Inspired by the ones made by quarry worker and part-time baker Ivan on the show, these soft, pillowy rolls are stuffed with sugar and spice and slathered with a rich, cream cheese icing

By Sonal Dutt
February 19, 2021 12:02 PM
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Credit: Jennifer Causey

During the third season of Schitt's Creek, businessman Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy) begins offering free pastries and coffee to guests in an effort to "add an extra star" to the Rosebud Motel's non-existent ratings.

The star bait: A "continental breakfast" featuring soft, pillowy cinnamon rolls stuffed with sugar and spice and slathered with a rich, cream cheese icing, baked by local Schitt's Creek quarry worker and part-time baker Ivan. "It's for business travelers, traveling the continent, eating breakfast and... continental traveling," Johnny tells his skeptical family.

While the cinnamon buns on the Pop TV series may have looked homemade, the jumbo, on-screen pastries were actually store-bought. "It was basically Cinnabon in the box," star and co-creator Dan Levy tells PEOPLE exclusively. "It was at my request because, well, they're delicious."

Schitt's Creek
| Credit: Pop TV

"My dad and I are both very excited about food," says Levy, whose hit comedy came to an end after six seasons in April and swept the Emmy Awards in September. "We had an incredible set decorating department and production design team, who were very accommodating when it came to things we had to eat. So for the most part, I have to say that everything was quite good—mainly because we requested it."

"My problem was that if I decided to eat a cinnamon bun in a scene, I was tied to it for the entire day of shooting," he says. "And when it is something you like eating, you tend to eat more of it—which means, by the end of the day, I'd have eaten about 15 cinnamon buns, which is not necessarily the best or healthiest choice to make. But do I regret it? Not really."

While our version isn't as easy as picking up a box at the mall, we think our recipe comes close to capturing the Rosebud Motel's pastry magic—and is worth that extra star rating.

Rosebud Motel's 'Continental Breakfast' Cinnamon Buns

2 Tbsp. active dry yeast  
1 1/2 cups warm water (100°F to 110°F), divided 
1/2 cup, plus 7 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided  
1 large egg, at room temperature  
3/4 tsp. kosher salt  
4 Tbsp. (2 oz.) unsalted butter, softened, divided  
3 3/4 cups (about 16 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface   
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar  
3 Tbsp. ground cinnamon  
Cooking spray  
3 oz. cream cheese, softened 
2 1/4 cups (about 9 oz.) powdered sugar  
1 tsp. vanilla extract  
2 Tbsp. whole milk

1. Beat yeast, 1/4 cup of the warm water, and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on low speed until combined, about 15 seconds. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add egg, salt, 6 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons of the butter, and remaining 1 1/4 cups warm water; beat on medium-low speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes.  

2. Remove paddle attachment, and replace with dough hook. With mixer running on low speed, gradually add flour, beating until flour is incorporated, about 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium, and continue beating until dough is smooth and stretchy (but still wet) and pulls away somewhat from inside of bowl, 10 to 12 minutes. 

3. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap, and let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 40 minutes. 

4. Whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl until combined.   

5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll into a 24- x 10-inch rectangle. Sprinkle dough evenly with cinnamon-sugar mixture, leaving a 1/4-inch border on all sides. Roll dough into a log starting from the 10-inch side. Using a serrated knife, cut roll crosswise into 8 (1 1/4-inch-wide) slices.  

6. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper; spray lightly with cooking spray. Place slices, cut sides up, in prepared pan, leaving a little room between buns. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature until almost doubled in size and puffy, about 30 minutes.  

7. Place springform pan on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until buns are light golden and a wooden pick inserted into center bun comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool in pan on a wire rack while you prepare frosting.  

8. Beat cream cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating on low speed until combined, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer running on low speed, beat in vanilla and 1 tablespoon milk. With mixer continuing to run on low speed, add remaining milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating until smooth and creamy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. 

9. Remove cinnamon buns from springform pan; spread generously with cream cheese frosting, and serve. 

Serves: 8 (serving size: 1 cinnamon bun) 
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 15 minutes