Grilled Glazed Honey Bun Recipe

These Glazed Honey Buns are the love child of a glazed cinnamon roll and a yeasted donut. But there’s more. If you split them in half and grill them in butter, you’ll have the most amazing, indulgent treat.

Read on for all the detailed tips and tricks for making your favorite grilled glazed honey buns. Or just grab your apron, hit that Jump to Recipe button, and let’s make some amazing homemade honey buns, courtesy of the Williams College snack bar!

glazed honey bun on a cooling rack.
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Ingredients

flour, sugar, milk powder, yeast, honey, and other ingredients on a countertop.

Honey buns use an enriched dough like brioche, challah, my Nutella babka, and of course my purple cow-pattern Japanese milk bread. In addition to bread flour, the honey bun dough calls for an egg, vegetable shortening like Crisco, and milk, here in powdered form.

 

I’ve cut the original recipe in half, but mostly kept the original Williams College recipe except for minor adjustments. The only substitution I made was for vanilla extract in place of imitation vanilla.

I’m planning to make future versions with butter in place of shortening. If you’re like me and want to use milk in place of powdered milk and water, please scald your milk to prevent inhibiting the yeast growth.

Other ingredients to note include the cinnamon (not pictured) for sprinkling on the rolled out dough and honey and gelatin for the honey bun glaze. Using gelatin isn’t essential, but it will give you a glossy finish to your glaze.

Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

Recipe tips and tricks

Making the homemade honey bun dough

Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, milk powder, yeast, and salt) in the bowl of your stand mixer and mix on low speed for about 10 seconds. Add the egg, water, and vanilla and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.

wet and dry ingredients mixed together in a stand mixer bowl with paddle.

Step 2: Switch to your dough hook and knead the dough for a few minutes. Add the shortening and continue to beat until the dough starts to pull away from the bowl and make a thwacking sound as it goes round and round. It will take a bit of time so try to resist the urge to add more flour.

Step 3: Shape the dough into a ball and put it in a greased bowl covered with plastic wrap in a warm place in your kitchen until it doubles in size – about one to two hours. If your kitchen is cold, you can create a warm, draft-free location by heating your oven to about 80 degrees. Or microwave a cup of water in your microwave and then put the bowl inside.

dough ball in a greased metal bowl.

Honey bun construction

Step 4: Punch down the dough, then roll it out onto a lightly floured countertop to a rectangle that is about 6 inches wide and one quarter inch thick.

rectangle of dough on a lightly floured countertop.

Step 5: Lightly brush the egg wash on the rolled out dough, and sprinkle the cinnamon on top. There isn’t any sugar in the honey bun cinnamon filling, that’s correct.

rectangle of rolled out honey bun dough sprinkled with cinnamon.

Step 6: With the short side facing you, roll the honey bun dough as tightly as you can, then slice into six one-inch segments.

The trick to cutting round slices is unwaxed, unflavored dental floss – slide a 8 to 10 inch piece under the honey bun roll, cross the ends above, and pull it tight to slice through the dough. Repeat four more times to get six slices.

six unrisen honey buns on a baking sheet lined with silicone mat.

Step 7: Let the honey buns rise on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper and covered with plastic wrap. They should double in size in about 30 to 60 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat your frying oil. Use a neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point.

six fully risen honey buns on a lined baking sheet.

How to fry and glaze the honey buns

Step 8: When your honey buns have doubled in size and your oil is at least 375 degrees Fahrenheit, deep fry the honey buns until golden brown, about 80 to 90 seconds on each side.

A few tips for deep frying:

  • Use an instant read thermometer to make sure your oil is 375 degrees Fahrenheit (191 degrees Celsius). Frying at lower temperatures results in more oil absorption and greasier food.
  • Use a heavy-bottomed pot or wok for frying.
  • Fry only one or two honey buns at a time, depending on the size of the pot or wok, and adjust the temperature as needed.
  • Use a slotted or wire spoon to remove cooked honey buns while draining some oil. Then transfer the fried honey buns to a rack over a paper towel to catch excess oil.
  • When you’re done, let your oil cool before straining and storing. You can re-use oil a few times as long as your fried food isn’t fish or something similarly pungent.

Let the honey buns cool completely before glazing.

six fried honey and slotted spoon on a cooling rack over a paper towel.

Step 9: Combine the ingredients for the glaze and pour it over the cooled honey buns. You can make the glaze thinner with more water or thicker with more powdered sugar. Eat one right away or continue to Step 10 to griddle your honey buns.

six glazed honey buns on a cooling rack.

Making grilled honey buns

I’ve wanted to make homemade honey buns ever since someone told me about buttering banana bread. While I can’t imagine butter on banana bread, the pan fried chocolate chip banana bread I made stirred up nostalgia for honey buns that seems shared by every Williams College alumni.

Step 10: To make grilled honey buns, slice a honey bun in half. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a cast iron or other frying pan, and cook it with the cut half down on low for about 5 minutes, until the inside is a toasty brown. Enjoy!

Grilled glazed honey bun on a plate with fork and knife next to pan full of glazed honey buns.

Recipe FAQs

How should I store the glazed honey buns?

Store your glazed honey buns in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to a few days. For longer storage, they can be frozen, though you might want to freeze them before glazing.

Can I reheat the honey buns after glazing?

Yes, if you don’t want to grill or griddle your honey buns in butter, you can reheat them in the microwave until warm, being careful not to liquefy the glaze.

Check out some other breakfast recipes from the Ugly Duckling Bakery archives, like:

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.

Recipe

Grilled Glazed Honey Bun Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Category: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rising times: 3 hours
Total Time: 5 hours
Servings: 6
Calories: 434kcal
These Glazed Honey Buns are a mashup of a glazed cinnamon roll and a yeasted donut. But you don't need to stop there. If you split a honey bun in half and grill it in butter, you'll have the most amazing, indulgent treat, courtesy of the Williams College snack bar.
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Equipment

  • Stand mixer

Ingredients

Honey bun dough

  • cups (312 grams) bread flour plus more for rolling the dough
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (18 grams) milk powder
  • 1 packet (7 grams) instant dry yeast
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 5 ounces (142 grams) water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 rounded tablespoons (28 grams) vegetable shortening e.g. Crisco

Cinnamon layer and construction

  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • vegetable oil or other oil for deep frying

Honey bun glaze

  • ¾ cup (99 grams) powdered sugar plus more as needed
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon hot water plus more water as needed

Grilled honey buns

  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter

Instructions

Honey bun dough

  • Combine the bread flour, sugar, milk powder, yeast, and salt and mix on low speed until combined.
    2½ cups (312 grams) bread flour, 2 tablespoons (28 grams) granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons (18 grams) milk powder, 1 packet (7 grams) instant dry yeast, ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Add the egg, water, and tablespoon of vanilla extract and continue to mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.
    1 egg, 5 ounces (142 grams) water, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Switch to your stand mixer's dough hook and knead the dough for a few minutes. Add the shortening and continue to mix until the dough starts to pull away from the bowl. Try to resist the urge to add more flour.
    2 rounded tablespoons (28 grams) vegetable shortening
  • Shape the dough into a ball and put it in a greased bowl in a warm place in your kitchen until it doubles in size – about one to two hours.

Cinnamon layer and construction

  • Punch down the dough, then roll it out on a lightly floured countertop to a rectangle about 6 inches wide and one quarter inch thick.
  • Lightly brush the egg wash on the rolled out dough, and sprinkle the cinnamon on top.
    1 egg, 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • With the short side facing you, roll the honey bun dough as tightly as you can, then slice the roll into six one-inch segments.
  • Let the honey buns rise on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper until doubled in size, about 30 to 60 minutes.

Deep frying

  • While the honey buns are rising, heat at least three or four inches of oil to 375℉ in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot or wok.
    vegetable oil
  • Deep fry the honey buns in batches until golden brown, about 80 to 90 seconds on each side. Use a slotted spoon to lift out the fried honey buns, letting as much of the oil drain as possible. Let cool completely on a cooling rack over a paper towel.

Honey bun glaze

  • Combine the powdered sugar, salt, honey, and ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract in a medium bowl.
    ¾ cup (99 grams) powdered sugar, 1 pinch salt, 1 teaspoon honey, ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and hot water and stir until the gelatin has completely dissolved. Add to the bowl with the powdered sugar and stir to combine. You may need an extra teaspoon or so of water to thin out the glaze to a pourable consistency. If it ends up too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar, a little at a time. Enjoy, or continue on for grilled honey buns.
    ¼ teaspoon gelatin, 1 tablespoon hot water

Grilled honey buns

  • To make grilled honey buns, slice a honey bun in half. Melt a tablespoon of butter per honey bun in a cast iron or other frying pan, and cook cut side down on low for about 5 minutes, until the inside is a toasty brown. Serve warm.
    6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter

Notes

Use an oil with a high smoke point for deep frying since the goal is to fry at or slightly above 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nutritional values provided here include an estimate of approximately one tablespoon of oil absorbed by each honey bun.
Enjoy your honey buns after glazing, or take them one step further by grilling them with a tablespoon of butter. Serve warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 330mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg
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This recipe is slightly adapted from the Williams College Honey Bun recipe, reprinted with permission, courtesy of Williams College Dining Services. Go Ephs!

Are you an adventurous home cook looking for inspiration in your weeknight meals and weekend baking? Get inspiration here:

2 Comments

  1. Looking forward to trying this and resurrecting Williams persona! It’s been a very long time. I was in class of ’80

    1. Kathleen – let me know if you have any questions. It’s been fun to think about all those Williams honey bun memories!

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