Perfect Thanksgiving Breakfast: Easy Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Sorry for the lack of posting this week, you guys. I was kinda busy, and I didn’t plan ahead at all and get something crazy good made in advance so that I wouldn’t have to think or work all weekend (cause I’m a professional).

I think I may have mentioned that I was going to meet Jen and John Yates, of Cake Wrecks, this past weekend, right?

Jen was doing a book signing a few hours away from where I am, and I just had to go. I think it’s a pretty vlid excuse for depriving you of sweets for a day or two. ๐Ÿ™‚

I mean, I love Cake Wrecks. I’ve been an avid Wreckie since almost the very beginning. I’ve even been blessed to have been featured on Sunday Sweets three times. Then there’s Epbot, Jen’s blog away from blog. Epbot is her personal blog, a place for “geekery, girliness, and goofing off.” Hello?! Sound like a place I’d fit in? I think so.

I’m sure most of you have heard of Cake Wrecks, but if you’re crafty, girly, a little or a lot, or not at all, geeky, you should definitely check out Epbot, too. It’s super fun.

John and Jen were so great. They’re warm, funny, and friendly, and totally down to earth, make you comfortable, laugh with you-not at you kind of people. I made them matching Ghostbusters aprons – Jen’s was girly and ruffly, John’s was more simple and masculine – but you know John immediately had to wear Jen’s ruffly apron. ๐Ÿ™‚ Totally suited him.

I was also fortunate enough to get to sit down with Jen and John for a couple of hours and chat over dinner, and I had such a great time. It was exciting to get to meet two people, in person, that I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a few times, and to learn more about them. It was a lot of fun, and I’m grateful they made time in their super busy schedule for me.

As for the book signing, it was fun and funny…of course. ๐Ÿ™‚ This was cake at the signing; it was made by iHeartCakes, and it was delicious and adorable.

Just look at the perfect little sugar John and Jen that sat on top of the cake. Totes dorbz, right??

Darla and KatieAnd looky who else I got to meet! It’s Katie! I got to introduce myself to Katie, her mom, and her whole family after the show. Katie’s parents were extremely nice and Katie herself was just plain adorable. It took her a couple of minutes to warm up, but once she did, she got a kick out of the fact that we’re both major (I’m talking MAJOR) Harry Potter fans, we had matching glasses, long sleeve white shirts under our tees, and brown shoes. We geek girls know our stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚

So that’s my excuse for not posting at all since last week. Do you guys forgive me? I’m thinking once you see how quick and simple these amazingly yummy cinnamon rolls are, you will.

When I say these are quick and simple, I’m not lying. I made (and ate) these last night, in less than an hour…and that was with me taking the time to photograph them and the whole process. Not too shabby, I’d say.

The yummy filling in these is just made up of brown sugar, cinnamon, chopped pecans, sugar, and butter (melted). If you want to make these vegan/dairy free, simply replace the butter with margarine (and make sure your sugars are vegan).

Easy peasy to make: stir the dry ingredients together. Add the melted butter. Combine. Done.

The cinnamon roll dough is simple, too: all-purpose flour, more melted butter, maple syrup, buttermilk, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt.

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand (I never do), you don’t need to waste a trip to the grocery store. Personally, I always use Saco Buttermilk, which is a dry buttermilk. When using it, you can either rehydrate it by stirring the powder into water, or you can add the dry powder in with the rest of the dry ingredients in a recipe, and just add water as the “buttermilk.” I use this stuff for all of my baking and cooking, and it has always worked wonderfully. However, you may not have this either, and if you do, then you already know how great it is.

If you need buttermilk, but don’t want to hit the store, make your own using regular milk and lemon juice or vinegar. Simply stir one teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar into one cup of milk. Let it sit for 10 minutes, stir, and you have buttermilk.

Once your dough is mixed up, roll it out 10 a rectangle about 8 x 12-inches. Spread a little melted butter on it and press all of the filling mixture into the dough. It’s gonna seem like a lot of filling, but trust me, go with it.

Roll the dough tightly, starting on the long side. Pinch the seam closed and place it facing down, then cut the log into eight pieces.

Place the cut rolls into a 9-inch cake pan and brush with a little more melted butter.

Bakes at 425 for 20 to 23 minutes and let cool for about five minutes before icing.

My icing is a simple mixture of confectioners’ sugar, butter, maple syrup and a dash of milk. And it’s delicious. Just sayin’.


These are a little tough to get out of the pan. I use a cake/pie server, but you can also remove the entire batch from the pan all at once. You can even do this before icing them, to make them a little less messy, but I prefer icing and storing them in the pan I baked them in.

I need you to understand how fast and easy these are: I made these at the last minute, last night, at eight o clock. Seriously. I mixed them up, baked them, iced them, photographed them, and enjoyed one in less than an hour.

I told you they were fast and easy.

My sister is a goof. She’s slick. She snuck that hand in and out of the shot in about two frames. A goof and a sneak. ๐Ÿ™‚

But seriously. Yum.

Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls [Printable Recipe]
Makes 8


3/4 cup (191 grams) brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter, melted

3 cups (381 grams) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (38 grams) sugar
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup (83 ml) maple syrup

2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons (45 ml) maple syrup
1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 ml) milk
1 cup (125 grams) confectioners’ sugar

To make the filling: Combine all of the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add the melted butter and stir with a fork until the mixture looks like wet sand. Set aside.

To make the dough: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (220 C). Brush a 9-inch cake pan with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the buttermilk, syrup, and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, and stir until just combined. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until smooth (it will still be very soft and a little sticky, but will be smoother and less lumpy). Place in a lightly floured bowl, cover, and chill for 20 minutes.

Once chilled, flatten the dough into a rectangle about 12 X 8 inches. Pour 2 tablespoons of the melted butter on and spread around with your fingers. Pour the filling over the dough and spread it evenly over the top, leaving about a 1/2 inch or so border around the outside edge. Press the filling down to pack it on top of the dough.

Starting on the long side of the dough, roll the side up, pressing as you go, to create a tightly rolled log (be gentle, as this will likely stick to the counter a bit). Pinch the seam closed and lay the log seam side down. Cut into 8 even pieces, and transfer each roll to the prepared cake pan. Brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Bake for 20 to 23minutes, until golden brown.

To make the icing: In a medium bowl, cream the butter and add the sugar. Mix until the sugar and butter start to come together a bit. Add the syrup and whisk well, until the mixture is smooth. If it is too thick, add a teaspoon or so of milk to loosen it up.

Allow the cinnamon rolls to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Pour the icing over the rolls. Serve warm.

These will keep in an airtight container for about 3 days.

Recipe by Darla

Other great Thanksgiving recipes to try:

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crusts

Soft Ginger Cookies with Ginger-Orange Filling

Treacle Tarts

Maple Nut Cake


Semi-homemade Caramel Apple Cookies

Leave a comment


  1. says

    #1 These look perfect. Will you bring me some?

    #2 You are adorable. Totally stinking cute.

    #3 I’m jealous that you got to meet Cake Wrecks. Yes, I know they have real names but I prefer to call people by their blog names.

  2. Kim says

    I’m a total fan of the Saco powdered buttermilk blend. My friends think I’m nuts. We’re also skim milk drinkers in my house, so a lot of the time I sub buttermilk for milk in baking recipes (and nix the baking powder, increase the baking soda), and it’s something I’ve learned to keep on hand for when I don’t have the real deal.

    That being said… I’m sitting at work trying not to drool all over my keyboard. Yummy *and* easy cinnamon rolls? No yeasts? This procrastinating novelist is sold.

  3. Laura says

    I love love love cinnamon rolls but the recipe I usually use has yeast, so it takes about 3 hours to make. Worth it, but also not always what I have time for! This recipe looks absolutely amazing, and I can’t believe how quick it is! I will have to try it this weekend.

  4. bevam says

    Can’t wait to try these when I get my hands on some maple syrup!! I’ve made your regular cinnamon roll recipe and it’s delicious! I substitute plain yogurt for the buttermilk, and it works great ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Heather says

    I like making Darla laugh when shes busy working. Shes very serious about her work, which is totally awesome, of course, but I like to randomly terrorize her in the kitchen….. LoL

    Owner of the Green Hand

  6. says

    I love cinnamon rolls and the fact that this is a quick recipe makes it a winner for me. Those close up photos look delicious. Looks like your really enjoyed your meet up with Cake Wrecks, thanks for sharing.

  7. Rada says

    Darla I’m a big fan of yours I just LOVE your blog & your superlicious recipes รขโ„ขยฅ
    just told mom about these babies & she’s a cinnamon-roll lover so this recipe is on top of my list to make ^_*

  8. says

    Hey Darla,

    Super cute site, and the cinnamon rolls look great…how..ever….we’re (mom and I) making them tonite, for tomorrow morning, and the dough couldn’t be wetter. We’ve added about another 1/2-3/4c of flour in the rolling out process, and its still really wet, hard to handle, etc. Just wondering if you have any advice. We’ve rolled, and thrown it in the freezer to “firm up” before cutting, and putting in the pan. I’d love to hear any thoughts for making the “Easy” Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls even easier. ๐Ÿ™‚ xo Lauren

    • says

      Hi Lauren, I’m sorry that you had some issues with the dough. It is very soft and sticky…it’s part of what makes these so delicious after they’ve baked (they aren’t tough from being too dry or anything), but it sounds like yours were a little too sticky. ๐Ÿ™ Adding the extra flour was the right thing to do, and chilling the dough is what I would have done. In fact, I’ve modified the recipe to include chilling in the future. I’m sorry that they didn’t work out like you’d hoped, but did they taste good? I hope so, and I hope you’ll give them another chance with the modifications.

    • says

      Hi Gina, Yes. Since they don’t rise, you can prepare tham up to any point you feel like, then just cover them well and refrigerate until about 20 minutes before you’re ready to bake them. Then, allow them to come to room temperature for 20 minutes and bake as usual.

  9. says

    Oh dear… I’ve been staring at this recipe since you posted it, eagerly awaiting Thanksgiving so I could make them for breakfast. I just made them– thought I’d make a double batch, have one tonight and pop the other in the oven first thing Thursday morning.

    *sigh* Somewhere, something went horribly, horribly wrong, because I ended up with two pans full of [delicious smelling] sticky, globby dough. That “roll” wasn’t rolling for anything. I used a ton of flour on my counter, so that wasn’t it… I don’t know where exactly I messed up, but boy, did I! I’m hoping they still taste great. Luckily, my family counts taste over appearance! They’re in the oven right now, and I’m anxiously awaiting their outcome.

    • says

      Oh no! I’m so sorry, Annie! I don’t think anything went horribly, horribly wrong. Just a little bit wrong. The dough is very soft and sticky…it’s part of what makes these so delicious after they’ve baked (they aren’t tough from being too dry or anything), but it sounds like your s were a little too sticky. ๐Ÿ™ I would suggest adding up to a half cup extra flour next time, and even chilling the dough. In fact, I’ve modified the recipe to include chilling in the future, thanks to your input. I’m sorry that they didn’t work out like you’d hoped, but did they taste good? I hope so, and I hope you’ll give them another chance with the modifications.

      • says

        After I’d heaped them into the pans, I thought of adding extra flour… ๐Ÿ™‚ Next time!! I’ll definitely be making these again. They tasted amazing! I’ll try chilling the dough as well. I didn’t even think of that. But… I don’t really care how they looked (and considering it’s practically gone, neither did the rest of the family!). It resembled a sort of rustic coffee cake after it was baked, and the brown sugar/butter made this crispy, sugary glaze– heavenly. I think they’re even tastier the morning after. I have the other half of the batch I made just waiting to be baked for breakfast. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the help!

  10. says

    Made these this morning for Thanksgiving breakfast. A hit! Fairly easy and definitely better than waking up an hour early to make a yeast dough! We had this with sausage, sauteed apples, and scrambled eggs and everyone was thrilled. I’m surprised how yummy they are even when they get cold. I am going to be picking on them all day while I’m cooking up dinner!!! Thanks for the recipe. Oh…and I accidentally added an egg (too much going on in the kitchen, haha!) so I’m not sure how that changed things. But these were yummy!

  11. says

    Hey Darla, just made these. Sorry if this is a stupid question but you mentioned they would keep for three days. Is that at room temp or in the fridge? Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Kita, There’s never a stupid question. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I keep them in an airtight container on the countertop. But you could certainly refrigerate them, as well.

  12. sarah says

    I just discovered your blog and how to say ….:-o I’m speechless Very good recipe to test immediately
    how nice of you to put the ingredients in grams I’m not a fan of cups T.T”

  13. says

    I made these yesterday as a trial for the batch I have to make today for a baby shower tomorrow. I think I love you … ๐Ÿ˜‰ My family was thankful to sample them not only as an after school snack yesterday but again as breakfast this morning. These are so easy and super delish!! Thank you for sharing,

  14. Victoria says

    I just made these 1 hour ago and I have to say, they’re perfect! ^___^

    I was always looking for an easy recipe for cinnamon rolls and never found one, till today.

    My dough turned out a little bit too sticky, although I haven’t added all the milk. I had to use your milk and vinegar technique, but maybe I made a little but too much.

    I also didn’t have pecan nuts, so I used a nut-mix which was lying near by and consitet out of hazelnuts, walnuts, paranuts and almond and I also added some rasins.

    And instead of mapley syrup I used caramell syrup. Well, I replaced rather much ingredients but it went well altoghether.

    And it’s very nice of you to add the measures in gram, too. Because I am German and we don’t really use the measure “cup”, so your reciepts are easy to go by for people with an other measure sytem.

    I hope you keep your blog going, it is super nice to read through those recipes and very detailed instructions.

    Greetings, Victora ^__^/)))

    P.S.: Please excuse my English xD

  15. Melanie says

    I was disappointed. These are many many times too sweet! I think I will stick to my mothers recipe for biscuit cinnamon rolls. Her rolls are rich and gooey but not half as sweet.

  16. Amy P says

    The dough is chilling right now so I can’t say how they’ve turned out, but chalk me down as another fan of a recipe including grams! I’m in North America so I’m used to having to do the mental math constantly to convert and this was a nice break ๐Ÿ™‚ I really like that I can sub the same weight of ww flour for white flour and it doesn’t end up being as dense/dry as it would if I subbed volumes. Baking with a scale is the way to go, people! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Lynn says

    Hi Darla!

    Found your recipe on Pinterest and tried it out this morning — they are baking as we speak. I also had problems with the dough being toooooooo sticky, even after adding extra flour and chilling. I looked over my ingredients and realized that my syrup is not “real” but sugar free maple-flavored syrup (it came as a gift in a pretty glass bottle so I thought it was real) so maybe that changed the chemistry of the rolls. I will try it again and thanks for sharing! My rolls look more like ‘casserole’ but we’re hopeful for awesome taste.

  18. Brenda says

    Holy Mother of Breakfast Treats these are good!!! I made the recipe as directed…no changes, and they turned out perfectly!! These will be making a regular showing at my house!! Thanks for a great recipe!!

  19. Breonna says

    So this is a wonderful recipe! I just made a batch. However, I baked for said time, they were golden brown (and delicious looking), so I glazed them. Then as I cut into them, I found that they were completely raw on the inside! =( Had to put them back into the oven (I lowered to 375), and baked for another 12 minutes and they were done. Have any ideas as to why this happened?

  20. Kerry says

    I couldn’t wait until Thanksgiving. I just tried my first bite of these- delicious! My family will be so happy to wake up to them tomorrow. To make them Vegan, I substituted Earth Balance for the butter and a combination of Soy Milk and Apple Cider Vinegar for the buttermilk. Yes, the dough was really wet, but I added extra flour as I kneaded the dough and it firmed it up. As I rolled the dough, I lifted the edges up and kept tossing in a little more flour to keep it from sticking. In the morning I will re-warm and top it with icing. Thanks!

  21. Liz says

    Yum! Thanks so much for the recipe. Made these bad boys a few days ago. Just wondering, can they sit overnight ready in the pan, if I wanted to throw them in the oven first this in the morning?

    Thanks again! ๐Ÿ™‚


  22. says

    I made these Christmas morning. They are DELICIOUS and I had no trouble at all with the recipe/wet dough etc. A rare really perfect recipe. Def a keeper. Thanks for sharing!

  23. SheilaB says

    Oh thank you!!! Found this on Pinterest and made it today for my son and I as a trial run since I need to take a treat for a staff meeting this week. THIS IS IT! I’ve made the Clone of a Cinnabon rolls quite often lately but they are so time intensive. This recipe is quick & easy and oh so very tasty! Thank you, thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Raquel says

    My question is…do you have to use pure maple syrup in this recipe or will “pancake” maple syrup suffice? I have everything esle on hand to make these now…and I really don’t want to go to the store, lol. Please help ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Jennifer Dirling says

    So I found this recipe earlier today. It’s below zero here in Pittsburgh and our house (rented) is not very well insulated. I’m cooking anything in the oven I can. I decided after days of looking for a recipe that yours was it! These are awesome! I can stay away form them.
    I added 1/4 tsp maple extract to icing since my husband loves maple. I couldn’t really taste it still but last time I adds more extract after not tasting it, it was WAY TOO MUCH. So I left it at that. It’s very good.

  26. Helen says

    These cinnamon rolls are amazing and just as good as the yeast ones that take just about all day to make. One thing though, I had to bake them an extra 1/2 hour at 350 degrees as the centre of the pan was not cooked. I covered the top of the rolls loosely with foil so they wouldn’t overbrown. We will make these time and time again, thank you so much.

    • says

      Thanks for the input. I cooked mine in a dark baking pan, which may account for mine cooking slightly faster. If you also used a dark pan, then it’s a mystery. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. says

    I just made these as a Valentine’s Breakfast and my husband just looked at me and said, “Ah, these are so much better than the ones from the store.” I happen to agree. They turned out awesome. I didn’t use nuts because I didn’t have any and still yummy!! I was even thinking about using the dough for food in the future just leaving out the syrup. Thank you!

  28. Mia says

    Just made these for Easter morning. I made them the night before and cooked them in the morning for breakfast. They really can be made in under an hour. Super simple and super delicious. I definitely will be making this recipe again. The one thing I’d change is to add less sugar- they were super sweet. I’d suggest leaving out the 3tbsp of sugar when making the dough. Overall, so much easier than yeast recipes.

  29. amy says

    Fantastic! Simple, easy, and fast (though it took me a little longer than an hour). I made these for a brunch this morning and am making another batch now because I didn’t get enough of them. They went fast and were a huge hit. In the icing, I used buttermilk instead of regular milk and added a dash of almond extract and some vanilla extract. Also subbed walnuts for pecans. Note: the melted butter for the rolls themselves actually adds up to 7 TB, not 6. Definitely making this part of my repertoire.