Everyday Cinnamon Rolls

I have been wanting to bake cinnamon rolls for quite some time, but just haven’t committed myself to spending the time to make them (mixing and kneading the dough, letting it rise, shaping the rolls, another rise…). I know when I do get around to making yeasted cinnamon rolls, they will be totally worth it, and I hope to soon. But this weekend, I chose to go the faster route and try out this recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook. (Have I told you yet how much I love this cookbook?)

Since I completely trust the America’s Test Kitchen and know they test each recipe extensively, I knew these cinnamon rolls would be good, and they definitely are. Since they don’t have yeast, they are different from your typical cinnamon roll- the dough isn’t stretchy and the flavor of the dough is somewhat different (but not in a bad way at all). The cinnamon roll flavor is all there, though: warm, spicy, and just a bit gooey with a sweet glaze on top. Another great thing about these cinnamon rolls, besides the fact that you can have them ready in about an hour from start to finish? With less butter and part whole wheat flour, you don’t have to feel guilty about enjoying them more often.

Everyday Cinnamon Rolls

Printable Recipe

Makes 9 rolls


  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled


  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk


  1. Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with two sheets of aluminum foil. (Fold each sheet so that it fits the width of the pan. Place the first sheet in the pan, pressing it down into the pan and up the sides. Place the second sheet perpendicular to the first, and press it down against the sides of the pan.) Spray lightly with vegetable oil spray.
  2. For the Filling: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
  3. For the Dough: Whisk the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk and 4 tablespoons of the melted butter together. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until the dough comes together but looks shaggy, about 30 seconds. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter and knead until just smooth and no longer shaggy, 8 to 10 times.
  4. Pat the dough into a 12 by 9-inch rectangle with the long side facing you. (Don’t be afraid to use a little more flour on the counter if the dough seems sticky.) Brush the dough with the remaining tablespoon of melted butter, then sprinkle with the filling, leaving a 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Press on the filling slightly to adhere it to the dough.
  5. Loosen the dough from the counter using a bench scraper or metal spatula (since I had used a little extra flour, mine didn’t stick at all). Roll the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed and roll the log seam-side down. Pat the ends to even them, then, using a serrated knife, slice the log evenly into 9 rolls. Slightly flatten each roll with your palm, then arrange, cut-side down, in the prepared baking pan. (There will be some space between the rolls, and as they bake they will rise to fill that space.)
  6. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 12 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the edges of the rolls are golden brown, 12 to 18 minutes longer. Flip the rolls out onto a wire rack set over a sheet of parchment paper (for easy cleanup), remove the foil, and then use another wire rack to flip the rolls upright. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  7. For the Glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar with 1 tablespoon of milk, adding another tablespoon of milk if the glaze seems too thick. Drizzle the glaze over the rolls, and serve.

Recipe slightly adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

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