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). You can also try cinnamon roll cookies!
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!
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.
- 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.
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!
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)
- Cast iron skillet
- Measuring bowl
- Thread for cutting
- 1 puff pastry sheet
- 60+60 g butter room temperature, divided
- 50 g brown sugar light muscovado recommended
- 2 tsp cinnamon ground
- Combine 60 g of butter with sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir until homogeonous.
- Roll out the puff pastry. Spread the cinnamon filling all over using a spatula or a knife.
- Roll up the filled pastry dough the long side making a long and thin cylinder.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.