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Authentic German Cinnamon Rolls

5 Mins read
top view delicious cinnamon rolls concept

You’re about to dive into the world of authentic German cinnamon rolls. They’re not your regular sweet treat; they’re a delightful blend of German tradition and taste.

You’ll discover their unique charm, learn how to whip up a batch in your kitchen, and even pick up tips to perfect your recipe.

So, ready your apron, let’s roll out some dough and create delicious memories with these irresistible German cinnamon rolls.

The Unique Taste of German Cinnamon Rolls

You’ll find the taste of German cinnamon rolls to be quite different from the usual, as they’re made with a unique blend of spices and a touch more butter.

Every bite is a delightful mix of sweet and spicy, paired with a rich, buttery undertone that’ll have you craving for more. These rolls aren’t overly sweet either, which makes them perfect for those who prefer a subtle sweetness.

franzbrotchen german cinnamon rolls dirndl kitchen

The cinnamon used in these rolls is usually sourced from Ceylon, known for its delicate and complex flavor. This is why German cinnamon rolls have a taste that’s often described as deeper and more sophisticated.

History and Tradition of Cinnamon Rolls in Germany

In your exploration of baked treats, you’ve likely stumbled upon the rich history and tradition of this sweet pastry in Germany. The German cinnamon roll, or ‘Zimtschnecke’, has a history steeped in regional variations and time-honored recipes. It’s believed to date back to the Middle Ages, when spices like cinnamon were highly prized.

You’ll find that German cinnamon rolls aren’t as sweet as their American counterparts. They’re traditionally less sugary, allowing for the cinnamon’s warmth and complexity to truly shine. Every bite you take is a nod to the centuries of German bakers perfecting their craft.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Authentic German Cinnamon Rolls

Ready to try your hand at creating these traditional pastries from scratch? Let’s get started.

First, gather your ingredients. You’ll need flour, yeast, milk, sugar, butter, eggs, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.

Start by combining the flour and yeast, then gradually add in warmed milk. Mix in sugar, melted butter, and eggs until a dough forms. Let it rest! This is crucial for achieving that classic fluffy texture.

While you’re waiting, make your filling. Melt butter, then mix in cinnamon and sugar.

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Roll out your dough into a rectangle, spread the filling, and roll it up tightly.

Slice into rounds, place on a baking tray, and bake until golden brown.

Congratulations, you’ve just made authentic German cinnamon rolls! Enjoy!

Tips for Perfecting Your German Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Mastering this traditional pastry recipe might take a few tries, but don’t worry, we’ve got some tips to help you perfect it.

First, ensure your dough rises properly. This can mean the difference between fluffy, soft rolls and dense, hard ones. Don’t rush this process. Let it happen naturally in a warm, draft-free space.

Next, don’t skimp on the cinnamon. It’s what gives these rolls their signature flavor.

Lastly, be patient when rolling out your dough. You want it thin, but not too thin. It’s a delicate balance that will come with practice.

Serving and Enjoying Your Homemade German Cinnamon Rolls

Once you’ve baked those delicious pastries, it’s time to think about the best ways to serve and savor them. German cinnamon rolls, or Zimtschnecken, are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven. Their delectable aroma wafts through the air, inviting you to take a bite.

Serve them warm for an unforgettable breakfast experience or as an afternoon treat along with a cup of coffee. And don’t forget to share! Whether it’s with family, friends, or colleagues, these rolls are an absolute crowd-pleaser.

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If you’re planning to save some for later, make sure you store them properly. Airtight containers or tightly wrapped foil should do the trick. But don’t wait too long, they’re best enjoyed within a day or two.

franzbrotchen german cinnamon rolls dirndl kitchen35


You're about to dive into the world of authentic German cinnamon rolls. They're not your regular sweet treat; they're a delightful blend of German tradition and taste.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Breakfast
Servings 12 Rolls


  • Rolling PinBaking SheetPastry BrushParchment PaperSilicone Baking Mat



  • 1 kilogram croissant dough make an authentic German croissant dough called Plunderteig here 1 batch

Franzbrötchen Filling

  • 60 g butter I use grass-fed butter
  • 100 g brown sugar I use light brown sugar
  • 50 g ground almonds either ground almonds with skin on or almond flour (with skin off)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon cinnamon

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg yolk mixed with equal parts water to brush on before baking


  • Prep the Plunderteig (Croissant Dough)
  • I often work ahead and make the croissant dough (Plunderteig) ahead of time, roll it out (60 by 28 cm or 24 by 11 inches) and freeze it. Transfer to the fridge 1 day before using, then proceed with the steps below.
  • Make the Filling
  • Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and almond flour and set aside. Bring the butter to room temperature and set aside (I heat it in the microwave in 5 to 10 second increments if I run short on time).
  • Make the Franzbrötchen
  • Spread the room temperature butter onto the dough (I just use my hands). Then evenly distribute the brown sugar-cinnamon-almond flour mixture. Roll up longwise.
  • Using a knife or dough cutter, cut into 12 rolls at a slight angle, alternating the angle every time. This is to achieve each roll having a short side and a wide side.
  • Turn each roll with the wide side facing the bottom. Now dust the tops with a bit of flour and using the stick of a cooking spoon, push the narrow top side down, forcing the cut sides to tilt towards the top.
  • Preheat oven on the convection setting to 350 Fahrenheit / 180 Celsius. Place the rolls onto a baking sheet prepped with parchment paper or a reusable silicone mat. Cover them loosely with a kitchen towel, and allow to rise another 30 minutes while the oven preheats.
  • Give the baking sheet a gentle shake. If the rolls are jelly-like and wiggly, they’re good to go into the oven. If they are not yet, let them rest and rise some more.
  • Brush on an equal mixture of egg yolk and water.
  • Bake on the middle rack for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy either warm or cold.


The final rise: since the dough will be cool, you’ll want the filled, unbaked Franzbrötchen to have one final rising period before baking. How long this will take really depends on how warm the room is you’re in. I would plan for 30 minutes to an hour. When you give the baking sheet a gentle shake, the rolls should wiggle slightly. That means they’re ready for the oven.


What Are Some Popular Variations of the German Cinnamon Roll in Different Regions of Germany?

You’ll find variations across Germany. In the north, they often add marzipan. Southern regions might incorporate apples or raisins. Each version’s unique, reflecting the local tastes and traditions of its respective region.

Are There Any Specific Diet-Friendly Versions of German Cinnamon Rolls, Such as Gluten-Free or Vegan?

Yes, you’ll find diet-friendly versions of these sweet treats. Many bakeries offer gluten-free and vegan options, made with alternative ingredients to cater to different dietary needs, without compromising the traditional flavors.

How Can I Store Leftover German Cinnamon Rolls and How Long Will They Stay Fresh?

You can store your leftover rolls in an airtight container at room temperature. They’ll stay fresh for about 2-3 days. If you want to keep them longer, freeze them—they’ll last for up to 3 months.

Can I Freeze the Dough for German Cinnamon Rolls to Bake at a Later Time?

Absolutely, you can freeze the dough for later use. Just ensure it’s well wrapped to prevent freezer burn. When you’re ready to bake, let it thaw overnight in the fridge, then proceed as normal.

What Are Some Traditional Beverages That Are Typically Served With German Cinnamon Rolls?

ingredients franzbrotchen german cinnamon rolls

You’re asking about traditional beverages usually paired with a sweet treat. Common choices include hot coffee or tea. In Germany, they might also enjoy it with a glass of milk or even a beer.


So, you’ve delved into the history, mastered the recipe, and sharpened your baking skills.

Now, it’s time to savor your authentic German cinnamon rolls. Serve them warm, with a cup of coffee or tea. Enjoy the unique taste and texture that sets them apart from other cinnamon rolls.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t worry if they’re not perfect the first time. Keep baking, keep tasting, and above all, keep enjoying the process.

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About author
Meet Sue Perera, the culinary aficionado behind our captivating recipe hub. An imaginative and talented young woman, Sue has an unwavering passion for all things food – especially those aromatic wonders, cinnamon and thyme. Her deep-seated love for these two unique spices inspired the birth of this website, but don't be fooled – her culinary repertoire extends far beyond these two ingredients.
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