Thanksgiving morning, yeast-free cinnamon buns

November 23, 2011

Sometimes the last thing you want need to deal with is the agonizingly long time it takes for yeast to rise (especially if you have company and the only packets of yeast left in the cupboard expired 5 years ago). What were you doing five years ago?

Whenever I see dates from 2003-2009, I always try to remember where I was and what was going through my head at the time. Usually I'm tempted to cut my hair short again and get back into pilates...I can't believe that I used to get up at 5am. Anyway, where was I? Oh right, food!

Technically, it's already the 'Holidays'. I think you should give yourself permission to eat cinnamon rolls for breakfast. The stress that you're going to be slammed with in the coming month will burn off any sins of the stomach. And because these cinnamon rolls do not require any yeast, you can easily throw a batch together (and enjoy some Baileys in your coffee), before anyone wakes up. :-D

Also, if you're still looking for some last-minute Thanksgiving dessert ideas, click here for a few suggestions! xxx

Yeast Free Cinnamon Buns (adapted from America's Test Kitchen) Print

for the filling
1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz) packed brown sugar (light or dark)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

for the dough
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

for the icing
2 Tbsp cream cheese, very soft
2 Tbsp buttermilk
1 cup (4 oz) confectioners' sugar [Note: I did not have any confectioners' sugar. Instead I ran 1 cup of granulated sugar through the food processor until it turned into a fine powder.]

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.

Prepare the filling: In a medium-size bowl, combine the sugars, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Break up any clumps of brown sugar. Add 1 Tablespoon of melted butter and mix everything together until it resembles wet sand. Set the filling aside.
Prepare the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl (a small one will work), whisk the buttermilk and 2 Tablespoons of melted butter together until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and, using a wooden spoon, stir everything together until the dry ingredients have been absorbed (try not to over-mix). The dough will be shaggy, so don't worry.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until it smooths out and is no longer shaggy.
Pat the dough into a rustic 12 by 9-inch rectangle. Brush the entire surface with 2 Tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle the filling mixture on top of the butter (leave a 1/2-inch border of plain dough around edges). Press the filling into the dough, I did this with a piece of wax paper.
Using a bench scraper or metal spatula, gently loosen the dough from the work surface. Starting at long side, roll dough, pressing lightly, to form tight log. Pinch seam to seal. Roll log seam-side down and cut evenly into eight pieces. Press any filling that may have escaped into the slices.
Place one roll in center of prepared pan, then place remaining seven rolls around perimeter of pan. Brush with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. While the buns are in the oven :D, prepare the icing.

Icing: In a large bowl, whisk cream cheese and buttermilk until thick and smooth (it will look like cottage cheese at first). Sift confectioners' sugar over; whisk until smooth glaze forms, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl until you're ready to use the icing.
Once the pan has been removed from the oven, carefully loosen the rolls using an offset spatula. Wearing oven mitt, place large plate over pan and invert buns onto plate, place another large plate over the buns and invert once more, so they're facing up again. Cool for about 5 minutes before drizzling with icing.
The rolls are best enjoyed when they're still warm.

Makes 8 cinnamon rolls

Link Love:
Scalloped edges, honeycomb, and leaf clip art from Pugly Pixel
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  1. I love the new look of your blog!

    Those buns looks amazing! A very practical recipe.

    Happy Thanksgiving!



  2. Love your blog! Cinnamon buns are one of my all-time favorite foods, and I will gladly take accept any reason to eat them (thank you, holidays!). These look amazing and I love that they don't require yeast!

  3. These look so good, I love the idea of a yeast free cinnamon bun. Perfect for thanksgiving morning :)

  4. The beauty of cinnamon buns has always been that they're much too difficult and time-consuming to make at home. Now that you've removed that obstacle, there's nothing between me and a ten-pound weight gain. Thanks a lot!

  5. Happy Thanksgiving! These look yummy..happy to have found you this yr..I would love to be ..BC 2010 once again.To Dec 2009:)

  6. @Monique, It would be lovely to be able to go back in time, wouldn't it? :)
    Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  7. J'adore ce nouveau design et cette gourmandise terriblement tentante
    Je te souhaite une belle journée


  8. Sometimes, the wait for yeast cinnamon rolls is worth it. Other times, when the craving hits, this recipe looks like it would be perfect. I trust anything from America's Test Kitchen. I think you did them proud! Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. I have been procrastinating like.... forever.... to make cinnamon buns again (I do love it!), and this seems very encouraging. I'm very tempted to try them, they look wonderful!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. I have been looking for a no yeast bun and yours came along just great. Thanks for sharing. Will try this out for sure. Have a nice weekend :)

  11. I've never made homemade cinnamon buns before, because I never start them the night before so I always end up deciding on French toast or pancakes for breakfast instead; that way breakfast can happen before 4:00 PM. These look delightful, though; I'll have to try them out!

  12. @koshercorvid, French toast and pancakes are great alternatives! :D

  13. I've always wanted to make scrolls like this, but I've been lazy (and scared!) You're tempting me to try it out though, they look beautiful and delish!

  14. Mouth Watering...better than the can :)

  15. one of these and some baileys in my coffee sounds pretty perfect!

  16. I'm allergic to yeast, and it's so hard to find these kinds of recipes. Thank you so much for posting this!

  17. @Gina and George, I hope you enjoy them! :D

  18. These are perfect!!!! I made them gluten and dairy free and they still turned out. Thank you for this recipe!

  19. Hi Anon!
    Thank you for letting me know! And bravo on making a gluten-free version (sometimes GF tastes even better)! :-)

  20. Just made these this morning for a sick friend, we both loved them :-) The only thing I didn't have was the buttermilk so I used plain organic yoghurt instead. Turned out really really beautiful. Thanks!

  21. @ MJ, Homemade cinnamon rolls have a way of making us feel better...I'm glad to hear that you and your friend enjoyed them. :-)

    Great idea to use yogurt in place of buttermilk!

  22. thanks for posting this - I'm awful at yeast breads. I also used yogurt and the dough came out just fine! I didn't measure the rectangle so I just cut the roll so each was about an inch thick.

    however.. nearly all the filling melted out. I assume it's not supposed to!

    still delicious, but not cinnamony, and not at all like your picture, sadly. luckily I put foil on the pan since I was using a regular baking sheet. next time I may just reserve some dough, cut circles, and use as a bottom.

    anyone have any other suggestions?

  23. Hi Amanda,
    First of all, great idea to use yogurt in place of the buttermilk! (I sometimes find myself having to swap one for the other when I'm low on ingredients and desperate to bake.) :-)
    The filling should ooze out, but not too much. Did you leave a 1/2-inch border of plain dough around the rectangle? This gives the filling a little bit of wiggle room, since it does spread out while it's baking. Also, it's important to use a 9-inch round pan. The buns should be packed together rather tightly, to prevent them from going all over the place.

    I hope that helps! And I'm happy to hear that they were still delicious, despite everything. :D

  24. thanks for your reply. I've been meaning to get more pans, actually. I did leave the border, but it leaked out the bottom. got the idea to use yogurt from a previous poster. next time I'll use the proper pan, but also sprinkle some cinnamon directly on the dough and use a bit less sugar.

    I love cooking ;) yumyumyum

  25. I just made these after finding out my yeast had expired and they are SO GOOD!! They taste exactly as if they had been made with yeast-maybe even better-no, definitely better! I didn't have any cream cheese and am snowed into my house so I made a simple glaze but the buns don't even necessarily need them, they are that good.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe! :)


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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