My Non-Cake Birthday Cake

My non-cake Birthday Cake

My non-cake Birthday Cake

Do you love cinnamon rolls, but don’t like to work with yeast dough?  I hear this from of lots of my women friends.   They love that yeasty flavor and texture of baked breads and sweet rolls, cinnamon buns included, but don’t have the time or knack for working with yeast dough.  Well here’s good news…..

These are cinnamon rolls made from dough without yeast!  In the food processor, no less.  So ease of preparation can’t be beat, and the resulting tender sweet, cinnamon rolls are luscious indeed.   The inclusion of cottage cheese and non-fat yogurt, plus a small amount of butter guarantees a tender dough.


The back story here is that my birthday occurred this past weekend, as it does every year right around Mother’s Day, and having no-one around to bake a cake for me,  I made one for myself.  Only it wasn’t really a cake.  It was these sweet rolls.  When they are turned out of the baking pan onto a serving dish, they look like a single layer cake.  Frosted with a maple flavor glaze, they are great for breakfast, but we sampled them while still warm from the oven, and had a tiny birthday party just for me.  Ha!


Yield:   Makes 12 rolls



  • 3/4 cup small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (if using salted butter, use 1/4 tsp. salt)


  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or other nuts
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



1.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine the first 5 ingredients.  Process briefly until smooth.   In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through salt).  Add the flour mixture to the processor bowl.  Cover and pulse to form a soft dough.


Easy so far, right?

2.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 4 to 5 times.  It comes together and feels just right.  Now with a rolling pin, roll out to a 15″ x 12″ rectangle.



Brush the dough with the 2 Tablespoons of melted butter to within 1/2-inch of edges.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture all over the butter.


3.  Preheat oven to 400*F.   Lightly spray or grease a 9-inch round baking pan.

4.   Starting from the long side, roll up the dough like a jelly roll, keeping it as tight and even as possible.  Pinch edges to seal.   Cut dough into 1 1/4-inch slices.


Lay the slices cut-side down in the prepared pan.



5.  Bake at 400*F. for 20 – 25 minutes.  Test for doneness with a toothpick.  Remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a serving plate.



6.  Make the glaze and drizzle over the rolls.  Don’t they look fantastic?  I dare you not to eat one right now!

Yummy cinnamon rolls, still warm from the oven.

Yummy cinnamon rolls, still warm from the oven.




5 responses

  1. Oh Carolyn, you have no idea how long I’ve been looking for a good recipe for Cinnamon Pinwheels, like the ones my Mom used to make (and the fact that you used them to celebrate your birthday on Mother’s Day is just that much more amazing; )
    Thank you SO much and Happy Birthday!


      • Well, I haven’t tried them yet, but right from the start – at the very first glimpse of your photos – my taste bud memory reacted with an, “OMG, I know you!”
        There now, they’re jumping up and down with excitement all over again, just thinking about it! (Obviously, there’s just going to be no living with them until I give them what they want; )


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