45 Minute Cinnamon Rolls {From Scratch}

Published December 5, 2012. Updated April 19, 2024

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45 Minute Cinnamon Rolls are the fastest cinnamon rolls you’ll ever make! Made from scratch and they can be ready in 45 minutes! Ooey gooey, tender buttery cinnamon finish with a sweet and simple cream cheese icing. These are sure to satisfy!

45 Minute Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls Ready in Under 1 Hour!

Too often I get a huge craving for a fresh, made from scratch, warm out of the oven cinnamon roll but so often I don’t want to wait the 3 – 4 hours it takes to prepare them with all those tedious and lengthy rise times. Yes, I love a good yeast based cinnamon roll, but is the yeast absolutely necessary? Well, I decided to find out for myself.

Favorite Cookbook Recommendation

Recently, I’ve been reading through the “The Quick Recipe” from the Editors of Cook Illustrated Magazine and came upon their recipe for Fastest Cinnamon Buns. I knew I had to try it for a number of reasons. First off I’m yet to be let down by Cook’s Illustrated.

If you are looking for a cookbook that you will likely love and cherish for life, I’d recommend any of the Cook’s Illustrated cookbook collections. They are fabulous. And second I’m a cinnamon roll addict so if it can be done in anywhere under the usual 3 hours, then I’m in.

Normally when I try someone else’s recipe I like to make quite a few of my own changes, but this time around I mostly just made minor changes. The changes I made from their recipe were using a little more cinnamon as well as nutmeg instead of cloves (I just like it better).

I used light-brown sugar instead of dark-brown sugar (because I rarely have dark brown on hand), I used the buttermilk substitute I listed because I was out of buttermilk, also I used salted butter instead of unsalted (I’m a salted butter baker) and I replaced their glaze recipe with my own because I thought it could use a little butter.


45 Minute Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls Made with Baking Powder, No Yeast Required!

I’m telling you, this 45 minute Cinnamon Rolls recipe is amazing! Not only is it the fastest batch of cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made but they also tasted spectacular. The texture was slightly different from that of a yeast based cinnamon roll. It didn’t have the same stretch you get from using yeast, but other than that not a whole lot of difference.

I will definitely continue to make My Favorite Cinnamon Rolls (the other cinnamon roll recipe I’ve posted) but when I don’t want to wait that long I will always turn to these.

I should also mention Cook’s illustrated listed the total time to be 55 minutes, which included 5 minutes of cooling in that time. I say they were being generous with the time they allotted I had these prepared and out of the oven in just under 45 minutes. Just be sure to make the glaze while they are baking to save time. Enjoy!

45 Minute Cinnamon Rolls

16 Quick & Easy 30 Minute Recipes! (plus weekly recipe updates)

4.78 from 9 votes

45 Minute Cinnamon Rolls {From Scratch}

The fastest cinnamon rolls you'll ever make! Made from scratch and they can be ready in 45 minutes! Ooey gooey, tender buttery cinnamon finish with a sweet and simple cream cheese icing. These are sure to satisfy!
Servings: 8
Prep23 minutes
Cook22 minutes
Ready in: 45 minutes


Cream Cheese Glaze


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush a 9-inch cake or pie pan with 1 Tbsp melted butter, set aside. In a mixing bowl whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, 2 Tbsp granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt, set aside.
  • In a separate mixing bowl whisk together light-brown sugar, remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/8 tsp salt. Add in 1 Tbsp melted butter and blend mixture together with your fingertips or a fork until mixture is well blended and evenly moistened, set aside.
  • Measure out buttermilk into a liquid measuring cup and stir in 2 Tbsp melted butter. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms and liquid has been absorbed. Then, knead mixture in bowl by hand just until smooth, about 30 seconds - dough will be sticky but if it's too sticky to work with add in more flour, up to 1/2 cup as needed.
  • Sprinkle a clean work surface with a fair amount of flour. Pat the dough with your hands into a 12 x 9-inch rectangle. Brush top of dough with 2 Tbsp melted butter then sprinkle evenly with brown sugar mixture, coming within a 1/2 inch of the border on all sides. 
  • Press the brown sugar filling into the dough (they stated "firmly press" in their recipe which didn't make sense to me because then you are flattening your dough and releasing some of the rise the baking powder has already given so I only lightly pressed). 
  • Starting on the long side, roll dough (using a bench scraper or metal spatula to loosen dough from work surface if necessary. I didn't need one) snugly and gently to opposite end. Pinch the end seam to seal. Roll the log seam side down and cut dough into 8 equal portions.
  • Place 1 roll in the center of the prepared baking dish, then place remaining 7 rolls around it. Brush tops of rolls with remaining 2 Tbsp butter. 
  • Bake in preheated oven 22 - 25 minutes until edges are golden brown. (After baking you can invert the rolls using a plate onto a wire rack but I just served them without flipping). Serve warm drizzled with Cream Cheese Glaze. Store in an airtight container and reheat in microwave if desired.

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on medium speed, blend together cream cheese and butter until well combine and slightly fluffy, about 1 minute. Add in remaining ingredients and mix until well combine. Store in an airtight container.
  • *For a buttermilk substitution: simply add 1 Tbsp + 3/4 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup, then add in enough milk to reach 1 1/4 cups, whisk and let rest 3 minutes.
  • Recipe Source: roll portion adapted from The Quick Recipe, By the Editors of Cook's Illustrated. Fastest Cinnamon Buns, pg 375 - 376.


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  • Jennifer

    Delicious! I was intimidated by the thought of making homemade cinnamon rolls – but this recipe was fairly easy. I ran out of granulated sugar so i left sugar out of the dry ingredients and substituted with maple syrup (little less than 1/4 cup) in the cinnamon mix. I couldn’t taste the maple syrup :( but the rolls still tasted amazing.

  • KB

    This is okay for when you don’t have yeast. I would half the cinnamon sugar mixture. It’s WAY too much and I think it also kept the dough from baking properly. It was very dense and doughy. I probably could have kept it in a few minutes longer but then I would have ended up with burnt edges. I MIGHT try it again if we were desperate but it needs some tweaks.

  • S. Rider

    This recipe was fast and satisfying. I added liquid as needed and kept my hands floured. This was a quick alternative when and where time and yeast is in short supply.

  • Heidi G.

    So Terrible, that almost made me cry of sheer frustration. I kept adding flour passing the 3 cups mark, the dough was never manageable (still I went on to make them) –enough said: all that flour changed taste, texture.. they turned out dense >.< It was a waste of resources. There's a consolation though, I'm not the only one whom the recipe didn't work out :/ Still I'm glad it was great for other people.

    • Bunny

      I have found that when baking rolls it is better to only add half of the liquid up front, when following the recipe, then add a tablespoonfull at a time until I get my desired consistency.
      Just gotta remember. Scones made without yeast makes a very sticky dough. It will stick to your hands no matter what. Dusting your hands with flour will only help a tiny bit.

    • Kelley

      For the recipe, mix dry ingredients for the dough first. Then add the butter. Only add enough milk to make the dough stick together and pliable for rolling out into a sheet. (Due to having lived in deserts and on the coast I do this for most recipes as humidity in the environment greatly impacts recipes.) The recipe is not bad but definitely not a roll… rolls use yeast. This is a very solid cinnamon biscuit recipe for those lacking time for 2 rising or a real cinnamon roll recipe.