• More than just cinnamon, butter and sugar, these scrumptious buns have the crunch of the rusks and the saltiness of pretzels – a perfect marriage for the smooth cream cheese frosting. The aroma when baking is glorious.

    Recipe and styling by Thulisa Martins

    Assisted by Nomvuselelo Mncube

    Photograph by Dylan Swart

    Ouma Rusk buttermilk and pretzel mini buns

    Serves: 6 - 8
    Cooking Time: 45 mins + 1 hr 30 mins, to rest


    • DOUGH

    • 200ml full-cream milk
    • 100g castor sugar
    • 100ml canola oil
    • 10g dried yeast
    • 300ml buttermilk
    • 600g cake flour + extra, to dust
    • 80g cake flour
    • 60ml (¼ cup) salt
    • 5ml (1 tsp) baking powder
    • 5ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda

    • 150g butter, melted
    • 100g brown sugar
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) ground cinnamon
    • 200g Ouma Plain Rusks, crushed
    • 150g salted pretzels, roughly crushed

    • 250g plain cream cheese
    • 200g icing sugar
    • 70g butter, melted
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) vanilla paste
    • 250ml (1 cup) double-thick cream
    • 1 x 385g tin condensed milk



    For the dough, place the milk, sugar and oil in a large pot over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool down to 25°C. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the liquid and add the buttermilk and the 600g flour. Stir gently until combined and the mixture is wet and sticky. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside to rest in a warm place, 1 hour.


    Once rested, add the 80g flour, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Mix until the dry ingredients are fully combined, cover with cling film and refrigerate the dough overnight.


    Preheat the oven to 175°C and grease two round 20cm springform cake tins. Place the rested dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it, as thin as possible, into a large rectangle.


    For the filling, pour the melted butter over the rectangle and spread with a pastry brush to cover completely. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle this mixture evenly over the buttered rectangle. Sprinkle over the rusks and then the pretzels. Tightly roll the pastry horizontally towards you and pinch a seam in the dough once rolled. Cut 3cm-thick slices in the cinnamon roll and place, cut side down, in the greased round tins. Cover and leave the buns to rest until double in size, 30 minutes. Bake in the oven, 30 minutes.


    For the cream cheese icing, mix all the ingredients together in a free-standing blender and pour over the hot buns. Allow the icing to soak into the buns before serving, 10 minutes. They are best served warm.

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com