One-Hour Cinnamon Perfection

Easy recipe for quick bake cinnamon rolls with no yeast

With tomorrow’s impending snow storm, I foresee a lot of New Yorker’s brunch plans being sabotaged. However, I have a solution.

With a few basic pantry ingredients, you too can wake up on Saturday morning, whip up a French press of coffee, and in no time have a batch of perfectly glazed, piping hot cinnamon rolls.

Various sized measuring cups in the kitchen

Dough for cinnamon rolls balled up and flattened

Cinnamon spread out over dough in this quick and easy recipe

For a long time, I shied away from making cinnamon rolls. I’ve never been incredibly successful with yeasted breads (bar the famous “No-Knead” Bread), so when I discovered a cinnamon roll recipe with no yeast and absolutely no rise time a few years ago, I made it immediately and have been making them again and again ever since.

While pastry purists might scoff, I find these cinnamon rolls to be just as good as a yeasted roll. They’re just sweet enough, not too dry, not too moist, and perfect topped with a powdered sugar glaze.

Fresh baked cinnamon rolls for breakfast

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

For the dough:
2 3⁄4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 1⁄4 tsp. baking powder
1⁄2 tsp. baking soda
3⁄4 tsp. salt
1 1⁄4 c. buttermilk
6 tbsp. melted butter

For the filling:
2 tbsp. melted butter
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon

For the glaze:
2 tbsp. water
3/4 to 1 c. powdered sugar

First, mix all of dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then add in the melted butter and the buttermilk.

The dough starts out looking like a shaggy mess, but after kneading it for a few minutes, it should become a bit smooth and more elastic than wet. If it still seems wet, go ahead and add some more flour.

A wine bottle used as a rolling pin substitute

Once it’s a bit neater, roll it out into a roughly 12″ x 9″ rectangle, about a 1/2″ thick. It doesn’t need to be perfect, and as you can see, you don’t even really need a rolling pin. (Who needs one when a balsamic vinegar bottle works so well?)

After that, top the dough rectangle with melted butter and your mixture of cinnamon and sugar and roll it up. The next part—cutting the rolls—used to be tricky for me until someone told me a great secret. You know that dusty roll of dental floss hiding in your medicine cabinet? It’s your ticket to perfect cinnamon rolls.

Preparing cinnamon rolls for baking using a quick recipe

Thread dental floss around the roll and use it to cut a roll about 2 in. wide. I typically get about eight rolls, but you can cut them thicker or thinner depending out how many rolls you want.

Put your perfectly-cut rolls in a greased baking pan and bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes. While they’re in the oven, you can mix your glaze with however much powdered sugar you want, thinned with just a bit of water.

I make a very thin glaze and pour it over the rolls while they’re fresh out of the oven, so it gives them a nice caramelized layer and absorbs into the roll, keeping them moist for days to come (if you have any leftovers).

If you’re not in the mood for cinnamon rolls though, you could always put that spare bottle of red wine to good use.

- Laura and Ryan

24 Comments

  1. Kathy
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 05:22:40

    The 5th photo made me ‘heart’ this onto my “Recipes To Try” set on weheartit!
    I definitely love cinnamon rolls, and so does my dad. He’ll be thrilled when I try this!
    By the way, I love the photos and blog layout!

    Reply

  2. Aaisha @BakingPartTime
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 07:04:08

    Ok these are being bookmarked right now. I always get a craving for cinnamon rolls randomly (though I think it’s usually set off by a good cup of coffee.. hmm…) and can never wait for the yeast to do it’s thing. Plus.. yeast scares me. I may just have to try these tomorrow morning. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  3. Kate (Embarrassment of Riches)
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 07:11:36

    I too am yeast-averse, and I think I currently have all of these ingredients (except for buttermilk, but adding a bit of vinegar will do the trick). Verrrry tempted to make these! I’ll probably do some sort of cream cheese frosting.

    Reply

    • Smith & Ratliff
      Jan 21, 2012 @ 10:06:24

      Go for it! We don’t typically have buttermilk on hand either, so I’m very familiar with the vinegar-milk trick.

      Reply

  4. Vanessa
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 08:17:11

    When I first moved to Sweden when I was 9, my parents did everything the possibly could to raise my spirits. I remember baking endless amounts of Swedish cinnamon buns (kanelbullar) with my dad. But our household items hadn’t arrived yet and we had to roll the dough out with a wine bottle. One of my best memories :-)

    These look delicious, and the photos are beautiful as always.

    Reply

    • Smith & Ratliff
      Jan 21, 2012 @ 10:05:55

      That’s a great story. :) I love baking or cooking things that have a memory or a story to go along with them.

      Reply

  5. Pk
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 15:19:01

    I love cinnamon rolls, can’t stress that enough – fresh cinnamon rolls in an hour… *drool*.

    Reply

  6. Melissa Case
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 07:01:55

    I have been waiting all weekend to make these and I’m about midway through the prep right now. First off, this dough is absolutely LOVELY. It’s silky and soft and I can’t stop touching it. I added some cardamom to the dough for a little extra “quelle heure est il” (it’s a long story). My commenting is premature because (A) I’m highly caffeinated and (B) I’m delighted by the way these are turning out thus far. I’ll be back once they’re done. Thank you for this!

    Reply

  7. Melissa Case
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 08:51:35

    Cinnamon Rolls, Part the Second: these are FANTASTIC. The dough is light, silky, and springy. I opted to brush the tops with a little egg wash and sprinkle with a touch of pearl sugar, rather than do icing and, for me, that was just the right amount of sweetness. I have always loved making cinnamon rolls and while I’m not yeast-phobic, I don’t care all that much for the time all of that proofing and whatnot requires (who wants to get up at 3 a.m. on a Sunday, really?) For my money, there’s no reason I should ever have to worry about that again because these were terrific. Thanks again!

    Reply

    • Smith & Ratliff
      Jan 22, 2012 @ 13:42:17

      I’m so glad you like them, Melissa! I bet the cardamom was an excellent addition.

      Reply

  8. Candace Sample
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 11:10:45

    YUM!!!! Unfortunately, we have no impending snowstorm heading our way, but oh my! Sounds like a wonderful way to wake up the family on a Sunday morning. Thanks for your glimpes at city life. This country girl lives vicariously through you:)

    Reply

    • Smith & Ratliff
      Jan 22, 2012 @ 19:10:36

      Snowstorm or not, they’re a treat! Thank you for reading. :)

      Reply

  9. Devon @ deli-cute-essen
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 14:35:04

    Thanks so much for this recipe. Just made a vegan version of these that turned out great. Replaced the buttermilk with soy milk and vinegar and the butter with Earth Balance. Yum!

    Reply

  10. Katharina
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 01:35:02

    Oh boy! These look and sound scrumptious. I’ve only made cinnamon buns once in my life and we also didn’t have a rolling pin–improv anything is always the best! Actually, might I pass a recipe along to you?

    http://appleandspice.blogspot.com/2010/03/carrot-cake-inspired-cinnamon-buns.html

    (that was the recipe I made)

    Cheers!

    p.s. I recently moved to New York so I’m going to peruse through your blog a bit more :)

    Reply

    • Smith & Ratliff
      Jan 24, 2012 @ 19:18:48

      Those sound great, Katharina. Thanks for sharing and welcome to NY! :)

      Reply

  11. molly
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 07:56:20

    oh wow, this looks truly amazing! I can’t wait to try it out x

    http://missmollyfashions.blogspot.com/

    Reply

  12. Christie
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 13:07:13

    Do you know if you can prep these the night before and just pop them in the oven? Its my boss’s birthday tomorrow and I wanted to make them for her but I’m a MESS in the morning so I wanted to make them the night before

    Reply

    • Smith & Ratliff
      Jan 26, 2012 @ 10:10:18

      I don’t see why not. I’d roll them out and cut them, then put them in the dish you want to bake them in and cover them with plastic wrap.

      Reply

  13. A cinnamon roll for the homesick « cuentoscantabria
    Feb 04, 2012 @ 07:08:38

    [...] a place like this has never been thought of in Laredo, I did the only thing I knew to do and made cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  They weren’t anything like what my mom has described my great grandma Berndt [...]

    Reply

  14. Kimberly
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 13:57:20

    I was a little skeptical I will admit! I make cinnamon rolls often for special occasions but using a yeast recipe. I tried this this morning and was pleasantly surprized! I did not have any buttermilk so I used a soymilk/vinegar mixture. When I am short on time I will be making these!!! Thanks for the recipe:)

    Reply

  15. Atl_Gal
    Mar 10, 2012 @ 21:27:36

    I’m craving some cinnamon rolls & looking for a yeast-free recipe. This recipe looks great. I was wondering if you’ve experimented with adding either pumpkin or sweet potato? Any idea of how to tweak the recipe to accomodate that? I was thinking substituting some of the butter with it (1/4c or so…). Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated. :)

    Reply

    • Smith & Ratliff
      Mar 15, 2012 @ 22:54:11

      Hm, I haven’t tried that but I think it would be great! I’d add some butter, or maybe a little bit of oil, to keep it from getting too dense. Or if you didn’t want to tweak the actual recipe, a pumpkin glaze would be delicious! :)

      Reply

  16. Mary
    Feb 21, 2013 @ 16:55:41

    They are so good! Made them today!!! :))

    Reply

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