This shortcut recipe for quick no yeast cinnamon rolls makes buttery, homestyle rolls that fluff up beautifully—and in record time! Since you’re skipping the yeast, you can also skip the traditional dough rising and kneading and have cinnamon rolls in about 40 minutes. They’re perfect for the times you crave homemade cinnamon rolls, and don’t want to wait!
You know when you wake up and think, “I wish I could have homemade cinnamon rolls right now,” and then you remember you have to wait a million hours for dough to rise and you cry into your boring bowl of cereal? …No? Just me?
I’ve been on a quest to develop a recipe for quick cinnamon rolls that maintain all the flavor and fluff without the patience and work that yeast requires. (Because, in reality, I’m tired but still want to bake something. LOL.) My homemade cinnamon rolls take about 4 and 1/2 hours, or need to be prepped the night before. Even my easy cinnamon rolls require patience, rising, and kneading.
So if you want from-scratch cinnamon rolls NOW, make today’s no yeast version.
These No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls Are:
- Convenient if you’re busy and tired but still want homemade cinnamon rolls.
- Ready in less than 45 minutes.
- Soft, fluffy, and buttery.
- NOT dense! Surprisingly not dense at all!
- Packed with sweet brown sugar and cinnamon spice.
- Slathered with tangy cream cheese icing.
- Perfect as a special breakfast without all the work and waiting.
Plus, there’s NO kneading, NO rising, and the dough comes together in just 1 bowl. And you can bake them in a pie dish, cake pan, or even as cinnamon roll muffins. This recipe is dynamite.
Key Ingredients & Why This Recipe Works
I used my easy cinnamon rolls dough as the starting point for today’s no yeast version. It’s a popular recipe and I knew it would be perfect as the foundation. From there, I made the following changes:
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda: Since we’re skipping yeast, we need to replace it with another leavener. (Unless you want to eat cinnamon hockey pucks for breakfast!) I tried the dough with only baking powder at first, but quickly learned the dense rolls benefitted from a little baking soda as well. With the crutch of baking soda, the next batch browned a little nicer and fluffed up more.
- More Melted Butter: Like my chocolate chip cookies, this recipe excels with melted butter! The melted butter helps create a chewy bread-like texture, plus it seeps into every nook and cranny so you can really taste the buttery goodness. Compared to my regular cinnamon rolls recipe, I added a little extra butter for more flavor.
- Cold Buttermilk: Since we’re using a little baking soda, we need an acid in the dough. Buttermilk does the job, plus it also adds a little tang, a little fluff, and a little softness. (Like it does in pancakes!) And grab the buttermilk right from the refrigerator because cold milk keeps the otherwise soft and buttery dough workable.
Baking soda, melted butter, and buttermilk are also key ingredients in my no yeast bread recipe.
After a few trials and errors, I was shocked with the final result. These no yeast cinnamon rolls taste similar to the yeasted version and only took me about 40 minutes total. Obviously they’re not as flaky and doughy as the traditional, but I don’t think anyone would EVER notice or complain that there’s no yeast. (My 10+ taste testers ohh’d and ahh’d without batting an eye!)
How to Make Quick No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls
You can go from craving to eating warm, gooey from-scratch cinnamon rolls in record time. Here’s how my recipe works:
- Make the dough: Whisk the dry ingredients together, then add in the wet ingredients. The dough should be quite soft, but not overly sticky.
- Shape the cinnamon rolls: Roll the dough into a 10×14-inch rectangle. This measurement doesn’t need to be exact, so don’t stress. Spread butter on top and then sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Tightly roll up the dough and cut into 12 pieces. Place in a greased pan.
- Bake: Bake until the rolls puff up and look golden brown, about 22–26 minutes.
- Make the icing: While the cinnamon rolls bake, make the icing using cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract. I love that this cream cheese icing doesn’t use gobs of confectioners’ sugar; it’s a nice creamy, buttery, tangy blanket for your rolls. For a simpler topping, try this vanilla icing instead.
- Eat: Slather the icing on your warm cinnamon rolls and enjoy!
Here are step-by-step photos so you know what to expect:
Before cutting, you can mark the 14-inch log with a knife to ensure you have 12 even rolls. That’s what I usually do:
Success Tip: Expect a Soft Dough
Do not incorporate more flour than you need in this dough. I want you to expect and embrace a soft dough. Instead of mixing more flour INTO the dough to make it workable, use extra flour when shaping the rolls. If the dough is sticking to your counter and rolling pin as you work, dust it all with more flour.
Bottom line: Mixing in more flour than you need could result in crumbly, dense rolls. Instead, use it when assembling the rolls.
Can I Bake These as Cinnamon Roll Muffins?
Yes! If you love the slightly crusty, chewy exterior of a cinnamon roll that’s been baked closest to the edge of the pan, try baking these no yeast cinnamon rolls as muffins. After cutting your 12 rolls, place them in a greased standard 12-count muffin pan. Each roll gets that crusty edge all the way around, and they puff up beautifully when they bake. Such a fun recipe!
And if you’re on a roll (ha!), try these cinnamon roll cookies too. 😉
This shortcut recipe yields a dozen classic, homestyle cinnamon rolls that fluff up beautifully—without any yeast, kneading, nor rise time. They’re perfect for the times you crave homemade cinnamon rolls, and don’t want to wait!
Cream Cheese Icing
- 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, 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
How to Join the August Sally’s Baking Challenge
Make the no yeast cinnamon rolls as directed or in a muffin pan (see recipe Note for that variation). If you aren’t into this recipe, here is the alternate baking challenge recipe:
- Any previous challenge recipe you haven’t made yet OR
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
After you make the cinnamon rolls or alternate recipe, email us your recipe photo. For a bonus entry, leave a review on the recipe below.
By emailing your recipe photo to us, you are automatically entered in the baking challenge. 1 winner receives a $250 Amazon Gift Card. The challenge is open to the whole world. Challenge ends on August 31st at 5pm Eastern. The winner will be selected at random, emailed the prize, and posted in the September Baking Challenge blog post on September 1st.
Visit the Sally’s Baking Challenge page if you have any questions about Sally’s Baking Challenge.