cinnamon perfection in under an hour

If there’s one thing that would make me jump out of bed in the morning, looking forward to having the first bite of the day as I watch the sunlight kiss my plate, and warm my heart with hopes of a great day ahead, it would be the thought of sinking my teeth into a warm and fluffy roll embedded with a sweet layer of cinnamon sugar.

Yet that very same dream would almost immediately draw me back into bed, as I foresee the dreaded 1 – 2 hour wait for the cinnamon roll dough to rise. And let’s just state for the record that I’m not a morning person to begin with.

But any recipe that places warm cinnamon rolls on the breakfast table in under an hour? That’s definitely worth waking up for.

Ever since I posted about the cinnabon cinnamon rolls two years ago, I’ve received quite a number of mails regarding others’ attempts of the recipe. While some have loved it as much as I did, there are quite a few who got teased by the yeast monster (trust me, I started out being fearful of that Y word as well), and didn’t quite get the rolls they were hoping for.

Personally, I had my reservations, having tried out a non-yeast cinnamon roll recipe in my earlier years of baking. And I know that the orthodox yeast fans out there would scowl, but trust me, these yeast-free cinnamon rolls were the closest you’d ever get to having cinnamon perfection in under an hour.

Whether you’re pressed for time, not too fond of working with yeast, want to start your morning on the perfect note, or simply want to affirm the fact that cinnamon rolls should never and can never be made without yeast (yes, I’m looking at all you hardcore bread bakers), you should give this one a go.

Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls
(adapted from here)

For the Dough:
2 3⁄4 cup plain flour, plus extra for dusting the counter
2 tbsp sugar
1 1⁄4 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
3⁄4 tsp. salt
1 1⁄4 cup 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

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F or 220°C.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients for the dough (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt).
  3. Stir in the butter and buttermilk.
  4. At this point, the dough will be sticky, so just spoon it on top of a heavily floured surface, and add a bit more flour to the top.
  5. With floured hands, gently knead the flour into the dough (adding more flour if necessary) until the dough is manageable and is fairly smooth.
  6. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle/square of approximately 1⁄2 inch thick.
  7. Spread the surface of the dough with 2 tbsp melted butter, then sprinkle on the cinnamon and sugar.
  8. Roll the dough from the longer side, and cut the dough to about 2 inches thick.
  9. Place the rolls in a lightly greased pan, and bake at 220°C for about 20mins, or until the edges have turned golden brown.
  10. To prepare the glaze, mix the water and powdered sugar, and pour onto the rolls while they’re still hot.

Recipe Notes: For awesome step by step photos, refer to recipe source.

86 thoughts on “cinnamon perfection in under an hour

  1. the mister

    One of the 678 901 889 things you’ve taught me is the love for cinammon.

    Before you came along, cinammon to me was that irritating piece of wood in my mother’s nasi briyani. Hehe… -_-‘

  2. ovenhaven Post author

    IKR! But for me, cengkih (clove) is the worst! I kept biting into them. They look pretty, but I’d prefer them away from my rice, thank ye very much 😛

  3. oneordinaryday

    These look absolutely gorgeous. I wish I’d had your recipe on New Year’s Day. I was wanting to make some cinnamon rolls but everything needed to rise and would have taken to long. Can’t wait to try these! Thanks for sharing!

  4. tracieMoo

    sounds impossible 😛 and the cinnamon roll still looks soft and bread-ish texture. I love cinnamon roll. They’re sweet and they never fail to tempt me especially when they’re in your hands of this photo. is there any difference compared to our usual yeasted cinnamon roll?

  5. ovenhaven Post author

    munirah: Hope you’ll like it!

    oneordinaryday: Sorry I didn’t post them earlier! This would’ve been perfect. Hope you’ll like them!

    grace: Haha, I don’t think I could’ve put it more succinctly 😛

    tracieMoo:There’s something heavily understated about cinnamon rolls, aren’t they? They look so deceptively nondescript, but one bite and you’re left trying to chew ever so slowly just to make the experience (and the roll) last longer 😛 I wouldn’t say that there isn’t any difference at all (you’ve got to give credit to hours of rise), but these rolls were most definitely fluffy! And they still taste as good when warmed up in the oven the next day 🙂

  6. The Little Teochew

    I think buttermilk’s the hero in this recipe. Under an hour? Wow, I’m sold. I am so gonna try this. I love cinnamon goodness. Like you I HATE cloves!!! Yulch! Your cinnamon rolls are PERFECT!

  7. ovenhaven Post author

    Memoria: Thanks! The buttermilk was definitely something new, and I’m glad it came through with the texture. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

    The Little Teochew: Thanks, sweetie! The buttermilk lured me in as well 😀 And yes, what’s up with cloves!!! Haha 😛

  8. amy

    i think you are secretly in love with buttermilk. haha. yays! i have buttermilk! i shall make some of this rolls tomr or maybe some scones or pancakes. nomnom.

  9. Julia

    This instantly drew me in from Tastespotting (gorgeous picture + quick n easy cinnamon scrolls = wow!). Can’t wait to try these this weekend, and will report back. Can’t wait to also go through your other recipes!

  10. missy

    oooh i saw this on tastespotting and just HAD to come have a closer look! i’m fearless with yeast and don’t mind spending a day (or 2…or 3…) on a baking project, BUT i’ve got nothing against baking powder/soda either. =) i’m guessing that the softness of the dough and the buttermilk are the keys to the fluffy-factor here, and given that fluffiness is often a weak point of non-yeast doughs, i’m excited to give these a try. i love to experiment with different fillings/glazes for roll-up doughs, so a QUICK dough like this would certainly make test-driving those ideas a bit less risky!

    thanks for posting these, and i’m looking forward to exploring your blog AND the ‘adapted from’ blog you linked, both of which are new to me. =)

  11. ovenhaven Post author

    amy: Now you’re getting me hungry with all of the above! 😛

    Julia: I hope they’ll work out great for you! Thanks for dropping by 🙂

    Ellie: Try it to believe it! Haha 😛

    missy: Thanks for dropping by, missy 🙂 You’re right, one of the most important things when dealing with a bread dough is to know the texture of dough you’re after; not too soft, but definitely not dry/over-floured. I always tell myself to try out new fillings for the rolls, but cinnamon rolls are such huge favourites in my household that it comes almost naturally to be sprinkling that golden brown fairy dust all over the dough! Would love to give chocolate hazelnut spread+nuts a go, though. yuMMy!

  12. Barbara

    Well now! I, too, have been afraid of yeast for the longest time. It’s a pain, takes way too long, and does sometimes, in my case, result in dry-ish baked goods. I’ve made overnight cinnamon rolls a few times now and you know, they’re not too bad, and require minimal effort in the morning. Your recipe sounds very promising and I look forward to trying it out soon!

  13. felicia

    i love cinnamon rolls/sticky buns.
    you’ve got to try Simply Bread’s sticky buns if you havent!
    love the first picture. fluffy looking. heh.

  14. ovenhaven Post author

    Barbara: I’ve learnt that the less you fiddle around with the dough, the fluffier the texture 🙂 But the most integral point in working with yeast is knowing how much/little flour to add to the dough, since the day’s weather affects that. I hope you’ll give this a go! Definitely a time-saver, without compromise in taste/texture 🙂

    felicia: Thanks, sweetie! Awww too bad I can’t try Simply Bread’s; they’re not halal. In the meantime, I’ll make do with making my own! 😀

  15. jean-marie

    Your photos are always so tempting!!! As easy as you make it sound, i think i’ll leave the baking to the experts (like you), and just buy mine (:

  16. ovenhaven Post author

    19thmayflower: Yikes, I don’t eat cheese lah! Hehe. See you this Saturday! I’ve mailed you, ynoe. It’s okay; will drop you an sms!

    mj: I can’t say that there’s much discernible differences if you’re working with a 1-hour rise yeast dough, but perhaps it wouldn’t be as fluffy as the ones made from poolish or more than 24hr rise.

    One thing I do know is that I’ve tried another no-yeast cinnamon roll recipe, and those had more of a biscuit/scone texture, as opposed to bread. On the other hand, these buttermilk ones most definitely had a bread-fluffy texture to them 🙂 I actually saved two pieces for breakfast the next day, and they remained as fluffy when warmed up in the oven. Hope that helps 🙂

  17. ovenhaven Post author

    19thmayflower: Hehe, yup! 😛

    ingrid: Hope you’ll like it! Happy new year to you, sweetz!

    thecoffeesnob: You should definitely give this a go! Someone commented on LJ that she tried it with marmalade, even! 😛

  18. ammy

    I love this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing it! I just made this for my family & everyone loved it. The only thing I did differently was to add a little bit of vanilla extract to the cinnamon & sugar mixture & then added a little vanilla bean to the frosting. Quick, easy & beautiful = perfection!

  19. ovenhaven Post author

    So glad to hear your family loved it 🙂 It’s definitely a permanent fixture in my recipe folder; great taste with minimal effort and not much waiting time! 😛 Thanks for dropping by, ammy 🙂

  20. ylva

    since we don’t have buttermilk here in sweden i used yoghurt instead and it worked out well. they were rather heavy though and since i’m used to baking regular ones that felt a bit weird. but there was definitely nothing wrong with the taste! i also didn’t use as much glaze and they were still sweet. i think that i will add some cardamom next time (which is the best spice ever!) since i always do that when i make regular cinnamon buns. all in all i was pleasantly surprised by this recipe 🙂

  21. ovenhaven Post author

    Kassy: Glad you liked them, Kassy! 🙂

    ylva: I’ve never tried cardamom in any of my bakes, but have heard so much about it! Perhaps I should give that spice a try 🙂 I’m glad you liked the recipe. I would’ve never thought of adding yoghurt; I usually substitute buttermilk with the same amount of milk, plus about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, left aside for 15mins.

  22. Laura

    These were AH-MAZING and came together so quickly. I used bread flour, as I was out of A/P and they were so light and fluffy.

  23. Holly

    OH MY! the thought of making homemade cinnamon rolls has always been so scary to me, but once I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try them out SOON!
    so, being that it’s valentine’s weekend, I whipped up a batch (seriously, SO quickly!), added a little red food coloring to the glaze, and just devoured one! I’m about to go take a plate of them with steaming hot coffee to my honey at work… she’ll be thrilled and i’m sure they’ll be gobbled up in no time.

    Thanks for such a great and yummy recipe. i’m no longer scared of homemade cinnamon rolls!

  24. ovenhaven Post author

    Awww, you’re so sweet, I’m sure she’ll appreciate it! 🙂 I love the idea of coloring the glaze, and am so glad you gave this a try. Glad to hear it worked out well for you!

  25. SIhan

    Hey! I just made cinnamon rolls and then I stumbled upon this entry! oh my gosh.. unyeasted treats that look that good. Guess I’m going to have to give it a try soon! perfect for breakfast too.

  26. Julia

    I finally made these today, and they were just wonderful! I was worried they’d be an inferior second to yeast-based, but they were lovely and soft, aromatic and not too sweet which is a huge plus for me. So easy to make too. I topped them with a cream cheese buttermilk glaze. Yum!

  27. ovenhaven Post author

    So glad to hear you liked them! It’s amazing how they don’t contain yeast, and yet be so fluffy and soft 🙂 I really should give them a revisit soon!

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  30. Kim

    I made this last night simply because I had no yeast and very few eggs in the house and wanted cinnamon rolls.
    they turned out so well. I will probably stick to this recipe from now on.
    they were truly delicious, and so easy

  31. Charis

    No yeast?! Excited to try them out! But where do you get your buttermilk from in singapore? Or is there a substitute that you use? 🙂

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      You can get buttermilk from Cold Storage, but what I always do is just substitute 1 cup of buttermilk with 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice/vinegar left aside for about 10mins. It will curdle up abit, and be a great buttermilk substitute 🙂

  32. Claudia

    hey ovenhaven… these look delicious! and want to give them a try now… there’s only the two of us in the house so I was hoping to freeze them so we can grab and bake in the mornings… would it be best to freeze these before they are baked or is it possible to freeze once they are out the oven and cooled? Thanks!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Hi Claudia, I personally haven’t tried freezing these, but my best bet would be to bake them first, freeze them, and then warm them up the next morning. Just a pointer, if it’s a yeasted bake, you could freeze the dough and bake them the next morning, but since this uses baking soda + buttermilk, you’d want to send them straight into the oven for the chemical reaction to work and make them rise 🙂 Hope that helps!

  33. kwanster

    what a lovely recipe!! i love all ur photos too!
    i m just wondering how many rolls would it make?
    and how long can i store them at room temperate in an air-tight container?

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Hi kwanster, thanks for dropping by. I think it makes around 10 rolls, and as for how long they last, I’m afraid I can’t quite answer that, since they don’t last long around here at all! I’ve only managed to save one for breakfast the next day 🙂

  34. Amanda V

    Just made these. They are fantastic!!! Even if you don’t have buttermilk (which I didn’t) they turn out great! Not like typical yeast cinnamon rolls, obviously, but very biscuit-y, which I loved!!
    Keeping this recipe for lazy/time-pressed mornings 🙂

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  36. razzuan

    hai. im really eager to try out this recipe but my family aren’t big eaters so we will definitely be having leftovers if i serve this to them. so i was wondering if by freeze you mean in the freezer or just chill it in the refrigerator like the usual leftovers from dinner.
    and the next day just pop it in the microwave??

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      For leftovers, just keep them in the refrigerator, and you can either pop into the microwave, or preheat your oven and ‘re-bake’ it at the same temperature for about 5mins. I’ve done both ways, and I find that re-baking it retains the texture, as opposed to nuking it, which kinda makes it tougher each time. Hope that helps.

  37. Bram

    I’ve never made cinnamon rolls and tried these for my first attempt. They were superb. They had the texture more like a biscuit, but were soft and perfectly flaky and chewy in the right places. I told my chef friend I made them yeast less which left her speechless. Bravo on this excellent recipe.

  38. Val

    this looks lovely! I will surely try them tomorrow! My husband loves cinnamon rolls, but I just do not like the waiting part! so these look soo good! but do you have any ideas on what the measurements would be in grams/ mL? because we do not use cup here on my island… any suggestions?? thanks 🙂

  39. Bohemian

    We tried these over the weekend and they didn’t turn out so great. 😦 Really hard. The dough was really sticky, too sticky to roll, so maybe we over-worked it cos’ we kept having to add flour? Not sure. Also found it bland, but to be fair, we skipped the glaze (I usually find it unnecessary in cinnamon buns).

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Hi Bohemian, for breads, sticky is good! Since this recipe doesn’t use yeast, the texture pivots on the flour and handling. Too much flour + overworking makes the texture hard. Just sprinkle flour on your board, drop the sticky dough and work it into a rectangle with your floured hands. The flour from your hands & board is sufficient, any more is too much.

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