no-yeast cinnamon buns

no-yeast cinnamon buns

I spend a lot of time in the air, in the airport, or anticipating the next time I’ll be in a departure lounge.


Since moving abroad, I’ve become a relatively seasoned traveller: I’ve been averaging four long-haul flights a year for the past five and have developed quite strong opinions on everything from in-flight meal plans to pre-flight moisturiser (you probably need it).

Airports are a strangely comfortable space for me. They’re the buffer area between the strange, timeless flight and actually getting home (which is the word I confusingly use for both legs of my trip). And while I’ve got notable anecdotes from a variety of them (including a sixteen-hour Philadelphia experience and the joy of sourcing candy cigarettes in Detroit), my favourite airport moment happens every time I arrive into Chicago O’Hare. Specifically Terminal 3, Concourse G, where the sweet smell of Cinnabon follows every weary traveller.

Now, Cinnabon isn’t extraordinary. It’s not unique to Chicago. It’s not really noteworthy at all – unless you’re exhausted, it’s a weird time of day, you probably last ate six hours ago and you’re in a stuffy airport terminal. Suddenly Cinnabon gets elevated to otherworldly status. Nothing becomes as comforting or enticing as the scent of warm, sweet cinnamon floating through the air-conditioning vents.


Unfortunately, cinnamon buns are not as easy to recreate once you’ve touched down at home. Between mixing, rising, rising, and rising again it’s a lot of work. But luckily there’s a less labour-intensive method that is a no-brainer – there’s no yeast, so there’s no rising time. HOORAY.

No-Yeast Cinnamon Buns 
YOU’RE GONNA NEED: a round 8/9 inch cake pan, a stand mixer with attached dough hook (it’s easier), parchment paper*

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp cinnamon (to be honest, I didn’t exactly measure this…)
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp softened butter

2 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk*
4 tbsp melted butter, divided
2 tbsp softened butter

Powdered sugar*

1. Preheat oven to 425F (about 220C). Grease the bottom of the cake pan with melted butter – about a tablespoon or so.

2. Combine the filling dry ingredients in a bowl and using a fork, cut in butter. It should be a bit crumbly, but dry. Set aside.

3. Prepare your dough: using the mixer, whisk together the dough dry ingredients. In a separate measuring jug, mix together the buttermilk and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Slowly add the buttermilk mix to the dry ingredients and mix using dough hook. Knead with hook for about a minute – a soft dough will form.

4. Place a sheet of parchment paper onto a clean work surface*. Press the dough into a rough rectangle (around 12×10 inches or so). Brush 2 tablespoons of softened butter onto the dough, then gently spread filling across the top. Press filling into the dough slightly. Starting at the long end, roll the dough into a log shape. Pinch the ends and cut off, then slice log into about 1 inch sections.

5. Arrange slices in the cake pan. Brush the tops with the last of the melted butter, then bake for about 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350F (about 180C), then bake for another 10 minutes until tops brown. Let cool slightly.

6. Prepare your glaze: whisk together powdered sugar and milk to form a thin glaze. Drizzle over tops of buns.

Parchment paper is also known in some circles as baking paper.

I never have buttermilk in my house. If you don’t either, just use whole milk and add 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Let it stand for 3-5 minutes until thickened slightly.

Powdered sugar, confectioner’s sugar, 10x, icing sugar – this stuff has many titles.

Parchment paper makes this process a whole lot cleaner, but you can just lightly flour the work surface if you like. Be gentle when rolling the dough – do it slowly to avoid tears (that’s tears meaning both ‘rips’ and ‘crying’).

Cinnamon bun recipe adapted from Le Creme de la Crumb.


5 thoughts on “no-yeast cinnamon buns

    1. Hi there,

      If you can find it, I recommend Dove’s Farm Plain White Flour Blend. It’s a mixture of several different GF flours and I didn’t mind the taste or texture.

      It’s worth noting you can’t always directly substitute GF flour for regular flour – because of the way gluten works, GF flour can sometimes make things a bit crumbly. You might have to experiment a bit! But the great thing about the Dove’s Farm flours is that many of them contain xanthan gum which is a binder. You can buy it separately, but it’s easier and cheaper to get a flour with it in already. I’ve never tried it myself, but you could possibly do a direct swap when xanthan gum’s involved.

      Hope that helps! I haven’t done a ton of GF baking so this is just a little personal experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! Ive experimented some as well and agree its usually easier to get the blend with xantham or guar gum already in it. I am looking fwd to trying this with an alternative flour and almond milk!! I never have an issue subbing it for regular milk.


      2. Because it’s a dough and not a sensitive cake, you might be able to do a pretty straightforward sub. If I was trying it, I’d just make sure not to overbeat/knead it. And I agree, changing the milk shouldn’t be an issue.

        Let me know how it turns out!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s