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Sticky Cinnamon Biscuits

I’ve been making these sticky biscuits for decades (literally!) and somehow haven’t managed to share them here. It’s a ridiculously simple recipe – the dough is stirred together with oil and milk, no butter – and yet they’re far more delicious than I make it sound. Far better than the photo would suggest – I took it with my phone (and missed stills of the process because I was sharing it on Instagram stories!) but truly, I make them over and over. They remind me of the emergency cinnamon biscuits my mom made when we were kids, when my dad was itching for something for dessert. (They don’t seem like an after dinner thing for me now, but there you go.) They’re fantastic as a sort of cobbler topping too – cut the biscuits about half as thick and layer on fresh or frozen fruit (any kind!), tossed with sugar, until bubbly and golden.

But I most often make them for breakfast – the perfect recipe, I think, when you want the house to smell comforting and delicious, when perhaps don’t have a fully stocked pantry, or don’t want to run to the store. They’re far faster than yeast-raised cinnamon buns, fast enough to mix up as the oven preheats – I put a lump of butter into the pan with some brown sugar and syrup, and put it in the oven as it does, then stir it with a fork to make a chewy goo on the bottom before putting the biscuits in. Flip them out of the pan while they’re warm, and eat them with coffee, and then continue to nibble on the rest of the pan for the rest of the day.

Cinnamon Sticky BIscuits
Cinnamon Sticky BIscuits

Sticky Cinnamon Biscuits

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March 17, 2020

Ingredients

Stickiness:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

Biscuits:

2 cups flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup canola oil

Filling:

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2-3 Tbsp Roger's Golden or maple syrup

a shake of cinnamon

Directions

1Preheat oven to 375°F.

2Put the butter, brown sugar and syrup into a parchment-lined or buttered 8x8-inch pan.

3In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the milk and canola oil and stir just until you have a soft dough. Pull out the pan and stir the melted butter, brown sugar and syrup together with a fork.

4On a lightly floured surface, pat or roll the dough into about a 9 x 12-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with brown sugar and drizzle with syrup. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Starting from a long side, roll tightly jelly-roll style into a log. Cut into 9 biscuits using dental floss or a serrated knife, and place cut side down in the pan.

5Bake for 20 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Invert onto a plate while still warm.

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21 comments on “Sticky Cinnamon Biscuits

  1. Chiara
    March 17, 2020 at 11:56 pm

    Julie, this is the recipe I’ve been waiting for. I love cinnamon buns, can’t eat dairy, and the hankering usually hits about 8pm when the will to start a yeast dough and tweak it to avoid processed butter substitutes and hope it turns out tomorrow morning is not the thing. These are tomorrow night’s snack after the kids are asleep.

  2. Amy
    March 18, 2020 at 8:09 am

    When my kids were small I made cinnamon rolls from baking powder biscuit dough in a pinch. This “sticky” recipie is a nice step up. Thanks Julie. I love your blog by the way.

  3. Wilma
    March 19, 2020 at 4:28 am

    Can I use honey instead of maple syrup? And can I use cake flour instead of APF? Thank you.

    • Julie
      March 22, 2020 at 11:55 am

      Yes to both!

  4. Giuseppina Loffredo
    March 19, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    Hi Julie. I live in Brazil and we don’t have maple syrop here. What do you suggest I can use to replace it? As Wilma wrote above, is honey a good choice?

    • Julie
      March 22, 2020 at 11:55 am

      Hi! honey works, or any kind of syrup, really!

  5. Alicen
    March 25, 2020 at 11:58 am

    In the case of cobbler, would you forgo the sugar/butter/syrup mixture in the recipe?

    I made these on the weekend and there seemed to be too much topping/sticky stuff. Was I supposed to stir it together more thoroughly before placing the rolls on top? I had to use a larger pan than 8×8 , so maybe the rolls didn’t soak up the mixture like they would in a confined pan?

    I’m definitely going to try the recipe again though, they tasted great!

    • Julie
      March 25, 2020 at 7:47 pm

      Glad to hear! Yes, I’d just lay the biscuits over the fruit, don’t bother with the goo in the bottom of the pan.

      • Alicen
        March 31, 2020 at 6:03 am

        I figured out what happened last time… my yellow plastic containers of baking powder and cornstarch are side by side in the pantry and I think I grabbed the wrong one. No wonder they didn’t expand any while baking! Happy to say I made another batch last night and they turned out fantastic!

  6. Kim
    March 26, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I just made these gluten free (used 2 c of brown rice flour), with one small adaptation as we didn’t have canola oil in the house (I cut in 1/4 c of shortening) and they turned out beautifully! Thank you for the recipe. 😀 Brought a smile to my family’s face!

  7. Kim 2
    March 28, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    I made these yesterday using all wholewheat flour, and they turned out beautifully with about 5 minutes longer in the oven.

    If I make them again (I live by myself, have poor impulse control and that is a LOT of sugar!) I’ll try using buttermilk or sour milk, plus a little baking soda, to help them rise with the heavier flour.

    They froze well and revive perfectly with 30 seconds each in the microwave. But now there are only four left and I’m out of cinnamon…

    • Kim 2
      April 5, 2020 at 5:51 pm

      I made them again! I found cinnamon sticks in the cupboard so I ground some up in the spice grinder – only going shopping every two weeks these days.

      So yes, using sour milk (1 tbsp lemon juice, top up to 3/4 cup with milk and let it sit at room temp for an hour) and replacing 1/2 tsp baking powder with baking soda gave a better rise with the brown flour. Yum – thanks for the recipe Julie!

  8. Susan Crawford
    April 1, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    I hate to be dense but once you put the stickiness stuff into the pan, are you then supposed to put the pan in the oven to melt it together? It doesn’t say and I’m confused:(

    • Alicen
      April 2, 2020 at 12:15 pm

      Yes, put the pan in the oven with the butter, sugar, syrup, and stir it all together once the butter has melted. 🙂

  9. Natalie Jones
    April 7, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    hi! I’m Natalie(i’m only 10)
    i love cinnamon buns! i had them at my friends once and i loved them!
    my mom and i are making them and i want to eat them when they are cooked! they look so yummy!
    thanks for writing how to make them! ^.^ 🙂 “) :3 X) XD

    • Natalie Jones
      April 7, 2020 at 3:57 pm

      yummy!!!!!!!! IT IS SO GOOD THANKS AGAIN!

  10. Jessica Maheu
    April 10, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    These are delicious, thanks!! A big hit in our household.?
    Quick question: Would one be able to make everything the night before, pop into the fridge and bake them in the morning?

  11. Arlana Keller
    April 10, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Julie,
    These are sooo yummy but I have run out of active dry yeast..can I use instant? Have lots of that!
    Thank you!
    A

    • Simone
      April 25, 2020 at 9:29 pm

      There is no yeast listed in the recipe. Someone did comment above that making some buttermilk (with lemon juice) helped with rising. I hope that helps.

      • Julie
        May 3, 2020 at 9:20 pm

        No, they’re biscuits, so don’t contain yeast. Lemon juice or buttermilk wouldn’t help with the rise, baking powder takes care of that. (If you use buttermilk, add about 1/2 tsp baking soda as well.)

  12. Lori Forte
    May 18, 2020 at 11:58 am

    Made the recipe as written. Delicious these are my husband’s favourite style of cinnamon buns – biscuit. The canola oil worked really well, never done that before with biscuits. What a great recipe Julie. Nice touch for long weekend brunch in back yard, 100% will make again. Just a little editing note: in directions, you need to say set the pan with butter, brown sugar and maple syrup into preheat it oven to melt while you prepare the biscuit.

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