Fast and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls

These cinnamon rolls are fast, easy, and delicious, especially when they’re slathered with homemade cream cheese frosting and on the table in under an hour.

What are you to do on a Saturday morning when you have a taste for fresh cinnamon rolls (with cream cheese frosting), but you don’t want to wait three hours for a traditional roll to rise and bake? I found myself in this predicament and began scouring the Internet. The goal? Find an easy cinnamon roll recipe that takes under an hour to make with ingredients that I already have on hand.


To my surprise, I found several recipes that fit my requirements, however, the one that stood out required buttermilk which I didn’t have, and I definitely wasn’t going to make a trip to the store. Before I tossed out the recipe, I did a quick Google search for “buttermilk substitutes” and found a super simple fix (and it worked)! Any time you need buttermilk and you don’t have it, all you have to do is this:

  1. In a measuring cup, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar
  2. Add enough milk until you have 1 cup and stir with a spoon
  3. Let it stand for five minutes, then use what you need

What this recipe IS: Delicious, and definitely satisfies the craving for a cinnamon roll

What this recipe ISN’T: This is definitely not the same as your traditional yeast cinnamon roll. While it is quite delicious and super quick to make, don’t expect it to be the same, otherwise you’ll be disappointed. There’s a place for traditional cinnamon rolls, and there’s definitely a place for this quick one too.

These cinnamon rolls would not be the same without a delicious cream cheese frosting which compliments them perfectly. Enjoy!

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Fast and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls

Prep Time: 22mn
Cook Time: 25mn
Total Time: 47mn

You will need a total of around 8 tablespoons of unsalted melted butter, divided for different portions of this recipe. Make it easy on yourself and melt it all at once before you start.


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Need to convert the measurements? Click here!


  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Need to convert the measurements? Click here!


  • 3 ounces cream cheese (room temp)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Need to convert the measurements? Click here!


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Melt 8 tablespoons of butter which you’ll use throughout this entire recipe (1 minute in the microwave does the trick).
  3. Brush a 9 inch cake pan with 1 tablespoon of butter to coat bottom and sides.
  4. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Combine buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla in a small bowl.
  6. Add liquids to the dry ingredients and mix well. You may need to add a little more flour until you get a consistency that’s not too sticky. Knead the dough until it is smooth.
  7. In a bowl combine all of the ingredients for the cinnamon sugar filling, then add 1 tablespoon of the melted butter and mix it in until it is crumbly.
  8. Flour your work surface and roll the dough out into a 12 by 9 inch rectangle.
  9. Brush the dough with a tablespoon or two of butter.
  10. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge. Gently press the mixture into the dough.
  11. Begin rolling the dough up starting with the longer side. Roll tightly so that the yummy cinnamon sugar mixture stays inside the roll while it bakes.
  12. Once the dough has been rolled up tightly, cut into 8 equal pieces and place into your greased cake pan.
  13. Brush the tops of the cinnamon rolls with the remaining butter
  14. Bake for 25-28 minutes
  15. While rolls bake, mix together the cream cheese frosting ingredients until smooth.
  16. When the cinnamon rolls are done baking, let them cool for about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan, and slather with cream cheese frosting.

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Comments (48)

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  1. Michelle

    These look great, I’ll have to try them!

  2. Holly

    These turned out wonderful and I loved that I didn’t have to mess around with trying to get yeast to work for me!

  3. Suzanne

    I was wondering of you’ve ever made these and then freezed them before baking them? And if so did you bake
    Them from frozen or Thawed? I’d like to make some for My grandma so she could take a few out at a time
    And bake them? Thanks in advance :) suzanne

    • Hi Suzanne,
      I haven’t tried freezing them before because well…. they don’t ever last that long! But, what a great idea for your grandma. Here’s what I would do if I were to freeze them: prepare them as directed, but don’t bake them. Wrap the rolls tightly with plastic wrap and foil and freeze. Let them thaw completely before baking and then bake as directed and frost. Hope this helps and hope it turns out! Without trying it myself, I can’t tell you with 100% certainty that it’ll work but I don’t see why it wouldn’t. :)

      • Suzanne

        Thanks so much Ashley for your super quick response!! I am going to try it right now, and hopefully grandma will enjoy them next week sometime when no one is around to have to share them with :)

  4. These look wonderful! I’d love to have one of these cinnamon rolls for breakfast! Beautiful photography.

  5. DELICIOUS! I loved that they were a little crunchy. I used a different cream cheese recipe that I had left over. Definitely a good go-to recipe if you don’t have any yeast. I didn’t feel like waiting 5 hours to eat some Sunday cinnamon rolls, and these took less than an hour. Thank you!

  6. Thanks for these! I was looking for some simple cinnamon rolls I can make for tough school mornings.

  7. Danielle

    Can I just say…AMAZING!! I have been on the hunt for 2 months for a perfect cinnamon roll recipe. I even LOVE your tip about buttermilk. This is not a yeast recipe, sure but it is BETTER!! Thank you so much for sharing. I can’t believe how amazing they tasted!! I used my own cinnamon icing, but the roll…takes the cake!! :P Again, THANK YOU!!

    • Hi Danielle, thanks so much for the feedback! So glad you enjoyed! :)

  8. Olive

    What sort of flour do you recommend?

    • All purpose flour is what I typically use. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  9. Olive

    Really? Ok will try that – I tried out the recipe on tuesday but with plain flour because of the raising agents in the ingredients. I’ll let you know how this batch turn out! SO glad I found a yeast free recipe!

  10. Gressielle A. Falsis

    I am am interested in learning new things and your recipe seem easy, I would like to try it one of these days. Thanks!

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