Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast

Love cinnamon rolls, but afraid of baking with yeast?  These Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast are the perfect solution, and they make for one heck of a tasty breakfast!

Love cinnamon rolls, but afraid of baking with yeast?  These Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast are the perfect solution, and they make for one heck of a tasty breakfast!

“And make sure to grab a package of cinnamon buns on the way out.”  If only I had a dime for each time I heard my grandma say that!  My grandparents lived in upstate South Carolina, and we’d take regular trips up from Charleston to visit.  My sister and I loved roaming around their yard and exploring the old barn back behind the house.  We loved picking wild blackberries and then helping grandma make a cobbler for dessert.  And we loved waking up early to eat cinnamon rolls!

I remember my grandma would wake up at 5:00am every day.  As a kid, I thought that was crazy…crazy awesome!  I mean I was so excited to be visiting that I woke up early anyways, and it was great to have someone to play with that early in the morning.  In hindsight, my parents must have loved that, too, as it meant they could sleep in until 7:00am.  (As a parent myself now, sleeping in until 7:00am is a luxury.  It’s funny how life works like that!)

Love cinnamon rolls, but afraid of baking with yeast?  These Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast are the perfect solution, and they make for one heck of a tasty breakfast!

But back to these Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast.  I’d sneak downstairs and find my grandma sipping on her first cup of coffee while my grandfather sat in his threadbare recliner reading the morning paper.  He would read the Sports section first, then the Obituaries and then the rest of the paper.  It’s strange what details you remember from childhood, isn’t it?  Meanwhile I would hop up on a stool next to the kitchen table and eat cinnamon rolls.  Those were the days!

Now my grandma loved to bake (her nickname was ‘Sweet’), but she didn’t make these cinnamon rolls without yeast.  Instead, she picked them up from a little bakery down the road.  I remember going with her a couple of times to this bakery.  It was a small, white cinder block building standing alone on the side of the highway that ran out of town.  It didn’t have much of a sign, and the parking lot was just gravel.  Come to think of it now, it was the kind of place you would never, ever stop at…unless you were a local who knew about their delicious cinnamon rolls!

Love cinnamon rolls, but afraid of baking with yeast?  These Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast are the perfect solution, and they make for one heck of a tasty breakfast!

I remember the buns were packed in disposable foil pans and then plastic wrapped.  And they were stacked dozens high on the old wooden countertop.  The only decision you had to make was “with or without raisins.”  I’m not entirely sure that bakery made anything other than cinnamon rolls actually!  But it didn’t matter to me.  Those cinnamon rolls without yeast were excellent!  I keep saying ‘cinnamon rolls without yeast,’ and truthfully I have no idea what recipe they used.  But they made so many cinnamon rolls that I’ve decided they had to be making a yeast-free version.

My sister and I were reminiscing about those childhood days a couple of weeks ago, and she challenged me to come up with a cinnamon roll recipe that reminded us of those cinnamon rolls from Belton, SC.  I love a good challenge, so I accepted.  And, by golly, I think these come pretty darn close to what I remember!

Love cinnamon rolls, but afraid of baking with yeast?  These Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast are the perfect solution, and they make for one heck of a tasty breakfast!Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast

Have you ever made cinnamon rolls without yeast?  I love baking, so I don’t mind a good yeasted bread recipe.  However, I hear a lot of folks say they’re afraid of yeast.  Well, this recipe is for you!  Instead of yeast, this recipe uses a combination of baking soda and baking powder…and that means you can make a batch of these Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast for breakfast without waiting for the rolls to rise.  (The rising happens in the oven.)  Nice and easy!  Do take special note that this recipe requires buttermilk.  Baking soda reacts once it’s mixed with something acidic…and that’s where the buttermilk comes in.  Regular milk won’t work here.  (Although you could do the trick where you use regular milk and then stir in a tablespoon or two of vinegar or lemon juice.  The vinegar/lemon juice is acidic, so that would work.)

Love cinnamon rolls, but afraid of baking with yeast?  These Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast are the perfect solution, and they make for one heck of a tasty breakfast!

If you love cinnamon rolls, but don’t want to wait for the dough to rise, then these Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast are the perfect solution!  And if you happen to make a batch of these at home, share a photo on Instagram and tag me (@Spicedblog) or come back and leave a comment here.  Enjoy, my friends!

Love cinnamon rolls as much as I do?  Check out some of these other recipes!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Maple Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Braided Cinnamon Roll

Overnight Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

Easy Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Love cinnamon rolls, but afraid of baking with yeast?  These Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast are the perfect solution, and they make for one heck of a tasty breakfast!

Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast

Love cinnamon rolls, but afraid of baking with yeast?  These Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast are the perfect solution, and they make for one heck of a tasty breakfast!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 9 cinnamon rolls
Calories: 478kcal


For the Dough

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • tsp cinnamon
  • cups buttermilk
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter melted and divided

For the Filling

  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup raisins

For the Glaze

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease and flour (or spray with nonstick spray) a 9”x9” baking pan; set pan aside.
  • Using a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients for the dough (flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon).
  • Add buttermilk and 2 Tbsp of the melted butter; stir until smooth.
  • Turn dough out onto a well-floured countertop or large cutting board. Sprinkle top of dough with flour and then roll into 9”x12” rectangle. Brush the top of the dough with the remaining 2 Tbsp of melted butter.
  • Using a small bowl, combine all of the Filling ingredients (brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and raisins). Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a ½” border on all sides.
  • Starting with a short end, roll dough tightly into a log; pinch seam to seal dough. Slice log into 9 pieces. Lay pieces cut-side up in prepared baking pan.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove rolls from oven and let cool slightly.
  • While rolls are cooling, make the glaze by whisking together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla; whisk until smooth. Spread glaze over warm rolls and serve.
Love cinnamon rolls, but afraid of baking with yeast?  These Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast are the perfect solution, and they make for one heck of a tasty breakfast!

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  1. Your grandpa sounds a lot like my grandpa, who also always read the Sports page first and owned the rattiest old recliner I’ve ever seen :). And my grandma always had treats for us in the mornings too–those were the days! It’s never occurred to me to make cinnamon rolls without yeast. But why not? These sound amazing!

    1. Oh my gosh…that recliner! It was so old and beat up, and get this: it sat in the corner of the kitchen! I remember those days of hanging out with my grandpa like they were yesterday, though. Good times! And these cinnamon rolls (or something similar at least) played a big part in those memories. 🙂 Thanks, Kelsie!

  2. Ahhh, I love memories of my grandparents. And I really enjoyed reading some of yours. So awesome that your grandma’s nickname was ‘Sweet’!

    My kids love cinnamon rolls but I always have to tell them that they won’t be ready til tomorrow’s breakfast. These cinnamon rolls would be perfect. and they look so delicious!

    1. Growing up, “Sweet” was just “Sweet.” That’s what we called her. But in hindsight, it’s a pretty awesome name for a grandma! 🙂 Yes! These cinnamon rolls are the perfect way to get that delicious cinnamon roll taste without having to wait. (To be fair, I do love yeasted cinnamon rolls…but they take a bit more planning.) Thanks, Kelly!

  3. Hi David! That a great recipe! I love yeast raised cinnamon rolls, but this is a great way when you want them now! I’m a “no raisin” person, but have you ever added toasted pecans and chopped bacon to the filling? Trust me on this one 🙂

    1. I love yeast-raised cinnamon rolls, too, Dorothy! You know me. I love to bake. But these yeast-less ones are great when you forgot to plan ahead. They’re so easy! So I hear ya on the raisins, and yes I have added pecans….but bacon!? Why haven’t I done that before?? That definitely will happen next time I make a batch!

  4. Love, love, love cinnamon buns – one of my all-time favourites, David! Your parents must have loved that your grandma got up so early looking after you. What a fantastic challenge to recreate your childhood memories. I’ve never made cinnamon buns without yeast but I also have a lot of friends that mentioned that they are afraid of baking with yeast so it’s great to have an alternative to the yeast version. I hope you are having a great weekend, my friend!

    1. Hah! In hindsight, you’re absolutely right. I’m sure my parents loved the fact that they could sleep in a little bit thanks to Grandma. As a parent myself now, I would relish the thought! I love baking with yeast, but I also have a number of friends who are scared of yeast…these cinnamon rolls are the answer! 🙂 Hope you had a great weekend as well, Miriam!

  5. Very first line of your post where your grandma was reminding you to grab cinnamon buns cracked me up. I imagined Little Red Riding Hood and the basket full of (yeast) cinnamon buns hah. Well although I don’t think that you were the prototype of the fairy tale (At least due to time frames), but those delicious cinnamon buns would have been a delicious treat for everyone in that fairly tale! Well done, David!

    1. Hah! As funny as that image is, you’re not too far off, Ben. We really did go through the woods to reach Grandma’s place. The only difference is we took cinnamon buns away from Grandma’s place instead of to it! And if you ask Laura, she might actually say that I am the prototype of a cartoon character. Haha! 🙂

  6. Wow these cinnamon rolls do sound amazing! I never even realized you could make them without yeast! What a time saver! I have to make cinnamon rolls in my house without raisins. Nobody would eat them but me. Hmmmm…..maybe I should start adding those raisins! 🙂

    1. Yes! I do love yeasted cinnamon rolls, but you can absolutely make a yeast-less version, too. They’re perfect when you want cinnamon rolls, but forgot to plan ahead. And I’m thinking you should stock up on those raisins! They’ll be your secret cinnamon roll weapon, Kathy! 🙂

    1. Food memories are the best memories! My grandma and grandpa loved food, and I wish they were still around to see that I’ve made a career out of food. (Of course, they’d be confused about the internet, but still. Haha.) These cinnamon rolls are so tasty, too! Thanks, Valentina!

  7. Such lovely memories!! And how adorable that your grandmother’s nickname was ‘sweet’. Nothing like cinnamon rolls, but even better to have them quicker and not having to wait for ’em to rise…that means they could be in my pie hole quicker, lol!! As I’m drinking my coffee, I’m really wishing these were in front of me right now and not just on my screen 🙂

    1. In retrospect, it’s pretty awesome that my grandma’s nickname was ‘Sweet.’ Apparently I was the one who coined that nickname, too…probably because she always had sweets around for us kids. 🙂 And, yes, the lack of yeast here means you, too, could have a batch of cinnamon rolls ready to munch on in no time flat! Thanks so much, Dawn!

  8. Oh, I remember those cinnamon rolls that came in a disposable aluminum pan and tucked into a plastic bag. We’d take the whole pan and pop it in the oven and warm until the icing melted and then dollop butter on them.
    Food memories are the best.

    1. Yes! That’s the exact package of cinnamon rolls I’m talking about, Ron. So good! While I don’t have that exact recipe, I enjoyed making this version…and it totally reminded of the ones in the aluminum pan. (I even baked these in an aluminum pan just for effect. Haha!) Thanks!

  9. Cinnamon rolls are so.damn.good! I’ve never made them without yeast…interesting! This is a great idea if you want homemade cinnamon rolls STAT.

    And also, ugh 5 am is SO EARLY to me!! Ha. I am not an early morning person, and luckily I haven’t had to be too much in my career… here’s to hoping that when I have a kiddo someday, they’ll sleep til 7! One of my nephews snoozes until like 8 every day, so I have hope 🙂

    1. I hear ya on cinnamon rolls, Nicole! A good cinnamon and a good blueberry muffin are the two things that just get me every single time. Hahaha…kiddo sleep til 7!? I’ll cross my fingers for ya there. 🙂

  10. What a lovely recipe and reminisce of times spent with your Grandparents David. It’s funny how certain food reminds us of good times in the past. I always had fantastic steak pie and scones and cakes at my grans! I love how you’ve made these nice and easy to bake without yeast.

    1. I love recipes that remind me of things in the past. You know we love recreating recipes from vacations or meals out at restaurants, but I also love digging back in the recipe archives from when I was a kid, too. Mmm…now I want a steak pie! That sounds delicious, Neil!

  11. Little hole in the wall bakeries are THE BEST – aren’t they?! We have a rather snazzy not so hole in the wall one here called Cinnaholic that does cinnamon rolls exclusively – every flavor imaginable – though I’d rather have to pick only between raisins or no raisins, myself 🙂
    I love no-yeast rolls – I made some for the first time last year and we thoroughly enjoyed them- so I’m gonna put yours on my list to try too!

    1. Wait. A bakery that specializes in ONLY cinnamon rolls? How in the world have I not been there yet!? That sounds amazing, and I’m pretty sure I would be stopping by there weekly if I lived down in Athens! 🙂 I admit that I do love a good yeasted cinnamon roll, but these no-yeast rolls are racing right up the list. They were so easy…and so good! Yum!!

  12. These pictures are outstanding! They look so real on my computer.

    I think we all have crazy memories of our grandparents. My grandfather smoked Pall Malls (no filter) and he lived to be 99 1/2. My grandmother had one of those hand beaters, and was she fast! She could go as fast as the electric mixers we have now. I can still picture her whipping up a cake mix fast as can be. She used to make home-made chocolate icing. It was heavenly.

    I also chuckled at “Upstate South Carolina”. Since I’ve only ever lived in New York, and we endeavor to separate ourselves from NYC, I imagined it was only “Upstate” NY. 🙂

    Have a nice thanksgiving!

    1. Why thank you so much, SueAnn! 🙂

      What great memories from your grandparents. Those were the days, weren’t they? I totally know the hand beaters that you’re talking about. My mom had one when I was a kid, but I have no idea what happened to that thing. Those were so cool!

      And you make a good point about ‘upstate.’ I guess it’s all relative, right? Hope you have a great Thanksgiving as well, my friend!

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