The ultimate ode to coffee cake in a cinnamon roll form! These almond coffee cake cinnamon rolls are super soft almond brioche dough, filled and topped with an almond streusel coffee cake crumb. Finished off with a quick almond glaze, they make for a fun twist on the classic brunch crumb cake.
These rolls can be divided into three parts: the almond brioche dough, the streusel crumb and the glaze.
Almond Brioche Dough
This dough is very similar to my standard Brioche Cinnamon Roll dough, with the exception of adding almond flour. The almond flour adds to the softness of the dough and offers a hint of almond flavor.
- Milk - you'll want a full fat (or whole) milk for making this enriched dough. The milk needs to be warm, but not boiling. The ideal temperature is 104°F (40C) to activate the yeast.
- Dry active yeast - this recipe uses one sachet of dry active yeast. This is usually 2¼ teaspoons or 7g.
- Sugar - superfine granulated sugar or caster sugar.
- Flour - all purpose flour or plain flour will work in this recipe.
- Strong white bread flour - a stronger flour that will help build the gluten.
- Almond flour - or finely ground almonds.
- Eggs - large eggs at room temperature are best when baking.
- Butter - unsalted butter at room temperature. You can use salted butter here, but it may leave a bit of a saltiness to the finished product.
Streusel Filling and Topping
The key element of a coffee cake is the crumbly streusel topping. To make the almond streusel here, you'll need:
- Brown sugar - light brown sugar, sometimes called muscovado. When measuring, this sugar should be firmly packed in the measuring cup.
- Flour - all purpose flour or plain flour.
- Ground cinnamon - can't have a cinnamon roll without ground cinnamon!
- Almond flour - or finely ground almonds.
- Butter - unsalted butter. This will be divided in two parts: some should be softened and spreadably, while the remainder will need to be melted.
The final touch for these rolls is a quick three ingredient almond drizzle. All you'll need is:
- Powdered sugar - or icing sugar.
- Almond extract - a little goes a long way to add a bit of almond flavor here. Vanilla extract can be used, but the vanilla may overpower the almond in the streusel.
- Milk - I like to use full fat milk (or whole milk) here, but unlike with the dough the fat in the milk is less important to the success of the drizzle.
How to Make Almond Brioche Dough
This dough follows the same basic process as my other cinnamon roll dough recipes, such as my easy Brioche Cinnamon Rolls.
Begin by sprinkling the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar into the warmed milk. Give this a stir and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
Tip: it should become foamy/frothy on top. If it doesn't this may mean that your milk wasn't warm enough or was in fact too hot. It can also mean that the yeast has expired. If your yeast is in date and you suspect one of the issues with the milk - it is best to start again at this point, instead of risking the yeast not working in the buns!
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add all three of your flours (all purpose, bread flour and almond flour), the remaining sugar and salt. Stir this together. Then add the yeast mixture, immediately followed by two eggs and one egg white. Reserve the remaining egg yolk to make an egg wash later.
Knead the dough on a low setting for 15 minutes until beginning to pull itself away from the sides of the bowl. Then add the softened butter in bits (I usually cut small chunks about a couple teaspoons worth) while continuing to knead. Once all the butter has been incorporated, knead for a further 15 minutes. The dough should be pulling itself away from the sides of the bowl.
Tip: this dough remains a sticky dough and will not be pulling itself fully clean from the bowl like some bread doughs. This does not mean you need to knead forever!
Scrape the dough into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a slow proof (about 8 hours or overnight).
What is Streusel?
Streusel topping is a classic element in coffee cakes and many other bakes. At its most basic, it is a crumbly mixture of flour, sugar and butter. It often includes nuts or spices too.
The streusel in this recipe is cinnamon almond. It uses almond flour (or ground almonds) along with normal all purpose flour and has a good amount of ground cinnamon.
To make the streusel in preparation for this recipe - simply mix all of the dry ingredients together - the flour, almond, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Don't add any butter yet! The way we incorporate the butter is different for the filling and the topping of these rolls. So for now, this will be a light and floury feeling mixture!
Filling and Cutting the Rolls
Once your dough has proofed in overnight, turn this out onto a floured work surface and roll into a rectangle roughly 12" wide by 15" long. Top tip: the longer your rectangle, the more rolls you'll have in your cinnamon rolls! Avoid going overboard - you don't want your dough spread too thin or ripping. Aim for about ¼" thickness.
Next, using half of your butter (¼ cup), which should be softened and spreadable, dollop butter over the surface of the dough and spread evenly. Sprinkle half of your dry streusel mixture over this. Roll the dough up from the bottom tightly (without unnecessarily squeezing it!) until you have a log.
Once you have your log, trim the uneven ends of the dough (usually about 1½ or 2" off the ends). This means you don't have odd shaped buns with uneven filling.
Lightly score on the log with a butter knife to mark out 9 rolls. Then use unflavored dental floss to cut these. Tip: Floss or a fine kitchen string will help you cut more circular rolls. If you don't have these, you can use a sharp knife of dough cutter.
Place your 9 rolls in a parchment lined square baking pan, cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to proof for a second time - this time at room temperature for about 2 hours until doubled in size.
Topping and Baking
As you approach the end of the second proof, preheat your oven and melt your remaining butter.
Add the melted butter to the remaining streusel mixture and mix together until you have a crumbly mixture. Set this aside for a moment.
Using the reserved egg yolk from your dough, add a touch of milk and whisk together to form a quick egg wash. Brush this over the top of your rolls.
Finally sprinkle your streusel over the top of the rolls. This should be enough to give them all a good cover.
Place in the centre of the oven to bake for about 25 minutes until golden.
To make the glaze, simply whisk together the powdered sugar, almond extract and milk.
Once the rolls are finished baking, let these cool about 10 minutes before drizzling over the top. Then serve!
Well, these coffee cake cinnamon rolls taste exactly like a traditional coffee cake! Just in a cinnamon roll form. The soft almond brioche holds the swirl of streusel crumb, which will be a lot like a classic streusel swirl in many coffee cakes, such as my easy Almond Coffee Cake recipe. On top you get plenty of the crisp crumb topping too!
As with most other cinnamon rolls, these are best eaten on the day, fresh baked. This is when they'll be at their softest!
If you don't finish them in one go, you can certainly save leftovers for a day or two. Once any leftovers have cooled down, wrap them well in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. Leaving unwrapped will make them stale very quickly.
I'd not recommend freezing these. They're best made fresh and the amount of time it will take to cool, freeze and then defrost to serve, they won't be at their best. The crumb topping also has a tendency to lose its crispness in the freezer.
Looking for more cinnamon rolls? Try:
Almond Coffee Cake Cinnamon Rolls
- 8" square baking tray
Ingredients for Dough
- ¼ cup full fat milk or whole milk, warmed to 104°F (40C)
- 2¼ teaspoon dry active yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour or plain flour
- ¾ cup strong white bread flour
- ¼ cup almond flour or finely ground almonds
- 1 tablespoon superfine granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature
Ingredients for Streusel Filling and Topping
- ½ cup light brown sugar firmly packed
- ½ cup all purpose flour or plain flour
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup almond flour or ground almonds
- ½ cup unsalted butter half softened to room temperature and the other half melted
Ingredients for Glaze
- ¾ cup powdered sugar or icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon full fat milk or whole milk
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
Instructions for Almond Brioche Dough
- Begin by sprinkling the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar into the warmed milk. Stir and set aside for 10 minutes to become foamy. (see note)
- Meanwhile in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together the flour, bread flour, almond flour, salt and remaining sugar.
- When the yeast is ready, pour this into the flour mixture, immediately followed by two eggs and one egg white. Reserve the remaining egg yolk for use in an egg wash later. (see note)
- Knead on a low setting for 15 minutes until the dough has come together and is beginning to pull itself from the sides of the bowl.
- Add the softened butter bit by bit (a couple teaspoons at a time) continuing to knead as you do so. Once all butter has been incorporated continue kneading on a low setting for a further 15 minutes until the dough is again beginning to pull itself off the sides of the bowl. (see note)
- Scrape the dough into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to proof for 8 hours (or overnight).
Instructions for Filling
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, almond flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Set this aside.
- When the dough is finished its first proof, remove this from the refrigerator and turn out onto a floured work surface. Using a floured rolling pin roll out to a rectangle about 12" wide by 15" long.
- Dollop ¼ cup of softened butter over the surface of the dough and spread evenly. Then sprinkle with about half of the dry streusel mixture.
- Roll the dough from the bottom to the top forming a log. Using flavorless dental floss or a thin kitchen string, cut the uneven ends (trimming about 1½ inches off each side). Then divide the log into 9, cutting rounds with the string.
- Place the rolls a parchment lined baking pan and cover with a clean kitchen towel to proof at room temperature for about 2 hours until doubled in size.
Instructions for Topping and Baking
- Near the end of the second proof, melt your remaining butter and stir this into the remaining streusel to create a crumbly mixture. Set this aside briefly.
- Using the reserved egg yolk, add a little milk (about a tablespoon) and whisk together. Brush this over the top of the rolls then sprinkle the streusel crumble over the top.
- Place in the centre of a preheated oven and bake for about 25 minutes until golden.
Instructions for Glazing and Serving
- In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, almond extract and milk.
- Once baked, remove the rolls from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before drizzling your glaze over top and serving.
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