Cinnamon Bun Pie

Anyone else tired of Milk Bar recipes…..? I hope not because I am still entirely obsessed with the cookbook and trying every single recipe I can. So this week I decided to try my hand at Tosi’s Cinnamon Bun Pie. This has a few key Milk Bar recipes throughout, including Tosi’s mother dough recipe that she uses for multiple different recipes and the extremely loved liquid cheesecake. With added layers of browned butter and streusel on top it creates a perfectly delicious treat.


This recipe would be perfect for so many gatherings and events. I wouldn’t even consider it a breakfast specific meal. It has the resemblance of a cinnamon roll yet it is so much more complex than that. With the browned butter and liquid cheesecake mixed together on top of such a nice dough base, it creates a wonderful treat.

One thing that most people do not know until they read until Tosi’s cookbook and inner workings, but she uses bread flour in all of her recipes. Her recipes read as just using “flour,” but just know she is referring to bread flour. She states in the beginning of her book that all of the recipes were tested with regular all-purpose flour but the bread flour seemed to create better results. So you better believe I followed what she says and bought bread flour and have been using it in all the recipes. Obviously I do not know what the results would be not using it, but everything I have made so far has been amazing!


Secondly, I would highly advise anyone to have a standing mixer with a dough hook to make the mother dough. Tosi gives great instructions and it was super easy to put together this wonderful dough. Saying that, I did not have a dough hook attachment or standing mixture when I made this recipe so I actually made the dough by hand. I think the cooked dough still turned out great, it just took longer to knead to get the same results.



•Mother Dough•

(This is half of the original dough recipe)

275g (1 3/4 cups) flour (Tosi uses bread flour for all recipes)

6g (1/2 tbsp) kosher salt

2g (1/4 packet or 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast

185g room temperature water

Grapeseed oil

30g (3 tbsp) flour for dusting

•Liquid Cheesecake Filling•

225g (1 block) cream cheese

150g (3/4 cup) sugar

6g (1 tbsp) cornstarch

2g (1/2 tsp) kosher salt

25g (2 tbsp) milk

1 egg

•Cinnamon Streusel•

40g (1/4 cup) flour

20g (1/4 cup) old-fashioned rolled oats

2g (1 tsp) ground cinnamon

1g (1/4 tsp) kosher salt

30g (2 tbsp) light brown sugar

25g (2 tbsp) melted butter

0.5 g (1/8 tsp) vanilla extract

•Browned Butter•

80g (1/4 cup) melted butter

•For layering•

60g (1/4 cup tightly packed) light brown sugar

1g (1/4 tsp) kosher salt

2g (1 tsp) ground cinnamon


» For the mother dough:

› Stir together the flour, salt and yeast in the stand mixer bowl. Do this by using the dough hook like a spoon by hand. Continue stirring with the dough hook and add the water – for about 1 minute. The mixture should come together into a shaggy mess.

› Engage the hook and bowl and mix on the lowest speed for 3 minutes, until the ball is smoother and more cohesive. Knead for 4 more minutes on the lowest speed. The dough should look like a wet ball and when poked should bounce back softly. Tosi states 7 minutes is the perfect amount of kneading time for this dough.

› Brush a large bowl with oil and put dough into it. Cover with cling film and let dough sit and proof for 45 minutes to an hour at room temperature. Store in the fridge in a container twice the size for up to 3 days. Let sit at room temperature for up to 30-45 minutes being using.

» For the liquid cheesecake:

› Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F

› Cream your cream cheese on a low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides. Add the sugar and mix until the sugar is fully incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.

› Whisk together the cornstarch and salt in a separate bowl. Whisk in the milk at a slow and steady pace, then whisk the egg until the mixture is homogenous.

› Pour in the egg mixture into the cream cheese mixture on a medium to low speed. Mix for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is loose and smooth. Scrape down the sides.

› Line the bottom of a 6×6 baking pan with cling film. Pour the batter into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Gently shake the pan. the cheesecake should be more firm and set towards the outer boundaries but still jiggly and loose in the dead center. If it is still jiggly all over, put it back in for 5 more minutes. Add 5 more minutes (totaling 25 minutes) if it needs it. Tosi states it has never taken more than 25 minutes to underbake one. Also, if it begins to brown or rises more than 1/4 inch then take it out immediately.

› Cool the cheesecake completely, allowing the baking process to finish and the cheesecake to set. The final result should be pipeable and easy to spread around, while still have volume and body to it. It can be stored for up to 1 week in the fridge.

» For the streusel:

› Combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt in a bowl until well incorporated. Pour in the melted butter and vanilla and toss until oat clusters form.

› The mixture can sit on the counter if you are making the pie the same day. If not, it can be stored in the fridge or freezer for up to 2 weeks.

» For browning butter:

› Tosi states the easiest way to brown butter is in the microwave. It is a lot easier than using the stove and having the potential of burning yourself.

› Put the butter in a microwave-safe (I love my pyrex) bowl and cover it with a microwave-safe saucer or plate. Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes (mine took about 7), depending on the amount and intensity of your microwave. The butter will melt, then start to pop and begin to brown. Don’t be scared to do this, you want a deep brown color (makes for a better flavor). Cool completely before using.

» Layering it all together:

› Increase your oven to 350 degrees F and let it preheat.

› Punch down and flatten the proofed dough. Take a pinch of flour and throw across a smooth dry countertop. Take another pinch and lightly dust a rolling pin. Flatten the circle of dough and roll or stretch out by hand (I did a mixture of both). You want a large circle, about 11 inches in diameter. Use your 10 inch pie tin for reference. It should be about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.

› Gently place the dough in the pie tin, pressing firmly into place. Put the pie tin on a sheet pan (this will catch any overflow while cooking).

› Spread half of the brown butter in an even layer over the dough (I used a pastry brush, but a spoon will work just fine).

› Spread half of the liquid cheesecake in an even layer over the brown butter. Spread the remaining brown butter over the liquid cheesecake.

› Scatter the brown sugar on the top of the brown butter. Press down with your hand to keep in place. Sprinkle salt and cinnamon evenly over the brown sugar.

› Spread the remaining half of the liquid cheesecake. Be gentle to achieve the most even layer possible.

› Sprinkle the streusel evenly on top of the cheesecake layer. Press down to secure the streusel.

› Bake for 40 minutes. The crust will brown and crust, the liquid cheesecake will set firm and the streusel will brown. After 40 minutes, gently shake the pan. The center should be slightly jiggly. The filling should be set towards the outer edges of the pie tin. Bake for an additional 5 minutes if necessary, until the pie meets the above requirements.

› Cool the pie on a wire wrack. The pie will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days wrapped well in plastic wrap. It will keep for up to 1 month in the freezer. Heat up a slice in the microwave for 30 seconds, or warm the whole pie in the oven at 250 degrees F for 10-20 minutes. ENJOY!


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