Friday, April 29, 2011

Cinnamon Pinwheels with Maple-Coffee Icing.

Fun fact: I don't really like cinnamon rolls. Don't even get me started on sticky buns. Nuts in my pastries? That's almost as bad as nuts in my cookies.

But if I could only eat one thing for breakfast for the rest of my life, it would be these.

Unless eating peanut butter straight out of the jar counts as breakfast. And I totally think it should.

Either way, cinnamon pinwheels are one of my most favorite things to make for special occasions.
Like Easter. Or Tuesdays. Or (once) for dinner.

They're quick to put together, there's no yeast or waiting around for dough to rise, and in about fifteen minutes, you can have a piping hot pan of buttery, tender, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits bursting with rich swirls of brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter, with a crunchy layer of cinnamon and brown sugar baked right onto the bottom.
But they need something else, don't you think?
That's what I thought.
I've eaten entire batches made these at least twenty-seven times and I've never once thought of putting an icing on top. Adding more sugar to something so good just seemed kind of wrong. 
Pfft. It was the best decision I've ever made. 

And this isn't just any icing... it's an over-the-top, change-your-life sort of icing. Maple-coffee icing, the same one used on Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls (which I still need to make), and it tastes exactly like the glaze on a maple bar doughnut.

Please make them. And if nothing else... make this icing. Pour it on your eggs. Drizzle it on your pancakes. Stir it into your coffee. Make a smoothie or lick it off a spoon. You won't regret it.

Cinnamon Pinwheels with Maple-Coffee Icing

Printable Recipe

2 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup milk
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Maple-Coffee Icing
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
A pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
1 tablespoon strongly brewed coffee

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a muffin sheet with non-stick cooking spray or line with paper liners and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

Mix Bisquick and milk together with a wooden spoon until dough comes together, then turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 3-4 minutes.

Roll dough into a large rectangle, 1/4-inch thick, and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle about 3/4 cup of the brown sugar mixture over the dough; sprinkle the remaining brown sugar mixture in the bottom of each muffin cup well.

Roll dough, jelly roll fashion, tucking in the ends so that the brown sugar stays inside; slice into 12 biscuits. Place cut-side down in muffin cups on top of the brown sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Turn out of the pan onto waxed paper immediately.

For the icing, mix together all the ingredients with a whisk until icing comes together. It should be thick, but too thick to pour. Depending on the consistency you want, you may want to add a tablespoon more or less of powdered sugar. Drizzle over the cinnamon rolls and serve warm.

Makes 12 pinwheels.

Source: Cinnamon Pinwheels from The Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Cooking. Maple-Coffee Icing from The Pioneer Woman.


  1.! My mouth is watering, these look delicious! Can't wait to give them a try!

  2. I can't just look at a Cinnamon bun and not eat it. These look amazing!

  3. These look great! I actually don't like coffee, but it looks like I can make the frosting without it. :)

  4. Oh my gosh these look amazing! I love your action photos too, they really make me want to reach right through he computer and eat one! I have made the Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls and they ARE delicious, but they are a lot of work too! These are the perfect quick and easy substitute, thanks!

  5. Wonderful! I especially like the photos on this post, especially the one with the muffin tin, flour and the cut dough. Mmmmm....

  6. Oh my goodness, I am all over this!

  7. Just made this for breakfast and the only complaint that I received was "why didn't I make more?" I substituted the maple extract and the coffee, respectively for vanilla and dissolved unsweetened chocolate (I am the only person who likes coffee at my house).I am excited to have something easy to pour that yummy frosting over.

  8. A chocolate icing? Wants. That sounds delicious! I'm glad everyone liked them.

  9. I'm lovin' this reecipe and your blog and I will definitely become a regular=)

  10. Oh wow maple coffee icing? That just takes cinnamon rolls to a whole nuther level. Yummilicious!

  11. Oh my, these look awesome! I can't wait to try them! Btw, I just discovered your blog and I love it!

  12. Mouth watering! I would die for those. And fleur de sel is just french sea salt. Try it!

  13. *Jaw Dropping*

    Wow, this looks amazing!!! I love cinnamon, and this topping looks to die for.

    I will definately make this 27 times too.

    The cake i have just posted isn't as sweet as this but it does taste nice with coffee or tea.


  14. These were Great! I didn't use paper liners and I wish I would have. The cinnamon-sugar mixture @ the bottom, stuck to the bottom. Even so, they were easy to make & my family loved them!

  15. Anonymous- I'm glad everyone liked them! Sometimes the cinnamon-sugar mixture doesn't stick completely to the bottom. I have no idea why this is, so I always put a good 1/4-inch of the sugar in the bottom of each cup. That way, I know at least SOME of it will. Cuz it really is the best part!

  16. Maple syrup and coffee are two of my favorite things. Can't wait to try this icing! Your photos look incredible! Thanks for sharing.

  17. Thanks for taking the time to post exact ingredient quantities on the maple-coffee glaze. I wanted to use Pioneer Woman's recipe for that -- but not for her rolls. That business about mixing in 1 teaspoon each of baking powder and baking soda by hand, AFTER mixing in 8 cups of flour, was too weird and arduous. Plus, my cinnamon rolls are great, so's my maple glaze, but I did like the sound of incorporating coffee. The reason I didn't make her glaze was that she didn't specify the quantity of confectioner's sugar, just "1 bag." I saw that many people had asked her to clarify, but she never did. Where I live, there are three sizes of bags of it and I didn't feel like messing around. So thanks for the details.

  18. okay, I'm exhausted and drooling...sleep or cinnamon rolls? hmm...

  19. Kia ora Ms Bakeress! Just made these with my 2 year old, substituted coffee icing with a few white cholocate buttons on top which melted while baking, was DELISH! Loving the blog too - very funny :P Keep it up girl! x

  20. You are hilarious! I was laughing out loud the way you write is so entertaining! "I've eaten entire batches" crossed out was so clever! Where has this recipe been all my life? I will make these for my kids, minus coffee!

  21. has anyone tried using the gluten free bisquick in this recipe?

  22. Can these be made a day ahead?. How would u store them.

    1. Was wondering if you ever got your answer? Did you make them ahead of time?

  23. I have made these but I melted down some of those Kraft caramels and put them in the bottom of the paper liners on top of the brown sugar, sprinkled some finely chopped macadamia nuts, then when they came out of the oven put a fine drizzle of caramel on top and omigosh they were so good with a cup of espresso!!