morning buns

A five star recipe. These were deemed by my family the best thing I have ever baked. I had heard so many things about the legendary morning buns from Tartine Bakery in San Francisco — and was curious to taste these illustrious cinnamon buns for myself.

Let me start off by saying these are not your average cinnamon rolls. What’s the difference between a morning bun and a cinnamon roll? Morning buns are made with my perfect croissant dough that’s buttery, flaky, and shatters when you bite it, rather than a chewy, denser, more bread-like dough. They are sprinkled with cinnamon, sugar, and orange zest, and peel apart in delicate, fluffy layers.

I baked these for my dad’s Father’s Day Brunch, and my entire family raved about them. My dad’s old favorite were my cinnamon sugar croissants, and these are basically the same thing rolled to a new, crazy, cinnamon bun level.
What’s the best thing you’ve ever baked?
With love,

1 batch croissant dough (my simple recipe here)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 medium oranges
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
pinch salt

Follow all of the steps from here until the last one indicating form croissants. You will prepare your rolls the day before, to be cooked the following day.  Mix together the sugars with the zest, cinnamon, and salt. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it into a rectangle, about 12 x 20″. Mist it with water from the spray bottle. Cover with the sugar mixture and roll it into a log. Cut into 12 equal rolls and place them into oiled muffin pans. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof in a warm room for 1 hour (min 70 F) before placing them in the fridge for 8 hours min, or overnight.  The next morning, take the rolls out of the fridge and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour. Then preheat your oven at 385 F and cook the rolls for about 20 min. Pop the rolls out of the pan when you take them out of the oven, or else they will stick to the pan when they cool.

Adapted from La Tartine Gourmande

66 thoughts on “morning buns

    1. Cannella Vita

      Thank you so much! I am going to check out your blog! Homemade croissants are hard to beat!

  1. Anonymous

    Beautiful! The flaky swirls are memorizing, and I bet they smell great too. If I weren't so intimidated by making my own croissants, I'd probably bake them all the time, just to taste their buttery goodness!

    1. Cannella Vita

      Thank you so much! Don't be intimidated — although time consuming, the process takes nothing more than a little bit of elbow grease :). And just the smell of these buns baking in the oven is worth the effort!

  2. Karen

    Came to your blog via Tastespotting today and this recipe for morning buns looks delicious! Am a little afraid to venture into making croissant dough, maybe I will have the courage to one day 😉

    1. Cannella Vita

      Thank you! Don't fear, although I admit they are time consuming, once you get the process it isn't tricky at all– and the heavenly smell of homemade croissants is completely worth the wait and bit of effort!

  3. Thyme (Sarah)

    These are just beautiful! I am in love with the rustic look of them and would love to try making them. At your age, I wouldn't have dared even make scrambled eggs in the kitchen! I am so impressed!!

  4. Erika - TheTeenageTaste

    These morning buns look beautiful, Erica! The pastry looks so flaky and delicious! I can totally see why this is your family's favorite.

    1. Cannella Vita

      Thank you Erika! I am glad you found your way to the new Cannella Vita! Shoot me an email sometime again at, I would love to get a conversation going!

  5. Jaclyn

    Beautiful pictures and these look seriously incredible! Do you mind me asking what lens you use? I'm looking to buy a new one to get better close ups. Very cute blog by the way.

  6. Jaclyn

    Thanks for your reply and visiting my blog =). I only hope someday my photos can be as clear as yours, love them!

    1. Cannella Vita

      Thank you so much Jaclyn, I would love it if you shot me an email sometime so we could share recipes!

  7. Jo

    This looks delicious and your pictures are amazing. Would love for you to share your photos with us at

    1. Cannella Vita

      I would if I could! They are very easy to make ahead and freeze after the second rising time — so you could make a bunch, and then just pop however many you want into the oven when you need them 🙂

  8. Anonymous

    Hi there, You've performed an excellent job. I'll definitely
    digg it and for my part recommend to my friends. I am sure
    they'll be benefited from this web site.
    my website :: car insurance quotes

  9. lilianatimofte64

    Hi! Your recipe looks fantastic, but I would like to see also the one for the pastry. Unfortunately, the link is broken. Can you help me with this as I would like very much to try it. Thank you!

    1. Ursula

      I just found your site and very much want to try these, too, but the dough link seems once again to be broken. Can you repost it, please? Thanks!

  10. Gloria

    Greetings, Erica. Wow, I am so impressed! I saw this on Pinterest, and pinned it, and then came to your blog to see the recipe. I cannot believe you are in high school — You should have your own baking show on The Food Network! You do beautiful baking, taking beautiful shots. You really have the world in front of you, the best of luck to you because you deserve it, good for you! I hope to one day try this recipe, and it's also so nice you made it for your Dad for Father's Day! I wish you lived near me, I'd fix you up with my son. 😉 Well, take care, I hope to visit again soon.

    1. Cannella Vita

      This comment really made my day! It would be totally unbelievable to bake on the Food Network! You should really try these morning buns out, these would be perfect for a special holiday breakfast! Take care, and thank you for visiting!

  11. Deb

    Hi Erica,
    I've been reading and re-reading this amazing looking recipe for weeks, and I think I'm ready to actually make these fabulous rolls: Day 1 today, Day 2 tomorrow, Day 3 Christmas morning! I just have a couple questions before I start–once I've rolled the dough out to a 12 x 20 rectangle, which end do I start rolling from? In other words, will I end up with a short (12"), fat roll or a thinner, longer (20") roll? Does the recipe really only make 6 rolls? I think I could eat 6 all by myself ;-).
    Your site really is beautiful–beautiful writing, beautiful photography, beautiful food!
    Much thanks,

    1. Cannella Vita

      Awesome! I am making these for my Christmas morning as well (I usually don't have the time to make such festive things!). Roll it from the long side — This recipe makes about 12 rolls! (So one muffin tin full of them!).

  12. Deb

    Thanks for the quick reply! I posted the link to this page on my friend's blog:–hope you don't mind. She and I used to share morning rolls that looked just like this at La Boulange in San Francisco. They serve them with soup-bowl-sized lattes, divine.
    Merry Christmas!

    1. Cannella Vita

      I don't mind at all! Thanks for sharing the recipe! I could really use a soup-bowl-sized latte right now!

  13. Fiona Brady

    Hey love this recipe idea!! QUICK QUESTION: do i need to place the buns in the fridge for 8 hours if im using store-bought puff pastry sheets?

  14. Fiona Brady

    Hey this looks like such a great recipe!!
    QUICK QUESTION: I'm using store-bought puff pastry sheets- do i still need to leave the buns in the fridge for 8 hours?

    1. Cannella Vita

      I am not sure as I have never used store bought puff pastry — I would let them rest in there for at least 1 hour.

  15. Anonymous

    Hey Cannella – Just saw this on Pinterest and I would love to make them, however, I'm unable to click on the link to your croissant recipe. Tried on two different computers now. They look divine!!!!

    1. Cannella Vita

      Oh no! Thank you so much — if you search croissants in my recipe index then you can find my croissant recipe "step by step" — links can sometimes get a bit jumbled on here.

  16. Ursula

    Hi Cannella,
    Two questions for you:
    When you place the rolls into the muffin tin, are you standing them on their sides, or are you laying them in with the cut edges down?
    Also, with the dough recipe, we are to complete all the steps right up until the rolling into the last rectangle and cutting into the triangles, right? Instead, roll to the dimensions of the buns, and sugar & roll them, etc?

    PS: I already have the first dough on the plate in the fridge, so will be doing the buttering, rolling, and sugaring tomorrow, so if at all possible, please reply soon. Thanks!

  17. Anonymous

    My buns are in the refrigerator, shaped and ready to bake in the morning. Do you use an egg wash for these, as you do for traditional croissants?

    1. Cannella Vita

      Can't wait! Tell me how they turn out! Yes, you can use an egg wash on these (it will give them a nice glossy finish), although you don't have to.

  18. Anonymous

    Hi. Was son excited to try these, but unfortunately your link to your dough recipe does not work. Can you tell me where I can visit to get this. Thank you.

  19. Trish Fleischman

    Made these for Christmas and they were a huge a showstopper. We gilded the lilly a bit with a drizzle of vanilla glaze, and they were incredible. They are every bit worth the workout for all of that rolling!

  20. sara rashti

    Hi erica , am making croissant and morning buns right now .have made my dough last nigh and kept it in the fridge now am doing the roll,fold, freezing but if am not mistaken you have once mentioned in butter croissant recipe that we cover and leave the dough again in the fridge over the night after roll&fold process ,and on your step by step recipe you have mentioned to roll and form our croissants after roll&fold process and keep them ready in the fridge over the night ..!
    so now for my morning buns which one should i follow , because you have mentioned we should roll the buns the night before so are the buns taking 3 days to make as well as the croissants?

    :))) am sorry if am confusing you as well as myself , I'm now sleep writing since its 5.00 am here in mideast and i have been busy with baking all night :)))

    1. Cannella Vita

      Dear Sara,
      Yes, the buns should take three days, it helps them rise over night in the fridge, if you're in a huge rush, you could let them rise at room temp for about 2 hours, and then bake them.
      I hope this answered your question! Happy baking!

  21. Brynne

    I've tried regular yeast dough and then blitz pastry for my morning buns, but I think I'm going to have to commit fully to the project of perfecting them and making croissant dough for the first time. Thanks for this post!


    Hi, Erica, it is my dream to bake pastries like this. I will definitely give this recipe a try. Thank you for sharing.

  23. peggy

    Hi I want to try these but it seems like a4day process…day1,2,3 then shape and bake the next day…Is that correct?

    1. Cannella Vita

      Yes, it is a four day process, but mostly downtime, and also they are so worth it and you will feel so accomplished when you're done! 🙂

  24. Rachel Richardson

    Hi! So excited to make these!! They look beyond delicious. I need a little bit of clarity though on when I stop following the croissants recipe. I assume I do all of the steps under day 1 and day 2, and then on day 3 do I go through step 3 or through step 4? Or through all of the steps on day 3 as well?? Thanks in advance!

  25. Rachel Richardson

    Hi! So excited to make these!! They look beyond delicious. I need a little bit of clarity though on when I stop following the croissants recipe. I assume I do all of the steps under day 1 and day 2, and then on day 3 do I go through step 3 or through step 4? Or through all of the steps on day 3 as well?? Thanks in advance!

Comments are closed.