Joy the Baker

Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls

March 8, 2012


‘Big Picture’ life thoughts:

Be kind.  Be kinder than you think yourself possible.  Be passionate.  Live fully, wholly, and unapologetically. Apologize when you’re a bonehead… for real.  Show gratitude.  Express joy.  Feel pain.  Empathize… with eye contact.  Slow down, breathe deeply.  Love hard… always.  Celebrate big and small.  Gather and  share.  Be brave.  Show praise.

‘Small Picture’ thoughts:

Where the heck are my car keys?  Why does this sweater look stupid?  Do I really need a set of matching towels in my bathroom, or are these hand-me-downs cool?  Wait… did I pay that bill?   I know you’re scared, Joy… do it anyway.  Don’t forget to feed the cat.  Don’t forget to write that email.  Don’t forget to write that other email, and send that picture, and write up that recipe.  Don’t forget to try and write it all down on that long list of other things you’re trying to forget. Don’t forget to sleep some.  Set your TV recorder?  Can’t.  Hopeless. Wait… slow down.  Chill out.  Try to think more ‘big picture’ life thoughts.  Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees.

‘Big picture and Small picture’ thought:

How many more things can I make with biscuit dough… like, now!


I’ve been caught up in the day to day stress-bits lately.  It’s hard to see big when small tasks are so present and demanding.

Butter.  Biscuit dough.  Buttermilk.  These are all worry-tamers in my book.


Shaggy and cold dough will be formed into a loose, lightly floured disk.

It’s the beginning of very good things.


This is how you’d roll biscuits.  Big and thick.

For biscuit cinnamon rolls, we’ll roll the dough much thinner.



Dough is topped with melted butter and cinnamon sugar filling.

Come on… you know this is when things get bonkers.


Rolled and sliced.

Cinnamon rolls.  Extra butter.  No rise time.


I will never not love this sort of image.

Never not.

IMG_3968 - Version 2

Let’s talk about these little darlings.

Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls are like no other cinnamon roll I’ve ever had.  There’s hardly any kneading.  There’s no rise time.  There is warm, tender-centered, cinnamon flavored dough bites.  These pastries bake up with biscuit flakiness and rich cinnamon swirl.  They’re a bit more dense than your standard cinnamon roll… because they’re biscuits.

I think these rolls are best served warm, the day they’re made.  I quite like them with extra butter (duh) and a bit of strawberry jam.

Think of the ‘big picture’.  Think of the ‘grand scheme’.  Think of how much better those two would be with these rolls in them.

aaaand…. I love you.

Know what else is bonkers!?

Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread.  aaaaand Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls.

Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls

makes 8 or 9 rolls

Print this Recipe!

For the Biscuits:

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold and cut into cubes (if you don’t have shortening you can certainly substitute unsalted butter)

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup buttermilk, cold

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg (optional)

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus a bit more for topping the biscuits before baking

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.  Grease a 8×8-inch square baking pan with butter and set aside.

In a small bowl, make the filling by mixing together sugars, spices, and salt.  Set aside.  Set melted butter aside as well.

In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Use your hands to break the fat cutes into the dry ingredients.  Some of the fat bits will be the size of peas and some fat bits will be the size of oat flakes.    In another bowl, combine egg, milk, and vanilla, and beat lightly with a fork.  Add the liquid to flour mixture all at once, stirring enough to make a soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead about 15 times.  If the butter has warmed too much in the making of the dough, shape the batter into a dish, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.  If the butter is still cool, shape the dough into a disk and, on a well floured surface, roll dough to a little less than 1/2-inch thickness.  My dough was about 12-inches long and 10-inches tall.  The dough will be rolled much thinner than a biscuit dough that you would cut biscuits from.

Brush biscuit dough with melted butter.  Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar filling.  Begin to carefully roll one vertical side into a fairly tight roll.  Continue rolling until you have a biscuit cylinder.  Using a sharp, floured knife, slice into log, about 1-inch thick.  Place rolls, in prepared pan.  Brush the tops with melted butter and bake for 13-15 minutes, until slightly golden brown on top.

These biscuit cinnamon rolls are best served warm the day they’re made.  They’re also good reheated with butter and jam.  

213 Comments Add A Comment

  • Wow this is very nice Joy. Who would have think, a biscuit Cinnamon roll. Came across this looking for Cinnamon Swiss Roll. Perhaps you will make that next. But I want mine with a Cinnamon orange jam filling.

  • Okay, I made these tonight with teeny frittatas (mini muffin tins) for my husband and 5 kiddos. So great for a last minute “what am I making for dinner???” night. Also I coated the finished product in a thicker more cinnamony version of fat sauce. Nothin wrong there.

  • These are delicious! Thank you so much!

  • A lovely presentation, I must say!!
    I am sure my kids would love it and so would I :) Definitely going to try it out this weekend!!

  • Joy, I’m back to baking and I made this today! Yummy, though the dough was so difficult to work with that my rolls ended up quite hideous looking unfortunately. Maybe the butter melted too much? Taste was good but I baked mine for 16 min and I think 17 or 18 might be ideal, you end up with very doughy biscuits. I followed the recipe to a T too! 29th Joy recipe, will definitely reach the 30 milestone in a few days.

  • Thanks for this post! I’ve been scared of biscuit dough forever and this recipe tipped me over the edge. I made a batch to make for friends tomorrow that I’ll bake in the morning. To test them, though, I put one in a little cup and baked individually tonight and it was delish!

  • Hey! I live in Chile and right now it’s raining heavily. So, I decided to bake these. Great success!!!! My family loved them!
    Thank you very much!

  • I use to spent 3 hrs making cinnamon rolls. But this recipe is great, it doesn’t need rising time. And it taste grate. I made this last night and love it! Thanks for the recipe!

Leave a Reply

34 trackbacks


    homemade decadence

    The Web Series



    Brown Butter Banana Bread with Rum and Coconut
    Sweet Corn Pancakes
    Roasted Apricot Breakfast
    Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie
    Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Pie
    Creamy Pumpkin Pie Bars
    Homemade Hot Dog Buns
    The Ultimate Club Sandwich
    Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwich

    Joy, Recently

    Let It Be Sunday
    Sausage, Cheddar and Grits Frittata
    Roy Choi’s Furikake Kettle Corn
    Apple + Fennel with Pistachio + Apricot
    Let It Be Sunday (+Monday)
    Fall 2014 Cookbooks!
    Baking Bootcamp: Apple Pie Biscuits
    Beer Brownies
    Let It Be Sunday