Soft Cereal Milk Almond Swirl Buns

 My friend Greta and I have both been enamored by all things cereal milk and even waited in line at Momofuku Milk Bar to get a taste of the infamous cereal milk soft serve when we were in New York City last year. So when she sent me a link to this recipe for “Cereal Milk Cinnamon Rolls”, I knew it would be something I would want to try and make!

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I loved the idea of incorporating cereal milk into a baked good but knew from my experience in baking that I wanted to create a roll that would stay soft and tasty after it cooled down and I wanted to use a different technique other than the overnight rise (which I love but I was also wanted a version for when I was more impatient!)

When I read through the recipe for “Soft Cinnamon Rolls” on the King Arthur Flour website, I knew I had found a winner. This recipe directly addresses the “stays soft after cooling” with a Japanese technique called Tangzhong. This is essentially a roux made of cooked flour, water and milk (or in my case cream).

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I made some adjustments to both recipes. I did use light cream in place of whole milk because I cannot digest the protein in milk, but I can in cream. I also used heavy cream in the Tangzhong which made the rolls very soft and rich. I also liked that the amount of cereal milk I used worked out to exactly the right amount for my recipe! (Read: no leftovers!).  I also replaced the dried milk powder with malted milk powder and liked the extra toasty notes it gave to the baked good.

The last edit I made to the buns was in the filling. I love a cinnamon roll but I feel like the strong nature of the spice competes with the fruity elements of the cereal. I decided to pick up on the almond notes of Fruity Cereal and make a filling that used Almond Paste.

The result? A pillowy and pretty bun that has the delicate taste of cereal milk and the sweet crunch of the fruity cereal.

I used “Fruity Pebbles” because I like the colors and small shape but feel free to use your favorite fruity cereal!

Can you sub out the dairy for dairy-free options? Probably,  but I would recommend using higher fat versions or dairy-free creamers. I like Milkadamia (nut milk made from macadamia nuts) for its higher fat content and ability to work well in baked goods.

I think these buns would be great with a cold glass of milk, hot coffee or Earl Grey tea! Whatever your choice, I bet when you make these they won’t last very long! Happy Baking!

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Soft Cereal Milk Almond Swirl Buns

  • Yield: 24 buns

  • Prep: 25 minutes + Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes + Bake: 20 – 25 minutes

  • Recipe adapted from: King Arthur Flour & Girl vs Dough


Cereal Milk

  • 70 g Fruity Cereal

  • 420 g light cream

Tangzhong (starter)

  • 71 g water

  • 71 g heavy cream

  • 28 g Bread Flour (I used King Arthur Flour)


  • All of the Tangzhong (starter) above

  • 496 g Bread Flour

  • 21 g Malted Milk Powder (I used King Arthur Flour’s brand)

  • 1 ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast

  • 170 g cereal milk (heated to 100°F - 110°F) (I used the microwave)

  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)

  • 85 g melted unsalted butter


  • 75 g white granulated sugar

  • 64 g almond paste

  • 44 g Fruity Cereal

  • 14 g unsalted butter

  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt


  • 227 g powdered sugar

  • 2-3 tablespoons cereal milk

  • ½ teaspoon almond extract

  • Pinch fine sea salt

  • (about) ½ cup crushed Fruity Cereal, for finishing)


  1. First, make the cereal milk: In a small bowl or cup, stir crushed cereal and milk until well combined. Let sit 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a separate bowl or cup. Set off to side.

2.      Next make the Tangzhong: Combine the three Tangzhong ingredients in a small saucepan,and whisk until no lumps remain.

3.      Place the saucepan over medium heat, and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until thick and the whisk leaves lines on the bottom of the pan. This will probably take only a minute or so. Remove from the heat and set it aside to cool down for a few minutes.

4.      To make the dough: Stir the flour, salt, malted milk and yeast together in a large mixing bowl (I just mixed them in my Kitchen Aid mixer bowl. Add the Tangzhong, eggs, melted butter and lukewarm cereal milk and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until everything comes together. Let the dough rest, covered, for 20 minutes; this will give the flour a chance to absorb the liquid, making it easier to knead.

5.      After 20 minutes, knead the dough — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a smooth, elastic, somewhat sticky dough.

6.      Shape the dough into a ball, and let it rest in a lightly greased covered bowl for 60 to 90 minutes, until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk.

7.      To make the filling: Combine the almond paste, sugar, butter, salt and almond extract until it’s fully mixed together. (Don’t put in the Fruity Cereal yet)

8.     Gently deflate the risen dough, divide it in half, and shape each piece into a rough rectangle.

9.      Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough into an 18" x 8" rectangle.

10.  Sprinkle half the almond/sugar filling onto the rolled-out dough, and then sprinkle half of the Fruity Cereal on top of the filling, leaving the top long edge free of any filling. (I also like to use a little water and brush a line on the top of the dough to help the dough stick together when rolling it up into a log.

11.   Starting with a long edge, roll the dough into a log. Put the roll into the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up the roll to make it easier to slice. With the seam underneath, cut the log into 12 slices, 1 1/2" each.

12.  Repeat with the second piece of dough and the remaining filling.

13.  Lightly grease or use cooking spray on a 9" x 13" pan. Space the buns in the pan.

14.  Cover the pan and let the buns rise for 45 to 60 minutes, until they're crowding one another and are quite puffy.

15.  While the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the bottom third.

16.  Uncover the buns, and bake them for 22 to 25 minutes, until they feel set. They might be just barely browned. (It's better to under-bake these rolls than bake them too long.) Their interior temperature at the center should be about 188°F.

17.   While the buns are baking, stir together the icing ingredients, (except the crushed Fruity cereal), adding enough of the cereal milk to make a thick spreadable icing. The icing should be quite stiff, about the consistency of softened cream cheese

18.  Remove the buns from the oven and immediately invert onto a serving tray or leave them in the pan. Spread them with the icing; it'll partially melt into the rolls. Sprinkle on the crushed Fruity Cereal. You might need to press the cereal into the icing if it sets too quickly.

19.  Serve the buns warm. Store completely cool rolls for a couple of days at room temperature, or freeze for up to 1 month.


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