This shortcut recipe yields a dozen classic, homestyle cinnamon rolls that fluff up beautifully—without any yeast, kneading, or rise time. They’re perfect for the times you crave homemade cinnamon rolls, and don’t want to wait!
- 2 and 3/4 cups (345g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more as needed for rolling
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk, cold*
- 5 Tablespoons (72g) unsalted butter, melted & slightly cooled
- 3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, extra softened
- 1/3 cup (67g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 ounces (112g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) butter, softened to room temperature
- 2/3 cup (80g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease a round 9-inch pie dish or 9-inch cake pan. (See Notes for muffin pan instructions.) For extra buttery rolls, I like to grease the baking dish with 1–2 teaspoons of melted butter instead of non-stick spray.
- Make the dough: Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add the egg, buttermilk, and melted butter. Mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a dough forms. Dough will be very soft and slightly sticky. If it’s too sticky and wouldn’t roll, add more flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until dough seems workable. Do not add more flour than you need; a soft dough is good.
- Place dough on a floured work surface and, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 10×14-inch (25x35cm) rectangle.
- Fill the rolls: Spread softened butter (the softer it is, the easier it is to spread!) all over the dough. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle all over the top. Roll it up tightly into a 14-inch log. Using a very sharp knife, cut into 12 rolls; each roll is slightly wider than 1 inch. Arrange rolls in the prepared pan.
- Bake the rolls: Bake for 22–26 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. If you notice the tops are getting too brown too quickly, loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil and continue baking. If you want to be precise about their doneness, their internal temperature taken with an instant read thermometer should be around 195–200°F (91–93°C) when done. Remove pan from the oven and place pan on a wire rack as you make the icing. (You can also make the icing as the rolls bake.)
- Make the icing: In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add the butter and beat until smooth and combined, then beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until combined. Using a knife or icing spatula, spread the icing over the warm rolls and serve immediately.
- Cover leftover frosted or unfrosted rolls tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead Instructions: If absolutely needed, you can make the dough and assemble the rolls the night before. Cover and refrigerate, then bring to room temperature before baking as directed. The rolls don’t puff up quite as nicely since the baking powder initially activates once wet. For best results, bake right away.
- Freezing Instructions: Baked rolls can be frozen for up to 2–3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up before enjoying.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is required for this recipe, but in a pinch you can make your own DIY version of buttermilk if needed. Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 3/4 cup. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
- Cinnamon Roll Muffins: You can bake these rolls in a greased standard 12-count muffin pan. No need for muffin liners. Bake time is about 20 minutes.
- Icing Alternatives: If cream cheese isn’t your favorite, you could top the rolls with vanilla icing, the brown sugar icing from these pumpkin donuts, maple icing from maple cinnamon rolls, or even the caramel icing from apple cinnamon rolls. Lots of options!
Keywords: no yeast cinnamon rolls