Recipe courtesy of Beth Hensperger

The Fastest Cinnamon Rolls

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  • Yield: 12 rolls
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3/4 cup dried cherries, blueberries, cranberries, golden raisins, or chopped prunes

Boiling water to cover


3/4 cup cottage cheese

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup cultured buttermilk

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons for brushing

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt


2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Vanilla Icing:

2/3 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

3 to 4 teaspoons cold cultured buttermilk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square or round baking pan. Set aside. Place the dried fruit in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over. Cover and set aside. 
  2. Place the cottage cheese, sugar, buttermilk, 4 tablespoons melted butter, and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the workbowl and pulse until the dough clumps like a biscuit dough, 8 to 10 pulses. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently, folding the dough over and pushing it away from you 4 to 5 times, until the dough is smooth. Do not overwork the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to make a 12 by 15-inch rectangle. Brush the entire surface with the 2 tablespoons melted butter, leaving a 1/2-inch border around all the edges. 
  3. To make the filling, combine the sugars, cinnamon, allspice and cloves in a medium bowl and sprinkle over the surface of the dough. Pat to press the sugar into the surface. Drain the dried fruit and pat dry with a paper towel. Distribute the fruit over the sugar mixture. 
  4. Starting at the long edge, roll up the dough jelly-roll fashion. Pinch the seam to seal, leaving the ends open. With a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 equal pieces. Set the rolls cut side up, showing the spiral design, in the baking pan. 
  5. Place immediately on the center rack of the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove the pan from the oven and run a metal spatula around the edges of the rolls. Lift the rolls out of the pan one at a time, and place them right side up on a wire rack positioned over a plate or a piece of waxed paper. 
  6. To glaze, place the ingredients for the icing in a small bowl or 2-cup liquid measuring cup (the spout makes pouring easy). Using a small wire whisk, beat until smooth and thick, pourable consistency. Adjust the consistency with additional drops of buttermilk. Drizzle the icing in a zigzag pattern over each roll. Let the rolls stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.