No Yeast Required Cinnamon Rolls

I’m not sure I fall under the category of “normal” pregnancy. Yes, I’m hungry often, but not for weird food combinations (any weirder than usual, anyway, if you ask my husband – who else eats ketchup on scrambled eggs?), or really for anything in particular. Except for sushi. I am all about some sushi. But anyway. I don’t really want chocolate, ice cream, or sweets in general; more likely, I’m in the market for some chips, super-buttery-salty popcorn, or something else savory/salty.

Don’t let me fool you, though. Every once in a while, I’ve gotten an idea in my head that I can’t remove without just jumping and doing it. For example, a couple of weeks ago, I woke up and wanted cinnamon rolls. I’m not ashamed to admit that I generally prefer whop-biscuit cinnamon rolls, almost underbaked so they’re nice and gooey. However, we were out of Pillsbury, so I thought I would make my own for Sunday morning breakfast. My first recipe was the overnight roll recipe from Our Best Bites. At the moment, I’m not in “my” kitchen for the time being, the ingredients I’m used to keeping on hand aren’t always available, such as yeast. So I went looking for a no-yeast recipe. Our Best Bites alternate recipe called for cottage cheese, which was also a no-show ingredient this time around, so I went searching further abroad. I found the base recipe I used on Iowa Girl Eats. It makes for a lovely, soft biscuit-type roll. While baking soda and baking powder do allow for a limited rising time, they can’t imitate the fluffy, pillowy texture of yeast. Still, this recipe is better than no cinnamon rolls at all.

A few tips: to get clean cuts, score or mark your dough lightly with a knife, then use thread or unflavored dental floss for a clean cut without squishing or marring your cut ends. Be sure to roll the dough as tightly as possible, so you can minimize the loss of filling. Along those lines, be sure to mix the filling right before spreading on the dough. Keeping the filling moist before spreading should keep it from falling out when you cut the dough.

No Yeast Required Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from No-Yeast Required Cinnamon Rolls at Iowa Girl Eats

yields 8-12 rolls


for the dough:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
4+1 Tablespoons butter, melted (divided)

for the filling:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 Tablespoons butter, melted

for the icing:
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
1-2 Tablespoon milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 425F, and spray a 9×9″ baking dish. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt; create a shallow well in the center of the mixture. In a smaller bowl or measuring cup, whisk together milk and 4 tablespoons melted butter, then pour into the middle of the dry ingredient well. Stir together until dough just comes together (do not overmix.) Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until the dough forms into a smooth mass. Let the dough rest a minute while you make the filling – combine filling ingredients in a small bowl, and mix with a fork until well blended. 

Roll the dough out, or flatten with your hands, into a rectangle roughly larger than a sheet of notebook paper (approx. 12×8″). Spread the filling out onto the dough, leaving 1/4″ of space clear around the edges. Roll the dough up tightly lengthwise, pinch the seam closed, and trim the ends (if desired). Cut into 1″-2″ pieces with unflavored floss, thin twine, or string. Brush cinnamon rolls with remaining tablespoon of melted butter and bake for 15 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before pouring icing.

To make icing, whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Spread over cinnamon rolls and serve warm.


2 thoughts on “No Yeast Required Cinnamon Rolls

  1. for the dough:
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup milk
    4+1 Tablespoons butter, melted (divided)

    1 1/2 tsp what? You don’t say just 1 1/2 tsp something?

    • kevin,

      Oops – that is 1 1/2 tsp baking powder. I have fixed it in the recipe. Thank you for bringing that to my attention!


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