Easy Cinnamon Rolls is an understatement! There’s no waiting for dough to rise–this is a quick, and delicious version of a favorite morning treat.
Good cinnamon rolls still warm from the oven, with drippy thick icing, have got to be one of the best gifts to mankind. But sheesh, they take a long time to make.
My solution: quick bread cinnamon rolls! The dough uses baking powder and baking soda as leavening instead of yeast. The idea is sort of a glorified biscuit.
The dough is richer than typical baking powder biscuits. With the addition of an egg and a little more sugar the flavor is closer to your favorite yeasty cinnamon roll. I’ve melted the butter instead of cut it in like typical biscuits. This makes the dough less crumbly and easy to roll with the cinnamon filling.
I used buttermilk in the dough so I included it in the frosting as well. I don’t use buttermilk often, so I like to find ways to use it when I have it in the fridge. I think I may just have to make this recipe again to finish it off–Woohoo!
These are quick to make, and disappear even faster. Eat them while they’re warm–they are best eaten the same day. Like biscuits they don’t keep all that well. I mean they’re fine…I eat anything made of bread with frosting no matter how old it is…but I’m just saying the cinnamon rolls are at their prime right out of the oven!
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- 5 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2½ tsp cinnamon
- 2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup low-fat cream cheese softened
- 1 tbsp low-fat buttermilk
- 1¼ cups confectioners' sugar
Heat oven to 425°F with rack in upper third. Coat a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray; set aside.
In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, 2 tbsp granulated sugar and cinnamon with 2 tbsp butter; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 3 tbsp granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg and 3 tbsp butter. Stir together the liquid and dry ingredients; dough will look rough. Knead on a floured surface until just smooth, about 5 turns.
Pat or roll dough into a 9-by-13-inch rectangle. Brush with 2 tbsp butter. Spread dough with brown sugar filling, leaving ½-inch border. Use a spatula to lift dough from surface and roll, starting at a long side, to form a tight log. Pinch seam to seal log and slice evenly into 9 pieces. Place in prepared pan swirl-side up and press rolls down slightly. Brush tops with 1 tbsp butter.
Bake until edges are just golden brown and rolls are cooked through, 22 to 25 min. Loosen rolls from pan and invert onto a plate; reinvert to right side up onto a rack. Cook 5 min before icing.
For icing: In a bowl, beat together cream cheese and buttermilk until smooth. Beat in confectioners' sugar to form icing; spread over rolls with knife. Serve rolls warm.
Here’s another quick bread treat: My Whole Wheat Pumpkin Walnut Bread, or Pulla Bread, a yeast bread that will blow your mind…if you’ve got a few extra minutes to spare.
Recipe by Tara Bench
Photographer Yunhee Kim
Food Stylist Anne Disrude
Prop Stylist Megan Hedepeth
Originally published in Ladies’ Home Journal March 2009