If you're worried about that whole stick of butter, remember that the recipe makes 8 good-sized pastries, so each one has only 1 tablespoon of butter in it. And besides, it's OK to splurge every once in a while, and these were really worth it.
For the cinnamon buns:
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted, divided use
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
6 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided use
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp plus ½ tsp salt
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1¼ cups buttermilk
For the glaze:
2 Tbsp cream cheese, softened (optional)
2 Tbsp buttermilk
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1. Move oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425°. Brush a round 9-inch nonstick cake pan with 1 Tbsp butter. Spray a wire cooling rack with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Make the filling: Combine the brown sugar, 4 Tbsp granulated sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and 1/8 tsp salt in a small bowl. Add 1 Tbsp melted butter and stir with a fork or fingers until the mixture resembles wet sand; set aside.
3. Make the dough: Whisk together the flour, remaining 2 Tbsp sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and remaining ½ tsp salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the buttermilk and 2 Tbsp butter in a measuring cup. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed (the dough will look shaggy), about 30 seconds. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until just smooth and no longer shaggy, about 30 seconds.
4. Pat the dough with your hands into a 12"x9" rectangle. Brush the dough with 2 Tbsp melted butter. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the brown sugar filling, leaving a ½" border. Press the filling firmly into the dough. Using a bench scraper or metal spatula, loosen the dough from the work surface. Moisten your hands and, starting at a long side, roll the dough, pressing lightly, to form a tight log. Pinch the seam to seal. Roll the log seam-side down and cut it evenly into 8 pieces. Turn the pieces over on their flat sides, and with your hand, slightly flatten each piece of dough to seal the open edges and keep the filling in place. Place 1 roll in the center of the prepared pan and then place the remaining 7 rolls around the perimeter of the pan. Brush the rolls with the remaining 2 Tbsp butter.
5. Bake until the edges are golden brown, 23–25 minutes. Use an offset metal spatula to loosen the buns from the pan. Wearing oven mitts, place a large plate over the pan and invert the buns onto the plate. Place the greased cooling rack over the plate and invert the buns onto the rack. Cool about 5 minutes before glazing.
6. Make the glaze: While the buns are cooling, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy cleanup); set the rack with the buns on the baking sheet. Whisk the cream cheese and buttermilk in a large bowl until thick and smooth (the mixture will look like cottage cheese at first). Sift the confectioners’ sugar over the mixture and whisk until a smooth glaze forms, about 30 seconds. Spoon the glaze evenly over the buns; serve immediately.