Almond Fans–A Sweet Yeast Roll are really just fancy looking cinnamon rolls with icing and almonds on top.
This recipe was designed to be mix and kneaded in a bread machine. No worries if you don’t have one. See the recipe notes for how to use a stand mixer or make them by hand.
Another name for “bear claws:”
Almond Fans are my name for these “bear claw” type of cinnamon rolls.
I adapted the recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Grant Corner Inn Breakfast and Brunch Cookbook by Louise Stewart. I have yet to find a bad recipe in this little book.
One of my goals in life at one time was to try every one of Ms. Stewart’s yeast bread recipes. Surely this would qualify me for a Nobel Peace Prize or something similarly lofty. In reality, it would probably land me a spot on The Biggest Loser.
Although they look complicated, they aren’t hard at all. Like most of my bread recipes, I make it in a bread machine.
If you don’t have a bread machine, I have included the author’s original instructions in case you find kneading bread by hand therapeutic.
How to roll out Almond Fans:
An alternate method for a smaller Almond Fan:
Cut the flattened log into 10-11 pieces instead of 6. Instead of 3 cuts make one. The final product won’t be quite as impressive as the large one but the calories will be much more reasonable. See the picture below for an illustration of roll with 3 cuts (top) and roll with 1 cut (bottom).
If you make this recipe and enjoy it, consider helping other readers and me by returning to this post. Leave a rating on the recipe card itself underneath the picture. Although always appreciated, comments aren’t required. Thank you for visiting! Paula
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar + 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 4 1/2 - 5 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
- 2 packages or 4 teaspoons bread machine yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 cup softened butter
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoon coffee or milk
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
TO MAKE DOUGH IN A BREAD MACHINE
- Add ingredients to bread machine in order listed. Set on the DOUGH cycle. When finished, remove dough from the bread machine pan. Proceed to Roll-out instructions below.
TO MAKE DOUGH BY HAND:
- In a large mixing bowl combine [active dry] yeast, water, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Let stand 10 minutes, or until slightly bubbly.
- Mix in sour cream, salt, and remaining sugar. Stir in eggs and butter. Gradually add enough flour to make a soft dough.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny, about 8 minutes. Put into greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Punch down and let rise again until almost doubled (about 35 minutes.)
HOW TO ROLL-OUT DOUGH:
- On a lightly floured board, divide the dough into two portions. Roll each half to 12 x 12-inch rectangle.
- Spread half of the melted butter (2 tablespoons) on one rectangle. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the buttered area.
- Begin rolling from the long side and roll up tightly as possible. Flatten log slightly with palms and slice the log into 6 pieces. Then using kitchen shears or pizza cutter, make 3 cuts into each slice cutting to within 1/2 inch to the other side. Twist each slice slightly to make it lay somewhat flatter. Place on a greased baking sheet or one covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Cover and let rise until almost double.
- Bake rolls at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
- Soften or allow butter and cream cheese to come to room temperature. Combine butter, cream cheese, and coffee or milk together and beat until perfectly smooth.
- Dip over rolls with a spoon or pour frosting into a small plastic zippered bag. Cut off a small corner of the bag and use the closed bag to drizzle frosting back and forth over rolls.
- Sprinkle toasted almonds over frosted rolls immediately before frosting dries.
- Or pick up the frosted roll and turn upside down pressing icing into a plate of almonds. This ensures the almonds will stick to the icing.
ALTERNATE ROLL-OUT METHOD FOR A SMALLER ROLL:
- Cut the flattened log into 10-11 pieces instead of 6. Instead of 3 cuts make one. The final product won't be quite as impressive as the large one but the calories will be much more reasonable. See the picture below for an illustration of a roll with 3 cuts (top) and roll with 1 cut (bottom).
Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:
- To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer, add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on low to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Using dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3 and continue kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic--about 5-10 minutes. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
- If making by hand, combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead with your hands until dough becomes smooth and elastic, a process that will likely take 10-20 minutes depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
- Please note: If you substitute regular yeast for instant or bread machine yeast, you must dissolve it first before adding to the dry ingredients. Stir it into about 1/4 cup of the lukewarm liquid called for in the recipe. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Add to other wet ingredients and then add dry ingredients. Proceed as directed to knead and shape the dough.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 582Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 157mgCarbohydrates: 108gFiber: 4gSugar: 17gProtein: 14g