The first time I ever tasted a Cinnamon Brioche Cruffin was during our Wyoming vacation in September. Persephone’s Bakery in Jackson Hole serves up some of the best pastries you will find anywhere. On our Wyoming holiday we started each day at Persephone’s Westbank to have breakfast with Joe having a savory breakfast with eggs and I with a pastry and coffee. My favorite thing was the Cinnamon Brioche and I vowed that one day I would recreate it. I had no idea how much work goes into making this irresistible flaky dough but it was so worth it. The outside layer is crisp with buttery layers rolled up together with cinnamon sugar. It’s one of the most delicious pastries I’ve ever tasted and one of my biggest accomplishments if I do say so myself!
Day 1: Start with the dry ingredients. Measure and combine the flour, salt and yeast together.
Assemble and measure the honey, butter and eggs.
Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Begin to add the milk and stir to combine. I usually start with a spatula, stirring until the mixture is moistened enough to start forming dough. At that point add the dough hook to the mixer.
Whisk the eggs and add to the mix. Stir to combine.
Stir in the honey.
Add the softened butter and mix on low until the mixture comes together. Once it comes together in a ball, increase the speed and continue to mix for 5 minutes .
The dough should be smoother and more elastic but it’s a bit denser than the brioche dough that I normally use to make sweet rolls. Place the dough in a large bowl and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge overnight to proof. The dough that I use for sweet rolls and for these cruffins have basically the same ingredients, however there is more butter and distributed differently. While most of the butter is incorporated into the dough for sweet rolls, only a small amount of butter goes into the cruffin dough with a larger amount of butter used as a butter block that is rolled and folded several times creating individual flaky layers throughout the roll.
Day 2: You’ll need 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of softened butter to make the butter block. Set it out at room temperature to soften.
Once the butter has softened, whip it with a hand mixer until it’s creamy.
Use a spatula to transfer the whipped butter to the lower half of a large piece of parchment paper approximately 16 inches or larger, leaving at least an inch at the bottom free . Use a pastry scraper to form the butter into a 7″ x 9″ block.
Smooth it as best as you can and fold the top of the parchment over the butter, making an enclosed butter packet. Place the butter in the refrigerator until you roll out the dough.
Set the chilled dough out on the counter for about 20 minutes so that it will be more easy to roll out. Roll out the dough in a large rectangle approximately 15″ x 20, large enough to enclose the butter pack.
Place the chilled butter pack on one half of the dough.
Fold the dough over the butter pack. My dough wasn’t perfectly straight so I trimmed the rounded edge making it easier to enclose the butter pack and pinch the edges together.
Roll out the dough out to approximately 8″ x 24″.
Fold it into thirds.
Wrap the folded dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Roll out the dough again and fold into thirds. Again, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, make a mix of cinnamon sugar with 1 cup sugar to 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Mix it all together and set aside.
Also this is the time to prep your muffin pans with butter. I have 2 extra large muffin pans that are 2″ deep and expand 4″ wide at the top, (6 muffins per pan) that are the perfect size to make these cruffins. I found it quite easy to brush melted butter around the bottom and up the sides of the muffin cup. Set aside.
One more time roll out the dough, this time approximately 9″ x 18″. You may want to roll out just a bit longer to trim any rounded edges.
I trimmed my sides and will trim the ends after I add the last layer of butter and cinnamon sugar. Once you have the dough rolled out, brush 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the dough.
Sprinkle 1/3 cup of cinnamon sugar over the dough. Use a pizza cutter to trim the long edges so that the dough measures 9″ x 18″. Use a pizza cutter to cut twelve 1 1/2″ strips.
Roll them into swirls and place in your prepped muffin pans.
Cover with plastic wrap and proof in a warm place for up to 2 hours.
When they double in size and you begin to see the separation of layers they are ready to bake. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake 18 – 20 minutes. They should be puffy and golden brown.
I found that some puffed up with the layers visibly swirling upward.
While others just raised straight and round looking more like a cinnamon roll.
As soon as possible, remove the cruffins from the pan and sprinkle reserved cinnamon sugar over each one shaking off any excess.
Once sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, set on a cooling rack.
Each one has it’s own personality with some puffing up like a popover and others holding their shape in perfect round swirls.
Persephone’s Cinnamon Brioche . . . the inspiration for my cruffins!
Cinnamon Brioche Cruffins
3 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 1/4 teaspoon Yeast
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Whole Milk
3 large Eggs, whisked
1/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened
Cinnamon Sugar & Butter Filling
1 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
To make the dough: Combine flour, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir to combine. Add the milk slowly and mix on low until combined. Add the whisked eggs, honey and butter to the mix and mix on low until all the ingredients form together in a ball. Continue to mix for 5 minutes.
Place the dough in a large bowl and add plastic wrap over top. Place in the fridge to proof overnight.
To make the butter block: Whip the softened butter with a hand mixer until it is fluffy. Scoop the butter onto a large piece of parchment paper 16 inches or longer. Scoop the butter onto one half of the parchment paper and use a pastry scraper to form the butter into a 7″ x 9″ block. Smooth it as best as you can and fold the top of the parchment over the butter, making an enclosed butter packet. Place the butter in the refrigerator until you roll out the dough.
Combine cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl and mix until well combined. Set aside.
Prep muffin pans with butter. I have 2 extra large muffin pans that are 2″ deep and expand 4″ wide at the top, (6 muffins per pan) that are the perfect size to make these cruffins. Brush melted butter around the bottom and up the sides of the muffin cup. Set aside
Remove the dough from the fridge and set out for 20 minutes making it easier to roll out. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 15″ x 20″. Place the chilled butter block over the bottom half of the dough. Trim any excess rounded edges to make it easier to fold with straight edges. Fold the top half over to enclose the butter and pinch together at the edges. Roll out the dough approximately 8″ x 24″. Fold dough into thirds. Make sure that all of the edges line up and the corners are directly on top of each other. Wrap in plastic wrap and place back in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Roll out the dough again to 8″ x 24. Fold into thirds again as per the above instructions and back in the fridge for 20 minutes.
One more time roll out the dough, this time approximately 9″ x 18″. You may want to roll out just a bit longer to trim any rounded edges. Once you have the dough rolled out, brush 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of cinnamon sugar over the dough. Reserve the rest of the cinnamon sugar to sprinkle over warm baked cruffins. Use a pizza cutter to trim the long edges so that the dough measures 9″ x 18″. Use a pizza cutter to cut twelve 1 1/2″ strips. Roll them into swirls and place in your prepped muffin pans. Cover with plastic wrap and proof in a warm place for up to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake cruffins for 18 – 20 minutes or until they are golden brown and layers begin to separate.
While they are still warm, remove the cruffins and sprinkle the reserved cinnamon sugar mix over all sides. Set on a cooling rack. Enjoy. Makes 12 Cruffins
3 thoughts on “Cinnamon Brioche Cruffins”
I’ve never heard of a cruffin. Interesting new discovery. They do look quite complicated, but OMG – the results look divine! One of those rolls that you want to eat by just removing and eating it layer by layer.
Believe me, I had never heard of a cruffin before either. My son Josh works at Persephone’s in Jackson WY as a barista and they serve what they call Cinnamon Brioche rolls. So when I began researching how to make them I found out that they are referred to as a Cruffin or part croissant/part cinnamon roll baked in a muffin pan. That’s where the name comes
from. And yes, I savored each layer, they are that good!
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