Spiced Cinnamon Buns with Prunes

These holiday cinnamon rolls are unbelievably tender and packed full of flavour. The dough is scented with cloves and orange zest and the addition of juicy California Prunes makes these rolls extra rich and moist. These cinnamon buns are fruity and fragrant, made with warm spices and are perfect for a healthy and tasty holiday season!


Recipe by Jennifer Pallian @foodess

Servings: 8 Cinnamon Rolls
Prep Time:
Cook Time:


For the Dough

  • 4 1/2 (1125ml) cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 (11.25ml) teaspoons instant yeast • 1 1/2 (7.5ml) tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 (0.625 ml) tsp ground cloves
  • 1 (250ml) cup warm milk (110°F – 120ºF)
  • 1/2 (125ml) cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Finely-grated orange zest of 1 large orange (about 1 tbsp/ 15ml)




For the Filling

  • 1 cup (250ml) packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 (37.5ml) tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (250ml) chopped California prunes

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 oz (125oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 (2.5ml) teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt


  • 1/4 (60ml) cup milk (for baking pan)


To Make the Dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, instant yeast, salt and cloves.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the warm milk, melted butter, eggs and orange zest.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and start kneading. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 7-10 minutes by hand (or 3-4 minutes on medium-low speed of a stand mixer).
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for about 30-45 minutes.

To Make the Filling

  1. In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon.

To Assemble

  1. Roll the dough out into a 12×16-inch rectangle on a floured surface.
  2. Spread the softened butter over the rolled out dough, and then sprinkle the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture evenly on top. Sprinkle the chopped prunes evenly overtop.
  3. Roll the dough tightly, starting from the long edge, and cut into 8 even slices. Place in baking pan.
  4. Cover the slices with plastic wrap and let them rise again for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size (see overnight option in notes).

To Bake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Just before baking, pour the 1/4 cup of milk into the bottom of the pan with the buns.
  3. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 30-40 minutes. Cover with foil or parchment after 20 minutes to prevent them getting too dark. Bake until golden brown and they 190ºF internal temperature around the outer parts of the buns (the middle of the pan will continue baking with carryover cooking).

To Make the Frosting

  1. In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until smooth.

To Serve

  1. Allow the buns to cool slightly before spreading the frosting on top.

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