I really love cinnamon rolls. All that gooey, cinnamon-sugary stuff in the middle and that frosting shmeared all over the top… but I really don’t love the idea of using yeast, rising times, and the looooong process that making cinnamon rolls can require.
I know I should just buck up, get over my laziness (and fear) and just learn how to make cinnamon rolls with yeast.
But in all honesty, that probably won’t happen anytime soon because these cinnamon buns are made without yeast, which means they can be made (and consumed!) in less than an hour… and they are so so SO goooood.
Instead of using melted butter for the recipe, I used brown butter. The brown butter adds a warm, nutty flavor to these cinnamon rolls and it compliments the maple syrup and pecans perfectly. (I’m also obsessed with it).
In addition to using brown butter for the filling, dough, AND glaze in this cinnamon bun recipe, I’ve also used it as the main ingredient in my Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies, and I promise you it won’t be the last you see of it. 😜
What also sets these homemade cinnamon buns apart from the rest is that they are maple flavored, which makes them an instant favorite if you have taste buds. Pure maple syrup is worked both into the dough AND the sweet glaze on top. Helllllo HEAVEN.
As always, I encourage you to read the recipe before beginning. There are a few moving parts– and I’m pretty thorough in my instructions. Have fun and get cooking!
Brown Butter Maple Pecan Cinnamon Buns
By Michael Johnson
Easy, no-rise cinnamon rolls that are filled with maple, pecans, & nutty browned butter and then topped with a brown butter maple cream cheese glaze.
Makes: 8 buns
For the filling:
For the dough:
For the glaze
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter or spray a 9 inch pie or cake pan, set aside.
- Begin by browning all of the butter that is needed for the recipe, 12 tablespoons total. Place 12 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butter turns golden brown and smells nutty. Once the butter is brown, immediately pour it into a heatproof bowl and set it aside.
- To make the filling: In a medium bowl, combine sugars, pecans, cinnamon, salt and two tablespoons of brown butter. Mix thoroughly until the mixture looks like wet sand and set aside.
- To make the dough: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the buttermilk, syrup, and two tablespoons of the brown butter, and stir until combined. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until smooth (it will still be very soft and a little sticky, but will be smoother and much less lumpy). Add a little bit more flour if the dough is too sticky to work with. After kneading, place the dough back in the bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Once chilled, roll the dough into a 12 X 11 inch rectangle. Brush the dough with two to three tablespoons of the brown butter, leaving about a 1/2 inch or so border around the outside edge. Sprinkle the filling on top of the dough being sure to leave a border around the edges and press the filling down to pack it on top of the dough.
- Starting on the long side of the dough, begin rolling the dough to the opposite side, creating a log shape. Press tightly as you roll, until you reach the other side. Pinch the seam closed and lay the log seam side down. Cut into 8 even pieces (use a strand of dental floss to tie off the dough rather than cutting/flattening with a knife), and transfer each roll to the prepared pie/cake pan. Brush with roughly two tablespoons of brown butter. Bake for 18-20, until golden brown and puffed up.
- To make the glaze: In a small bowl, cream the remaining brown butter (which is likely a little thicker now) and about two-thirds of the powdered sugar. Mix until the sugar and butter start to come together a bit. Add the maple syrup and whisk well, until the mixture is smooth. If it is too thick, add a tablespoon or so of milk at a time to loosen it up to your liking. If you make it too thin, add more powdered sugar.
- Allow the cinnamon rolls to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Pour the glaze over the rolls. Serve warm & enjoy!**
1. This link has great step by step photos (& a video) if you’ve never made brown butter before.
2. These buns will keep in an airtight container for about 3 days.