Cinnamon and brown sugar get twisted up in puff pastry and baked to make a simple, yet outrageously good snack or dessert. These Cinnamon Twists are flaky, crunchy, and perfectly sweet.
Puff Pastry Cinnamon Twists
I don't have any memory of ever actually eating one, but I feel like I've seen something similar to this Cinnamon Twist in most bakeries I've entered. They're usually large and look incredibly tempting. While creating my puff pastry recipe last year, I baked off several variations of this cinnamon twist and my whole family really enjoyed how crunchy and sweet they were, so I knew I needed to perfect a recipe to share here. It did take me a few (read: a dozen) iterations to get just the right process and ingredient list down. I initially treated these like cinnamon roll dough, but really, given the high butter content of puff pastry and the unique way they bake up, it was resulting in less-than-perfect cinnamon twists. After some trial and error, I baked up the perfect recipe using a few simple tricks to result in some seriously flaky and flavorful cinnamon twists.
Balancing the amount of sugar in any sweet recipe I create is always a priority, and that was definitely on my list of important elements of this recipe too. I would describe this Cinnamon Twist as not being overly sweet. I tested a variation where I used sugar on both the outside and the inside of the puff, but ultimately I liked the less sweet version.
The biggest question you'll need to ask yourself is whether or not you are willing to make the puff pastry from scratch. I highly recommend it, but if you prefer you can also use store-bought puff pastry too with similar success.
So, let's get to making it, shall we? The text below offers tons of tips and helpful notes, or you can scroll to the bottom to grab the recipe and get started!
Here is an overview of the ingredients needed for this recipe. The full recipe is listed below in greater detail.
- puff pastry (homemade or store-bought)
- brown sugar
- granulated sugar
- ground cinnamon
- egg wash (which is just egg and water!)
Useful Tools to Make This Recipe
Here is a list of some of the primary tools I use in this recipe. You won't necessarily choose to use them all, but they are exactly what I used. Any links may contain affiliate links.
- stand mixer (only if you are making the puff pastry)
- 13"x18" sheet pan (also known as a half sheet pan)
- rolling pin
- ruler and pastry wheel or sharp knife (to cut the pastry)
- kitchen essentials: baking scale, bowls, measuring cups and measuring spoons, rubber spatula
Overview of Steps
The number of steps needed to make this recipe depends on if you plan to make your puff pastry from scratch. More on this is below.
- Make the puff pastry, and chill it (or, skip the step if you are using store-bought).
- Make the cinnamon sugar filling + egg wash.
- Roll out, fill and twist the pastry.
Let's Talk Puff Pastry
Puff pastry is a classic french pastry made by laminating butter in a dough repeatedly until the final pastry has many hundreds of alternating layers of butter and dough. Rough puff is a more streamlined version of it, that is less fussy but with extremely similar results.
Rough puff is made by laminating (or layering) an enriched butter dough that is very similar to pie crust, except that it's rolled and folded five times.
This cinnamon twist recipe calls for my homemade rough puff, but if you wanted to make the classic puff pastry, you certainly could! This recipe yields about 7 twists and uses only half the batch of the rough puff recipe (which is about 18 ounces of dough). Save the other half for another pastry, or you can even double the batch and make 14 cinnamon twists.
Can you buy puff pastry at the store? You absolutely can. However, depending on the type of puff pastry you buy, the exact instructions for cutting the pastry might differ slightly.
Purchased puff pastry typically either comes in one folded 14-ounce sheet, or it comes in two folded 8-ounce sheets. Please note, I haven't tried all brands, so your store-bought puff pastry may be different than this.
The measurements listed in this recipe correspond with the use of my homemade rough puff recipe. If you have purchased puff pastry with 1 sheet, try to roll it out slightly thinner to an 8"x12 rectangle and then follow the instructions noting that the measurements might be slightly different. If you are using puff pastry with two sheets, I suggest rolling out each sheet a little thinner and then proceeding with the recipe.
Using store-bought puff pastry means you might have to think on your feet a bit in terms of how thin to roll it out and what size to cut, but the essential process of making the twists should be followed and I'm sure the results will be fantastic.
Shaping the Cinnamon Twists
Let me just start this off by sharing the golden rule when it comes to working with puff pastry: if at any point your pastry is getting too warm, simply place it in the refrigerator or freezer to chill. Warm puff pastry is not only sticky and tricky to work with, but letting the butter melt will result in stodgy flat-baked pastry.
I did try many different ways to fill and shape these twists. Ultimately the steps I decided yielded the best and prettiest result goes as follows:
- roll out the pastry
- brush with eggwash
- sprinkle on sugar mixture
- cut the pastry into (about) 1" strips and stack two pairs together
- chill (if needed at this stage if your pastry is very warm)
- twist them together and place them on a baking sheet
- chill again
- egg wash
It can be a little finicky with the chilling, but doing it in this manner resulted in the prettiest result. Without chilling, the pastry got too warm and hard to handle, and the resulting bake was very wonky. If you don't at all care how they look, you can probably skip the chilling. They will still taste good, but will definitely not look as pretty.
Want your cinnamon twists to bake up nicely? As I touched upon in the above paragraph, you'll want to chill them before baking! The instructions list a bare minimum time to chill, but the longer the chill the better.
Chilling the pastry before baking makes the puff pastry bake up higher. It also helps the filling stay inside the cinnamon twists instead of spilling out during the baking. And lastly, the chilled puff pastry is less likely to bake up misshapen.
To bake, preheat the oven to 400ºF and set a rack in the middle position in the oven. This small step of baking it in the middle will ensure the puff pastry bakes throughout but doesn't brown too much on the bottom.
The twists are done when they have puffed up and are lightly golden all over.
How to Store Them
Cinnamon twists are best eaten on the day they are made. However, they can be stored in an air-tight container for two days after that. They will get crunchier as time goes on. If desired, they can be re-warmed for a few minutes to get that fresh baked taste.
I haven't tried freezing them, but I imagine they will freeze just fine, with the thought that they should be refreshed in a toaster oven/oven to crisp up.
More Puff Pastry Recipes
I am so honored when you make a recipe from my site! If you make these Cinnamon Twists, please leave a comment and a star rating with your experience! If you have any questions about this recipe, feel free to comment here, too!Print
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