Cinnamon Rolls: No Knead, No Machine

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About: Hey y'all! My name is Lydia and I want to share my passion for cooking/baking with everyone!

Hey guys, today I'm showing you how to make super easy Cinnamon Rolls without needing to knead or even using a machine! All you need is a bit of time and you'll have the most perfect soft fluffy sweet cinnamon roll ever! I hope you get it a try and you wont regret this one! So follow the step by step instructable below to make your own!

Step 1: Ingredients and Tools

INGREDIENTS

The Dough:

  • 3 ½ C All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 t Salt
  • 3 t Yeast
  • 1 C Milk
  • 1/3 C Water
  • ¼ C melted unsalted Butter
  • ¼ C Honey
  • 2 room temp Eggs

The Filling:

  • ½ C unsalted Butter
  • 1 ¼ C packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 ½ T ground Cinnamon
  • Cream Cheese

The Glaze:

  • 4 oz room temp Cream Cheese
  • 1 C Powdered Sugar
  • ¼ C room temp unsalted Butter
  • ½ t Vanilla Extract

TOOLS

Step 2: The Dough: Dry Ingredients

Starting with the dough, combine all of the dry ingredients in a very large bowl (keep your salt and yeast on separate sides of the bowl until you start combining everything together).

Step 3: The Dough: Wet Ingredients

In a saucepan add in the milk, water, melted butter and honey. Then go to the stove top and warm everything up on medium low until it is blood temperature (same temperature as your finger). Whisk in the eggs quickly and pour them into the mix.

Step 4: Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients

Stir the wet into the dry to make a sticky dough. You can simply mix with a spoon until there are no flour lumps left. Be sure to get in all the way to the bottom and mix completely. Scrape down the dough from the sides of the bowl.

Step 5: Cover & Refrigerate

Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for 2 hours at room temperature. It will triple in size within that time. The two images show a before and after the 2 hour waiting period. You can see that the dough has risen perfectly. After this, REFRIGERATE THE DOUGH FOR AT LEAST 8 HOURS (over-night is best). It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before using in case you can't get to it the next day. The gluten will continue to develop in the refrigerator. When you take it out of the refrigerator you will see that the gluten has developed perfectly by doing a simple pull and stretch test, this is quite satisfying to play with.

Step 6: The Filling

We cant have cinnamon rolls without the filling, so let's get to it! Combine the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir until smooth. Once everything is combined, set aside. You can also tell by the color of the filling it will look dark and wet.

Step 7: Rolling It Out!

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle approximately 1/4” thick. It doesn't have to be a perfect rectangle but make sure that your dough is approximately 1/4" thick, I used a ruler to measure my dough thickness. This will insure that the dough won't break or tear when you roll the buns.

Step 8: Spread the Filling

Spread the filling over the dough, I started with a fork but moved on to a spoon because it was easier. Leave a narrow margin around the edges uncovered. This way the filling won't spill out when you roll the buns in the next step.

Step 9: Roll It!

Starting with a long edge, gently roll the dough into a log shape. Don't roll it too tightly; if you do, the centers of the buns will pop up as they bake.

Step 10: Slice and Prep. for Oven

Slice the roll in half, and slice that in half and keep slicing until you have 16 “evenish” rollsIn a deep baking pan lined with parchment space the buns in the pan. Cover the pan, and allow the rolls to rise until they're have grown into each other and are puffed up, about 1 hour. Once the rolls have risen they are ready for the oven!

Step 11: Bake

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Uncover the pan, and bake the buns for 40 to 45 minutes, until they're a deep golden brown. Rotate the tray during baking for even heat distribution and they will get golden brown all over. While they are baking make your glaze (next step).

Step 12: The Glaze

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese, sugar, butter and vanilla together with a whisk until well combined. I began with a whisk but ended up using the hand mixer to complete the job. The glaze should be a smooth, silky, creamy consistency.

Step 13: Remove Rolls From Oven

Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Step 14: Glaze the Rolls

Spread your cream cheese glaze over the cinnamon rolls.

Step 15: Enjoy!

Step 16: Video Tutorial

This is a long process but not difficult...so if you prefer an in depth video tutorial you can watch it here.

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    30 Discussions

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    Build-Bot

    5 months ago

    These look absolutely amazing! Cinnamon Rolls are a treat that I wish I had more often (usually only once or twice a year) and this looks like the perfect recipe to change that! Really nice job documenting your instructable, and thank you so much for posting this!

    3 replies
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    FOOD by LydsBuild-Bot

    Reply 5 months ago

    Your very welcome! Hope you enjoy this one Let me know how it goes if you end up trying it!

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    Build-BotFOOD by Lyds

    Reply 3 months ago

    I made them, and they were delicious! The shape was pretty different from yours, I had about 15 in one large pan (12 by 18 inch) but the taste was spot-on! Thank you again for posting this!

    EDIT: I meant the shape was different from the ones I usually have; they are usually a lot smaller.

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    ceelyonceelyon

    Answer 5 months ago

    November 11, 2018 Well i made both today, buns and bread. so good and yes this receipe can be made into bread.

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    hiwakooceelyon

    Answer 5 months ago

    Look for no-knead-bread, there should be many ricepes on the internet. Works good and can be prepared in the evening. Wake your loved ones with the delicious smell of fresh baked bread in the mornig :D
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13Ah9ES2yTU

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    FOOD by Lydsceelyon

    Reply 5 months ago

    Honestly I don't know I've never tried, maybe I should... That's a good question let me know if you try that out I am super curious. It might work...

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    gralan

    5 months ago

    You grabbed my attention and imagination with this tutorial, and I must now go shake the dust off of my large bowls in order to mix up a batch of these. I plan on being back to comment on my adventure. Part of what I must do is convert this to using our convection oven, as the regular oven in our kitchen is not functioning. I've had luck reducing the time by 10% and lowering the temperature 25°F. We shall see. We shall prosper. We shall enjoy! hahaha

    1 reply
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    FOOD by Lydsgralan

    Reply 5 months ago

    Hi, I'm glad you liked it! It might to be easy but I think you will overcome and prosper! haha. You will like these for sure Enjoy! Can't wait to hear back on your amazing adventure good luck!

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    gusmom

    5 months ago

    Under your ingredients for filling, it states "2 ½ T ground Cinnamon Cream Cheese". I was thinking, what an interesting idea to use cream cheese in the filling, but after reading through the recipe, realized that I believe this was not intentional! I'm still thinking that cream cheese might be good mixed with the brown sugar & cinnamon and I just might give it a try! Also, you can use dental floss or strong sewing thread (like button or quilting thread) for cutting your rolls without flattening them. You just take about 20" of thread or floss, lift the roll of dough, positioning the floss at the thickness you want your roll, then cross the ends of the floss over the top and pull opposite directions. Repeat for each slice. The floss slices right through without squishing your rolls! I learned this many years ago in Home Economics in high school and still use it to this day! Can't wait to try your recipe! Thank you for your instructable!

    1 reply
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    FOOD by Lydsgusmom

    Reply 5 months ago

    Hi Gusmom. Thanks for your comment :-) I went ahead and corrected the ground cinnamon cream cheese on the instructions. I've always heard about the floss method but I was a bit concerned about the flavor transferring to the rolls haha... I really like the seeing thread method though I will have to give that a try next time. That is a great lesson to take from high school Home Economics lol! Thanks and hope you enjoy the recipe let me know if you try it.

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    MattG197

    5 months ago on Step 14

    This is one of the best described and photographed instructables I have read. Thanks for taking the time to do it right. I am looking forward to trying the recipe, they look delicious. For the folks confused by the measurements described within (T/t), watch the video, she tells you what units of measure are needed.

    1 reply
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    FOOD by LydsMattG197

    Reply 5 months ago

    Hi Matt, your welcome :-) You will love this recipe! Let me know how it turns out for you.

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    aliasfox

    5 months ago

    Great article and very detailed, thanks. There's nothing better than home made Cinnamon rolls, store bought or even baking from frozen rolls pale in comparison. Best!

    1 reply
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    FOOD by Lydsaliasfox

    Reply 5 months ago

    Your welcome :) and I absolutely agree. There is no comparison!

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    Chris-C

    5 months ago

    Maybe put some more useful volume instructions? C = cup? T/t = teaspoon? I just cant comprehend why you would shorten them!

    1 reply
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    FOOD by LydsChris-C

    Reply 5 months ago

    Hi Chris, My apologies I didn't realize it would cause such confusion, we do that a lot in the US. Usually the rule of thumb is that the bigger measurement is capitalized like T for Tablespoon and the smaller one is lower case like t for teaspoon. Thanks :-) I will be converting them in upcoming recipes.