Quick and easy no-yeast cinnamon rolls, made with a cream scone base and cinnamon brown sugar filling. These come together in less than half an hour from start to finish. While not quite the same as their yeast-based counterparts, these are equally delicious, and much easier for beginners.
You just need baking powder - no kneading is necessary. If you've made biscuits or scones, it's exactly the same, just rolled up with cinnamon and brown sugar. Made flaky with lots of butter and heavy cream, they're perfect for the holidays or as a weeknight treat.
These are adapted from our cranberry orange scones. Keep reading to find out how to make quick cinnamon rolls in just a few minutes!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Flour: plain white all-purpose flour. Don't use self raising flour for this recipe.
- Butter: the butter should be cold before it's cut into the pastry for the best rise. This is regular salted butter.
- Whipping cream: heavy whipping cream is no less than 36% fat.
- Cinnamon: add other spices to the filling for an interesting twist, like nutmeg or cloves.
- Make it plant-based: use vegan butter and a vegan cream alternative (coconut cream works well).
Step 1: mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Step 2: cut the butter in until the mixture looks sandy.
Step 3: add the cream and mix until a loose dough forms.
Step 4: gently pat into a disc and roll out between two pieces of parchment paper.
Step 5: brush with butter then top with cinnamon and sugar.
Step 6: roll into a spiral and cut into rounds.
Step 7: place the rounds into a buttered baking dish.
Step 8: bake until lightly golden.
- Work quickly: as with any scone or biscuit, you want light, quick hands (or pastry blender) to avoid overworking the dough.
- Chill before baking: if you have the extra time, chill the rolls before baking. This helps them to keep their shape and makes for a flakier texture (just like scones).
- Don't over-mix: the dough should be just mixed before turning it out of the bowl to roll. Over-mixing will make for tough rolls.
For the rolls pictured, the end pieces were trimmed and baked separately. You can do this if you want 12 perfect rolls, but it's not necessary.
Bake in an equivalently sized round dish if preferred.
If your baking dish is too small, simply cut taller rolls and have less of them. You may need to increase the baking time slightly in this case, so keep an eye on them.
How to Store
Storage: keep in a sealed container for up to three days in a cool place. Don't add any glaze or frosting if you plan to store the rolls.
Freezing: freeze in an airtight container for up to three months.
Can I use baking soda instead of baking powder?
Baking soda and powder are not interchangeable - make sure you're reaching for powder for this recipe. You can make your own, though. Use two parts cream of tartar, one part baking soda, and one part cornstarch.
Why are my cinnamon rolls dry?
If you've followed the recipe exactly and the rolls are still dry, they're probably over-baked. This is usually due to home ovens running too hot, but it can be solved by using an oven thermometer to check that the temperature is accurate.
Why is my dough spreading when baking?
If the rolls spread more than rise during baking, it's most likely because they were too warm before going into the oven. This only happens if the house temperature is very warm, like on a hot summer day. Just chill the rolls before baking.
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Quick Cinnamon Rolls
- 12x8 inch (30x20 cm) baking dish
- Mixing bowl
- Pastry cutter optional
- pastry brush
- Parchment paper
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- Rolling Pin
- 2 cups white all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ cup butter cold
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- ⅓ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and butter a baking dish (12x8 in. / 30x20cm) or equivalent.
- Add the flour, sugar, and baking powder to a large mixing bowl. Mix until fully combined.
- Add the butter and use a pastry cutter or work quickly with the tips of your fingers to mix until sandy looking.
- Add the cream and mix until just combined.
- Turn the dough out onto a large sheet of parchment paper. Top with another sheet of parchment, and then roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 12x16 in. / 30x40cm.
- Remove the top sheet of parchment and sprinkle the dough with flour. Flip onto a lightly floured surface (flour-side down).
- Brush the dough with melted butter, then top with an even layer of brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Roll into a tight spiral from the long edge. Brush with more butter at the seal so that the dough sticks and doesn't come unrolled.
- Cut into 12 equal pieces and place into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 22-24 minutes, or until golden and puffy looking. The centre will still be slightly soft to touch but will firm as it cools.
- Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Yeast free cinnamon rolls will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days and can be frozen up to a month.
- If you have the extra time, chill the rolls for 10 minutes before baking. This helps them to keep their shape and makes for a flakier texture (just like scones).