These biscuit cinnamon rolls are quick and easy, laced with spice, and lavished with buttermilk cream cheese icing. A shortcut recipe when you want the taste of homemade buns but don’t have the time—or the yeast.
If we were the poetic sort of home cook, we’d pen a long, meandering ode out of respect for the indulgence these biscuit cinnamon rolls bring to even lazy weekend mornings. We’re not poets, though, so we’re simply going to reassure you that these little lovelies are quick, easy, gooey, sticky, sweet, and certain to please. And they’re relatively instant gratification compared to their more classic yeast-raised counterparts. Do with this information what you will.–Renee Schettler
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) and adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position. Brush a round 9-inch nonstick cake pan with 1 tablespoon butter.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Add 1 tablespoon melted butter and stir with a fork or your fingers until the mixture resembles wet sand.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
In a measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and 2 tablespoons butter. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed. The dough will probably look shaggy. No worries.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead just until smooth and no longer shaggy, anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Pat the dough with your hands into a 12-by-9-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the brown sugar filling, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Press the filling firmly into the dough.
Using a bench scraper or metal spatula, loosen the dough from the work surface. Starting at a long side, roll the dough, pressing lightly, to form a tight log. Pinch the seam to seal. Roll the log so its seam-side down on your work surface.
Cut the log evenly into 8 portions. Turn each portion onto a flat side and use your hand to slightly flatten. This should seal the open edges and keep the filling in place.
Place 1 roll in the center of the prepared skillet or pan and then place the remaining 7 rolls around the roll in the center. Brush the rolls with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
Bake until the edges of the rolls are golden brown, 23 to 25 minutes.
Transfer the skillet or pan to a wire rack. Let the rolls cool for about 5 minutes before icing. If desired, you can use an offset metal spatula to loosen the buns from the skillet or pan and, wearing oven mitts, place a large plate over the pan and invert the rolls onto the plate. Place the cooling rack on the plate and invert the rolls onto the rack.
In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese and buttermilk until thick and smooth (the mixture may first look like cottage cheese). Sift the confectioners’ sugar over the mixture and whisk until a smooth icing forms, about 30 seconds.
Spoon the glaze evenly over the biscuit cinnamon rolls. If you removed them from the skillet or pan, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place the rack with the rolls on the baking sheet for ease of cleanup.
Devour immediately. Originally published December 25, 2009.