When you blend sugary cinnamon sugar with buttery biscuits, you end up with cinnamon roll biscuits, a heavenly, melt-in-your-mouth treat that can be served for breakfast, dessert, an afternoon snack, or an extra special brunch. When I say these taste like a cinnamon roll, they really do! But they’re so much easier to make. No yeast, no rise time, and you can even use your food processor to bring the dough together.
Try Light and Airy Cinnamon Biscuits for Breakfast
Whether it’s breakfast or brunch, there are times when you need something more than a buttermilk biscuit and you don’t have the time to make a batch of gooey cinnamon rolls. You can throw these together in about the time it takes to make biscuits. What you’ll get is all the buttery flakiness of homemade biscuits with a slightly sweet cinnamon sugar filling.
They are so scrumptious that you don’t need any frosting or glaze. They’re just right on their own or with a little butter hot out of the oven.
This recipe guides you through making a not-too-heavy biscuit dough, then we layer in cinnamon, sugar, and pecans. Sounds perfect, right? Sweet biscuits are one of my favorite treats to have in the house, especially around the holidays. They seem to magically disappear from the counter.
Your family is going to love breaking open one of these homemade cinnamon sugar biscuits when they’re warm, golden brown, and dripping with butter.
To turn these biscuits into an epic breakfast spread, you can serve them with a hearty breakfast casserole like skillet tater tot casserole with sausage or cheesy ham and potato casserole or elevate your traditional eggs and bacon. Some fresh juice, a cup of hot coffee or tea, and a plate of biscuit cinnamon rolls makes everyone feel loved.
No rise time with biscuits!
Biscuits don’t need time to rise. Homemade cinnamon rolls are typically made from a yeast dough which requires two rise times. But this recipe turns classic buttermilk biscuit dough into a cinnamon roll biscuit, so no yeast is involved. However, you do need to leave yourself about 45 minutes to freeze the dough before you shape it into biscuits.
The dough needs to chill so that the butter gets cold before baking. This is what helps make them so light and flaky. You can refrigerate them overnight instead of the quick freeze.
How to Make Light and Flaky Biscuits?
To get those light and fluffy biscuits with all the yummy, buttery layers, your dough needs steam pockets tucked away inside it while it bakes. This is accomplished by filling the dough with teeny, tiny pieces of butter. This butter melts as the biscuits bake and creates steam to make your biscuits light and flaky.
So, it’s imperative that you don’t end up melting the butter with your warm hands while you’re making the dough. You need to break it into pieces without incorporating it fully, a delicate balance for sure. If you have a food processor, you can do this so easily. You can also mix the dough with a pastry cutter or your hands. It takes a little longer, but it’s not overly difficult.
How to use your hands to make biscuit dough (and still get light and flaky biscuits)
The danger with using your hands to make biscuit dough is that if your hands get too warm, they’ll melt the butter too much, and you’ll end up with dry, tough biscuits. So if you don’t have a food processor or a pastry blender and you need to use your hands, work quickly.
Wash your hands well using very cold water. Then, chop the cold butter up into small chunks and add it to your flour mixture while it’s very cold. Next, cover your fingers with flour before you touch any butter to prevent the butter from sticking to your fingers. Use your fingertips to pinch and rub the cold butter pieces into the flour. As you work, the butter will naturally break down and incorporate into the flour. Continue this process until you have coarse crumbs with no large chunks of butter remaining.
Why You’ll Love This Cinnamon Biscuits Recipe
- Perfect for special occasions. It’s truly a special recipe that you can serve on Christmas morning or at a birthday brunch. (But no one will complain if you whip these up on a Saturday morning, either!)
- Easy to make. This is a very easy biscuit recipe made just a bit special with the addition of cinnamon sugar, but anyone can bake these up successfully. They’re also made with simple ingredients.
- No frosting or glaze needed. You don’t have to add anything to these biscuits for them to taste heavenly. They’re delicious as-is.
- No rise time. All the cinnamon roll flavor with none of the cinnamon roll work? Yes, please! There’s no yeast in these cinnamon rolls, so there’s no need to let the dough rise.
From-Scratch Cinnamon Roll Biscuit Recipe Ingredients
Sugar – This recipe calls for a mixture of white and brown sugar, and it creates that perfect cinnamon roll flavor.
Butter – Unsalted butter will work best. You’ll need a bit of melted butter for the cinnamon roll part, but, like any good biscuit, you’ll need your butter very cold to make the dough
Cream cheese – This is going to make your biscuits extra creamy and soft.
Buttermilk – Cold buttermilk is essential for making the flakiest biscuits. I highly recommend you use buttermilk. If you don’t have any, you can make some in about 10 minutes using vinegar and whole milk.
Pecans – You’ll want these chopped into small pieces. You can also substitute walnuts.
Pantry Staples – all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon.
How To Make Easy Cinnamon Biscuits
Step 1: Make the filling.
In a small bowl, combine the white and brown sugars with cinnamon, then stir in the chopped pecans. Set aside for now.
Step 2: Make the biscuit dough.
Measure out the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, white sugar, and brown sugar into a food processor. Chop the cold butter and cream cheese into cubes and add them to the flour mixture. Turn on the food processor and pulse until the butter is completely covered in flour and resembles small peas.Add the buttermilk and process again, just until it starts to form a ball.
Remove the dough from the food processor and set it on a large piece of plastic wrap that has been sprinkled with flour. Use your hands to shape the dough into a rough rectangle, then use a rolling pin to gently roll it into a larger rectangle about. ½ inch thick.
Step 3: Add the cinnamon sugar magic.
Brush melted butter over the biscuit dough rectangle. Then, evenly sprinkle the dough with ⅔ of the cinnamon sugar topping mixture. Next, you’ll need to roll your dough, so if it’s too soft to handle, place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
When you can handle the dough, roll it up using the plastic wrap to help you. Roll the dough until it’s a long log, and wrap it in plastic wrap. Freeze the log for about 45 minutes.
Step 4: Bake.
Cut the log into about 16 half inch slices using a sharp knife (a serrated knife works well) and gently place the biscuits on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave at least 2 inches between each biscuit and along the sides of the pan because the biscuits need some room to spread.
Brush melted butter on the top of each biscuit and sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture overtop. Bake them right away. They’re done when the biscuits are golden brown.
Tips for Making Perfect Homemade Biscuits
- If you want to make this dough ahead of time, you can leave the wrapped log in the fridge overnight or freeze it.
- If you can’t fit all the biscuits on one sheet pan, keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake them.
- You can make this biscuit dough ahead to freeze for another day. Place the log in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the fridge for at least 6 hours before you cut and bake your biscuits.
How to Store Cinnamon Biscuits
These tender biscuits will be best hot out of the oven, but you can enjoy them for a few days after you bake them. Keep them in an airtight container on the counter for up to 48 hours. Biscuits are always best fresh, but definitely try to consume these within a day or two.
Freezing them is also an option. I recommend you let them cool to room temperature, then wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap. Place them in a container with a tight lid or a Ziploc freezer bag and freezer for up to 2 months.
Not sure what to do with extra biscuits? Most of the time, biscuits are best when they’re fresh, and these are no exception. But if you want to eat them the next day, reheating them is the way to go.
For best results, I recommend you wrap the biscuits in foil and place them in the oven preheated to 350°F for about 5 minutes. Don’t leave them in too long. You just want to warm them up a little, not bake them more.
More Sweet Breakfast Recipes You’ll Love
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Made From Scratch Cinnamon Roll Biscuits
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 8 tablespoons butter cold
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- ¼ cup cream cheese (2 ounces)
- ¾ cup buttermilk cold
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
To make the topping:
- In a small bowl, combine white and brown sugar with cinnamon and pecans. Set aside.
To make the biscuits:
- In a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, white and brown sugar. Add cold butter cut into cubes along with cream cheese and pulse until you have small pieces the size of peas.
- Add buttermilk and process until it just comes together. Remove to a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper that has been sprinkled with flour. Form the dough into a rectangle with your hands, then use a rolling pin to gently roll into a 14 inch long rectangle about a ½ inch thick.
- Brush 4 tablespoons of melted butter over the biscuit dough. Sprinkle with ⅔ of the topping. (If the dough is too soft to handle, place in the refrigerator for a few minutes.) Roll the dough tightly into a log, wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze the log for about 45 minutes or place in the refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 500º.
- Cut the log using a serrated knife and gently place the biscuits on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving at least a 2 inches between them so they have room to spread.
- Brush melted butter on top and sprinkle with remaining topping. Place in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 400º. Bake for 16-18 minutes until the biscuit part has turned golden brown.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- If you want to make this dough ahead of time, you can leave the wrapped log in the fridge overnight.
- If you can’t fit all the biscuits on one sheet pan, keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake them.
- You can make this biscuit dough ahead to freeze for another day. Wrap the log in plastic and place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the fridge for at least 6 hours before you cut and bake your biscuits.