I found myself a couple of weekends ago with a sweet brunch hankering and wondering, “Can I make cinnamon rolls without yeast?” If you live in a big city on the East Coast, or likely anywhere in the United States, you probably know that yeast has been tough to come by. All those sourdough bakers are giving grocery store inventory a run for its money.
I did find yeast last week by ordering from a restaurant in DC. Apparently the restaurant supply chain is different than the grocery store supply chain, which is why restaurants are now selling their inventory and often have the exact items that are sold out in grocery stores.
CAN YOU MAKE CINNAMON ROLLS WITHOUT YEAST?
But, that didn’t help me in the moment. I needed a yeast-less cinnamon roll recipe STAT. I did some googling and found that, while most recipes do call for yeast, there were a few out there that would do the trick — and save me from grabbing a cardboard can of Pillsbury.
Now, I’m going to be honest. As someone who doesn’t bake regularly, this isn’t a quick or super easy recipe, BUT it was simple to follow and turned out better than I even imagined. Yes, there were some frustration as I was kneading the dough and some tense moments as I was forming the rolls. However, I would 100% make these again. They’re so much better than anything you’ll pick up at the grocery store.
NO-YEAST NEEDED CINNAMON ROLLS
I adapted the rolls and filling from this recipe on Sugar Spun Run, then added a cream cheese glaze as opposed to a true icing.
2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Glaze:
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
4 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine roll dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt). Cut the butter into small pieces (I’ve just learned this is a thing for baked goods since I made biscuits a few weeks ago). Add to dry ingredients, along with the milk. Mix well.
Knead the dough onto a well-floured surface. Combine until it forms a ball. Sprinkle flour of the ball, then cover with wax paper (this is an essential step!). Use a rolling pin to roll out dough into a large rectangle.
Combine all filling ingredients. Spread the filling out over the rectangle of dough. Carefully, very carefully, and slowly roll the dough into a log. Place the log in the freezer for 20 minutes until it’s become firm.
Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 1″ sections. Grease a baking dish with butter (or melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the dish via the preheating oven). The rolls should go into the dish without completely touching, because they will grow in the oven.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before icing. Mix glaze ingredients and frost rolls. Enjoy!