wall street journal bestselling author USA Today bestselling author
amy vansant bestselling author
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For Halloween, I went full Dr. Frankenstein and created a monster cinnamon bun. I'm not sure my hand on it here (with the tip already gnawed off --- of the bun, not my hand) really drives home how large this thing was. It begged me to eat it and put it out of its misery. What could I do?

I created Frankenbun while experimenting for my mother's birthday. The idea was to make a chocolate orange Cinnabon. I think I've figured it out, but the filling of this first experimental batch was too wet, so when I got to the part where I should have cut it into cute little rolls, I quickly realized it would be like tapping a chocolate vein. The inside would have oozed out all over the place. So I left it in one long tube... and it EXPLODED into a massive loaf.

I didn't even bother to put the icing on it to save myself some calories (since I couldn't waste it...I had to eat it...)

Monsterous, but still delicious! Here's the recipe I made by combining a Cinnabon-look-alike recipe and a chocolate orange recipe:


  • 1 cup warm milk (110ish degrees F)
  • 3 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter (melted)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade (I used food-processed fresh orange, which is why my filling was too liquid)
  • Cup of melted chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

To Pour Before Baking

  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream

For the Glaze:

  • 4 oz Cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 orange


  1. Pour the milk in a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast.
  2. Add the eggs, butter, zest, salt and sugar.
  3. Add the flour and mix using the beater blade until the ingredients are combined. Rest for 5 minutes. You can mix up the glaze ingredients while you wait.
  4. Attach dough hook.
  5. Beat the dough on medium speed for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth. **The dough will be tacky/stick to bowl. Don't be tempted to add more flour at this point.
  6. Pull it out a second to spray the mixer bowl with nonstick spray. Cover the bowl with a towel.
  7. Set the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until double.
  8. Flour an area and a rolling pin and roll the dough to about a 12x15" rectangle.
  9. Spread filling across the entire top.
  10. Starting on the long end, roll the dough up tightly like a jelly-roll.
  11. Cut into 12 slices and place in a greased 9x13 baking pan
  12. Cover the pan and allow the rolls to rise for 20 minutes or until nearly double.
  13. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  14. Warm the heavy cream until the chill is off. Don't make it hot...you just don't want it cold. It should be warm to the touch.
  15. Once the rolls have risen, pour the heavy cream over the top of the rolls, allowing it to soak down in and around the rolls.
  16. Bake at 375 degrees for about 17 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden brown and the center rolls are cooked through.
  17. Slather on the glaze!

A quick moment of zen - a gaggle of young raccoons crossing my driveway...


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