Apr 22


Mini Cheddar Swirl Buns

Cheddar Swirl Buns

The internet is full of food blogs, and though I’ve been a bit busy for leisurely reading lately, I read quite a few of them. I love to see what other bloggers are cooking, writing, and photographing; each one is hugely inspiring. One of my favorites — I adapt quite a few recipes from her posts — is Smitten Kitchen, crafted by the clever, snarky, and talented Deb Perelman. Her site is gorgeous, her archives well-organized, and if you’ve never taken a look, I highly recommend it. In fact, Smitten Kitchen was the first food blog I ever read, and was a major source of inspiration for me to start a food blog of my own.

Today is a special day here at 30 Pounds of Apples… it’s my two-year blogoversary! And to celebrate, I have a copy of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook — signed by Deb Perelman herself — to give away to one of you!

Lots of tabs

Last fall, Deb’s work jumped out of the internet and onto my bookshelf when she released a cookbook. After receiving a copy as a Christmas gift from my fabulous sister, I spent quite a bit of time and many post-its paging through her book marking up recipes I wanted to try. And this one, for these luscious, savory breakfast buns, was at the top of the list.

Cooking from the book!

These buns. Whoa. A combination of soft bread dough, sharp, bubbly cheese, and zingy onion, these are PURE delight. Admittedly, the dough is a little time-consuming due to the lengthy raises, but the wait is totally worth it.


Dough hook

Roll it out

Rather like a cinnamon roll, these buns wrap filling up in a swirl of soft dough. Though the original recipe makes larger buns, I wanted to make batch of mini cheddar buns. The primary difference? Rather than rolling out a large square of dough, I rolled out a long, narrow rectangle. Then, the best part: the FILLING.

Cheesy cheesy onions


Spreading filling

Once the filling is spread out, it’s just a simple matter of making one long, skinny log roll of cheesy goodness. Start on the long edge and carefully inch your way across until you have a perfect spiral of bread and cheese. Then, using a serrated knife, the log is chopped into little buns.

Roll and slice

Ready to bake

After a ride in the oven, the little buns pop out puffy, warm, and bubbling with cheese.

Mini Cheddar Swirl Buns

The magic of this filling is the union, really, of the cheeses and onions. As the buns cook, the onions caramelize slightly as the cheeses melt, giving a sweet but zingy flavor that sets these apart from other cheese breads I’ve had before.

Just a bite

This was the first recipe I tried from the gorgeous Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, but if this one is any indication, the rest of her recipes are likely to be pretty darn good.

In February, Deb made a stop in Raleigh for the second leg of her book tour, and I went with a couple of friends to hear her chat about her book, answer questions, and sign books. And guess what? Not only did she sign my copy (squeee!), but I bought another copy that she was gracious enough to sign for one of you!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED: How to Win The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

1. Leave one comment on this post to answer this question: What is your favorite breakfast food?
2. BONUS! To enter twice, head on over to 30 Pounds of Apples on Facebook and like the page. Then, come back to this post and leave me a comment saying you liked the Facebook page, and you’ll be entered twice. Fancy! (New likes only, but thanks to all the early adopters!)
3. Enter before 11:59pm EST on Sunday, April 28. Winners will be announced on Monday, April 29.
4. Open to US residents only (sorry to my international readers, shipping is so dang expensive!)

Breakfast of champions

Mini Cheddar Swirl Buns
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

3 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 T granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 c milk
1/4 c melted butter, cooled to the touch
3/4 c grated onion
3/4 c grated sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 c grated asiago cheese
1 tsp dried dill weed
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
additional 1 T melted butter for brushing

Combine the flour, salt, black pepper, and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer and mix with a fork. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yeast and milk until yeast is dissolved. Pour the yeast mixture and melted butter into the mixer bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until loosely combined. Place the dough hook on the mixer and knead on low speed for 6-8 minutes until a smooth ball of dough is formed. You can also knead by hand on a floured surface for 8-10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rest until it doubles, about 2 hours.

When the dough has about 15 minutes left to raise, combine grated onions and cheeses, dill weed, sea salt, and black pepper and mix well. Remove dough from bowl and roll out on a floured surface into a long, narrow rectangle about 8-by-24-inches in size. Spread filling evenly across the dough, leaving a half-inch border on all sides. Carefully roll up the dough along the one of the long sides to form a long, narrow log. Cut the log into 3/4″ segments using a sharp serrated knife, which should yield 32-36 pieces.

Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan and an additional 8-by-8-inch pan with cooking spray.  Place the pieces into the pans leaving about 1/2″ of space between them. Melt butter and brush the tops of the buns. Cover the pans with plastic wrap and allow to raise for about an hour in a warm place.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove plastic wrap from pans and bake for about 25 minutes until tops are golden and the cheese is slightly bubbly.

Best served immediately, but they also reheat nicely for several days after baking. 


  1. Jess says:

    Yay…happy blogoversary!!! My favorite breakfast food is definitely bacon in any form, but I especially love it in breakfast english muffin sandwiches and burritos mmmm.

  2. Sylvia says:

    Congrats on your 2yr. Anniversary! Well done. I find your posts very inspiring. My favorite breakfast food is Lox and Bagels that I sometimes have as treat or anything that someone else makes for me – especially eggs sunny side up

  3. jan says:

    Love waffles… any kind.

  4. Francie Owens says:

    These look fabulous! My favorite breakfast is a two egg omelet (w/ onions, bacon & cheese) made in a small cast iron skillet and finished off in the oven.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. Ron says:

    Granola is good

  6. Brad says:

    Happy blogoversary!

  7. Diane says:

    I love a scrambler with zucchini, cheese, bacon or ham topped with hollandaise sauce!

  8. CathieJ says:

    Blueberry pancakes with crisp bacon. Happy Blogoversary!

  9. Carey says:

    Homemade biscuits and gravy with sausage!

  10. Abbe says:

    Dang, 2 years?! Happy birthday, 30poundsofapples!

    Not to be completely obvious, but… Eggs Benedict.

  11. Diane H says:

    Fruit pie!!

  12. Gretchen N says:

    Thanksgiving leftovers on Black Friday!

  13. Janet says:

    My favorite breakfast item is a key lime yogurt with flax meal swirled in :)

  14. jenny says:

    I love all breakfast- there really is no favorite, just depends on my mood for that day- I could eat breakfast every day for breakfast, lunch or (and?) dinner!

  15. manda says:

    I love eggs!

  16. karen says:

    Black coffee, fresh fruit, and a fresh baked cinnamon roll or slice of coffee cake.

  17. Audrey says:

    I love homemade waffles with strawberries and/or pecans on top!

  18. Monica says:

    Fresh farm eggs! Scrambled, over easy, hard or soft boiled, omelette, frittata, whatever… I love then for any meal, but especially breakfast.

  19. Liane Jacobs says:

    My total fav. is seasonal. I love grapenuts, fresh blueberrys and cold milk on a summer morning. The rest of the year, my fav is my dad’s invention, breakfast pizza. Rye or pumpernickel toast, slathered with orange marmalade covered in melted Swiss cheese. In fact, I think I’ll have that tomorrow.

    P.S. Congrats on year 2. I love the bolg!

  20. Amber says:

    My favorite breakfast is chocolate chip pancakes and bacon, but I will totally eat it anytime of the day. Congrats on making it two years!

  21. Suzy says:

    Well, I love all breakfasts (even McDonalds!) but I especially like my own version of a breakfast skillet: chopped ham, onions, and peppers, some butter and grated potatoes, throw in an egg or two, add some salt, pepper, E. Essence and garlic…..and fry it up! Thank you!

  22. Agus says:

    A copy of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook — signed by Deb Perelman herself, really?? Omg! I’m a huge fan! thanks so much for the chance! I love having waffles for breakfast (:

  23. Meche says:

    Pancakes with nutella! Those cheddar buns look amazing!! thanks for the giveaway, I would love to win!

  24. Maria Malaveci says:

    My favorite breakfast is breakfast from our restaurant – Eggs, bacon, homefries & some biscuits and gravy!


  25. Maria Malaveci says:

    I liked 30 Pounds of Apples on Facebook!


  26. Tim says:

    Happy bloggoversary indeed! My favorite breakfast food is a tie between biscuits an gravy and ham/cheddar/broccoli omelette.
    Congrats on all your hard work paying off with two years to celebrate!

  27. Colleen Keilbart says:

    Granola and Greek yogurt

  28. Nicole Ritchey says:

    Happy Blogoversary! My favorite breakfast food is poached eggs on buttered toast :)

  29. Meredith says:

    I love cinnamon rolls and omelettes!

  30. Meredith says:

    I like you on facebook :)

  31. CathieJ says:

    I liked your facebook page, Happy Blogoversary!

  32. Yami says:

    I hope is not to late to enter… because I would love to win! I love pancakes in the morning (:

  33. SharonK says:

    I love poached eggs for breakfast!! In eggs benedict, on top of a bed of sauteed spinach, on top of chicken hash, with toast & sliced tomatoes, etc…….

  34. SharonK says:

    I just liked your FB page!! I’ll spend more time there soon ….

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