UBC Cinnamon Bun Recipe and Origins

UBC Cinnamon Bun

For many years we’ve had the UBC cinnamon bun recipe hidden away in a dark corner of our website. To celebrate the end of UBC’s Centennial, we’re republishing our version of this classic recipe. We’re also sharing a blog post written by the grandson of the original baker that tells their origin story and details his attempts to perfect the grandmother’s original recipe.

How do you make a UBC cinnamon bun?

UBC students have been hoovering up these sticky treats for more than 50 years. Introduced in 1954 by a Hungarian baker named Grace Hasz, the bake shop produced 100 dozen UBC cinnamon buns daily. In recent years, Food Services has produced a miniature version of the cinnamon bun, responding to our modern belief that rich, delicious foods are bad for us. The traditional recipe calls for margarine rather than butter. But why? Probably because the original recipe was concocted post WWII when butter was hard to come by.

The one great omission here is raisins. For those of us who think raisins make anything taste better, distribute a cup of them on the dough just after you sprinkle on the filling.

UBC Cinnamon Bun Recipe


3 cups (750 mL) 2% milk
6 tablespoons (90 mL) butter
6 tablespoons (90 mL) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (15 mL) salt
1 teaspoon (5 mL) sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) warm water
2 (8 g) packages active dry yeast
2 large eggs
9 cups (2.25 L) all-purpose flour, about


11/4 cups (300 mL) sugar
2 tablespoons (30 mL) ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (175 mL) melted butter, divided


Scald milk. Stir in butter, 6 tablespoons (90 mL) sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm.

Dissolve the 1 teaspoon (5 mL) sugar in lukewarm water. Sprinkle yeast over water mixture. Let stand in warm place for 10 minutes; stir.

In large bowl, combine lukewarm milk mixture and eggs. Stir in dissolved yeast. Add 4 to 5 cups (1 to 1.25 L) flour and beat well for 10 minutes. With wooden spoon, gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough out on to lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding additional flour as needed. (This is a soft dough.) Place in well greased bowl and roll dough over to grease the top. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in warm place for 1 hour or until double in size.

Meanwhile prepare filling: In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

Punch down dough and turn out on to lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half.

Roll out each piece of dough into 18×9-inch (46×23 cm) rectangle. Brush each rectangle generously with melted butter. Place remaining melted butter in bottom of 161/2 x111/2 x21/2-inch (42x29x6 cm) pan.

Sprinkle an equal portion of sugar-cinnamon mixture evenly over each rectangle. Roll each dough rectangle up tightly like a jelly roll, starting from the long side; pinch seam to seal. With sharp knife, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) slices. Arrange slices, cut-side down, in prepared pan and cover loosely with greased wax paper. Let rise in warm place for 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size.

Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 35 to 45 minutes or until baked. Remove from oven and immediately invert on to serving tray.

Makes 18 large cinnamon buns.

Approximate nutritional analysis for each serving: 433 cal, 9 g pro, 14 g fat, 69 g carb.

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