Cinnamon roll on a cutting board

Cinnamon rolls are a quick treat to make when the weather is cold and you find yourself craving something warm and cinnamon-y.

Friday, as I watched the Berkshires turn into a scene from Disney’s “Frozen,” I found myself craving something nice and cinnamon-y. I suspect my need for a cinnamon fix during a storm stems from my childhood, when a real treat was heavily buttered toast sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. (The cinnamon sugar was in a small bear-shaped shaker, that I inherited from my parents and which provided my own son with the same treat.) On some snowy days, mom would make a pie and roll the leftover scraps of dough into a rectangle she would butter, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon and roll up like a jelly roll before baking it. Oh, so good!

I use cinnamon whenever I can in cooking and baking — I put it in pancake and waffle batter and use cinnamon sugar on the buttered finished product in lieu of maple syrup; I put cinnamon sugar on roasted carrots and squash; I add a 1/4 teaspoon to a cup of white rice as it cooks. I even sprinkle cinnamon in my morning coffee. And my favorite cookies are snickerdoodles.

Friday, I decided to try a no-yeast cinnamon roll recipe that had come with a gift box of cinnamon spices I received for Christmas


(Recipe courtesy of



3 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2/3 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 teaspoons butter to grease the baking pan


1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup melted butter

2 teaspoon cinnamon (1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, if desired


2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon melted butter

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375 F. Sift flour, salt, baking powder and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. In another bowl, beat eggs until well mixed, pour into the center of the dry ingredients, along with milk, pure vanilla extract and melted, cooled butter. Mix briefly just to combine, turn out onto a floured table, knead for 1 minute. If it seems sticky, sprinkle a bit more flour onto it as you work. Turn the dough over once or twice as you are kneading, then gently roll the dough out into a 11-by-17-inch rectangle (don't worry if it isn't exact), about 1/4 inch thick.

Combine the filling ingredients, mixing well in a small bowl, then spread onto the dough using a flexible spatula or the back of a spoon or a pastry brush, smoothing out from the middle to 1/2 inch from the edge. Roll the dough up into a jellyroll from the long side, and, using a sharp knife, cut the dough as evenly as possible into 12 pieces. Brush melted butter onto a parchment covered 11-by-17-inch baking pan, place the rolls on the pan, evenly spaced. They get bigger as they bake.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool about five minutes. Prepare the icing by mixing all the ingredients together then drizzle the icing over the rolls and serve.

Margaret Button writes about food for The Eagle. She can be reached at