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We hosted my husband’s family and a couple of our friends for Thanksgiving dinner this year so I had a lot of cooking to do; but I still wanted to make a special breakfast for my family of four.  Cinnamon rolls sounded good and I’ve made them a variety of ways over the years, including store bought. This time I revisited an old recipe I’ve had around for about 15 years or so – right out of my 1994 Starbucks Passion for Coffee cookbook.

ICinnamon Rolls adapted from a Starbucks recipe - SO GOOD!

I would say these are some of the best cinnamon rolls I can remember eating and all my picky eaters liked them.  Flaky. Sweet. Delicious! You will just have to try them for yourself – and they are pretty easy to throw together last minute. AND they only take about 15 minutes to bake!  I am using my affiliate links.

With few exceptions I followed this (see below) Starbucks recipe for Cinnamon-Swirl Biscuits, page 53 in the book, Starbucks Passion for Coffee cookbook. I left out the walnuts, currents or raisins and used whatever milk I had on hand versus the buttermilk called for in the recipe plus I cut mine different.

I also made a powdered sugar glaze to pour over them – yum!

These cinnamon rolls are so good!

Starbucks’ Cinnamon-Swirl Biscuits

Filling:  (Mix and set aside in a separate bowl)

2/3           cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 & 1/2    teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2           cup finely chopped walnuts (I skipped this)
1/4           cup dried currants or dark raisins (I skipped this)

For the biscuits (or as I did- rolls):

2        cups all-purpose flour
2        Tablespoons granulated sugar
2        teaspoons baking powder
1/2    teaspoon of baking soda
1/2    tsp salt
1/2    cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3    cup buttermilk (I used whatever milk I had on hand)
3         Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven at 425 degrees and butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans. (I used a large round stone casserole dish and did not butter it).

In a separate bowl mix your brown sugar, cinnamon, walnuts and currents or raisins (optional- I did not use nuts or fruit). Set aside.

For the biscuits or rolls

Sift flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the 1/2 cup butter (room temp) and with pastry blender or fingers blend it into the dry ingredients until mixture looks like fine, irregular crumbs. Add the buttermilk (I think I used half & half instead) and stir until dough forms a cohesive mass.

Turn dough onto a floured work surface (or parchment paper) and knead gently about 10 times. Push and pat dough into a rectangle about 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. Brush with 3 tablespoons butter. Spread the filling over the dough and press it in gently.

Starting at one of the long sides of the rectangle, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into slices about 1 inch thick. (NOTE: Mine look different as I did not roll it very tight nor cut all of them the same.)

Place the slices, cut side down and about 1/2 inch apart, in the prepared pans. Bake until the biscuits are puffy and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Serve warm. Makes about 1 dozen.


I made a quick glaze out of powdered sugar, a little vanilla flavoring and some milk. You’ll use more powdered sugar than anything so only use a little milk and then beat with a blender. I don’t use exact measurements.

Print recipe from here.

These are so good you might want to wait till you have a few friends or family around to help you eat them!

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Tracy Zdelar

Owner/Editor at Hall of Fame Moms
Tracy writes about homeschooling and just about anything related to family life in Ohio here on the blog. Strong honest views will surface from time to time on topics related to truth, faith and freedom. **Check out my notebooks and Bible Memory Coloring Notebook workbooks for Adults & Teens by clicking my name.