Move Over Cinnamon Roll – German Franzbrötchen Are Here!
Looking for a different take on the classic cinnamon roll recipe? German Franzbrötchen is definitely for you!
This light and doughy sweet roll is loaded with cinnamon and sugar – while the attractive design looks great on any dessert plate!
Best of all, this Franzbrötchen recipe is made from simple ingredients and is actually really easy to follow. This means you can make them at home for yourself, the family, or dinner guests!
The Franzbrötchen was originally from the city of Hamburg in northern Germany.
These days, you can find Franzbrötchen – or Franzbrotchen, as they are sometimes written in English – in bakeries in different parts of the country.
To be honest, they are similar to a traditional cinnamon roll. However, Franzbrötchen have a completely different and unique shape. You form the unique shape during the baking process and it’s easy to do!
How to Make German Franzbrötchen – Step by Step
If you want to make German Franzbrötchen at home, you can follow our recipe card below. They are relatively easy to make.
We’ve also included a number of recipe process photos to help you see what exactly you should be doing at what step!
Start by heating the butter and the milk in a pot on the stove or in the microwave.
If you use the microwave, make sure to take out the bowl every 10-20 seoncs and give the mixture a good stir. Otherwise the butter will take a lot longer to melt.
Once the butter is fully melted, place the mixture into a large bowl.
If the mixture is very warm or hot, let it cool for a few minutes before continuing with the next step.
Now it’s time to add the yeast and the sugar into the lukewarm mixture.
Whisk the yeast and the sugar into the mixture until the yeast has dissolved.
Now add the vanilla extract, egg, and salt and whisk everything together.
After everything is whisked together, set your whisk aside and switch to your electric mixer with spiral dough hooks. Slowly add in the flour in small increments.
Mix for around 5 minutes until the dough forms a ball and doesn’t stick to the side of the bowl anymore. It should be slightly sticky but not overly wet.
Cover the bowl with a dishtowel or lid and let the dough rise for 30-60 minutes in a warm spot without a draft. The warmer the spot, the less time the dough needs to rise.
In the meantime, prepare the filling by mixing cinnamon, sugar and butter together with the normal dough hooks of your electric mixer.
Make sure to use soft butter as this will make it easier to spread the filling out onto the dough later.
When you check on your dough ball, it should have noticeably increased in size. If it hasn’t, let it rest for a little bit longer.
Sprinkle some flour onto a smooth surface and thinly roll out the dough into a rectangle using a rolling pin. For 10 Franzbrötchen the long edge should be approximately 18 inches long.
Now evenly spread the cinnamon-sugar-butter filling on top of the dough using a spoon or spatula. Make sure to be gentle so you don’t accidentally rip the dough.
Now start rolling the dough from one of the long edges until it forms a tight sausage. Cut off the uneven ends.
The cut the dough into trapezoids with the short edge approximately 1 inch wide.
You don’t have to measure everything perfectly, but try to make the pieces somewhat even so that the Franzbrötchen will be done cooking at the same time.
Now place the dough pieces onto your baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The wide edge should face down.
Use the handle of a wooden spoon and press down in the middle of the dough.
You might have to repeat the step a couple of times to get the dough to stay in place. This will give the Franzbrötchen their unique shape.
Let the buns rest for another 20 minutes. In the meantime prepare the egg wash by whisking one small egg in a small bowl with a fork until it is uniform in color. Also preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
After the 20 minutes are up, gently brush the buns with the egg wash. Make sure that it is just a thin coat – you don’t want there to be too much egg.
Bake the buns in the oven for approximately 15 minutes until they are nicely brown.
Remove the Franzbrötchen from the oven and place them on a cooling rack.
Franzbrötchen taste best when they are fresh. However, you can store them for around two days in a container with a lid.
Feel free to put them in the microwave for a few seconds when eating them the following day.
Enjoy our Franzbrötchen recipe!
If you enjoyed this recipe for a sweet treat, here are some other dessert recipes you may like!
- Rote Grütze – A German/Danish red berry dessert eaten plain or with vanilla sauce
- Nussecken – German “nut corners” with a point dipped in rich chocolate!
- Mohnnudeln – Austrian potato noodles covered in sweet sugar and poppy seeds
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 medium-sized egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup butter, soft
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
The Egg Wash
- 1 small egg
- Heat the milk and the butter in a pot on the stove or in the microwave until the butter has melted. The mixture should be slightly warm but not hot or boiling! If the mixture is too hot, let it cool for a few minutes before continuing – otherwise, you might hurt the yeast in the next step. Transfer this mixture into a large bowl and whisk the yeast and the sugar into the milk until the yeast has dissolved.
- Add the egg, vanilla extract, and salt into the mixture and whisk it together. Slowly add in the flour in small increments and mix for around 5 minutes with the spiral dough hooks of your mixer until the dough forms a ball and doesn’t stick to the side of the bowl anymore. The dough should be slightly sticky but not wet. If it’s too moist, add a tiny bit more flour.
- With the dough inside, cover the bowl with a dishtowel and let it sit in a warm spot without a draft until the dough has increased in size (approximately 30-60 minutes).
- In the meantime, prepare the filling by mixing butter, cinnamon, and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl with the normal beaters of your electric mixer. It’s important that the butter is soft.
- After the dough has risen, add some flour onto a smooth surface and thinly roll out the dough into a rectangle. If you want to make 10 Franzbrötchen, the long side should be approx. 18 inches long. Evenly spread the cinnamon sugar filling on top of the dough using a spatula or a spoon. Be gentle and patient when doing this step so that you don’t accidentally rip the dough.
- Once the rectangle is covered in filling, start rolling the dough from one of the long edges until it forms a tight sausage. Cut off the uneven ends, then cut the dough into trapezoid pieces approx. 1 inch wide on the short edge. Carefully place the dough onto a baking sheet with the long trapezoid side at the bottom. Use the handle of a wooden spoon and press down in the middle of the dough. This will give the Franzbrötchen their unique shape. Let the dough rest for another 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and also prepare the egg wash by whisking one egg in a small bowl with a fork until it is uniform in color.
- Once the 20 minutes are up, brush the Franzbrötchen with the egg wash and bake them in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. Since every oven is different, your cook time might vary slightly. The Franzbrötchen should be nicely brown.
- Remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack until they have cooled sufficiently. Enjoy!
- If you heat the butter and the milk in the microwave, make sure to take out the bowl every 10-20 seconds and give the mixture a good stir.
- Make sure that you don’t whisk the yeast into very warm or hot milk. This might harm the yeast and as a result, your dough might not rise at all.
- Also check that your yeast hasn’t expired yet since using expired yeast might also prevent the dough from rising.
- Franzbrötchen taste best fresh, but you can store them in a container with a lid for a couple of days. Feel free to heat them up for a few seconds in the microwave before consuming them.
This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.