Swirled with a luscious cream cheese filling and drizzled with a sweet coffee glaze, these cream cheese morning buns are the best breakfast you’ll ever wake up to!
Wanna know a little life hack to always starting a day off on the right note? The secret’s out, it’s these morning buns.
I meaaan…we’ve got a sweet yeasted roll swirled with a big fat ribbon of cream cheese and creamy coffee glaze draped over top. Things are about to be very right in your breakfast world.
We love whipping up a batch of these morning buns ahead of time for a lazy weekend, but they’re also dang pretty enough for any brunch table!
If you haven’t had a lot of experience with yeast baking before, I highly encourage you to give this recipe a try for your next baking project!
The dough is fairly simple and easy to work with plus there’s lots of step-by-step photos to help you out. You’ve got this!
These Cream Cheese Morning Buns feature…
- A perfectly soft and fluffy yeast bread dough
- Sweet cream cheese swirled into every bite
- A creamy coffee glaze drizzled on top
- Lots of make ahead options and step-by-step photos
Making the Cream Cheese Morning Buns
(scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Active dry yeast
- Brown sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Bread flour
- Cream cheese
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar
- Brewed coffee
- Half-and-half cream
How To Shape Morning Buns
If you’re a visual learner like I am, you’ll find this photo collage of steps very helpful when it comes to shaping your dough. It might seem a little daunting at first glance, but I promise these buns are actually very easy to shape!
When shaping your buns we strongly suggest using a ruler or tape measure to ensure accurate measurements. Clear off a big clean workspace and don’t be afraid to use a good dusting of flour to prevent the dough from sticking.
Tips for Perfect Morning Buns
- Measure flour correctly – we use the spoon-and-level technique for measuring flour as this will prevent over-measuring your flour. Use a spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup, then level with the back of a knife.
- Heat milk to 110F degrees – we recommend temping your water to ensure it’s not over 110F. If you use liquid that’s too warm, it will kill the yeast and your bread will not rise. If you accidentally overheat the milk, just let it cool off a bit before adding the yeast.
- Knead dough properly – this step is where we develop the gluten in our dough which is crucial for forming the structure of the bread. You can knead by hand or use your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.
- Let dough rise in a warm place – yeast dough loves warm environments for rising. We recommend 75F-80F for a rising environment in your kitchen.
- Soften cream cheese mixing into filling – let the cream cheese sit out on the counter for about an hour or pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Bake buns on middle rack of oven – this will provide an even heating environment for the buns. If you can’t fit both pans on the middle rack, bake them one at a time.
- Use strong-brewed coffee for glaze – we want a strong coffee flavor in the glaze so make sure you brew it strong or use espresso.
Try these ideas for a different twist on these buns!
- Make it citrus – skip the coffee glaze and instead make it citrusy by adding a squeeze of orange or lime juice! This idea came from a reader who tried it with awesome results.
- Add chocolate to filling – sprinkle a handful of mini chocolate chips over cream cheese, then shape buns, and proceed with recipe.
- Add fruit to filling – sprinkle a handful of diced strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries over the cream cheese filling.
- Make it a cinnamon roll filling – swap out a cinnamon roll filling for the cream cheese for a sweet, cinnamony twist on these rolls.
Make Ahead Instructions
Follow these instructions for make ahead tips.
- Make the cream cheese filling and coffee glaze – these may be stored in refrigerator up to 4 days (bring the cream cheese filling to room temperature before filling buns for easier spreading)
- Shape the buns and allow to rise overnight – arrange the buns on sheet pans and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Place buns in the refrigerator and allow to rise 12 hours or overnight. Allow the buns to sit at room temperature 30 minutes before baking the next day.
There’s really just no way around it, these buns are an absolute dream. The dough is SO incredibly light and soft while each bite is swirled with rich cream cheese and fragrant coffee glaze.
For real the most amazing breakfast pastry you will ever consume in your life, friends. Prepare to crave breakfast at all hours of the day now.
Watch these morning buns made step-by-step on Google web stories.
More sweet breakfast ideas right this way!
Cream Cheese Morning Buns with Coffee Glaze
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- 1 package (1/4 oz) active dry yeast (2-1/2 teaspoons)
- 1 cup warm milk (110F)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 to 4-1/2 cups bread flour
Cream Cheese Filling
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon strong-brewed coffee
- 1-2 tablespoons half and half cream (or 2% milk)
- In the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a dough hook OR a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand 5 minutes until foamy. Mix in sugar, melted butter, eggs, salt, and 4 cups flour on medium speed or by hand with a wooden spoon until dough pulls away from sides of bowl into a ball (if dough seems too sticky, add additional flour by the tablespoon until it comes together)
- Knead the dough in the mixer 6-8 minutes or by hand on a floured surface 10-12 minutes until dough is stretchy and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
Cream Cheese Filling
- Adjust oven rack to middle and preheat oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat softened cream cheese with sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
- Punch risen dough down and turn onto a lightly-floured surface. Roll dough into a 12×15 inch rectangle. Spread cream cheese filling over half of dough width-wise to within 1-inch of edges. Fold opposite half of dough over cream cheese filling and pinch edges to seal.
- Using a benchscraper or sharp knife, score dough into 12 (1 x 7.5 inch) strips. Use a serrated knife to very gently cut along score lines into strips. Take each strip, gently stretch, and fold into a knot, tucking strip ends underneath bun. Place buns 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
- Let buns rise in a warm place 30-45 minutes or until doubled. Bake buns at 375F 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Allow buns to cool 10 minutes on pan, then transfer to a cooling rack.
- In a small bowl, whisk powdered sugar with coffee and just enough half-and-half to give the glaze drizzling consistency.
- Drizzle glaze over cooled buns and let stand 5 minutes to set before serving. Enjoy!
For a step-by-step guide to making this recipe, check out the video!
This post was updated with new recipe tips and photos on 4/27/23.