You love cinnamon rolls. You love pie crust. You’re looking for something pastry-like and crisp, but with the brown sugar and cinnamon flavors you’ve grown to love.
You’ve come to the right place. These Flaky Pie Crust Cinnamon Rolls are going to knock your socks off. Best of all, they’re incredibly easy to make with no rising time necessary!
The Story Behind These Flaky Pie Crust Cinnamon Rolls
When I was a kid my mom would take her left-over pie crust and sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar, then roll it up and slice into pinwheels to bake. We called them cinnamon-sugar roll-ups or cinnamon sugar pinwheels. I always loved those.
I had those pinwheels in mind today, but wanted to elevate them. I wondered if, perhaps, I could merge two worlds and create a crispy, flaky cinnamon roll-like pastry that would be worth of sharing here on my blog.
Recently, I’ve been on a kick with DIY Bisquick (basically Copycat Biscuit Mix Recipe). Today I had an idea that has (literally) changed my life for the better. I decided to use that mix for these flaky cinnamon rolls.
I totally made it up as I went along, but I did my best to remember the details so I could share it with you.
I rarely find myself with no words but today. . .I have no words. Today’s recipe is one of the best I’ve ever come up with!
These are truly, truly the best pastries I’ve ever eaten. I call them “pastries” because they’ve got the crisp, light texture of a pastry with the cinnamon and brown sugar goodness of a traditional fluffy cinnamon roll.
You’re going to swoon when you bite into your first one. It’s not at all what you expect. It has the light, flaky “bite” of a pie crust but it’s delicious and sweet.
Wondering how to make these flaky cinnamon rolls? You’ve probably got all of the ingredients you need on hand! Best of all, there’s no active dry yeast needed for this recipe. You’ll have these rolls made in record time!
You’ll find a full printable recipe at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick look at what you’ll need.
FOR THE ROLLS:
- all purpose flour
- baking powder
- baking soda
- powdered sugar
- Crisco shortening (plain or butter version)
FOR THE FILLING:
- brown sugar
- pecans (optional)
FOR THE GLAZE:
- powdered sugar
- maple extract (optional)
How to Make the World’s Most Delicious Pie Crust Cinnamon Rolls
Whisk together all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. (Note: This is basically a puff pastry cinnamon roll recipe, since our “pie dough” has the addition of baking soda and baking powder.)
Cut shortening into cubes and add to flour mixture.
Using pastry cutter, work the shortening into the dry ingredients. If you like, you can use an electric mixer on low speed or use your stand mixer with the dough hook. You should end up with a pea-like consistency.
Work in milk. Don’t add it all at once. You want the final texture to be piecrust-like, so you might need to gauge how much milk to add.
Lay down a sheet of waxed paper and flour your work surface. Roll dough into a rectangle using a floured rolling pin. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, add a thin layer of room temperature butter to the dough.
Cover in brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. (I listed measurements but you’ll probably just want to do your own thing. Some people like more cinnamon. Others like less. Let your taste buds be your guide.)
If you want to add pecans, this is the time to do it.
Using the waxed paper as your guide, roll up your cinnamon roll log. (I made a tiny version of this recipe for myself, which is why my “log” is so short!)
Cut into 12 cinnamon rolls with a sharp knife or using dental floss (basically wrapping around the tube of dough and pinching off individual rolls).
I didn’t do the best job of getting equal pieces but that’s okay.
Place in greased muffin tin. There is no need to do an egg wash on top unless you just want the added crispness. (Aren’t these unbaked rolls pretty???)
Place rolls in a preheated oven and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
While rolls are baking, make your glaze: mix together powdered sugar, milk, and maple extract.
When muffins come out of the oven, place them on a wire rack with a cookie sheet or waxed paper underneath, then drizzle glaze over the top.
Add a generous amount of the glaze to these yummy puff pastry cinnamon rolls.
Serve warm and do your best not to swoon!
What do these Flaky Pie Crust Cinnamon Rolls Taste Like?
Y’all. This recipe merges two completely different worlds–the world of a super flaky pie crust and the world of a tender, moist cinnamon roll. These “rolls” are truly more pastry-like. You’re going to be so astounded (and pleased) at how crisp and delightful they are. I absolutely love the sweet maple glaze. It’s perfect!
I feel like these warm rolls would be at home on a pastry shelf at a French patisserie. That’s how good they are. No, really.
I would say without a doubt these are the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had. . .simply because they remind me of my mom’s pie crust pinwheels!
Variations on this Recipe
I’m already dreaming of things I want to add to these sweet cinnamon rolls next time! Here’s what I’m thinking:
- Use raspberry preserves in place of the filling. (See picture above.) Delicious!
- Add orange zest to the filling, then top with a glaze made of orange juice and powdered sugar. (Yum!)
- Add raisins or Craisins to the filling in place of pecans.
- Add slice banana and walnuts to the filling. (I have no idea what this would do to the texture but I’d be willing to give it a try!)
- Add cookie butter in place of real butter before adding the brown sugar and cinnamon. Then add crushed Biscoff cookie bits in place of pecans. (I’m swooning, just thinking about this idea.)
- Spread peanut butter and raspberry preserves onto the crust in place of the other filling ingredients for a PB&J cinnamon roll!
- Out of maple extract? Drizzle with maple syrup or pancake syrup. Make it a salted maple glaze by adding a pinch of sea salt to the top of your drizzle.
- Merge melted butter, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice, then spoon onto the dough and spread before rolling.
- Serve these rolls with a cream cheese frosting (basically powdered sugar, softened cream cheese, and milk or cream, all whipped together until smooth)
- Use puff pastry sheets in place of this dough recipe for an additional flavor and texture experience. That would be an easy way to get a super flaky crust in no time at all!
- These would be delicious for Christmas morning! Add a few red and green sprinkles for a holiday feel! Serve with hot cocoa or a cup of hot coffee for the perfect breakfast.
Other Sweet Treats from Out of the Box Baking
If you’re in the mood for a traditional (fluffy) cinnamon roll, I have a recipe for that, too! It’s super easy and doesn’t require rising time because it starts with a can of biscuits. Check out my Easy Cinnamon Rolls from Canned Biscuits post to learn more.
Easy Apple Pie Monkey Bread Muffins: These are a great breakfast treat! They merge an apple pie taste with a biscuit muffin feel.
While you’re checking out recipes, take a peek at the Cinnamon Cookie Bites from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage. They look so yummy!
And while you’re thinking about it, do yourself a favor and check out my recipe over at weekend potluck! I’m always so excited to share at South your Mouth!
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.
- FOR THE CINNAMON ROLLS
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup Crisco shortening (plain or butter version)
- 1/3 cup milk (more or less)
- FOR THE FILLING
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- FOR THE GLAZE
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1-22 tablespoons milk (more or less)
- 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
- Whisk together all dry ingredients
- Cut shortening into cubes
- Using pastry cutter, work the shortening into the flour mixture
- Work in milk. You want the final texture to be piecrust-like.
- On a floured surface roll out your dough into a rectangle
- Cover in brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
- If you want to add pecans, this is the time to do it.
- Using the waxed paper as your guide, roll up your cinnamon roll log.
- Cut into 12 cinnamon rolls.
- Place in greased muffin tin
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden.
- While rolls are baking, make your glaze: mix together powdered sugar, milk, and maple extract.
- When muffins come out of the oven, drizzle glaze over the top.
- Serve warm and do your best not to swoon!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 250mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 3g
The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.