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Cinnamon Sourdough Honey Buns

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These cinnamon sourdough honey buns are soft and buttery with a sticky sweet filling.

A collage of cinnamon sourdough honey buns with text overlay.

The edges get a nice crispy texture that melts in your mouth. And the honey caramelizes in the pan and on the bottom of the buns. Yummo!

A pan of cinnamon sourdough honey buns.

My Sourdough Is About To Turn 15 Years Old!

What better way to celebrate than with a new recipe? This is not a complicated recipe; my philosophy has always been “less is more.” It’s amazing what you can transform your sourdough starter into with just a few simple ingredients.

A close-up of cinnamon sourdough honey buns.

This Recipe Uses a “Rich Sourdough.”

A rich dough or rich sourdough is a dough made with butter, milk, and sometimes eggs. Rich doughs are more tender and flaky. They are typically used for sweet breads and desserts. Think of all the fun you can have with this dough!

Add apple butter and pecans to celebrate fall or cranberries and walnuts for a winter treat. The yummy combinations are endless!

A close-up of one cinnamon sourdough honey bun.

A tray of cinnamon sourdough honey buns.

Cinnamon Sourdough Honey Buns

Cinnamon Sourdough Honey Buns

Yield: 20
Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 day 30 minutes

A traditionally fermented and naturally leavened sourdough cinnamon bun sweetened with real honey.


For the sourdough buns:

  • 217 grams (1 1/2 cups) bread flour
  • 210 grams (1 1/2 cups) whole wheat flour
  • 125 grams (1/2 cup) sourdough starter at 100% hydration
  • 56 grams (1/4 cup) melted butter
  • 200 grams (7/8 cup) whole milk (preferably raw)
  • 10 grams (1 1/2 teaspoon) salt
  • 80 grams (1/4 cup) honey

For the filling:

  • 113 grams (1/2 cup) softened butter
  • 160 grams (1/2 cup) honey
  • 20 grams (3 tablespoons) ground cinnamon


The Night Before

  1. Mix the sourdough bun ingredients together either by hand or in a stand mixer. Knead the dough in the bowl until it's smooth and supple. It will be fairly sticky. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest overnight at room temperature.

The Next Morning

  1. Mix the filling ingredients together into a spreadable paste. Set the filling aside. 
  2. Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and pat it into a circle. Cinnamon Sourdough Honey Buns
  3. Roll the dough into a large rectangle about 1/3 inch thick. Use just enough flour so the dough won't stick to your work surface. Check the underside often to make sure it's not sticking. Cinnamon Sourdough Honey Buns
  4. Spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving about 1/2 inch of space around the outside. Cinnamon Sourdough Honey Buns
  5. Starting at the top, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Use a sharp knife to cut 20 equal sections. Cinnamon Sourdough Honey Buns
  6. Place the buns into a buttered baking dish. Cinnamon Sourdough Honey Buns
  7. Cover the buns and let them rise in a warm spot (I use the oven with the light on) until they have doubled in size. Cinnamon Sourdough Honey Buns
  8. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake the buns uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes. They will be golden brown and puffy when done. Cinnamon Sourdough Honey Buns
  9. Serve the buns warm from the oven or reheat them in a low temperature oven when needed.


A reader recently commented that she tried to bake these buns on a sheet pan and that they spread out and became flat and crunchy. Please make sure you use an appropriate size pan so the buns will be touching each other after rising. This way they will stay soft and chewy!


Friday 12th of January 2024

This was so messy and I had to try hopes because I do have a really active starter and I use it to bake bread quite often so I tried this recipe noticed the dough didn’t rise so I added a little yeast and I used my starter when it was peaked and just nothing it was kind of a waste of ingredients in my opinion:(

Butter For All

Wednesday 24th of January 2024

Hi Brittney,

That's too bad. I'm sorry it didn't work for you the first time. Honey can have a suppressant effect on yeast so that could have possible played a part. If you'd like to give it a second attempt I'd suggest making sure your starter is well fed for a few days prior before starting the recipe. You shouldn't need any additional yeast. I have never used yeast in any of my sourdough baking.


Saturday 11th of March 2023

Well on the road to making pizza dough, it turned into these instead. As I measured the honey, I thought to myself this is a LOT of honey! Turns out I was reading the wrong line.

So instead of throwing it out, I searched around and found this recipe. Doubled everything to match the honey, and had to tweak around, but made these and also a cinnamon strudel loaf out of it. I love that it's not real sweet! A bit dense, but I'm thinking my starter isn't strong enough, even though it's established. (I don't keep it fed often in the fridge..) Thanks for saving my mess up, and with a great recipe!

Butter For All

Tuesday 14th of March 2023

Hi ML!

Smart and intuitive! That was the perfect way to salvage the pizza dough. I'm so happy it worked out.

Debbie Jordan

Monday 30th of May 2022

Hi there, not sure what I have done wrong but My dough has not increased in size, I left it covered with a tea towel overnight at room temperature, I made it with fresh active starter, I used the same starter to make bread and it turned out great, any ideas why this is not working for me? Im so looking forward to trying these buns!

Thank you 😊

Butter For All

Friday 3rd of June 2022

Hi Debbie,

Occasionally this happens. I believe it has to do with the honey suppressing/upsetting yeast activity. Your dough may just require a longer initial proof to get going. Please let me know what happened!



Wednesday 16th of February 2022

This recipe looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it…im new to baking and am enjoying making sourdough bread and I love that im able to enjoy it without tummy upset, I have a recipe for cinnamon buns but it’s not sourdough, I tried to convert it but it claims that if you add more than 10% sugar you will loose all of the health benefits of the sourdough, so my question is using your recipe instead of sugar using honey will the health benefits be intact? Thanks!

Butter For All

Wednesday 16th of February 2022

Hi Debbie,

Thanks! All my recipes call for a long fermentation time so the there are plenty of health benefits intact. The lactic acid produced by sourdough still work to break down gluten and other hard to digest proteins regardless of the amount of sugar in a recipe.

Hope that helps!



Friday 8th of January 2021

Hi Courtney, I made these from my beloved rye sourdough. They are a huge hit with everyone in the family :) I have two questions: the dough was on the sticky side and although I used more flour on the surface I had a hard time rolling it especially with the filling inside (I used a plastic scraper to help me as I rolled). I used white spelt and whole spelt flours. Maybe I need to adjust the milk quantities? Also, do you think maple will work here instead of honey? Can it be substituted? Thanks, Michal

Butter For All

Saturday 9th of January 2021

Hi Michal!

That sounds amazing! I'm so glad to hear they were a success. You are 100% right, whenever you change flour, always adjust the liquid as needed! And yes, you can sub maple syrup, it's delicious!

Thank you for the feedback!


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