How to Make Sticky Rhubarb Cinnamon Buns (ooey gooey good)

These rhubarb cinnamon buns are “Simply the best cinnamon bun I’ve ever had!” according to my friend Terry who helped taste test the these cinnamon buns.

close up of rhubarb cinnamon bun
Can you find the rhubarb pieces in the sweet, sticky glaze?

Recipe testing is hard work. Preparing the same recipe multiple times and tweaking it until you get perfection can be exhausting. Sometimes, it can be down right damaging to your waist line!  

rhubarb cinnamon buns finished

Luckily, we have good friends and neighbours willing to come to our rescue and help provide valuable feedback. This final recipe received rave reviews; mostly because they’re amazing! The slightly tart tang from the rhubarb cuts the sweetness from the gooey brown sugar filling perfectly.

rhubarb cinnamon buns w

How to Freeze Cinnamon Buns

You can freeze cinnamon buns either before or after baking.


Freeze a whole tray of unbaked cinnamon buns or split in half using two 8×8 inch pans.

Assemble as instructed. Let buns complete their final rise. Instead of baking, wrap the pan tightly with a double layer of plastic wrap or aluminum foil (or a layer plastic followed by foil). Freeze for no longer than three months for best baking results.

To Prepare: Bake from frozen. Put the frozen pan into the cold oven, covered with foil (remove any plastic). Once oven reaches 375°F, bake for 20 minutes with foil on, remove foil and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes.


Let baked buns cool completely. Separate from each other and place in airtight, sealable container or freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months for tastiest results.

To Prepare: Thaw first, then place in a low temperature oven to warm them up. Try 350°F for 15-20 minutes. Cover with foil if browning too much but still cold in the middle.

The delicious light and fluffy whole wheat yeast dough comes from a recipe created for Manitoba Canola Growers by Chef Mary-Jane Feeke, a Red Seal Chef and Baker.

Rhubarb Cinnamon Bun Recipe

close up of rhubarb cinnamon bun
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Ooey Gooey Sticky Rhubarb Cinnamon Buns

A delicious cinnamon bun with a rhubarb filling that's simply amazing. The hint of tart rhubarb goes perfectly with the sweet, sticky glaze inside these buns. You will love these buns!
Prep : 50 mins
Cook : 25 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 12
Author: Getty Stewart


  • Dough
  • 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp wheat germ
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk 100°F to 115°F/37°C to 46°C
  • Filling
  • 1/2 cup canola oil margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup strawberry rhubarb freezer jam (or other jam)
  • 1 cup sliced rhubarb


  • In large bowl, combine 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, wheat germ, instant yeast, sugar and salt.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour mix and add canola oil, egg and milk. Mix ingredients incorporating more flour as needed to form a soft dough.
  • As dough forms a ball, use hands to knead for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as needed. Dough should be soft and stretchy without being sticky.
  • Cover dough and let rest for 10-20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine margarine, brown sugar, cinnamon and jam.
  • Spread half of jam mix in bottom of an un-greased 9×13 inch (23×30 cm) pan.
  • Roll out dough on a floured board to form a 10×13 in (23 x 33 cm) rectangle.
  • Spread remaining half of jam mix over dough. Evenly distribute rhubarb pieces over dough.
  • Roll dough up tightly, starting at the 12 inch (30 cm) side. Pinch edge of dough to seal the roll.
  • Using a serrated knife, cut dough roll crosswise into 12 equal pieces. Place dough pieces slightly apart on top of jam mix in pan.
  • Let rise in a warm place for 40-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Bake rolls at 375°F (190°C) for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Immediately turn upside down onto serving plate to let filling drizzle over rolls.
  • Best served warm.


If 12 cinnamon buns are too much, split the batch into two small pans (8x8inch pan) of six buns each. Let both pans complete the final rise then place one pan in the oven for immediate use and one pan in the freezer for another day. When you’re ready to use, simply bake from frozen. Put the frozen pan into the cold oven, covered with foil. Once oven reaches 375°F, bake for 20 minutes with foil on, remove foil and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes.
Of course, you can also freeze baked buns. Thaw first, then place them in a low temperature oven to warm them up.
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Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 217mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 27g | Iron: 2mg
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cinnamon bun, rhubarb, rhubarb recipe

Helpful Tips for Making Cinnamon Buns

For my first version I tried simply adding chopped raw rhubarb on top of brown sugar and margarine before rolling up the cinnamon buns. The results were good, but I was looking for a little more gooeyness and rhubarb flavor.

cinnamon buns raw rhubarb - watermarked

The next several attempts involved fine tuning the filling. Adding homemade strawberry rhubarb freezer jam was just thing! Mixing it up and spreading half in the pan and half on the dough sealed the deal.

making rhubarb cin buns - watermarked

As for rolling and cutting the cinnamon buns, be sure to use a serrated knife to saw through the dough rather than just squishing it.

cutting roles serated knife - watermarked
rhubarb cinnamon buns before rising

To get the fluffiest buns, be patient and let your cinnamon rise for the full 45 minutes. See the difference 45 minutes makes.

rhubarb cinnamon buns risen
rhubarb cinnamon buns out of oven

When they come out of the oven, they should have a nice golden brown top. Almost as soon as you pull them out of the oven you need to invert the pan to ensure the delicious gooey filling goes covers the buns. I do this by placing a cookie sheet over the bun pan and flipping over – the cookie sheet catches any drippings. If you wait too long, the filling will start to harden. To make them slide right out, run a knife along the edge before you flip over the pan.

rhubarb cinnamon buns w

This is what they look like when you flip them over. I serve these with the gooey side facing up – no need for additional icing.

That sugary filling is hot, be careful!  Let them cool for a couple of minutes before diving in.

Thank you rhubarb! You just made a good thing better!

More Rhubarb Recipes

Interested in more recipes and rhubarb facts? Check out my Rhubarb eCookbook with over 40 sweet and savory recipes and preserves or check out these posts:

Classic Stewed Rhubarb

Rhubarb Galette

Seedy Rhubarb Oat Muffins

Cornmeal Rhubarb Surprise Muffins

Rhubarb Honey Bran Muffins

Rhubarb Fruit Leather

7 Rhubarb Breakfast Recipes

11 Recipes using Frozen Rhubarb

How and When to Harvest Rhubarb

How to Freeze Rhubarb

How to Dehydrate Rhubarb

Will you give these rhubarb cinnamon buns a try?  When and where do you love eating a muffin? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram at #getgettys or Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.

Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist,  speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.

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  1. Made these this morning for brunch and they were amazing! Everyone loved them. Tangy and sweet. Didn’t have the wheat germ so subbed in additional flour.

    1. Yahoo! So glad you loved them as much as we do. The wheat germ is a nice addition if you have it, but you could leave it out. You can sub in flour or just leave it and end up using a little less water – either way. Glad they worked!

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