Picture this: It's Saturday morning and you wake up to the smell of warm cinnamon and butter. Lots of butter. You know what it is — it's cinnamon rolls. A familiar smell that personally brings me a lot of nostalgia of being a kid. My mother (hi, mom!) was notorious for whipping out the canned cinnamon rolls once every couple weekends when I was growing up. She went back and forth between the original and orange flavor, and they never disappointed. It wasn't until I got older and started learning more about baking that I realized that cinnamon rolls made from scratch can be a lengthy process. From making the dough, to rising, to rolling, to rising again, and then baking?! After a long week, who really wants to do that first thing on the weekend? 

That's why I wrote this recipe and eliminated the yeast, which in turn eliminates the rising, — which is the most time-consuming part. You can sleep in a little longer and still get the satisfaction of making a homemade treat that everyone will love. These cinnamon rolls are tender and fluffy and can be made in half the time traditional ones would take. 

- Ben Perez, culinary team member

Ben's Homemade Cinnamon Roll Notes & Tips:

  • You should sprinkle filling add-ons after you spread the butter mixture.
  • If you don't have an 8- or 9-inch cake pan or pie dish, an 8x8-inch or similar-sized pan will work.  
  • If your rolls seem to be very soft after cutting them, you can arrange them in the pan and then refrigerate for a few minutes to help firm them up. This will help them hold their shape better in the oven.
  • No mixer? No problem. You can use a wooden spoon to combine the dough, but will have to knead the dough longer by hand.

Can't get enough of cinnamon rolls? Try these Cinnamon Roll Pancakes.

Ingredients

For the Dough:
  • 2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and slightly cooled
For the Filling:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Optional add-ins: chopped nuts, raisins, chocolate chips
For the Glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon milk

Yield

Serves: 9

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Lightly spray a 8-9 inch circular cake pan or pie dish with nonstick cooking spray. Melt butter in a small saucepan or in microwave and allow to cool slightly. 

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, sift all the dry ingredients. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in buttermilk, vanilla, and melted butter. Let mixture knead for 2-3 minutes on medium speed until a smooth dough forms.

Turn dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for an additional 2-3 minutes adding a sprinkle of flour as needed, until dough is smooth and supple. Let rest for 10 minutes while you prepare you filling.

cinnamon roll dough
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For the filling, in a medium bowl, combine softened butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix thoroughly until totally combined and set aside. 

cinnamon roll filling
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Add a light dusting of flour to your work surface and roll the dough out to approximately 13"x19" rectangle. Using an offset spatula, evenly spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1/2 border around the outside.

cinnamon roll filling spread on dough
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Starting at the edge closest to you, begin tightly rolling the dough into a pinwheel. Lightly pinch the edge to the roll to seal shut. 

Using a serrated knife, trim the very ends of both sides of the log off. Cut the log into 9 equal portions and arrange in your baking pan, giving each roll a light press to flatten slightly.

cinnamon rolls pre bake
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Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 18-20 minutes until lightly golden and gooey.

For the glaze, in a small bowl, add confectioners sugar and enough milk to reach desired consistency.

Allow rolls to cool slightly before topping with glaze.