Quick cinnamon buns with buttermilk icing

Around these parts, I make homemade yeast cinnamon rolls at least twice each year. The process is fairly long and complicated and must be started the day before we want to enjoy the cinnamon rolls. The effort is definitely worth it; my homemade wheat cinnamon rolls are soft and sweet and delicious when I have the time and energy to go to the trouble. Sometimes, though, I want to treat my family to a similar breakfast treat without the hassle. When that’s the case, I have a go-to cinnamon bun recipe that mimics the sweet and spicy goodness in a fraction of the time.

Quick cinnamon buns with buttermilk icing

These cinnamon buns have a biscuit base instead of a yeast bread. The filling is rich and sweet while the buttermilk icing lends a bit of tang. For a seasonal twist, consider adding a bit of orange or lemon zest to the icing. I like to serve these alongside a heaping helping of southwestern scrambled eggs and a tall glass of fresh-squeezed OJ.

Quick Cinnamon Buns with Buttermilk Icing

Cinnamon Buns with buttermilk icing


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted for greasing the pan

For the cinnamon sugar filling:

  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

For the biscuit dough:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the icing:

  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 425º. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with the one tablespoon melted butter. Spray a wire cooling rack with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

For the cinnamon sugar filling:

  1. Combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a small bowl. Pour the melted butter into the sugar mixture and, using a fork, stir together until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

For the biscuit dough:

  1. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a large bowl. Using a fork or a whisk, combine the ingredients. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and two tablespoons of the melted butter and stir well. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir briefly, just until the mixture comes together to form a shaggy dough and all the liquid is absorbed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead until just smooth.
  2. Using your hands (as opposed to a rolling pin), shape the dough into a 9 by 12 inch rectangle. Brush the dough with two tablespoons of the melted butter. Sprinkle an even layer of the filling over the melted butter, being sure to leave a 1/2-inch margin of dough around the edges for easier rolling. Using your hands, lightly press the filling down into the dough to set it somewhat. Starting at the long end, roll the dough into a tight log and pinch the seam the seal. You may find that a scraper tool will help to loosen the dough from the work surface. Place the log seam side down and cut it into eight equal pieces. Place one roll in the center of prepared pan and then arrange the remaining seven rolls around it. Brush the tops of the rolls with the remaining two tablespoons of melted butter.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown. Loosen the buns from the edges of the pan and turn the buns out onto a large plate. Place the greased cooling rack over the plate and invert the buns onto the rack.

For the icing:

  1. As you allow the buns to cool, whisk the cream cheese and buttermilk in a glass bowl. The icing will begin looking somewhat like cottage cheese; continue whisking until the mixture is thick and smooth. Sift powdered sugar over the mixture and whisk until a smooth glaze forms. Drizzle the glaze over the buns and serve immediately.

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Source: The New Best Recipe
Quick cinnamon buns with buttermilk icing


  1. Ooh my mouth is watering just looking at those cinnamon buns. This brings back such memories – we used to have these every Friday at boarding school and it was the highlight of our week! I can’t wait to try out this recipe, thanks for sharing, Darcie!

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