How to Make Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast

molka/iStock/GettyImages

Quick Brunch Treat With No Rising Required

We all know the feeling of wanting a particular food but not wanting to go to all the trouble it takes to make it at home, especially when hungry mouths are demanding to eat. A cinnamon roll is one of those crave-worthy foods that, more often than not, either ends up not happening at all or coming out of a can. Making a traditional roll requires an overnight rise and lots of planning ahead – and let's be honest, who has time for that? This alternative recipe is yeast-free, easy to make and on the table in less than an hour.

Total Time: 45 minutes | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 8 to 12

Ingredients:

For the rolls:

  • Cooking spray or 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup milk

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 375F. Prepare a 9-inch square baking dish or a 9-inch pie pan by greasing it with butter or spraying with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, stir 2 cups of the flour together with the sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Pour in the milk and stir until the mixture turns into a soft, cohesive dough.
  3. Sprinkle a large cutting board or clean kitchen counter with the remaining 1/4 cup flour. 
  4. Roll the dough into a rectangle of about 10 inches by 12 inches, with one of the long sides facing you.
  5. In a small bowl, prepare the filling by combining the sugar, butter, cinnamon and vanilla. 
  6. With a spatula or the curved side of a spoon, spread the filling evenly on top of the dough rectangle, leaving a clear 1/4" edge on the long side farthest away from you.
  7. Starting with the side closest to you, roll the dough up like a jelly roll. Pinch gently to seal at the edge.
  8. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 to 12 rolls, each about 1 inch thick.
  9. Place the rolls in the prepared pan, leaving some space between them.
  10. Bake the rolls at 375F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown on top.
  11. While the rolls are baking, make the glaze by stirring together the powdered sugar and the milk. Add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if you want a thinner glaze.
  12. Pour the glaze over the rolls while the rolls are still warm. Let cool for at least 10 minutes, and then serve.