I’ve been craving cinnamon rolls all week. Soft, buttery bread with crispy edges, heaps of spice and the best part – lashings of sweet icing. Whenever I make Lotte Duncan’s version with maple icing, they fill the house with the most mouth-watering scent of fresh bread.
In fact, I love Lotte’s buttery cinnamon roll recipe so much, I used it as the basis for my Indian-inspired wreath here.
The basic white dough is rolled with a shameless amount of butter, ground cardamom and cinnamon, twisted into a Finnish bakery-style wreath and placed in a hot oven. Once baked, I couldn’t help but drizzle it with icing made with rose syrup (the kind I use to make my Strawberry Cheesecake Falooda), and then scattered with homemade candied lemon peel and pistachios. Need I say more?
Okay, let me explain the beauty of these flavours together…
The spicy cardamom and cinnamon combined with sugar and butter create the most amazing, rich flavour once baked inside the dough. The fluffy bread mops up the buttery juices and almost caramelises the bottom of the wreath. The exposed layers on top create little craters where the caramelised butter collects, making it golden and crusty. A drizzle of rose icing gives it just enough sweetness and perfume to define it as a Bollywood-themed party in your mouth. Oh, and who doesn’t love candied lemon peel?
For the dough:
450g strong white bread flour
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp dried yeast
275ml lukewarm water
2 tsp groundnut oil
For the filling:
100g light brown sugar
200g very soft salted butter
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
For the rose icing:
70g icing sugar
2 tbsp rose syrup
For the candied lemon peel:
5 tbsp sugar, plus more for coating
20g pistachios, husks removed
1. Combine the ingredients for the dough in a large bowl and bring together using your hands. Knead for 10 minutes. Grease the bowl with a tiny bit of oil and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rise in a warm place for 90 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the filling. Mix together the ground cardamom, cinnamon and sugar.
3. Next, make the candied lemon peel. Peel the lemons using a vegetable peeler and hold a sharp knife against the underside, slicing off as much white pith as you can. Discard the pith and slice the lemon zest into thin strips. Heat the water and 5 tbsp sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the lemon zest and boil for 7 minutes. Drain and toss in a bowl of sugar. Remove from the sugar and allow to dry on a plate. Set aside.
4. To make the icing, combine the icing sugar and rose syrup, beating well to ensure there are no lumps.
5. Heat the oven to 180C and line a large tray with baking paper.
6. Once the dough has risen, knock it back and give it a good knead to remove all the air bubbles. This will ensure an even rise in the oven, maintaining the shape of the wreath.
7. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle until it’s about 1cm in thickness. Spread the very soft butter all over the surface and then sprinkle all over with the sugar and spice mixture. From the longest side, roll the dough into a log shape. Split the log into two pieces lengthways (I find the easiest way to do this is using a pizza cutter – this avoids any snagging). Press the tops into each other and place one strip over the other, keeping the layers on top. Repeat until you’ve completed the whole log. Bring the ends together and twist to form a wreath. Brush with a little bit more butter and place on a lined baking tray.
8. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. Once baked, you’ll notice quite a bit of butter in the tray. Use a pastry brush to baste this all over the wreath.
9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before drizzling with rose icing and sprinkling with candied lemon peel. Scatter with pistachios and finally dust with a little bit of icing sugar.
10. Serve with Cardamom Chai or Masala Coffee.
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