Buttermilk Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

We don’t have air conditioning in our rather intimate 520 sq. ft. condo and we’re experiencing sunny, hot weather. You might think it odd to be baking with an oven cranked to the maximum 500F (250C) limit.

As the beads of sweat formed across my brow, well before I had even started to make the biscuit dough, I wondered if I had breached my own limits of sheer lunacy. However, after eating several (ok, a half dozen) of these delicious rolls, I know it was worth risking heat stroke.

Although it’s not a terribly unique idea, I’ve wanted to make biscuit cinnamon rolls for quite some time. Over a year ago, I received some piece of marketing literature and it included a handful of assorted recipe cards. One of them was for a biscuit-based cinnamon bun and I kept the recipe posted on my desk ever since.

I never got around to making the recipe and when we moved earlier this year, I decided it was time to throw out the recipe.

However, the recipe haunted me ever since and my urge recently returned.

Fortunately, I had plenty of buttermilk on hand and I decided to use a recipe for fluffy buttermilk biscuits which I had bookmarked some time ago. The recipe comes from Nicole of Pinch My Salt and not only does she provide an excellent recipe, she includes the most comprehensive list of biscuit making do’s and don’ts.

Based on the weather, I knew that working quickly would be the key to my success. The chilled butter warmed quickly on the counter, turning from a solid into a rich pudding. I knew the directions for the biscuits were explicit about keeping all of the ingredients properly cold until mixed, so I worked more fervently than normal (and followed directions more precisely than normal as well).

The biscuit dough comes together within minutes and rolled easily into a 1/4″ sheet. Try to keep it as rectangular as possible, roughly 9″ by 16″.

Cinnamon Roll Filling
2 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/3 cup pecans, chopped

Next, spread the butter evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with filling mixture. Beginning with the edge closest to you, roll the dough away from you. Keep the roll tight as you go.

cinnamon roll biscuits rolling

When fully rolled, pinch the seam together so that it doesn’t unroll. Cut across the roll into 1.5″ sections. Place each roll on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. I positioned the rolls so all of the seams faced inward for fear they might unroll during baking.

cinnamon roll biscuits rolling

Bake in a 500F (250C) oven for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned and the sugar is bubbling on top of each roll.

cinnamon roll biscuits baked

The rolls turned out gorgeous and filled the kitchen with the most delicious smell. I decided to take the cinnamon rolls one step further by slathering with a buttermilk glaze.

Buttermilk Glaze
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 teaspoon butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Beat the ingredients together until a stiff glaze forms. It will be similar to a soft frosting. Place a bit of frosting on top of each roll once they are still slightly warm. The last remaining warmth will heat the glaze to make sure it seeps into every crack and crevice.

cinnamon roll biscuits frosted

The edges of the rolls are dry so after frosting, place the rolls into a sealed container for storage. Within a few hours, the moisture in the rolls and frosting equalizes, making any dry surfaces properly moist.

Did I mention that these rolls are fricken’ delicious? Seriously good. Flakey, soft and rich. And unlike traditional cinnamon rolls involving yeast-based doughs which need to rise, you can whip up these in about 30 minutes or so.

In retrospect, these turned out much better than the recipe I had tucked away on desk for so long. Sometimes it’s not about the recipe, but instead about the inspiration a recipe gives you.

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  1. Oh man, these are perfection! The idea of a biscuit cinnamon roll is totally new to me, but it’s also quickly growing on me. Ooooh yeeeah…

  2. Oh man. I’m tryin’ to diet here Allen, and I’m finding your food blog simply irresistable these days. There’s nothing better than a good, flakey biscuit, and then you have to add all of that other good stuff and icing to boot. I’d eat half a dozen too… maybe more ;)

  3. Nicole: Why, thank you!

    Dawn: Haha :-)

    Kat: I prefer an aisle seat ;-)

    Elle: It’s a must-try — slightly different texture, flakier.

    Lori: Ahhh, dieting and food blogging are a deadly mix!

    Lucy: Very much the same — I’d like to explore next time by using different fillings :-)

    Lydia: Me too — I eat them all, very quickly. There are only 2 left as I write this.

  4. Oh my goodness. Allen, was I to swing by your place, like, right about now, to pick something up? Or drop something off? I’m sure…

  5. You are a brave man for baking in the heat. I would have flipped my shiznit ;) But yes, those are definitely soooo worth it. Beautiful rolls and I am really liking the idea of the “minutes” dough versus a “let rise for” yadda yadda. Impatient, am I… Now, let’s see if your site will accept my comment ;)

  6. B..But… You didn’t have A/C at your old home either! And it was much hotter in San Jose, I’ll wager.. (sorry, I have to be such a villain sometimes! ;) But aren’t you glad you were such a daredevil and cranked the oven up anyway! These look sooo delectable and I bet the sweet-tangy icing worked perfectly with the crunchy, nutty filling!

  7. Kevin: Thank you!

    Helen: Stop on by …they’re all gone though :-)

    Jen Yu: I’m jealous of your cold weather – send me some, please!

    Manggy: Why you gotta be a hater? Yes, San Jose hot … but much larger space to spread out the heat. In 520sqft, it feels more concentrated and no way to escape it. I know, I know … it’s much hotter where you are so I shouldn’t complain.

  8. Allen, I’m very impressed. I love the fact that these use no yeast and can be whipped up quite quickly. Love the buttermilk frosting too! Thank you for sharing!

  9. Hi, sorry to sound stupid. But what does T stand for in “1 T Buttermilk”? Begin from England, I was wondering if it is one of your fancy measures like Cups! :-) As we don’t have the same measuring system in olde Blighty as you guys .

  10. Eralda: Thank you!

    Peter G: I do love a yeasty cinnamon roll … but sometimes you just need to shortcut things :-)

    Meeta: Thank you so much – I hope you enjoy them

    Gera: Irresistible indeed

    Gemma: Sorry about the abbreviation – T is the shorthand way of stating Tablespoon. I’ve updated the post to remove the abbreviation. Thanks!

  11. is it really a biscuit in the sense I know? hee hee hee – they look great, and I love, love, love your new designs of some of your photos – the ones with words on them….sorry, i don’t get more technical than that!

  12. Oh Allen, you and Phoo-D are all about the wicked awesome baked goods today. Shite. I’m going to have to dive into this one. Cheers, Jess

  13. Allen…absolutely gorgeous! And, I have a/c and a kitchen you are welcome to use *any* time you make it back to Michigan.

  14. I love baking with butter milk and those look absolutely delicious. I’m always afraid to make cinnamon rolls because I’ll eat myself sick on them, but maybe I can find people to pawn them off on!

  15. He He, I can’t tell you how many times Brent has come home sighing because I’ve decided to bake something in 90 degree heat. Thankfully, we are getting central air installed this week. Then there will be no excuse not to bake. :)

  16. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe!! I have been trying to find an easy yummy recipe for cinnamon rolls and this was perfect. I have ruined three batches of cinnamon rolls with my poor yeast skills so i was glad to finally get a good one out of my efforts!

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