1lb.frozen white bread doughthawed (I like Bridgford’s Ready-Dough brand)
1cup200g granulated sugar
1/2cup113g unsalted butter, melted and kept warm
1package8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3cup65g granulated sugar
Prepared caramel sauceoptional
Using a paper towel, lightly coat a 10-inch cast iron skillet with cooking oil.
Make the bread dippers: Divide the 1 lb. dough loaf into 10 equal pieces using a sharp knife. Shape each dough piece into a ball by folding the dough under itself and pinching it together at the bottom (see video tutorial for clarification). Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl; place the warm melted butter in a separate medium bowl. Dip each dough ball in the butter and then dredge in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place bun in the cast iron pan. Repeat process with remaining buns; place them in a line around the edge of the cast iron skillet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 20-30 minutes, or until the cinnamon sugar coating begins to separate.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Make the cheesecake dip: Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Beat using an electric mixer (or a whisk) until thoroughly combined. When the buns are raised, pour the cheesecake dip batter in the center of the skillet. Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes, or until deep golden brown and fragrant. The cheesecake dip will be puffed and wobbly. Let cool slightly. Drizzle with caramel sauce, if using. Serve warm.
Refrigerate leftovers (if there are any). Buns and dip can be reheated in single servings in the microwave.