Morning Buns

puff pastry morning buns orange cinnamon easy recipe

Morning buns the easy way! I had never heard of Tartine’s Morning Buns but all the pics on Pinterest peaked my interest. So I decided to give them a try. I admit this recipe intimidated me and I put it off for a long time. They are easier than you think and simply irresistible. But if you’ve never made them they are a MUST TRY!  Crispy outer layers, soft buttery inner layers of pastry dough stuffed with a cinnamon orange filling. This Morning Buns recipe is made ahead and refrigerated overnight so it’s great for Thanksgiving or Christmas morning, or any morning.

Morning Buns Recipe

morning buns dough in zip top bag after rolling with pin

This method from America’s Test Kitchen makes the “puff pastry” dough much easier to prepare. I have made croissants from scratch before and they are very labor (not to mention muscle building) intensive. This method is the way to go.

Slice the butter into 1/4″ pieces, refrigerate to keep cold while you mix the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large zip-top bag. Seal the bag and shake to mix the ingredients. Add the butter slices into the bag, seal again, shake to cover the butter with flour and roll over the bad with a rolling pin. Shake the bag between rolls until the butter becomes large flakes.

Empty the contents into a large bowl, stir in the sour cream, fresh orange juice, ice water, and egg yolk until combined. Turn the dough out onto a large floured work surface, knead the dough into a cohesive ball. Roll the dough into a 20″x12″ rectangle. Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Pat/roll the cylinder into a 12″x4″ rectangle. Place the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes.

morning buns dough rolled out with filling spread over the top

After freezing, roll the dough out to a 20″x12″ rectangle again, sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon mixture. Lightly press the filling into the dough. Starting with the long side, roll the dough up into a tight cylinder again, pinch the edge to seal.

morning buns dough sliced in 1.5 inch pieces

Trim the rough ends off. Cut in the 20″ cylinder in half, cut each 10″ half into 1 1/2″ equal pieces, totaling 12 rolls. (I hope that makes sense.)

morning buns dough pieces placed in buttered muffin tin

Place each piece cut side down in a buttered muffin tin. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

baked morning buns on white plate

The next morning, preheat the oven to about 170º F, remove the buns from the fridge, discard plastic wrap. Turn the oven off, place the morning buns in the oven to proof for 20-30 minutes until doubled in size.

baked morning buns stacked on white plate

Once doubled remove them from the oven and increase the temperature to 425º F.

baked morning bun on white plate with flaky layers shown

Bake the buns for 5 minutes, reduce the temperature to 325ºF and continue baking for 40-45 minutes.

baked morning bun on white plate showing flaky layers

Remove from the oven, cool for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and roll in superfine granulated sugar. Just look at those lovely peel apart layers.

baked morning buns on white plate and stacked in background

Serve and enjoy these light, flaky, crispy, buttery, and delicate Morning Buns! So good you won’t be able to resist a second helping.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Morning Buns
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Morning Buns Recipe - Crispy outer layers, soft buttery inner layers of pastry dough sprinkled with a cinnamon orange filling that's perfect for Christmas or Thanksgiving morning.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 12
  • Dough:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons instant (rapid-rise) yeast
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices and chilled
  • 1 cup sour cream, chilled
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (for the muffin pan)
  • Filling:
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dusting:
  • ¾ cup superfine sugar, (for rolling in)
  1. Make the Dough:
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large zipper-lock bag.
  3. Add the butter, seal and shake to evenly coat the butter. Press the air out of the bag and reseal. Roll over the bag several times with a rolling pin, shaking the bag after each roll, until the butter is pressed into large flakes. About 10 times.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the sour cream, orange juice, water and egg yolk until combined.
  5. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead to form a smooth, cohesive ball.
  6. Roll the dough into a 20×12-inch rectangle. Starting with the short side, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Pat or roll the cylinder flat into a 12×4-inch rectangle and transfer to a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes.
  7. Filling:
  8. Butter a 12-cup muffin pan with the 3 tablespoons softened butter.
  9. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugars, orange zest, cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla.
  10. Assemble the buns:
  11. Remove the dough from the freezer and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a 20×12-inch rectangle and sprinkle evenly with the filling, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges.
  12. Lightly press the filling into the dough. Starting at the long end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder and pinch to seal the seam.
  13. Trim the ends of the dough from each end and discard.
  14. Cut the cylinder in half, leaving two 10" pieces. Cut each 10" half into 6 1½" pieces totaling 12 equal pieces.
  15. Place each piece cut-side-down into the prepared muffin tin. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
  16. Preheat oven to 170 degrees F. Once the oven reaches temperature, turn it off. Remove the muffin tin from the refrigerator and discard the plastic wrap. Place the buns in the turned-off oven until doubled in size, 20 to 30 minutes.
  17. Remove the buns from the oven and heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  18. Bake until the buns are deep golden brown, 40 to 45 additional minutes.
  19. Allow the buns to cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, roll in superfine granulated sugar. If you allow them to cool completely in the pan the sugars will caramelize and stick to the pan)
  20. The buns are best served warm.
**Prep time does not include the overnight refrigeration.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 373
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18.5g 24%
Saturated Fat 12.7g 63%
Cholesterol 63mg 21%
Sodium 162mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 47.6g 17%
Dietary Fiber 1.3g 5%
Total Sugars 22g
Protein 4.5g
Vitamin D 2mcg 8%
Calcium 42mg 3%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 105mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 373
Morning Buns - Crispy outer layers, soft buttery inner layers of pastry dough sprinkled with a cinnamon orange filling that's perfect for Christmas or Thanksgiving morning.

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  1. Reply

    These look and sound amazing! I’ve never made cinnamon rolls with puff pastry, but now I’m very intrigued. I can’t wait to make these for the holidays, and I love that it can be made the night before. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    1. Reply

      These Morning Buns are awesome! I hope you try them. Thank you so much for coming by, Lisa!

  2. Reply

    I love the idea of using a muffin pan! We are hosting the Whisk It Wednesday Link Party and thought you might want to share there too! Have a wonderful week! Carrie@ Carrie’s Home Cooking

    1. Reply

      Thanks for the invite, Carrie!

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