Tuck Shop Cinnamon Bun Recipe

These treats fuelled the studies of UAlberta students for decades

These treats fuelled the studies of UAlberta students for decades

December 11, 2019 •

Try your hand at making the legendary cinnamon knots at home. Print the recipe.

This version of the original Tuck Shop recipe was adapted for home kitchens by Joyce Kerr, former U of A food services manager, and published in New Trail in 1982.

Soften 2 packages instant yeast
OR (not both) 1 oz Fleischmann’s fresh yeast
In ½ cup warm water
And 2 tbsp sugar


Let this mixture set until the yeast is dissolved (about 10 minutes).

In a large bowl put 2 cups boiling water
Add 3 tbsp margarine
2 tsp salt
And 3 tbsp sugar


Let the margarine melt and the mixture cool a bit.

Then add 2 cups all-purpose flour


Beat this mixture hard until very smooth and creamy (about 5 minutes).

Then add softened yeast mixture
3 eggs
And 3¼ cups more flour


Continue beating until dough is very smooth. (It should be a very soft dough.) Cover and let stand in a warm place to rise until the dough is doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).

While the dough is rising:

In a flat pan, melt ⅓ cup margarine


Set aside to cool.

In a flat dish, mix 1 cup white sugar
And 1½ tsp cinnamon


Turn the raised dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Let the dough set 5 to 10 minutes to “firm up.” Cut the dough into pieces about the size of an orange. Dip each piece of dough first into the melted margarine, then coat it well in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Stretch the dough piece until it is 4 to 5 inches long and form it into a simple knot.

Place the knots side by side in a 9" x 12" x 2" pan. (Be sure the pan is 2" deep, and allow a 3" square for each bun.) Let the finished buns rise for about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes. This recipe makes 18 good-sized buns.

Note: An electric mixer is needed for the recipe as it requires a lot of beating. If the dough is too soft to handle, add a bit more flour. However, the less flour used the better the buns will be.

While we don't want to mess with the original recipe, we've heard from some readers that their versions needed alterations such as more sugar and cinnamon. We leave it to you to experiment. Enjoy!  

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