A Cinnamon Roll Recipe Without Milk or Yeast

This cinnamon roll recipe without milk or yeast delivers a delicious breakfast treat in a fraction of the time.

Happy Swedes and Their Cinnamon Rolls

Happy Kannebullens Dag! Yep, did you realize that in Sweden they love cinnamon rolls so much that they have an official day (October 4th) to celebrate their existence. The average Swede eats a shocking 316 cinnamon rolls per year. Could this be the real reason that Sweden ranks # 7 on the list of the happiest countries in the world? Generous paid family leave and social equality are nice, but a daily cinnamon roll could really boost your endorphins.

Cinnamon Rolls in a Hurry

While we love cinnamon rolls, we find that the endless rising of yeast doughs does not align well with the habits of small children. They like to eat early and often (see the plethora of mini-muffin recipes we have written about for this reason), and they don’t like to wait around for their food to rise three times. So, today’s quick cinnamon rolls are dedicated to all of the parents of small children who would still really like to enjoy homemade cinnamon rolls with their coffee on occasion.

To Yeast, or not to Yeast

To achieve this small miracle, we replaced the yeast-based dough that is most commonly used in cinnamon buns with a biscuit dough. This means that we don’t need any fresh yeast, active dry yeast, instant yeast, or any other kind of yeast, and there isn’t a first rise, second rise, or any period of anxiously waiting for dough to puff. The only warm spot you’ll need to find is one for you to sit in and enjoy your coffee while these cinnamon rolls quickly bake. Bonus points if it’s somewhere where your kids can’t find you so you can enjoy a good book while you wait (no judgment if that’s a closet or bathroom with good lighting).

A Cinnamon Roll Recipe Without Milk or Yeast

These easy cinnamon rolls come together very quickly, requiring less time than your average three year old needs to ride his or her bike around the block (yes, this statistic has been verified using a real live three year old). While you certainly wouldn’t mistake these for a pillowy IKEA-style confection, we think you’ll be quite satisfied with the results. We replaced the milk traditionally used in yeast-based recipes with buttermilk for some added tenderness. These rolls take a cue from their Swedish origins by incorporating cardamom into the dough, but if you don’t have any on hand, feel free to omit it. They are authentically Swedish in that (unlike the American version) they do not come festooned with cream cheese icing. Trust us, there’s plenty of sugar as is; no additional frosting needed!

Recipe Facts

  • Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls
  • Active Time: 20 minutes
  • Bake Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients for the Cinnamon Roll Recipe without Milk or Yeast

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

For the rolls:

  • 4 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Instructions for the Cinnamon Roll Recipe without Milk or Yeast

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Generously butter a 12-cup muffin pan.

Make the Dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
  2. Add the butter and cut into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until the butter chunks are the size of small peas. If the pastry cutter makes you nervous, use stand mixer or a food processor.
  3. Pour the buttermilk over the flour-butter mixture and use a fork to gently mix together until a soft dough forms.
  4. Turn the dough onto a surface dusted with a little flour and knead 3-4 times until well combined.
  5. Divide the cinnamon roll dough in two. Let the dough rest for a few minutes while you mix up the filling.

Make the Filling

  1. Melt the butter in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Cinnamon Roll Assembly!

  1. Now it’s time to get out your rolling pin and warm up your biceps! Roll one of the dough halves on a floured surface until you have formed a rectangle roughly 13 x 18 inches and 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Gently brush the dough with half of the melted butter. Sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top.
  3. Now, roll the long side of the dough up, keeping the dough nice and taut as you roll.
  4. Once it’s rolled, squeeze the dough gently to ensure that it’s consistently thick throughout.
  5. Then, use a sharp knife or unflavored dental floss to cut into six equal pieces.
  6. Take a slice of the cinnamon roll, peel back about 2 inches of the loose end of the pastry. Fold it back under the roll to loosely cover the bottom. Place it in the muffin pan, flap side down. Repeat with remaining slices.
  7. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
  8. Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and well risen.
  9. These are best served warm, fresh out of the oven. In a pinch, you can keep them in an airtight container overnight. In that case, split them in half and toast them before eating them the next morning.

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