PCA 2020

Cinnamon Without the Sin

During the summer I allow myself more lazy Sunday-like mornings; it seems like everyone is on holiday anyway, and sometimes it’s so hot I stay up late working outside on my laptop instead. One of the best things about non-harried mornings, any time of year, is baking scones, cinnamon buns or other breakfast treats. Cinnamon buns are one of my favorite things to eat ever, but at about 700 calories and 30+ grams of fat in some bakery cinnamon buns, they often aren’t worth it unless I’ve just finished a marathon.

And so I have to say this is one of my favorite recipes of all time. Their appeal is twofold: they are much lower in fat than traditional cinnamon buns, and most of that fat is the healthy mono- and polyunsaturated kind that comes from canola oil. And because the biscuit dough doesn’t require any rising, they are ideal when you need to satisfy a craving NOW. 

During the summer, this recipe does double duty: try laying thinner slices of the biscuits on top of a dish of peaches or apples tossed with sugar, then bake at 350° F for 20-30 minutes for a phenomenal fruit cobbler. 
Cinnamon Sticky Biscuits

2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. honey or corn syrup



2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil



1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins and/or chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Combine butter, brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl and heat until melted and smooth. Pour over the bottom of an 8”x8” baking pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the milk and canola oil and stir by hand just until you have a soft dough. Do not overmix!

On a lightly floured surface, pat or roll the dough into a 9” x 14” rectangle. Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins or nuts. 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. 

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

Makes 9 sticky biscuits.

Per biscuit: 270 calories, 9 g total fat (2.2 g saturated fat, 4.4 g monounsaturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat), 3.6 g protein, 44 g carbohydrate, 7.7 mg cholesterol, 0.9 g fiber. 30% calories from fat. 

Apricot Sticky Biscuits: place a canned apricot half cut side down in each cup. Place the biscuits on top and bake for 20 minutes, until golden.

Apple Pie Rolls: sprinkle the dough with a peeled and thinly sliced tart apple along with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll and bake as directed. 

Garlic Cheese Rolls: omit the stickiness and filling, and instead spread the rolled dough with a mixture of 1 Tbsp. butter or oil and 2-3 crushed cloves of garlic. Sprinkle with ½ cup grated old cheddar cheese, and scatter with a few chopped sun dried tomatoes and some fresh parsley if you like. Roll and bake as directed.


Julie is a best-selling cookbook author, food writer, cooking instructor and the food and nutrition columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio. She lives in Calgary with her husband and her son, Wilem. Watch for her cooking show, It’s Just Food, with co-host Ned Bell on Access TV and CLT stations across Canada. For recipes and daily ramblings visit her blog at dinnerwithjulie.com.

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