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Morning Glory: The Lovely and Amazing Morning Bun

It's time to talk about the Morning Bun, that beautiful American adaptation of French breakfast pastries.

First off, what is this thing? As Carey Jones put it so beautifully on Serious Eats,

In my mind, the morning bun is the perfect synthesis of the classic croissant and the irresistible sticky bun. Call it a croissant in cinnamon roll clothing. It’s made of a buttery croissant dough, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar (and often walnuts or pecans), then rolled into spirals. Each one is baked in a muffin tin, and when the morning buns rise, they spill up and out of their little slots. Kept in close quarters, the bottom stays a bit doughy, like a sticky bun interior, while the top lifts into an appealingly flaky, cinnamon-speckled dome.

Legend (that being lore from a CakeSpy Shop customer Katie's friend) has it that this bit of sweet manna originated in the Midwest US, perhaps the result of French settlers trying to recreate a piece of home with the ingredients and supplies they had readily available? It is listed on the Wisconsin Food Hall of Fame, at any rate.

But regardless of where it came from, one thing is certain--these beautiful buns are just as tasty as they look, and if you see one at your local bakery, you should grab one. Of course, making a trek to Tartine for one based on the picture above wouldn't be out of the question, either (and while you're in the Bay Area, hit up La Farine, too!).

For more lore and love on the subject of the Morning Bun (and recipes/bakery suggestions too!), you might like to read Serious Eats, Pink Stripes, and Apartment Therapy.

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Reader Comments (10)

I doubt it started in the Midwest; the French origin makes more sense.

These are very popular at St. Germaine's bakery in Hawaii, which is a French-inspired Japanese bakery :)

May 22 | Unregistered CommenterOwlchick

Owlchick: how could you move away from me, first of all?

Second - yes, it seems like they ultimately come from the french, but in this particular form they're said to have stared as the "morning bun" in the midwest. I wish I could find the person who made the first one so that I could like, send them a love note!

And it sounds like I should go to Hawaii to try the specimen you detailed - I mean, it's my job, right?

May 22 | Unregistered CommenterCakeSpy

I. Love. Those. You eat them like a cinnamon roll indeed, slowly unravelling its sticky spiral with your fingers... Oh, dear God help me.

May 22 | Unregistered CommenterWei-Wei

Oh, what I would give for one of those! I wonder where I can find one in Seattle...

May 23 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

Ok, I'll answer my own question. I see that Macrina Bakery has them (or did in 2008, acc. to Serious Eats)--a mere 1/4-mile from here. I'm on my way...

May 23 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

Oooh how I'm craving cinnamon buns now!!! They're rather hard to find in the UK.


They have them at Whole Foods if you are not in SF...

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