk
  • Granulated sugar
  • Sea salt
  • Cinnamon

Canola oil for frying — any neutral vegetable oil with a high smoke point would work.

For the glaze
  • Powdered sugar
  • Honey
  • Water
  • Sea salt
  • Pure vanilla extract

How to Make

  • Stir together yeast and warm water in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. If your yeast doesn’t foam, it may be bad and you’ll need to try new yeast.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour, milk, butter, yolks, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and yeast mixture. Use a rubber spatula to stir all of the ingredients together then mix at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes more. You may have to stop occasionally if you see dry bits settling at the bottom of the mixer. Bring everything together with your hands and then continue kneading with the dough hook until a uniform ball is made.
  • Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise at warm room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough on this surface. The dough should be a rectangle with dimensions of about 4 x 10 inches. Sprinkle the ground cinnamon onto the dough and spread evenly around. Roll the dough along the shortest side of the dough to form a log.
  • Cut the dough log into four equally sized buns. Slightly flatten the bun by pressing on the cut sides. If the ends look like they’ll come loose, try tucking the end inside one of the other layers. Place them cut side down onto a baking sheet. Cover and allow to rest for about 10 minutes while you heat the oil and make the glaze.
  • While the buns rest, mix together powdered sugar, honey, water, salt, and vanilla until no lumps remain.
  • Place 4 cups of oil into a 3 qt saucepan. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan so that the bulb is submerged in the oil to register the temperature. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 355 degrees F.
  • Fry one bun at a time. Gently lower the bun into the hot oil and allow it to fry and brown for 1-2 minutes. Flip to the other side and fry for 1 minute more. Rotate the bun through the oil for 15 more seconds, making sure that every bit of the bun is moistened with very hot oil. Remove and quickly transfer to a wire rack.
  • Return oil to 355°F between batches and fry the remainder of the buns, transferring to the wire rack when they’re done.
  • Dip the buns in the glaze mixture and let the excess drip off. The honey buns are best if eaten immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.

Can you bake?

Sure! They won’t quite have that classic fried honey bun flavor, but they’re still delicious!

While the honey buns are rising, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Once the buns had their final rise, remove the plastic wrap and place in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes until they’re are golden brown.

How to store

If you’re frying the honey buns, unfortunately, they’re best the day they’re made. You can store them in an airtight container and they’ll last a second day, but they won’t be quite as good. Just like a day-old donut. If you think you might not eat them all, maybe store the buns and glaze separately and glaze when you decide to eat so they don’t get soggy. 

If you’re baking them, they will last 3 to 4 days stored in an airtight container. 

honey buns on baking rack

honey buns on baking rack

honey buns placed on baking rack

Hot Tip

To make sure that your yeast is active, measure out the warm liquid for your recipe and sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of sugar over the top. Stir, and let it stand for a few minutes. If the yeast is still active, it will dissolve completely into the water and the liquid will start bubbling. I’ve been played too many times with dead yeast so I make sure to do this every single time I make a yeasted dough.

honey buns placed on baking rack with icing

More Breakfast Recipes You’ll Love!

Easy Pumpkin Creme Donuts

Bourbon Brown Sugar Bacon

Apple Cinnamon Oat Breakfast Cookies

Old Fashioned Cherry French Toast

Easy Breakfast Quesadilla

honey bun stacked on baking rack

honey bun stacked on baking rack

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Take a browse around the site and please let me know if you make anything by leaving a comment and rating the recipe below. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, concerns, or requests!

This post was originally published on Feb 6, 2018

Honey Buns for Two

Honey Buns for Two

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 52 minutes
Spend your morning in bed instead of running to the donut shop. These simple homemade Honey Buns for Two will be the perfect start to your day!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup warmed whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of ground cinnamon + 1 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
  • 4 cups canola oil for frying

For Glaze

  • 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Tiny pinch of sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Stir together yeast and warm water in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. If your yeast doesn’t foam, it may be bad and you'll need to try new yeast.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour, milk, butter, yolks, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and yeast mixture. Use a rubber spatula to stir all of the ingredients together then mix at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes more. You may have to stop occasionally if you see dry bits settling at the bottom of the mixer. Bring everything together with your hands and then continue kneading with the dough hook until a uniform ball is made.
  3. Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise at warm room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough on this surface. The dough should be a rectangle with dimensions of about 4 x 10 inches. Sprinkle the ground cinnamon onto the dough and spread evenly around. Roll the dough along the shortest side of the dough to form a log.
  5. Cut the dough log into four equally sized buns. Slightly flatten the bun by pressing on the cut sides. If the ends look like they'll come loose, try tucking the end inside one of the other layers. Place them cut side down onto a baking sheet. Cover and allow to rest for about 10 minutes while you heat the oil and make the glaze.
  6. While the buns rest, mix together powdered sugar, honey, water, salt, and vanilla until no lumps remain.
  7. Place 4 cups of oil into a 3 qt saucepan. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan so that the bulb is submerged in the oil to register the temperature. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 355 degrees F.
  8. Fry one bun at a time. Gently lower the bun into the hot oil and allow it to fry and brown for 1-2 minutes. Flip to the other side and fry for 1 minute more. Rotate the bun through the oil for 15 more seconds, making sure that every bit of the bun is moistened with very hot oil. Remove and quickly transfer to a wire rack.
  9. Return oil to 355°F between batches and fry the remainder of the buns, transferring to the wire rack when they're done.
  10. Dip the buns in the glaze mixture and let the excess drip off. The honey buns are best if eaten immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.

Notes

See the blog post above.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 170mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 0.5gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g

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