Puff pastry cinnamon rolls (no bake)

These no-bake puff pastry cinnamon rolls are fragrant, sweet and delicious. And they’re made on the stovetop! Well, shallow fried in butter, to be honest. But no oven required! The crispy puff pastry graciously complements the classic sugar cinnamon filling. Use store-bought puff pastry and make your skillet cinnamon rolls on the stovetop, they are ready in 30 minutes!

Cinnamon rolls are a very addictive pastry. They are very popular in Northern Europe and in North America. It was most likely Scandinavian immigrants who brought the delicious pastries overseas.

Normally cinnamon rolls are made with a leavened dough and baked in the oven. Here’s a variation that uses puff pastry, instead, and a skillet on the stovetop. And quite some butter. Butter makes everything tastier (yes, it’s my opinion).

Cinnamon pinwheels made on the stovetop.

Skillet cinnamon rolls with puff pastry

In this recipe we’re not here to talk about regular cinnamon buns. Forget the oven. We’re talking skillet cinnamon buns. Made on the stovetop. Cast iron cinnamon rolls, if you please. Purists will shun me but I have nothing to hide. In fact, the inspiration to use a skillet came from a colleague who made them last week in the great outdoors – in a cast iron pan on a fire. The moment I saw her instastories I felt the need to replicate that in my kitchen.

As for the use of puff pastry, you can actually find puff pastry cinnamon rolls in Sweden. They’re called cinelle. They come in various flavours, but vanilla or cinnamon are the most popular. The difference with the pastries in this recipe is that cinelle are baked. But I wanted to be more original.

Craving savoury puff pastry treats? Try these mini tomato mustard tarts!

Skillet cinnamon rolls made with puff pastry.

Puff pastry cinnamon rolls step by step

So here’s how to make no-bake cinnamon rolls step by step. This recipe is quick and fairly easy, but you need to be cautious with the heat because these things caramelize fast and if the heat is too high that means burn.

  • In a little bowl combine the butter (which should be at room temperature), sugar and cinnamon and stir until homogeonous.
  • Roll out your pre-made – store-bought – puff pastry. Spread the cinnamon filling all over using a spatula or a knife.
  • Roll up the filled pastry dough. I rolled the long side, which produced a long but thin cylinder. (Rolling the short side creates a shorter and thicker one.)
  • Cut out the cinnamon rolls every 2 cm. Since puff pastry is more elastic than a regular yeast dough, slicing with a knife may cause wonky rolls. I recommend cutting it with a thread instead. So you can get perfect round cinnamon pinwheels.

Cutting puff pastry cinnamon pinwheels with a thread.

  • Set a skillet on medium-high heat and melt the butter. If your pan is small and you need to cook the rolls in batches, add half of the butter to begin with, and melt more before adding the next batch. Do not overcrowd the pan.
  • Add the cinnamon rolls to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, the bottom will start to swell. Flip and cook 3 minutes on the other side. At this point they should start expanding. Lower the heat if you notice that they start to burn. Flip them another time, the rolls will keep swelling and growing. After a couple of minutes flip them one more time to evenly caramelize both sides. I did 3 flips every 3 minutes.
  • Place the cooked cinnamon rolls to cool and drip any excess oil away on parchment paper. They stick to kitchen paper.

Fried sweets on parchment paper.

Why you will love them

These skillet cinnamon rolls are perfect for you if:

  • you don’t have any fresh yeast at hand
  • you don’t have the time to knead, rest, roll out, shape, proof, etc. your dough
  • you don’t have an oven
  • you don’t have around 2 hours total time
  • you don’t have the patience
  • or all of the above.

Or, if you wanna do it the way my colleague did, if you are out camping and you build a fire and place your trusted cast iron on it. It works.

Love spiced sweets? Try the Swedish ginger thins!

Cinnamon pinwheels piled on a serving plate.

Stovetop cinnamon rolls tips

These cinnamon rolls expand as they cook just as much as they would in the oven. Do not overcrowd the pan; better to work in batches than ending up with too little space in the skillet.

When shallow-frying a sweet preparation in butter it is important to think about the fat temperature. Too high a temperature may result in burnt pastry bottoms. Hardened burnt bottoms will not  allow the pastry to naturally expand and properly cook. If you see that the cinnamon rolls are starting to burn, lower the heat. If you see that after the first flip they are not starting to expand, you may want to check the bottoms if they may have caramelized too quickly.

I hereby report I have tragically burnt my first batch when testing this recipe. The rolls did not expand and came out uncooked in the middle. So be very mindful about the temperature and all will be fine. Just make a small batch first if you’re unsure about the butter temperature. And please get in touch if you need more advice or if you have any comments. I’d love to hear from you!

Puff pastry cinnamon rolls (no bake)

No-bake cinnamon rolls made with puff pastry on the stovetop. No yeast nor oven needed. Easy and ready in 30 minutes.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Scandinavian
Keyword no-bake cinnamon rolls, no-bake pastry, puff pastry cinnamon rolls, skillet cinnamon rolls
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 402 kcal
Author Eva | Electric Blue Food

Ingredients

  • 1 puff pastry sheet
  • 60+60 g butter room temperature, divided
  • 50 g brown sugar light muscovado recommended
  • 2 tsp cinnamon ground

Instructions

  1. Combine 60 g of butter with sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir until homogeonous.

  2. Roll out the puff pastry. Spread the cinnamon filling all over using a spatula or a knife.

  3. Roll up the filled pastry dough the long side making a long and thin cylinder.

  4. Using a thread cut out the cinnamon rolls every 2 cm. Using a thread does not knock the pastry roll as much as a knife would.

  5. Set a skillet on medium-high heat and melt the rest of the butter. If your pan is small and you need to cook the rolls in batches, add half of the butter to begin with, and melt more before adding the next batch.

  6. Add the cinnamon rolls to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, the bottom will start to swell. Flip and cook the other side 3 minutes, the rolls will start expanding. Flip them another time, cook 3 more minutes, then flip again to evenly caramelize both sides. Lower the heat if you notice that they start to burn as that will prevent them from expanding as they should (see notes).

  7. Place the cooked cinnamon rolls to cool and drain from excess oil on parchment paper. Do not place them on kitchen towel as they stick to it.

Recipe Notes

These cinnamon rolls expand as they cook just as much as they would in the oven. Do not overcrowd the pan; better to work in batches than ending up with too little space in the skillet.

When shallow-frying a sweet preparation in butter it is important to think about the fat temperature. Too high a temperature may result in burnt pastry bottoms. Hardened burnt bottoms will not  allow the pastry to naturally expand and properly cook. If you see that the cinnamon rolls are starting to burn, lower the heat.

If you don't have a large skillet and need to work in batches, remember that the total recipe time will increase. 12-15 minutes is the time it should take one batch to cook.

Nutrition Facts
Puff pastry cinnamon rolls (no bake)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 402 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Cholesterol 43mg14%
Sodium 247mg11%
Potassium 36mg1%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 500IU10%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Learn how to make puff pastry cinnamon buns on the stovetop. No oven required, just a skillet - best if cast iron!

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