I love cinnamon rolls. All that gooey, cinnamon-sugar in the middle and that icing smeared all over the top… but I don’t always love dealing with rising times and the looooong process that making cinnamon rolls can require. That’s why I’m happy to report that these cinnamon rolls are made without yeast, which means they can be made (and consumed!) in less than an hour… and they are so so SO good!
What sets these homemade no yeast cinnamon rolls apart from the rest is that they’re maple-flavored and loaded with brown butter, which makes them an instant favorite if you have taste buds. Pure maple syrup and brown butter is worked both into the dough AND the sweet glaze on top. Helllllo HEAVEN.
Ingredients for No Yeast Brown Butter Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
These no yeast brown butter maple pecan cinnamon rolls really don’t require too many ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
Unsalted butter: I generally buy whatever butter is on sale, but this is one recipe where I recommend splurging a little and getting a European-style butter; they’re higher in fat than their American brand counterparts which means less water will need to be cooked off during the browning process. Basically, less water/more fat = more flavor!
All-purpose flour: You’ll only need 3 cups of flour for these cinnamon rolls!
Granulated sugar: To sweeten our dough slightly; it also helps with browning!
Baking powder + baking soda: Since these are no yeast cinnamon rolls, we need these leavening agents to help our rolls puff up nicely.
Fine sea salt: Desserts made without salt can sometimes taste a little plain, so don’t leave it out!
Buttermilk: This helps keep our rolls nice and moist and tender.
Maple syrup: Make sure you use a pure maple syrup, not a thin pancake syrup.
Dark brown sugar: For the filling!
Pecans: Feel free to replace with your favorite nut if pecans aren’t your thing!
Cinnamon: These are cinnamon rolls, after all…
Nutmeg: Adds a nice depth of flavor to the cinnamon rolls. Feel free to replace with additional cinnamon if you don’t like nutmeg!
Powdered sugar: For the brown butter maple icing!
Heavy cream: For the icing; feel free to replace with milk!
No Yeast Brown Butter Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls Recipe Troubleshooting & FAQ
NO YEAST BROWN BUTTER MAPLE PECAN CINNAMON ROLLS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I use regular milk instead of buttermilk? Technically, yes… but I wouldn’t recommend it. Using regular milk will yield rolls that are less tender/soft. If you decide to use milk, add something acidic to it (like lemon juice or vinegar) so the baking soda has something to react with in the dough.
Will the cinnamon rolls still rise without yeast? Yes, as they are baking, the baking powder & baking soda causes the cinnamon rolls to rise some. They aren’t going to double in size or anything, but you will be left with a fluffy and delightful cinnamon roll without all the fuss of using yeast!
NO YEAST BROWN BUTTER MAPLE PECAN CINNAMON ROLLS: TROUBLESHOOTING
Help! My cinnamon rolls came out dense and tough! What did I do wrong? It sounds like you added too much flour to your dough! This dough is pretty sticky when you’re working with it, so resist the urge to add too much flour. Simply dust your hands repeatedly with flour as you work with the dough.
Cube the butter and place in a light-colored skillet. (Light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning.) Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring constantly.
190 g unsalted butter*
Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring. After 5-8 minutes, the butter will begin browning; you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan and you'll begin to smell a nutty aroma. Once browned, immediately remove from heat and pour into a heat-proof cup or bowl.
To Make the No Yeast Brown Butter Dough:
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Butter or spray a 9-inch pie or cake pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the buttermilk, syrup, and two tablespoons (30g) 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.
360 g all-purpose flour, 40 g granulated sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp fine sea salt, 240 g buttermilk, 115 g maple syrup, 60 g brown butter
To Make the Brown Butter Cinnamon Sugar Filling and Assemble:
In a medium bowl, combine dark brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and six tablespoons (85g) of brown butter. Mix thoroughly until the mixture is combined. Set aside until needed.
220 g dark brown sugar, 85 g chopped pecans, 2 tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp fine sea salt, 85 g brown butter
Roll the dough into a 12 x 11-inch rectangle. Sprinkle the filling on top of the dough being sure to leave a border around the edges and press the filling down lightly 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 12-inch log. 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, and transfer each roll to the prepared pie/cake pan.
Brush with roughly two tablespoons (30g) of brown butter then bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown and puffed up. While the rolls are baking, make the icing.
To Make the Brown Butter Maple Icing:
In a small bowl, combine all of the glaze ingredients until smooth and combined. If the glaze is too thick, add ½ tablespoon of heavy cream at a time to loosen it up; if it's too thin, add 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time to thicken it up.
60 g pure maple syrup, 30 g brown butter, 120 g powdered sugar, 30 g heavy cream
Drizzle the icing over the warm cinnamon rolls once you remove them from the oven. Cover leftover frosted or unfrosted rolls tightly and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
The amount of butter called for to make the brown butter is more than the amount of brown butter needed for the recipe. This is because the process of browning butter cooks off moisture from the butter, so it reduces in quantity. I have accounted for this in the recipe, so you will see ½ + ⅓ cup (190g) of butter called for to make the brown butter, but only ¾ cup (170g) of brown butter used in the dough, filling, and icing. This is not an error – I just accounted for moisture loss when calculating the initial quantity!
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